When should you restring your racket?

All tennis enthusiasts know how many options we have when we choose tennis equipment. Companies offer many various rackets, strings, tools, gears etc. Modern world has everything for us, players and coaches, to help playing better tennis. We can choose between rackets which have various heads, weights, grip sizes etc. Strings are offered as polyesters, naturals, synthetics, multi-filaments etc. We can also pick some tennis gears like overgrips, dampeners, lead tapes etc. As we can see, tennis enterprises have all we need on and off-court to make our tennis better but according to strings should we replace them before they pop?

               We all know players who play with the same string all year, even sometimes whole life. They are proud of their long-lasting string as also of money saved on stringing. However, we all should ask ourselves if it is a good option to play with one string until it breaks? In my opinion, it depends on what category of player you are. There are two categories: professional players who play 2-4 hours / day and amateur players who play couple times / week or month. Why is it important? If you are a professional player and you train really often, your string will break in days so it is not wrong to wait until it pops. Of course, there are exceptions like time before tournament when we want have all rackets with new strings but right now Im talking more generally. In the second example, if you are an amateur player and you play (I consciously used term play” instead of ”train” because amateur player play friendly matches mostly) from time to time, your string can last for months or years. Some of you can ask me:  What is wrong playing with the same string for longer time”? Before I answer this question, I would like to mention about strings responsibilities. It doesnt matter how long you have played tennis because you can experience from first ball what strings responsibilities are. We know that feeling and control of the ball come from string. We can have a brand-new equipment and spend hours on the court but if we have bad string, we can have problem with simply keeping the ball in play. String is more important than players can think so we should care about condition of the string.

Lets see why we should replace an old string and not hurt our game.

 Tension

Every player has favorite string tension. We use this tension every time because we are comfortable with this condition and we play our best tennis. Most of the players dont like to play with much lower tension because they dont have control over the ball. However, there are natural factors that lower tension of the string. One of these examples is just playing tennis. We hit ball after ball and it makes string weaker. Another example is time. Even without playing tennis, our string loses tension. Have you ever heard about temperature? Yes, it is another example why string is loose. Thats why it is so important to not leave your racket inside the car when outside temperature is high. All these factors and a lot of more are responsible for losing strings tension and lack of control over the tennis ball.

 

Condition

Condition of your string is of the same importance as condition of your racket, tennis shoes or your car. You dont play on tennis court when your shoes are completely damaged so why you should play with damaged string? String condition is dependent on different factors like court surface, balls, weather, opponents style etc. All these things have influence on your string and your game. Keeping string in good condition should be of utmost importance to have fun and play your best tennis.

 

Control

Tennis string is mostly responsible for control over the ball. If we have brand-new string in racket, we have more control and we play better. All our strokes are more effective because our string helps us to control the ball. On the other side, by playing with used and old string, we are exposed to limit our tactical options because we lack control. Tennis player has to feel comfortable when playing match so tennis string cant bother performer during and between rallies. Playing with good equipment gives us opportunity to play our best tennis and to not have excuses after bad shots. With right stuff we are responsible for everything so we can see our true value as a tennis player.

 

Mistakes

All these examples result in the worst possible thing – mistakes! If our string loses tension, deteriorates and lacks of control, we start to make more mistakes. Proper response should be replacing a string but unfortunately, we mostly respond in the other way – we try to correct errors. This is the worst solution because we try to correct our strokes which are not responsible for mistakes. String is the only one factor we should care of; not strokes. Keeping string in good condition can protect us, tennis players, from many mistakes and hours spent on court correcting things which are not relevant.

 

To sum it up, string is of the same importance as racket, shoes and coach or playing partner. If we want to approach this sport professionally, we should start to care about this item. Details make difference and string is one of these. Replacing string 2 or 3 times in a year is not a big amount of money. Typical tennis lesson costs about 60$ and stringing with gut is about 35$. We can spend around 100$ per year to keep our equipment in good condition and dont care about more mistakes. On the other hand, by not replacing a string, you can think how much money you can lose on tennis lessons because of improving faulty strokes’’. It is important to understand what advantages and disadvantages stand behind string and what to do to avoid additional problems.