Does Higher Tennis String Tension Give More Control and Spin?

Most people have heard of the principle that low tension gives more power and high tension gives more control. strings that are lower tension stretch more during impact. In this case, the ball rebounds from the racket and returns more energy. However, most players feel more control when playing with a high string tension racket. In professional games, players mostly use string tensions of over 70 lbs on their rackets

Control is being able to land the ball at the intended spot. However, players say that it’s important to have that feeling of control when you’re hitting the target. That exact feel of control and the factors that determine it, is what we’ll inspect today.

Playing Tennis


People mostly assume that control comes hand in hand with the ability to spin the ball. You’re probably wondering does the spin depend on string tension in this case. Of course, you’ll hear players say that high tension strings give more spin than low tension strings. The University of Sheffield in England measured the impact and spin for a typical ball racket. The results showed that the spin doesn’t depend on string tension or type. Now that we know that string tension doesn’t influence spin, we can also understand that it can’t affect control.

Lateral String Movement:

The research didn’t stop there. Using an ultra-high-speed video operating camera, they recorded the impact from behind the racket. The video camera operating was at 3,700 frames per second, and they were able to see and measure what happens to the ball and strings. Lower tensions provide more lateral string movement. That, of course, means more unpredictable ball trajectories. This also provides a softer impact, which players can feel.

Dwell time and ball travel:By varying the velocity at which the racket and ball collide, they simulated different groundstroke speeds. At these different speeds, they measured the distance that the ball traveled during impact. Also, dwell time was measured. Precisely, dwell time is the contact that the ball makes with the strings during impact. You’ll often hear people say that the ball travels a shorter distance when they use a high string tension. A shorter travel distance is “biting” the ball. It’s really about the shorter length of time that the ball and the strings are in contact.

Every time the ball doesn’t land well on racket, the head will for sure rotate during impact. The longer that the ball and racket remain in contact, the more chances you have to make major shot mistakes.

Therefore, the longer the ball stays on the strings, the farther it will travel on the stringbed. This will increase twisting of racket in your hand and the chance of hitting the frame.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that the tension doesn’t affect spin, but it does affect dwell time, string movement, and ball contact distance.

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