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ATP Houston String Tensions

by Jonas Eriksson

Thanks to a fellow tennis nerd, we received a picture of the ATP Houston String Tensions. Here is what we found.

Can you learn a lot from pro player string tension sheets? Hmmm…difficult to say. I guess you can be inspired that many professional tennis players use lower tensions than most club level players.

What is the benefit of going down in tension?

Better comfort
Better depth
Larger sweet spot

The main con is reduced control

ATP Houston String Tension Sheet

If we start from the top, there is no shock that Ben Shelton is using a high tension for his Poly Tour Hybrid in his Ezone. The guy hits bombs.

It is quite rare to see top pros use Kirschbaum strings, but Max Power is an excellent string so makes sense that Francisco Cerundolo likes it. It is a pretty cheap poly too, retailing at 7 USD on Tennis Warehouse.

Percept players Tiafoe and Etcheverry like their tensions low at 42 lbs. Max Purcell uses 45 lbs even for a gut hybrid! Duckworth also uses a low tension gut hybrid in a power racquet (Pure Drive).

I think Nakashima using a gut hybrid is relatively new.

The highest tension is Kokkinakis who is using an arm-breaking 60 lbs of Alu Power in his Aero. It says unknown in the sheet, but if you look closely at his blacked-out frame you will see the Aero throat.

It looks like JJ Wlf has gone down a bit in tension for the clay season, using 44 lbs of Tour Bite in his Speed Pro.

Shapo likes to HIT the ball and uses one of the higher tension on the sheet with Poly Tour Strike at 56 lbs.


What can we learn? Well, if you haven’t tried dropping your tension, why not give it a go, considering all the above-mentioned benefits? Yes, it is not for everyone, but I think it is sensible to try it, especially if you have a sensitive arm. If you are using a full bed of gut or multifilament, I would keep the tension pretty high because that string doesn’t have the responsive qualities of a polyester string.

If you want to learn more about strings and tension, check out the Tennisnerd Guide to Racquets and Strings.

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1 comment

Alex April 4, 2024 - 08:50

Hi Jonas!
I’m seeking your advice. I’m currently playing with Prince ATS TT 16/18. I tend to play with full bed firm poly like Tecnifibre Razor Code or Babolat Hurricane. I don’t have any elbow issues, so I’m not avoiding high tension like 25/24. So, the problem is that after several sessions the strings become too lively and I literally have to fix strings after an each rally. I’m not talking about minor movements, I mean that a space between the main strings becomes huge (1.5-2sm). So, maybe I should consider a lower tension on my RA62 stick? And yes, I do like top spin : )
What do you think?
Thank you a lot!


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