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View Full Version : Question for Jura, highest tension ever?


ericsson
08-03-2006, 08:30 AM
Question for Jura and Martinez and other prof.stringers who string or strung for pro's: What's the highest you've ever strung for a professional player??

ajs72us
08-03-2006, 09:02 AM
My guess is one of them has the title of highest tension. I have heard seles actually needed a custom machine to deal with the high tensions she requested. But it is just a rumor.....:mrgreen:

chrisplchs
08-03-2006, 09:21 AM
Monica Seles.. at something like 93 lbs but she toned it down to the mid 80s for Wimbledon. I know at Wimbledon, we set aside a machine just for her racquets

Sampras at Wimbledon was often around the mid 70s or less

Richard Parnell
08-03-2006, 10:18 AM
Highest I have strung is 99 lbs for Roberto carretero with Polymono in a Estusa frame in about '97. The next down would be Thomas Muster at 88lbs in '95 with isospeed in a Head Pro Tour MP.Next would be Tommy Haas at 79.2 lbs + 10% prestretch which brings each pull up to +- 88lbs in a Dunlop 200 with Vs 125.
All the best,
Richard

jura
08-03-2006, 12:17 PM
Can't hold these numbers - highest I ever made was in the mid 70s for a future player from Australia (can't remember the name) on a Prince Graphite II MP with 14 mains. But he used a Pro Blend, so at the end it felt like 120 lbs ;)

hummer23
08-03-2006, 02:50 PM
does gut tend to break at these kids of tensions, ive never tried it, but i assume that its not a good idea. Did you guys have much trouble with it?

BigServer1
08-03-2006, 03:16 PM
In the interview with the stringer for Sampras, he said the Pete liked his natty gut @ around 75lbs, and that it could be tough to keep it in tact in the frame at that point. I would have to agree.

Jonnyf
08-03-2006, 04:13 PM
Whoa those are immense tensions 99lbs thats freaking immense

and didnt borg have his like 80lbs which made a few of his racquets snap in his bag before matches

PrestigeClassic
08-03-2006, 04:45 PM
A while ago I read that Sampras (or was it Borg?) wouldn't sleep in the same room as his rackets, in the rare chance that a string would snap, waking up the champ.

Jonnyf
08-03-2006, 04:52 PM
Here is the sampras/Nate Ferguson TW article

brucie
08-04-2006, 02:10 PM
Whoa those are immense tensions 99lbs thats freaking immense

and didnt borg have his like 80lbs which made a few of his racquets snap in his bag before matches
I guess thats the reason my machine does up to 102lbs then! :rolleyes:
Hopefully I'll never use that though the ammount nat gut stretches I bet on a crank machine when you go into the 70lb range youll be winding for a while let alone 99!

Ripper
08-04-2006, 02:15 PM
I just know I wouldn't buy a 2nd hand raquet from one of those guys :p

chess9
08-05-2006, 12:21 AM
Why would anyone string above about 65 pounds for modern strings? (non-gut) What is the advantage?

I once strung a racquet at 70 pounds with a multi and it felt like chain link fencing. No feel at all and very harsh. I've never had tennis elbow but I could see getting a nasty case of it with such high tensions.

-Robert

migjam
08-05-2006, 05:26 AM
My buddy strung for Muster at the 98' Indian Wells, 90lbs with Isospeed. We laughed, he came in and said "PEG IT" (meaning go as high as the machine will go).

milo
08-05-2006, 10:31 AM
aren't this all damaging the rackets....i know pros will never have to buy a new one but have you encounter the problem of breaking a racket by strung them to high. if so, at what tension??

travlerajm
08-05-2006, 03:14 PM
Why would anyone string above about 65 pounds for modern strings? (non-gut) What is the advantage?

I once strung a racquet at 70 pounds with a multi and it felt like chain link fencing. No feel at all and very harsh. I've never had tennis elbow but I could see getting a nasty case of it with such high tensions.

-Robert

It depends on your racquet. I used to play with the Wilson Profile 2.7 OS - I played with it at 78 lbs with Kevlar hybrid for the last 10 years that I used it. Any other string besides Kevlar would shred in 30 minutes of hitting because the racquet was so stiff and the tension so high. And if I used a lower tension, the racquet became a rocket launcher.

My current racquet is flexible (NXG OS), but I use a lot of lead on it. For a while, I had 12g at 3 and 9 plus another 15 grams at the top of the handle. I prefered that setup with Kevlar hybrid at 70 lbs. The high tension is required because the weight distribution makes the racquet too powerful at low tension. My current setup has 10g at 3 and 9, and I string at 67-68 lbs.

IMO, a 13-oz racquet strung at high tension is less harsh on your arm than an 11-oz racquet strung at midtension, because the former transmits less shock to the arm. The advantage of going heavier and tighter is decidedly more depth control, without the need to rely on spin for depth control. Heavier and tighter setups are very good for volleys.

tennisdarren
08-05-2006, 04:56 PM
My highest was 80 lbs. Pro Blend in a POG when I played in high school.

thomas martinez
08-05-2006, 05:36 PM
Forget about harsh on frames, it's also harsh on machines. We've had parts of the mounting system in years passed break from stringing some frames with high tensions. Granted the machines had strung quite a HUGE number of frames, but it is tough on the machines. Flip was also one who would top out a Star 4. HIs frames are NOT fun to do. Woodforde was another who was like that, but has lowered tensions in recent years, plus his frames are designed for ultra high tensions. On a retail level, one of the more crazy people I used to od, he was using a Pro Staff 85 with NRG 17 @ 75-78 pounds on a TF Pro Cord machine. Monica Seles was another "interesting" player to do. Her frames were known to collapse on the machine. She was around 85 with TF 515, which was prestretched and then double pulled(in this case meaning pull each string twice before clamping off). Calling it a brick is an insult to bricks.

AndrewD
08-05-2006, 05:54 PM
Thomas,
were you stringing Woodforde's old Snauwert Hi-Ten 50 or one of the frames he used in the latter part of his career? My brother played the Hi-Ten up until recently and I had the feeling that, in the early days, he would have it strung in the low to mid 90's although the frame would support tensions over 100lbs. That sound about right to you?

Steve Huff
08-05-2006, 06:25 PM
I've strung older Prince rackets at 80#. That was with some 15g nylon used in the early 80's. Most Prince rackets said on their ad-cards to string at 72, or 72-78 for more control. I can't believe some of those rackets didn't collapse.

chess9
08-05-2006, 10:52 PM
It depends on your racquet. I used to play with the Wilson Profile 2.7 OS - I played with it at 78 lbs with Kevlar hybrid for the last 10 years that I used it. Any other string besides Kevlar would shred in 30 minutes of hitting because the racquet was so stiff and the tension so high. And if I used a lower tension, the racquet became a rocket launcher.

My current racquet is flexible (NXG OS), but I use a lot of lead on it. For a while, I had 12g at 3 and 9 plus another 15 grams at the top of the handle. I prefered that setup with Kevlar hybrid at 70 lbs. The high tension is required because the weight distribution makes the racquet too powerful at low tension. My current setup has 10g at 3 and 9, and I string at 67-68 lbs.

IMO, a 13-oz racquet strung at high tension is less harsh on your arm than an 11-oz racquet strung at midtension, because the former transmits less shock to the arm. The advantage of going heavier and tighter is decidedly more depth control, without the need to rely on spin for depth control. Heavier and tighter setups are very good for volleys.

I have some 18 gauge Kevlar around here. I could string one of ROKs at 80 psi and give it a try. :) One of them is about 362 grams or so. Hmm...I play serve and volley too.

-Robert

thomas martinez
08-06-2006, 03:59 AM
Yeah, it was his Snauwaert ATP 103, not the Hi Ten version, which I did at only 32 kilos I think, maybe 31. HIs Wilsons he was doing at a low 30!

chess9
08-06-2006, 10:30 AM
I have some Gamma TNT Extreme 19. I'm thinking about stringing one of my ROKs at a high tension. The ROK is actually about 92 sq. in. with an 18 x 20 string pattern. How high should I go for this experiment? :)

-Robert

travlerajm
08-07-2006, 02:11 PM
I have some Gamma TNT Extreme 19. I'm thinking about stringing one of my ROKs at a high tension. The ROK is actually about 92 sq. in. with an 18 x 20 string pattern. How high should I go for this experiment? :)

-Robert

Unfortunately, everything about your setup craves lower tensions:
1) flexible racquets require lower tension to compensate for lower power.
2) Midsize frames need to be strung about 6 lbs lower than an OS.
3) 18 x 20 string patterns require about 5 lbs lower tension than 16 x 18.
4) 19 gauge Kevlar needs to be about 4 lbs tighter than 16 gauge Kevlar to feel the same softness.

Taking this all into account, 60 lbs would still give you a high tension feel with your 19 gauge Kevlar on your ROK. Try it out. If it feels underpowered, you can always try adding more lead to the top of the grip.

chess9
08-07-2006, 08:40 PM
Unfortunately, everything about your setup craves lower tensions:
1) flexible racquets require lower tension to compensate for lower power.
2) Midsize frames need to be strung about 6 lbs lower than an OS.
3) 18 x 20 string patterns require about 5 lbs lower tension than 16 x 18.
4) 19 gauge Kevlar needs to be about 4 lbs tighter than 16 gauge Kevlar to feel the same softness.

Taking this all into account, 60 lbs would still give you a high tension feel with your 19 gauge Kevlar on your ROK. Try it out. If it feels underpowered, you can always try adding more lead to the top of the grip.

Thanks for that. I'll give it a try. I'm restringing today.

-Robert

chess9
08-08-2006, 10:47 PM
Ok. I strung one of my ROKs with the TNT Extreme 19 at 62 for the mains, and 59 for the crosses, more or less, on a crank machine, so it's close to 60. :)

It feels like I've installed chain link fencing, though. I'm going out to play with it this afternoon, so I'll post something later in the day if I can still use my fingers and hand. :)

-Robert

ericsson
08-08-2006, 11:45 PM
Highest I have strung is 99 lbs for Roberto carretero with Polymono in a Estusa frame in about '97. The next down would be Thomas Muster at 88lbs in '95 with isospeed in a Head Pro Tour MP.Next would be Tommy Haas at 79.2 lbs + 10% prestretch which brings each pull up to +- 88lbs in a Dunlop 200 with Vs 125.
All the best,
Richard

Can someone tell me what is to gain at such high tensions??, i mean carretero strung at almost 45 kilo's, thats insane. and with poly!!! Dont know what is the advantage of that. Damn thats high :rolleyes:

chess9
08-09-2006, 09:21 AM
I've just returned from a 1.5 hour workout with my racquet strung with TNT Extreme 19 (kevlar) at about 60 lbs., more or less. The first thing I noticed is that I can take a very large cut at the ball and not worry about it going long. :) The second thing I noticed is the unique sound of kevlar, which is more tinny that Timo. :) Finally, the 19 gauge wasn't that hard on my joints. In fact, I don't have any pain from using it the one time. Oh, and spin generation was not huge at that tension. All in all, I'm not sure it has a lot to recommend it. Stringing kevlar at 53 or so might make it a bit more playable. I'll give it a few more days before I cut it out though. Who knows, maybe it'll soften up a bit.

-Robert

chess9
08-12-2006, 08:25 AM
I have played 2 matches with the setup noted above. I have some observations to make about who might want to try this stringing approach:

1. Don't do this if you have any tennis elbow or hint of tennis elbow or want to avoid tennis elbow. This setup is almost guaranteed to give a large part of the tennis population tennis elbow, IMHO.

2. You should be the type of player who needs LESS power. For instance, I have a lot of trouble keeping balls from going long because I still smack the crap out of the ball. I'm just a hard ball junky. :) With this setup, I can smack the ball and they still go in!

3. Spin generation is highly dependent upon how hard you are hitting the ball. If you hit 30 mph forehands, you won't benefit from this setup. I notice that if I try to hit an easy cut shot the ball doesn't cut much. This is a definite disadvantage of this method.

4. My backhand slice is very nicely controlled now and I can hit it harder without it going out.

5. Overall, control is greatly enhanced. Pinpoint shots are more likely with this tighter string pattern FOR ME.

These are just the views of a very old tennis player and are probably worth what you paid for them.

-Robert

travlerajm
08-12-2006, 10:59 AM
I have played 2 matches with the setup noted above. I have some observations to make about who might want to try this stringing approach:

1. Don't do this if you have any tennis elbow or hint of tennis elbow or want to avoid tennis elbow. This setup is almost guaranteed to give a large part of the tennis population tennis elbow, IMHO.

2. You should be the type of player who needs LESS power. For instance, I have a lot of trouble keeping balls from going long because I still smack the crap out of the ball. I'm just a hard ball junky. :) With this setup, I can smack the ball and they still go in!

3. Spin generation is highly dependent upon how hard you are hitting the ball. If you hit 30 mph forehands, you won't benefit from this setup. I notice that if I try to hit an easy cut shot the ball doesn't cut much. This is a definite disadvantage of this method.

4. My backhand slice is very nicely controlled now and I can hit it harder without it going out.

5. Overall, control is greatly enhanced. Pinpoint shots are more likely with this tighter string pattern FOR ME.

These are just the views of a very old tennis player and are probably worth what you paid for them.

-Robert

Your review is exactly what I expected. You may want to try experimenting with lead a little.

Adding a little weight at 3 and 9 usually increases power, but if you continue adding past the max-power point, you start to see increase in spin because of the increased ball flattening. In other words, you can get the Sampras type of ball-crushing spin rather than the Federer type of high-dwell-time spin you are accustomed to.

And the more weight you add to the hoop, the softer the impact will be on your elbow (I warn you though: that ball-crushing feeling can be addictive, but you'll give your whole arm more of a resistance workout, so don't overdo it).

And if adding the extra lead at 3 and 9 takes away too much power, as I said before, the easy fix for an underpowered frame is to add lead at the top of the handle too (a la Sampras).

chess9
08-12-2006, 11:35 AM
Your review is exactly what I expected. You may want to try experimenting with lead a little.

Adding a little weight at 3 and 9 usually increases power, but if you continue adding past the max-power point, you start to see increase in spin because of the increased ball flattening. In other words, you can get the Sampras type of ball-crushing spin rather than the Federer type of high-dwell-time spin you are accustomed to.

And the more weight you add to the hoop, the softer the impact will be on your elbow (I warn you though: that ball-crushing feeling can be addictive, but you'll give your whole arm more of a resistance workout, so don't overdo it).

And if adding the extra lead at 3 and 9 takes away too much power, as I said before, the easy fix for an underpowered frame is to add lead at the top of the handle too (a la Sampras).

Just before I read this, I added 3 grams to 3 o'clock, 3 grams to 9 o'clock, and 3 grams to the head. I'm playing some team doubles tomorrow, so I figure that shouldn't be too much, eh? I think dropping the power just a tad might help a bit more. I killed the guy I played today, and he's 30 years younger than me. 6-1, 6-0. I'm stoked about this setup. The surprising thing is that when I first hit with it I HATED it. Even warming up today I was thinking I was going to rip it out and stick some Timo back in. :)

-Robert

travlerajm
08-12-2006, 01:18 PM
Just before I read this, I added 3 grams to 3 o'clock, 3 grams to 9 o'clock, and 3 grams to the head. I'm playing some team doubles tomorrow, so I figure that shouldn't be too much, eh? I think dropping the power just a tad might help a bit more. I killed the guy I played today, and he's 30 years younger than me. 6-1, 6-0. I'm stoked about this setup. The surprising thing is that when I first hit with it I HATED it. Even warming up today I was thinking I was going to rip it out and stick some Timo back in. :)

-Robert

The key with the lead is that each gram will have a noticeable effect, so it might take some trial and error to get the weighting just right. But don't give up, as persistence will pay off.

It sounds like you're in danger of getting addicted to the Sampras-like setup. Once you get used to a heavier and tighter setup, it will be hard to go back to your old lighter and looser setup because your old racquet will feel like a flimsy mushy noodle in comparison.

chess9
08-13-2006, 05:51 AM
I played one set with the added weight on the hoop. Initially, everthing was going long, except my serves which were harder. The guy I hit against was having a lot of trouble with my flat serve, which was noticeably faster and more accurate. After 4 games, though, I was hitting more balls in the court and had adjusted to the setup. I suspect that if I keep the weight as is, I could handle about 65 psi on the next stringing job. The racquet weighs 360 grams right now, btw.

-Robert

travlerajm
08-13-2006, 10:22 AM
I played one set with the added weight on the hoop. Initially, everthing was going long, except my serves which were harder. The guy I hit against was having a lot of trouble with my flat serve, which was noticeably faster and more accurate. After 4 games, though, I was hitting more balls in the court and had adjusted to the setup. I suspect that if I keep the weight as is, I could handle about 65 psi on the next stringing job. The racquet weighs 360 grams right now, btw.

-Robert

Ah. You're already seeing the benefits of playing with the Sampras-style "paddle". I would advise that you manage your serving sessions carefully, because serving with a very large swingweight is like doing a weights workout. When I serve with really heavy racquets, I always serve really well the first day when my arm is fresh, but poorly if I try to serve multiple days in a row.

chess9
08-13-2006, 12:08 PM
Ah. You're already seeing the benefits of playing with the Sampras-style "paddle". I would advise that you manage your serving sessions carefully, because serving with a very large swingweight is like doing a weights workout. When I serve with really heavy racquets, I always serve really well the first day when my arm is fresh, but poorly if I try to serve multiple days in a row.

I have no shoulder problems. I've been lifting for over 55 years and am still pretty strong, considering I donated all my testosterone years ago. :)

I still lift two days per week, though during my current Pilates workouts I'm down to one per week.

I'll give it a few more days, but, yes, those flat hard serves are very addicting.

-Robert