"50% is a frame, and 50% is a string"

I watched TW documentary on the history of Babolat, and in one scene, Eric Babolat, the CEO of Babolat states that when it comes to the performance of the racquet "50% of the performance of the racquet is frame, and another 50% is a string".

I don't have enough experience in tennis to judge it, but it sounds intriguing. It could also be a good marketing for the top string, and the top racquet manufacturer.

What do you think about that statement?

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I don't know where or how he can say what he said. A frame is only as good as the player using it. Player A likes frame X whereas player B likes frame Y. Their string choices may be similar or dissimilar. I do not think the numbers are 50/50. I think it depends on the player and their string/tension choice. Eric is entitled to his opinion, but I certainly disagree with his numbers.


@esgee48 - I don't know, I'm kind of struggling with it. On the hand, I can see where playing with my normal set up in some rackets wouldn't make them playable for me...Pacific rackets are a good example. No matter how I strung them, I just couldn't get in synch with them. They felt good, they swung good....but something was missing. I had the exact same experience with the Head Pro 280...just didn't work.

I know for certain, on the other hand, through demos that some stringings make an otherwise nice frame, one that I could use, feel like garbage. The first time I demoed the Yonex VC 98 it was like that. TW had it strung with an all-poly that just felt bad, so bad that I didn't think the racket was my cup of tea.

And yet here I am -- a second demo of the VC98 from somewhere else strung differently and I'm the proud owner of 3. :)

On the other hand...... o_O


There are certain frames that I cannot play with at all. Stock Radicals are one of them. They are just too light and my timing cannot be slowed enough to do anything. OTOH, I can hit with that STUPID Hammer 5.3 OS and I can time it almost perfectly. Then I go back to my modified PK 7G's and I am fine. For me, it's more like 80% frame and 20% string. If I can time my swing correctly, I can use any string so long as the tension/DT is correct. :love:

Your affair with the VC 98 sounds like you are more string sensitive. OH WELL :cautious:

And this brings us back to the player......:happydevil:


New User
In my opinion it is the opposite. A person can get used to a racket over time. you can change what yor body does with your racket, wheter its changing the stroke or style of play. but you cannot change how a string reacts with a ball or how it feels. And the string is what is hitting the ball not the racket. Therfore imo i believe it is 70% string 30% racket.


Babalat was a string company before it became a full tennis company. String was their root, so I am not surprised to hear their CEO put a big emphasis on strings.


-the 50/50 suggestion is not far off, its basically how I break down a demo racquet
-when demoing racquets, you don't always get too choose the string, soo you focus on the racquet weight and feel on hand; 50% of the equation!
-a good racquet can play like doodoo with the wrong string/tension, usually the case on a demo racquet; 50% of the equation!
-you could also argue that the handle and the color of racquet also have a-say, in your decision, but they are relatively small "%", compared to the big 2 (racquet/strings)


The basic problem with his logic is that without a frame, most strings play quite poorly. While strings offer a significant tuning mechanism, they can’t be a primary component in the same manner as the golf club head and shaft for instance.


Pretty close, in my mind. If one opens up, truly, to the wide range of strings available (And Bab covers those), a good stringer can tension differently and have that frame have a very wide feel range.


I can play with pretty much any racquet strung tight with kevlar/poly. But I would find it daunting to play with my normal stick with a soft string


I don't think his statement was meant that literally. He could have casually said, "It's 50/50." Of course a racquet's performance will vary more or less on a given frame and strings. And don't forget the tension. That's the biggest variable that has to be matched to both the frame and the string.

dr. godmode

this isn't true for me. I could play a tournament match with my racquet and any string setup imaginable, i'm sure even fishing line would be fine. However with my strings in a grandma stick like the Prince Premier 120, I would get 6-0'd in a quick 15 minutes.


I’m going on a limp to say it’s more 70/30 frame/strings. The comparison is closer to a car. You have to know your purpose, make sure you’re comfortable handling the size, engine, dimension; then you find the right tires for the driving condition.


Babalat was a string company before it became a full tennis company. String was their root, so I am not surprised to hear their CEO put a big emphasis on strings.
It sounded to me like he put a "small" emphasis on string. Strings are what touches the ball and have the greatest variability in characteristics. Any pro can play well with any modern racquet but not every pro could play well with non-poly set up.

Over the lifetime of a frame you will spend far more on strings which tells me the pricing reflects the importance.


I think 50/50 is fair as long as you don't go to extremes. Like a 90" frame with an RA of 50. Or a Kevlar string.

It's just that it's cheaper to change strings than frames. So getting a decent frame as a starting point is more important.