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View Full Version : The Impact of Tension Loss on Shot Accuracy


Robbie_1988
07-04-2006, 07:55 PM
Hi folks I'm just wondering, how much of an effect does tension loss impact on the accuracy of your shots.

I'm currently using a full Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 16L stringjob and i've had it in my racket for a month now. I've probably had 12 hours of tennis with it. Yesterday I was playing my usual game and going for put aways when my opponent dropped the ball short. But the difference is that I kept missing these shots that I normally would make and I would hit them about 30 cm too wide or 30 cm too long.

For a few hours I was just wondering if it was my bad footwork or if it was because of tension loss. So for all your experienced players and stringers out there can you please tell me how much of a difference tension loss or a dead stringjob makes on the accuracy of shots? Is it half a metre? A metre? Over the back fence?

emcee
07-04-2006, 08:02 PM
Eh sorry, I'm not comfortable in meters. Also, how many pounds (or kg) are you talking about. I notice that when my tension starts to go, I start missing some shots by a little and sometimes start spraying my shoys everywhere, but that's about all I could tell ya.

Robbie_1988
07-04-2006, 08:25 PM
Eh sorry, I'm not comfortable in meters. Also, how many pounds (or kg) are you talking about. I notice that when my tension starts to go, I start missing some shots by a little and sometimes start spraying my shoys everywhere, but that's about all I could tell ya.
Hi I forgot to mention. I normally have my racket strung at 55 lbs Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power.

Kevo
07-04-2006, 09:01 PM
Well, it depends on how much tension loss. The difference can be quite large with some strings.

AdvocateTDV
07-04-2006, 09:16 PM
This may not be the exact answer you're looking for, but it may help some.

As your strings lose their tension, they rebound more of the ball's incoming energy back out. To put it simply, the ball comes out at an overall faster velocity given two identical swings with two different tensions.

Another aspect to consider (thanks physics) is that the ball also tends to rebound at a steeper angle to the normal of the racquet face for a loose tension stringbed compared to a tighter stringbed. Of course, this is assuming that the strings still have enough tension to efficiently rebound the energy.

In otherword, on a looser (more dead) stringbed, the ball comes off your strings not only faster (higher velocity, longer dwell time, less deformation of the ball), but also more vertical than when you have a tight, new stringbed. Thus, now you know why the ball has a tendency to fly long when you pop a string in the middle of a point. :D

In summary, with respect to "accuracy", the angle of incidence is closer (more true) to the angle of reflection when the stringbed is tight (newly strung) versus when the stringbed is loose (dead). In a perfect world the ball would meet the strings at 30 degrees, and come off at 30 degrees. But, as we all know from being on the court, this simply isn't the case due to velocity, spin, friction, and other variables that are beyond the scope of the thread and its discussion.

Okay, I'll get off my physics dissertation now...before I go overboard. I lecture this stuff day in and day out. :rolleyes:

Robbie_1988
07-04-2006, 09:28 PM
Hey thanks for that Physics lecture AdvocateTDV

Valjean
07-05-2006, 02:50 AM
As the strings relax it can help if you get down lower, take the ball in front more, hit through the ball completely, and be sure you finish your follow through.

TennsDog
07-05-2006, 01:22 PM
It depends on the amount of tension loss involved and the amount of spin the player uses. Less loss and more spin would give a lot better accuracy than a lot of tension lost and little spin. I find that when you play with a racket as the strings loosen up, you tend to get used to it as it happens, so it doesn't affect your game that much. The problem comes when you restring at your desired tension and it plays completely differently. I think that's the biggest problem with tension loss, not just losing control as they loosen.

mowcopian
07-05-2006, 01:40 PM
the lower your tension the more powerful your racket becomes and therefore unless you can control it will result in a loss of shot accuracy.

Valjean
07-05-2006, 02:15 PM
It can be compensated for, and is, with most of us. Some appear to just want that adjustment to remain unconscious, since it's gradual enough.

mowcopian
07-05-2006, 02:18 PM
yeah thts true. could u imagine if it suddenly dropped 10lbs, tht wud be silly.

TennsDog
07-05-2006, 02:42 PM
yeah thts true. could u imagine if it suddenly dropped 10lbs, tht wud be silly.
Iso-Speed drops about 6 lbs of tension in the first 20-24 hours after stringing. This is why it's not good when you break a string in a tournament and need it restrung quickly. Need to let it settle for a day or so before using it. I don't think any other strings have this characteristic, though, at least not so drastic.

mowcopian
07-05-2006, 02:43 PM
god does that mean that you will have to string it 6lbs higher at the start.

Court_Jester
07-05-2006, 03:42 PM
Iso-Speed drops about 6 lbs of tension in the first 20-24 hours after stringing. This is why it's not good when you break a string in a tournament and need it restrung quickly. Need to let it settle for a day or so before using it. I don't think any other strings have this characteristic, though, at least not so drastic.
Strings do lose a bit of their tension 24 hrs after stringing. RSI uses Prince Synthetic Gut Original Gold as their benchmark string when testing other strings and it loses 9% of its original tension the following day and that's before playing the racquet. There are also anecdotal evidence that some strings like the X-1 Biphase require 1-2 hr "break-in" period before they start feeling right.

tlm
07-05-2006, 03:52 PM
Luxilon suck for holding tension,when i used them after 2 matches they were going by3 its time to cut them out.

TennsDog
07-05-2006, 04:49 PM
god does that mean that you will have to string it 6lbs higher at the start.
Yes, they do recommend stringing 10% higher to account for the initial tension drop. The weird thing is these strings come pre-stretched and they still do that. I pre-stretch every other kind of string to reduce the tension loss after stringing, but I don't think it would help for Iso-Speed.