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When trying out a new tennis racquet, or wondering why your current tennis racquet isn’t as effective as it used to, it can be helpful to know a few basic facts about tennis racquet frames and strings to help determine what is working and what's not.
Most measurable differences between frames and strings will come down to these basic measurements and what causes them. Each of these elements, when we measure them, can either create more power or more control in your game.
Want more Power, add more weight, particularly to the head of your tennis racquet. Again, thicker frames made or racquets made with heavier material increase the power in your swing.
Still want more Power, increase the stiffness in your tennis racquet. Frames can be made thicker and stronger - and are therefore stiffer and that will increase the power in your play. Another nice perk of high stiffness is you increase the size of the sweet spot on your tennis racquet.
Longer Rackets increase power as the extra distance helps create more velocity in your swing. The longer reach also can help you if movement or timing are an issue.
The bigger the head of the racket the larger the sweetspot and the greater power you can generate. Of course, you can sacrifice overall control and precision with your swing.
Mains, the strings that go up and down the racquet face, and Crosses, the strings that go across the racket face. You can have a varying number of Mains & Crosses and the basic rule is this - the fewer the Mains & Crosses the more spin you can generate on the ball. Also - the fewer the strings the more power you can generate. The reason what is that with fewer strings there is more room for the strings to move, slide around and distort. This creates more movement on the ball and an increased trampoline effect as the ball is pushed off the racket by the maneuverable strings. The downside is and increased chance of strings breaking as they rub against each other.
The big deal about tension is the amount of time the ball spends on your racket. Lower tensioned strings create a trampoline effect on the ball, cradling it for a short period of time before sending the ball off toward your opponent. The more time the ball spends on your racket does increase your power but also hurts your control. The longer that ball is on your racket the less effective your contact point becomes as the ball and racket move around a little as you swing. Increasing tension ups your control by decreasing the cradling effect.
Tennis Racquets come with a range for the preferred tension in the racket - often in pounds per square inch. If you have 2 identical rackets, maybe you want to keep one strung a little bit tighter 2 to 5 lbs tighter. Having a higher tension racket in your bag can be helpful when you are having a hard time controlling your shots.
The bigger the number, the thinner the string. The thinner the stringe, the more elastic it is and the more likely it is to move on contact with the ball - and of course the more likely it will break. So, thinner strings typically mean more power, more spin and more breaks.