Hybrid Stringing for Tennis

When pros are stepping on the court, it is fair to assume they are not thinking about their strings. However, many hours of practice and experimenting leads pros to decisions about types of strings and their tension and how it impacts their strategy and shot making. On both women’s and men’s tours a newer trend has taken hold: hybrid stringing. This method is available to you too.

What is hybrid stringing?

This is when two different strings are used for the main strings (the ones that run parallel to the neck) as opposed to the cross strings (perpendicular to the neck.) It could be two different types of strings like poly and natural gut. It could simply be strings with two different gauges (thicknesses.) Theoretically, it could even be two identical strings that are different colors.

Does Hybrid Work?

Most of the playability from strings comes from the mains. By using a different string in the crosses you will impact how the ball comes off the strings in a way that benefits the specific needs of your game if you pick the right string. Example: poly in the mains is great for spin for heavy hitters. Using natural gut in the crosses eases the strain on the arm. Here is the danger though: it might help the player’s arm pain but it will generate less spin than a 100% poly strung racquet.

3 Advantages to Using String Combinations:

                            1. 1. The theory is that you can get the best of all worlds by combining strings.
                            3. 2. The stringing is tailored to your exact game and your exact needs as a player.
                            5. 3. There can also be a small cost saving vs. the cost of a complete natural gut stringing but that is not a factor for the pros.

4 Disadvantages of Hybrid Stringing:

  1. 1. Possible increased string breakage. Example: a natural gut combined with a highly textured poly will wear quickly.
  3. 2. More expensive vs. syn gut or most multifilaments.
  5. 3. No guarantee it will give you everything under the sun for your game.
  7. 4. Need to experiment with strings and tensions to get it just right.

What do the Pros Use?

Roger Federer has used a hybrid method for years. He uses Wilson natural gut for the main strings and Luxilon ALU Power Rough for the crosses. With his GOAT level success, copying him has been trendy. Serena Williams is the most notable successful copier. Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, uses only poly strings.

Need advice? Call us. We have ideas. We also have a Learning Center with all kinds of helpful information. Our Guide to Choosing the Right Tennis Strings gives you a great overview of the topic. Tennisracquets.com loves to help players of all levels. We can even string your racquet if you are local to Michigan. Check out our on-line services and drop off your racquet at your convenience.