A couple of decisions are nec. Are you a pusher/power hitter/serve volleyer/all courter/no pace/counter puncher/precision type lull hitter/old school/modern wiper forehand/two hander bh/attacker/grinder/patient/impatient type? Do you like crisp/soft/spin/power/control/durability/cost/feel/touch/mushy/poly/copoly/gut/syn gut/kevlar/hybrids or full sets? Do you like light frames, med/heavy/extreme sticks? Do you like high/low/med/ extreme tensions? Do you like soft/stiff/med. frames? Do you string for control and lust for power? Do you string for spin and lust for control? Do you string for cost and lust for feel? What was the best string job/frame/tens. you ever had for control? For power? For spin? Were they match tested? Answer all those questions, and only then will you be able to get the best string job. Lead placed at 3 and 9 compress the sweet spot, as the mass on the frame there, adds weight to the string across that plane, like a dumbell with wts. on the ends, polarizes those strings. Take the wts off the dumbell, and the bar is not polarized with end wts. anymore. Lead at 12 elongates the sweet spot towards the end of the hoop, and makes it skinnier than at 3 and 9, for those who hit towards the end of the hoop. VAriations on the normal string job are: looser top five crosses to enlarge the sweet spot: proportional stringing: pinging out the mains to obtain the same tension/tone for each string to even out the bed. Jaycee method: deals with tension loss for hard hitters. "The method I use for two-piece jobs, which on the board we call JC's method, is to increase the tension in the crosses by 4lbs compared to the mains. In addition, pull the outer two mains at +8lbs, and then push down on them firmly from the outside mains to the inside mains to equalize the tension after tying off. You do the same for the crosses. The logic of this method is not based on string constructions, but rather the fact that the crosses always have a lower tension than the mains, so it is equally applicable to a two piece job with one kind of string. Then the last three crosses, up another 4lbs." Serious article on pro strings/frames/tens/time on string job/type of string, etc. http://www.protennis.us/US Open ...20Analysis.pdf stringing by pros Here is an article on how to string polys, and other strings, for best effect: http://ggtennis.wordpress.com/ "Power is actually barely changed whether strung at 60, 45 or 30 pounds. What changes is "Ball trajectory", meaning a lower strung racquet will have the ball rebound off your racquet at a higher angle, more likely to go long (hence why people have always considered it "more power"). So, the point that this article draws upon is that POLY strings, being as stiff as they are, when strung at lower tensions like 45, do not result in the same "trajectory change" that softer synthetic gut, nat gut, and/or multifilament strings would experience at the same low tensions." Gut gives the most power, the most control, but it's a fine line on the trajectory angle with gut. By loosening the crosses, lower than the mains, you increase the angle, giving the impression of more power/depth. It's softer and more elastic, smaller stiffness rating, easier on the arm/shoulder, more expensive, less durable. Too loose and it goes long. Holds tension best. Too tight and you lose the advantages over poly. Why does gut give more control than poly if its angle off the bed is higher due to softer more elastic fibers? Does the ball stay on the bed longer? Do fractions of miliseconds really mean that much more feel/control? ONly if the stiffnes of the frame/mass of the frame, tension it's strung at complement your style! And budget. Many top pros use vs gut hybrids, to get the best of both worlds out of poly/gut. (Joker, Fed, Murray, Roddick, Cilic, etc.) Many uber hitters (Gulbis, Delpotro, Soderling, Berdych,) Tsonga (used to before rpm) use full alu power (only comes in 1.25mm) at 60lbs and 360g, but it's like formula one race car tires, only good for a short time, before the trajectory angle changes, due to migration of the sweet spot/knot tension loss/towards the mains, and loss of stiffness due to hard hitting, the angle changes too rapidly for high level players. People who don't hit hard don't need the power and control of gut. People who do hit hard, break strings too often to be able to afford it. 18 x 20 patterns don't break the string as often as 16 x 20, or 16 x 19. Due to the more open string pattern, the string saws more, back and forth, due to less friction on the crosses. Same reason why open patterns give more spin/more snap back grabbing, due to greater sawing motion. They also give a higher trajectory angle off the bed. (Woodford played with a 12 x 16, at 90lbs, with 1.80mm orig. lux. string, which gave him vicious kick serve spin....) Rafa plays with apd orig., 9g at 12, at 54/52lbs. Fed plays with vs team (wilson prem.)/alu rough at 48.5/45.2lbs. It's a 90 in. frame vs. a 100 in. frame. Is it really ten percent difference in the bed, off the frame size? (53/50) Rafa plays at 336g, and Fed at about 357g. BAlance pts. and swing wts. are different. Djokovic: vs team mains at 60.5 alu smooth at 58.2lbs. He puts lead from the fourth cross down, to the bottom cross of the frame, four pieces on the inside edges next to the strings, larger frame, open pattern, special lay up for flexy feel. Three very different approaches to the perfect string job and frame. Why are they so different, yet, provide each with control and power and consistency? Fits their preferred game feel. But it's pretty clear, that the vs team/alu combo, and the alu full set, are dominant among the top pros in the game. The trajectory angle of the vs team/alu combos depends on which is used as main and which as cross. The gut, due to its softer stiffness/higher elasticity, has a higher angle, and therefore, more perceived power and depth. Vice versa, when alu is used as main or poly as main, the angle is lower, due to its stiffer rating, than the gut, at the same tens/frame set up. That's why the flat uber hitters prefer the alu: lower net clearance than gut/poly combos. Lower net clearance is what uber hitters crave and need, for a flatter trajectory angle and more court penetration, yet not as deep a shot as gut as it falls shorter with less depth. All of this is effected by the frame and tension as well. Do softer frames result in lower trajectory angles and shorter shots? Is that why the uber hitters prefer softer frames? Look at what happened to Tsonga, and Joker, and Raonic when they switched from the kblade (or pj) to other frames. Their net games fell off. Their control fell off. Kblade was stiffer than the frames and had more weight. Tsonga to babolat, and now look at his volley. It's not a volleyers frame, due to the open pattern, tinny feel. Anyone remember him putting away 13 drop volleys against Rafa in the Aussie? That was a kblade moment. Now his volley sucks, and his serve does not have as much pop. Tsonga, go back to the kblade (Kobra,pj, etc.) vs team/alu hybrid. Fed also used to be at 54/51lbs, at which tens. he won 14 slams or so, and since going down in tens., he has only one or two slams. Fed, maybe your fhs are going out so often due to the lower tension on your stick! Nadal, Fed, Murray, Joker, all drop the cross tensions, for more power/compression of sweet spot. __________________ There is a fine line between power/initial tension/tension migration loss/control/and your won/loss record! If anyone out there wants to play your best, (who doesn't?), email me for advice, or just read this article and answer the questions posed to you in it.