TENNIS.com gear editor Justin diFeliciantonio and his technical advisers answer your equipment questions each day. Click here to send in a question of your own.
Hi Justin, I have a question about stringing. I recently went to a hybrid string combination of Babolat VS natural gut in the crosses and Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour in the mains, both strung at 60 pounds. I went with a higher tension than you recommend for the Pro Hurricane because of how poorly monofilaments maintain tension. I live in a small town, and have limited access to a stringer. As a result, I don’t have the opportunity to frequently restring. This is the best combination of sting that I've found, but the poly loses tension while the gut maintains tension. Do you have any recommendations?—Stockmonster
I understand your predicament, Stockmonster, but pulling 60 lbs. on a string like Pro Hurricane is still a dangerous proposition for your arm, simply because the material is already so stiff. Even when strung against natural gut, most stringers recommend that monofilaments be strung in the high 40s to low 50s lbs.; at these tensions, the string still imparts plenty of bite onto the ball, while attenuating the shock of impact.
That said, you’re right that polyester, compared to other types of strings, is usually terrible at holding tension. Which makes for a knotty predicament, if you don’t have access to a physical and/or human stringer in the area. The ideal solution, of course, would be for you to buy a machine and learn to string yourself. But for now, why don’t you try out Luxilon 4G in your mains? In addition to being a soft and playable monofilament, 4G is designed to better maintain its tension—30 percent better, according to the company.
So string up a half a set of this 4G—at, let’s say, 53 lbs.—and keep track of how long its performance satisfies you. It’s certainly worth a playtest.