How to choose the right tennis string that will boost your game.

Selecting the right string for your racquet is not an easy task. With so many types, brands, materials, thickness and all kind of prices players usually overlook how important they are. Most of the time a big chunk of the tennis players population forget that the bed of strings is the only part of your racquet that makes contact with the ball, therefore, generating power, giving you more control, adding spin to the ball plus playability and durability as well.

The purpose of this guide is for you to have a better understanding of how to choose the right tennis string and the kind of questions you should ask your local stringer.

Let’s begin with the main options to consider.

Strings Materials.

 NATURAL GUT This is the original tennis string, made of cow intestines, this is the best strings in the market and tennis professional players strings of choice. Here you’ll find some pros and cons.

Pros.

  1. The faculty to maintain the tension for a long period helping you with more consistency.
  2. Generate more power due to the natural elasticity.
  3. Great sense of control when hitting due to the feeling of the ball sitting on the bed of strings for a longer time.
  4. Less shock for players with arm injuries.

Cons.

  1. Control is something that you trade for the power you obtain when using Natural Gut.
  2. Natural Gut is the most expensive of all tennis strings.
  3. Susceptible to moisture and very fragile.

.SYNTHETIC GUT This Synthetic Gut type of emulates the feel of Natural Gut for a fraction of the price with great playability and durability, In most cases made of nylon.

Pros.

  1. Durability
  2. Large selection to choose from.
  3. Competitive price.

Cons.

  1. Middle of the road playability and performance.

POLYESTER. If you are a player who breaks string very often then polyester is for you, this type of string is good for heavy topspin and control. Many pro players combine Polyester with Natural Gut.

Pros.

  1. Good for topspin and control
  2. Last longer.

Cons

  1. Players with arm injuries…..stay away. Polyester strings tend to be stiff.

NYLON. Due to their lower price these strings are very popular among recreational and club players and will offer something for any need from touch to topspin to power to durability.

Pros.

  1. Great feel.
  2. Low cost

Cons.

  1. Tend to lose tension.

KEVLAR. The most inflexible and hard to break of all strings and that is not necessarily a plus, recommended to combined with nylon ( hybrid ) to reduce stiffness and arm injuries.

Pros.

  1. Perhaps the best string holding tension.
  2. Very strong string. Durable.

Cons.

  1. Not recommendable for players with arm problems.

HYBRID TENNIS STRINGS. Is basically a combination of 2 types of strings, normally the mix works using the stronger as a main ( from the top to the bottom of the racquet ) since the main wear out faster due to topspin and another type of string as the cross for more comfort or control. Natural Gut across and Synthetic main is one of the combinations players use the most.

There are few more things you should know next time you purchase a string

GAUGES. Are basically the thickness of the string, so if you want more control and durability you should get a thicker string but if you want to improve your power and spin a thinner string is what you need. Here is how a gauge chart works the higher the number the thinner the string and the lower the number the thicker the strings.

 

Gauge                                                                                                           

19 1.00- 1.10 mm.

18 1.10- 1.16 mm.

17 L 1.16- 1.20 mm.

17 1.20- 1.24 mm.

16L 1.24- 1.26 mm.

16 1.26- 1.33 mm.

15L 1.34- 140 mm.

15 141- 149 mm.

 

TENSION. Another important thing to consider is how tight your strings should be strung and you should know a simple fact, higher tension equals more control and lower tension equals more power and you can always go from 53 to 55 pounds for power and from there up to 60 pounds for control. For most of the racquets brands, 60 pounds is the Max recommended.

The way you play, how often do you play and you play level should go into the whole equation as well. If you play from the backcourt hitting from both sides with heavy topspin then you should consider a lower gauge string for more bite to the ball to add much more spin but if you are a beginner/intermediate who plays a couple of times a week looking for power or control ( depends on the tension) then Synthetic gut is for you.

 

In conclusion, this guide will give you a better comprehension on how to choose the right string for you and boost your game in the process, so next time you go for a new set of strings you’ll know a bit more what to ask for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 ATP tennis players to watch in 2018.

With the first Grand Slam of the season around the corner, all the ATP tennis players are getting ready to hit the courts especially the younger players willing get in the race for points in order to move up in the ranks.

Here is my take on the 10 ATP tennis players to watch under 21 years old in 2018.

Alexander Zverev. GER

The youngest player( 21 years old ) to finishes in the top 10 in 2017 in the #4 position after winning 5 tournaments including 2 ATP Tour Masters 1000 in Rome and Montreal. With a 6′ 6″ frame his mobility and flexibility have improved with a lot a hard work in the past 2 years, His piercing groundstrokes and a big serve complete his all-court playing style. Coached by his father Alexander Zverev Sr and Juan Carlos Ferrero. 2018 should be another great year for Sacha Zverev.

Andrey Rublev. RUS

Finish # 39 in the rankings Andrey Rublev ( 20 years old ) won his first ATP title in Umag in July to Finnish strong the second part of the year reaching the quarterfinals in New York at the US Open losing to Rafael Nadal and reaching the finals at NextGen tournament in Milan losing against Hyeon Chung. He’s coached by former ATP player Fernando Vicente.

Karen Khachanov. RUS

Reaching a career high at # 29.in August 2017 the giant Russian finish the year in the # 45 position, lost to Roger Federer in the semi-finals in Halle Germany,  reached 4th round in Paris to Andy Murray and quarter-finals in Barcelona. Finished the year with a 26W/31L record.

Borna Coric. CRO

Next in this list is Borna Coric at # 48 in the rankings got his first ATP title in Marrakesh on clay beating Phillip Kohlschreiber in the finals after saving 5 match points. Coric is 21 years old and qualified for the NextGen finals.

Denis Shapovalov. CAN

With only 18 years old he is the highest teenager ranked in the ATP World Tour at #51. Shapovalov reached the quarter-finals at the ATP Masters 1000 at the Rodgers Cup in Montreal becoming the youngest to reach that stage in a Masters 1000 since 1990 and beating #1 in the world Rafael Nadal in the process. He was honored in the ATP World Tour Awards when he was voted the Most Improved Player of the year and also won the award as the ATP Star of the Future. He is coached by Martin Laurendeau and Tessa Shapovalov.

Jared Donaldson. USA

The first of 3 Americans on this list 21 years old Jarred Donaldson is ranked # 54 on the ATP World Tour playing 46 matches with a 21/25 record in 2017. Reached quarter/finals in the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati losing against John Isner, coming from the qualified reached the 4th round at the Miami Open. Coached by Jan-Michael Gambill.

Hyeon Chung. KOR

The 2015 ATP Most improved Player finish the year with a bang by winning in Milan the NextGen ATP Finals, reaching the quarters in Barcelona beating # 4 Alexander Zverev in the round of 16 before losing to Rafael Nadal. Won an ATP Challenger in Hawaii The 21 years old from South Korea finish the year ranked # 58. He is coached by Hyunjoon Suk.

Daniil Medvedev. RUS

The 3rd Russian in this list was runner-up in Chennai in his first tournament of the year, Quarters in Washington beating Grigor Dimitrov in the round of 16 and the Semi-Finals at Aegon International on the grass in Eastbourne before going down to Novak Djokovic. The 6′ 6″ big server finish the year ranked # 65 and played 50 matches with a final record of 24 W- 26 L. Coached by Jean-Rene Lisnard.

Frances Tiafoe. USA

The other teenager (19 years old ) in this list, finish the year ranked # 79. Tiafoe pushed Federer to 5 sets in the first round at the US Open and won 2 ATP Challengers back-to-back in Sarasota FL and Aix en Provence France. He is coached by former ATP pros Robbie Ginepri and Michael Russel.

 

Taylor Fritz. USA

Taylor Fritz debut season in 2016 where he became the 1 st, player, to reach an ATP final in just his 3rd tour level tournament and moved from # 694 to # 53 in the span of 11 months in the ATP rankings, I do believe the Californian is the real deal. He’s often compared with Pete Sampras for his So/Cal hard court style of play. This year he finishes in the # 105 spot in the ATP ranks due to a nagging left knee injury at the start of 2017. Look out for this player to make big strides in the up and coming season.  Fritz is coached by David Nainkin and Mardy Fish.

 

In summary.

With the return of Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka, Nishikori, and Raonic ( All top 10 ) after 6 months hiatus due to injuries and Federer and Nadal at (36 and 31 years old ) still winning Grand Slams; is not getting any easier for this up and coming players to move up in the rankings. Only a few of this bunch will do.

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ATP World Tour 2018 .The road to the Australian Open.

The Road to the Australian Open.

All the 4 Grand Slams have a series of tournaments used by players to warm up and practice on the same surface prior to the Slam. The ATP World Tour 2018 organized 5 tournaments around the world few weeks ahead of the Australian Open .

There ‘s a couple of tournaments like The Hopman Cup and the World Tennis Challenge love by many pro players to start their new season in a more relax way at the end of the year without caring for rankings points and having a bit of fun in the process since this 2 tournaments are exhibitions not organized by the ATP World Tour. This year The Hopman Cup will have 3 Top 10 players with Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev and Svetlana Kuznetsova leading one of the stronger s fields in the tournament’s history. Teams from Germany, Canada, Belgium, Australia, United States, Switzerland, Japan and Russia completed the field of teams for this year Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.

The World Tennis Challenge is the other exhibition tournament prior to the Australian Open that also attracts many current pro players and former stars of the game. The matches will be play at night for 3 days and this year included team Australia with Mark Philippoussis, Thanasi Kokkinakis and John Peers/ Henry Kontinen in doubles, Team USA with Andre Agassi, Frances Tiafoe and the Bryan Bros and the International Team with Mats Wilander, Gael Monfils and Jamie Murray/ Bruno Soares playing doubles. This tournament is played in Adelaide, Australia.

 

These are the first 5 tournaments of the ATP World Tour 2018 .

Brisbane International.

12/31/2017 until 01/08/2018.

ATP 250.                                                                                                         

Singles/Doubles.

Brisbane, Australia.

Prize Money 468, 910 USD.

Surface : Hard.

Confirmed Players for this year.

Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov ( Defending Champion ) , Nick Kyrgios, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic.

Past Champions : Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, Roger Federer, Leyton Hewitt, Andy Murray. Open.

 

Tata Maharashtra Open

01/01/2018 until 01/06/2018.

ATP 250.

Singles/ Doubles.

Pune, India.

Prize Money 561,345 USD.

Surface : Hard.

Players Confirmed for this year.

Marin Cilic, Kevin Anderson, Roberto Bautista Agut ( Defending Champion ), Robin Hasse, Jiri Vasely, Jeremy Chardy.

Past Champions : Stan Wawrinka ( 4 times winner ) Roberto Bautista Agut, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic, Carlos Moya.

 

Qatar MobilExxon Open.

01/01/2018 until 01/06/2018.

ATP 250.                                                                                               

Singles/Doubles.

Doha, Qatar.

Prize Money 1,386,665 USD.

Surface : Hard.

Players confirmed for this year.

Novac Djokovic ( Defending Champion ) , Dominic Thiem, Pablo Carrero Busta, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdazco, Richard Gasquet.

Past Champions : Novac Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Richard Gasquet, Andy Murray.

 

 

ASB Classic.

01/08/2018 until 01/13/2018.

ATP 250.

Singles/Doubles.

Auckland, New Zealand.

Prize Money 561,345 USD.

Surface : Hard.

Players confirmed for this year.

Jack Sock ( Defending Champion ), Juan Martin Del Potro, Sam Querry, John Isner, David Ferrer, Andrey Rublev.

Past Champions: David Ferrer ( 4 times winner ), John Isner, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jiri Vasely, Fernando Gonzalez, Gustavo Kuerten, Marcelo Rios.

 

Apia International Sydney.

01/08/2018 until 01/13/2018.

ATP 250.                                                                                                      

Singles/Doubles.

Sydney , Australia.

Prize Money 528,910 USD.

Surface : Hard.

Players confirmed this year.

Kei Nishikori, Giles Muller ( Defending Champion ), Diego Schwartzman, Fabio Fognini, Philipp Kohlschrelber.

Past Champions: Victor Troiki, J M Del Potro, Bernard Tomic, Giles Simon, James Blake, Leyton Hewitt, Pete Sampras, Todd Martin, Yanick Noah.

 

Another great year of tennis ahead of us with a lot of seasoned players trying remain on top of the rankings and a bunch of newcomers eager and hungry looking for an opportunity to show their goods in the first Grand Slam of the year.

This year Australian Open will bring us back Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novac Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka perennials top 10s but we’ll also see the young guns Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock among others shooting from their hips bringing down the usual suspects.

Expect to see big upsets during this part of the season, for some players it takes a while to get going in the early stages of these tournaments and tend to lose matches against unknown players sometimes. You will see a lot of new players coming from the juniors ranks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Me.

Welcome to Tennis Digital.

For 29 years I had the pleasure to teach and coach tennis for a living in locations like South Florida US, New Zealand, Australia, Aruba and United Arab Emirates. Worked in some of the best Academies like Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, Saddlebrook Resort/Hopman Tennis in the US and Pat Cash Tennis Academy, High Performance National Academy in Australia before I retired in 2015. USPTA / PTR certified and Saddlebrook Resort/Hopman Tennis Ambassador since 2012.

The main purpose of this site would be helping players of any age and playing level to improve and develop their game with sound instruction, tips and drills, not only on court but off court as well.

In the future we want to establish the brand as an authority in the online world of tennis information and tennis instruction.

All the best,

E.J. Weffer