And these are just tiny differences. In reality, players can use very high tensions or very low tensions. They make their choice based on their strengths, their experience and their feelings.
"At this tournament, tensions ranged from 13.5kg (Mikhail Kukushkin) to 27 or 28kg (Simone Bolleli), with strings ranging from polyester to natural guts, through the hybrid. "Explains Stéphane Chrzanovski, professional team leader of Team Tecnifibre.
Thus, a string that suits one is not necessarily suitable for the other.
The clay surface, obviously slower than fast surfaces such as hard indoor, pushes the players to adapt and stretch string a little less for more trampoline effect to generate more power. The sun and the humidity also make the ball less lively and accentuate this observation. The same player does not string his racquet at the same tension for the whole year. During seasons on faster surfaces, it is not uncommon to observe much higher tensions because players are looking for more control: our stringers often take the example of Dustin Brown, who sometimes asks over 35kg!
The strengths of the professionals are not yours! Choose your string according to your game
Stéphane Chrzanovski follows the professional players throughout the year at various ATP tournaments. This monitoring gives him the ability to observe changes in the tension of each player, and to create a relationship of proximity and mutual trust. Here are his feedbacks.
Stéphane, do you sometimes advise players on their choice of strings and tension? Do you have examples?
SC: Yes it happens very often to discuss with the player for the choice of his string. Especially at the beginning of the tournament, it happens that he asks us how the machines tend, or information on the weather, the balls, the atmosphere of the room when it is indoor, if the surface is fast or no ... In Washington, for example, we talked for a long time with Edouard Roger Vasselin, who tends to 23 / 24kg when he plays indoor and climbed to 25.5kg on the last day here because of the heat.
I also had the case with Sascha Zverev who asked for very precise adjustments (accuracy of 100g) with the changing weather
What are your recommendations on the choice of type of string (poly, multi, gut) and good tension for amateur players?
So for the tensions you must know that there is no truth and it is very complicated. Pro players have a range of 10kg to 38kg. Even if the average is rather low, around 23kg for men and 26kg for women. If the amateur player uses exactly the same string as his idol, I will advise to adjust the tension according to his level of play! A player like Nishikori tends today to 16.5kg, but that's not why the amateur player needs to stretch so low. He can put 23kg easily.
At the opposite, with a Dustin Brown who tends to 37kg, the amateur player will have to stretch much lower, to avoid injuries.
In your opinion, precisely, what are the risks for an amateur player to choose the type and tension of strings from professional players?
For amateur players it is often complicated because a majority do not really feel the difference between the strings. Yet the effect they have on the body is huge!
Unfortunately, in shops or big stores, the main criterion is often durability, which is privileged to the detriment of the rest.
I strongly recommend for my part Hybrid, just to try to put something less stiff than a full polyester ....
For young people, multifilaments are almost mandatory because it is much less traumatic for bodies still in formation.
For seniors, who often do not have the same problem of durability, we orient them 100% on Top quality multi such as X-one, nrg2 ... or natural gut, which lasts shorter but really preserves the body.