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At the weekend, I had a tennis lesson with a friend who I knew from college.
I hadn’t seen him in over 15 years.
He’s now a tennis coach living in sunny Bournemouth, in the UK.
Living the dream 🙂
(if the weather’s nice)
Anyway, as we were playing, he let me have a go on his new Mantis tennis racket, which had just been restrung.
Wow! I was amazed at how much more spin and power I could get with my shots.
I have a cheap Wilson Racket at the moment, and the difference with his racket was incredible.
It got me thinking about how much difference there is between various strings and rackets.
I firmly believe you need the right technique to execute your shots, as any coach will likely say, but the right strings and racket can certainly make a difference
I’m not the most powerful player, but I like playing with a lot of spin and control, so I thought for this article I would look at some of the best tennis strings options, which can enhance these elements of my game.
How to choose the best tennis strings for spin and control
It’s important to remember that just having the right strings will not magically create spin and more control for you. You have to have the right technique, and for generating topspin, you need the right swing path.
(something I’m working on with my backhand at the moment!)
For spin, look for strings with high spin ratings, as this will help to generate more topspin on your shots.
Generally, the thicker the string, the less spin you can generate. The tradeoff is that thicker strings are more durable and shouldn’t break as often.
For control, a lower power string will be better for this, as it will help you with placement.
Below are some of the best strings for increased topspin AND control, based on my own research.
Babolat RPM Blast
These strings are considered to be one of the best options for generating spin. They have been used by Nadal and Wawrinka, as they also offer a great deal of control, as well as comfort.
I’m sure you’ve seen how much topspin Nadal can generate on his shots!
The strings are made from polyester, and their octagonal shape helps the ball stick to the strings for longer for more spin.
- You can generate a huge amount of topspin.
- Great control for slices and topspin. Ideal for bassline exchanges as you can get quite a high clearance over the net and the ball will dip into the court
- Quite durable for polyester tennis strings.
- Less power than other strings.
Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour
Like the RPM Blast, these polyester strings have an octagonal shape, which help you generate more topspin because the ball will be in contact with the strings for longer.
Furthermore, these strings are very firm which can give you a lot of control.
- Very good durability
- Excellent control and spin. You can have a lot of confidence that you can comfortably clear the net and the ball will land in the court.
- Less power than other strings.
- Quite firm – it won’t feel as comfortable as other strings.
If you are a player who hits with a lot of spin, then these strings are a great option for you.
Furthermore, you also get a great deal of control with your shots from a durable string that should last you a while.
- Superb control when taking full swings from the bassline. Gives you more confidence when you’re attacking the ball
- Comfortable to use with great feel, strings are less firm than other competitors
- The tradeoff for having more spin and control is it’s a low powered string.
Luxilon ALU Power Soft
Used by Djokovic and Federer, the ALU family of strings are a great choice for improving and advanced players.
These strings are a good choice for powerful players who want a bit more control in their game.
- Very responsive with good control. Hit the ball with confidence.
- Excellent for generating topspin.
- Very good durability.
- It won’t give you as much power as other strings.
Luxilon 4G Soft
These strings can help you generate spin (not quite as much as the RPM Blast or the Wilson Revolve).
However, it does offer a great deal of control so you can feel really confident placing your shots.
- Excellent durability and control. You’ll feel more confident going for the lines more on your shots.
- Creates a good amount of spin
- Offers good feel and comfort
- Lacks power
Which are the most popular tennis strings?
Looking at the monthly search volume you can see the Babolat RPM Blast is definitely the most popular choice among tennis players.
At the moment, I have just standard strings on my beginner Wilson racket.
But as my game develops I will certainly look at buying a better racket, and one of these 5 options for my strings.
My game is certainly more about spin and control than power and I look forward to seeing what difference some quality strings can make to my game!
(UPDATE: December 2019 – I bought the Luxilon Savage strings for my Mantis Pro III racket and boy, what a difference! A lot more power, but also more spin and control. I would say it’s added 15-20% to my game)