String Review: Luxilon 4G Rough

by: Jon Levey | November 15, 2013

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One of the big selling points of Luxilon’s 4G string is that it’s designed to have better tension maintenance than typical monofilament polyesters. And while plenty firm, 4G also represents a more playable offering than most Luxilons. I reviewed the string over the summer and did find it to be on the friendly side for the string maker, but still with plenty of spin potential and control. Power is there if you bring it, with that typically quasi-dead feel. In terms of tension maintenance, I cracked the string before it ever became an issue; another indication for me that it’s softer for a Luxilon because I rarely break their strings before cutting them out.

Now along comes the new 4G Rough ($22/set), a more textured version for enhanced spin. Being afraid of the stiffness of most Luxilons, I had it strung at 53 lbs. to try it out, which in retrospect was probably a bit too low. I should have known from my experience with standard 4G that it’s more forgiving. However, I usually need a short break-in period with fresh monofilaments, but these felt comfortable right out of the wrapper.

From a performance standpoint, I wouldn’t say the power was easy, but aggressive swings yielded plenty of pop. And as advertised, spin was borderline vicious. My opponent had a one-handed backhand and I tortured him all day with heavy inside-out forehands and kick serves. If you enjoy putting lots of topspin on the ball, 4G Rough is a ton of fun to play with.

Control was good, but not pinpoint. Serving is one of my strengths, and I couldn’t hit my targets with my usual frequency. There were several instances of ground strokes taking last-second nosedives into the court—what many refer to as “Luxilon” shots—but a few sailed long as well. Again, adding more pounds of tension would help. Plus, I played with the stings in high heat and humidity which only added to the springiness. When I use them again, I’ll definitely jump up to around 58 lbs. to start to see if that helps.

I’m not much of a touch player, but I found a surprising amount of it on drop shots and short angles. The only area I struggled to find a happy place with 4G Rough was on volleys. Whether it was the tension, or the inherent feel of the string, it just never felt completely comfortable. I suspect that’s something that would come over time with these strings. If not, using them as the mains in a hybrid with a more lively counterpart would probably do the trick.

Besides, 4G Rough seems to fall in the family of strings for people who prefer to play with a hammer, rather than a scalpel. And if you like to pound the ball with lots of spin, and favor firm strings with a little give in order to do it, then 4G Rough might just be the tool for you.

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