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The lowest string tension on tour?

by TN

Is Adrian Mannarino playing with the lowest string tension on tour? It does seem to work very well for him though.

I had the fortune to watch Adrian Mannarino’s practice session with local top player Matthew Asciak today. I also talked to Mannarino about his equipment, injuries and other tennis things. Some of it is covered in the video below, which I hope you will find interesting. Is Mannarino’s 11 kg / 24 lbs the lowest string tension on tour? I think so. It’s impressive how he can control the ball so well with that tension and Mannarino is a high quality player who has been a top 75 player in the world for 9 consecutive years, reached ten ATP finals and won one title.

Mannarino hits the ball flat and hard with compact strokes. It’s pretty impressive to see the kind of power he can generate, especially on the forehand.

Mannarino’s racquet

Mannarino uses a Babolat Aero Pro Drive painted to look like a Pure Aero from 2013 customized up to 330 grams unstrung (which he told me during our conversation) Not sure about the weight and balance, but I would estimate the swing weight to 350-ish after air swinging the racquet.

Most players would struggle to control this frame with a “normal” tension of 53 lbs or 24 kg, but Mannarino halves that to 11 kg at the moment. I think he has been more steady around 16-17 kg (35 lbs) but has dropped it even further of late. It’s highly interesting and makes me want to string up my Pure Aero at a similar tension just as an experiment!

We talked about how it’s important to drop tension gradually to get comfortable with very low tensions.

Injuries

Adrian was very nice and open to talk to. We talked a bit about his elbow problems, which bothers him the most on serve. Many pro or high level players I meet and talk to, suffer from some kind of arm, shoulder or wrist pain and has to take pain killers during matches. Tennis is an injury prone sport with lot of overworking of certain muscle groups and it’s not only rec players that suffer from tennis elbow.

Is it the technical changes that has happened in the sport? Meaning that players now hit using their elbow a lot more in the stroke as well as playing with poly strings. Could be. I’m pretty sure the stats would show that tennis elbow and similar injuries has been on the rise for a while.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the footage from the practice session. Thanks to Matthew Asciak from Asciak Academy and Adrian for letting me come over and record.

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