Alex Mann has written a short history lesson detailing the most popular tennis string. It’s made in Belgium.
The Most Popular Tennis String
At the 1997 French Open, an unseeded Gustavo Kuerten stunned the men’s field to become the lowest ranked men’s singles champion in history. The unknown Brazilian powered his way through the likes of Jonas Bjorkman, Thomas Muster, Andrei Medvedev, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov to set up a final two-time French Open winner, Sergi Bruguera.
In one of the most shocking major finals, Kuerten dispatched Sergi Bruguera in straight sets to win his first title on the clay courts of Paris. It was just the start of the Brazilian’s Parisian love story as he would go on to win the tournament another two times.
However, this wasn’t the only love story forged that fortnight.
Kuerten not only introduced himself to the tennis world but also his tennis strings.
These weren’t the ordinary natural gut, but a more durable and control-oriented string, made out of polyester.
Yes, they had only been made in a factory in Antwerp, Belgium but the silvery strings popped out of his Head racquet like something which had arrived from the future. The strings were called Luxilon Big Banger.
What was more important than the string’s appearance, however, was that they allowed Kuerten to take bigger swings of the ball without the worry they would fly out of the court.
The increase in control and spin that Luxilon offered to players was something all players wanted to get their hands on, and within a few years, many of the world’s best made the switch to the unique silver string.
Andre Agassi was one of the biggest names to switch to Luxilon and was instantly impressed, allegedly saying he felt like he was cheating when playing. I don’t blame him.
It’s been over 25 years since Kuerten triumphed at Roland Garros with Luxilon, but the string is still as popular as ever.
While polyester strings are undoubtedly the most popular string, Luxilon has remained a firm favorite in a cluttered strings market. Many pro-player racquets still contain Luxilon strings.
It’s probably for a number of reasons, but being marketed as one of the first major polyester strings on the market has helped with their longevity.
Many current pros began playing with Luxilon strings as juniors and have continued to rely on their success and reputation.
It’s no wonder Luxilon is the string of choice for both the current WTA and ATP world number 1s.