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.
Hey Justin, I’m a 4.0 player, 35 years old, who swings a Babolat AeroPro Drive and camps out on the baseline. After reading about monofilaments’ spin benefits, I decided to string up a set up Luxilon Alu Power at 50 lbs. I tried it out for about three weeks, but in that time noticed a decided increase in arm and shoulder soreness, which ultimately prompted me to return to my Babolat Xcel. I’ve concluded that Luxilon’s just not right for me. But I’d still like to get some extra spin on the ball. What other equipment tweaks would you recommend?—Jeffrey R.
It’s not atypical, Jeffrey, for players switching to polyester to experience additional stress on their hitting arms. However, if the soreness is not too severe, it might be worth giving a softer poly another try at a lower tension. Toward that end, I’d recommend you string up a set of Babolat Pro Hurricane or Dunlop Black Widow, both in their 18 gauge versions and strung somewhere in the 40s, in lbs. Making these changes should reduce the impact forces upon contact, as well as your risks of injury, while still allowing for poly’s trademark spin generation.
That said, if you’re serious about spin sans polyester, consider looking to multifilament strings in narrower diameters. As Adam Queen of Your Serve Tennis, a pro shop in Atlanta, says, “For more spin, use as thin a string as you can. The downfall to thinner strings is decreased durability, so find a balance between spin and durability that you can afford. Also try using a racquet that has an open string pattern (such as 16x18 or 16x19) with as much spacing between strings as possible. Oversized racquets can help you generate more spin, because the string spacing is typically wider; however, it can become difficult to control the power in most oversize frames.”