Hi all, Some background: I recently have begun playing tennis again after a several (6-8) year layoff. I am a former competitive junior/college player who stopped playing tennis seriously around age 20-21 and haven't picked up a racquet more than three times since. I am now 28. I have an all-court game, with a relatively weak/loopy western grip forehand and a flatter and probably better overall 1 handed backhand (with the same grip). My serve is effective but relies alot more on placement and spin than on pace. I am very comfortable at the net and was always a much better doubles player than singles. My standard setup (as it was for alot of us) when I played competitively was a bag full of Wilson Pro Staff Classic 6.1 95's strung stiff (~65 pounds) with either Tournament Nylon, or if I was feeling frisky, Prince Synthetic Gut/Topspin. My old PSC's were pretty old so I treated myself to a pair of brand new Wilson K-Factor 6.1 95s (16x18). I have been reading alot about string on this forum and decided to try out a Poly hybrid setup on my new racquets. I had Tennis Warehouse string my new racquets with Tecnifibre Pro Red Code 17 in the mains at 57 lbs and Prince Synthetic Gut (Duraflex) 16 as the crosses, strung at 55 lbs. (For reference, I demo'ed the K-Factor which was strung with Wilson Reaction). I was able to try out my new racquets with the poly string for the first time tonight. My first impressions were VERY favorable. I *immediately* recognized the positive traits people have described with poly. I honestly was hitting groundstrokes more crisply than I have maybe ever. My forehand tends to be very loopy, and it is very hard to drive through the ball without having it sail. With the poly setup, I was able to really pound the ball on both sides and have it drop in nice and deep with lots of power AND spin. Forehand shots that normally would have sailed 3-5 feet behind the baseline were now dropping in as penetrating shots with lots of pace and spin a couple of feet inside the baseline. I even spent several minutes "arguing" with my hitting partner because he SWORE the court we were hitting on was "faster" and "the ball is just skipping and not bouncing up like normal" when I knew for a fact I was simply hitting a much different ball. On the flipside, I noticed very few of the "negatives" that poly is known for. It didn't feel "harsh" to me whatsoever, I could see what people meant when they describe poly as "board like" but I quite enjoyed the feel (it's hard not to when you're hitting shots as crisply as I was). Heck, even volleys felt really good. The only slight downside I could think of was that my serve seemed to be missing some pop, BUT it was more effective overall as I was placing it very well and my first serve was much more consistent than it has been. We started to play our first set and I immediately broke his (normally very hard to break) serve as I was able to actually swing on the return without sending it into another time zone. His serve is very big and it's very hard to control returns and still hit with good pace/placement. My hitting partner is an old tennis buddy of mine who was at or slightly below my level when we both played competitively, but unlike me, he has remained playing in tennis shape, so he holds a distinct advantage over me right now and has beaten me regularly without too much challenge since I began playing again. I was really able to put alot of pressure on his serve and on baseline rallies (which he is normally the agressor on) I was able to hit some big shots and take control of the point, rather than being on the defensive with little or no confidence when I *do* get the chance to go for a big shot. It was a good feeling. Sometime towards the end of the first set, I suddenly began to notice that I was hitting with less and less confidence. For some reason, I was suddenly afraid again that the ball would sail on me, particularly on my forehand. I really fell back into my normal mode of looping the crap out of it, feeling like I would send the ball into the fence if I tried to hit through it. It was a very strange feeling, and I had no idea why I was feeling that way. I even mentally made a note to tell myself to have confidence in the stroke and just hit through it. As soon as i did that, I hit through a few forehands that just sailed on me. I was lost, and confused as hell. At the same time, I noticed that I was starting to hit bigger and bigger serves. My serve had more pop on it, and my first serve was an even bigger weapon than normal. That was very odd, as out of shape as I am currently my serve deteriorates rapidly after a few service games as my arm just can't sustain it like it used to. Then it dawned on me. I went over to my bag and picked up the other K-Factor racquet that I had and did the ping test on the tensions. Sure enough, the unused racquet (which was actually lower than my other one when they arrived from TW) was MUCH, MUCH higher in tension. The tension had dropped considerably (as is normal with polys) and now my racquet felt like a trampoline. I decided that this was the "break-in" that people talk about with polys, and I should try my best to adjust to it. Well, that didn't work too well, and my groundstrokes were completely out to lunch for the duration of the second set. After the match, I broke out my other (unused) racquet and hit a handful of balls with it just to make sure I wasn't crazy. Sure enough, it had that same crisp feel that was so in love with for the first 45 minutes or so of my hitting session. So, here I am. At one point I would've proclaimed myself a poly-convert-for-life, but now I am not so sure. I am not sure what the solution is for what I went through today. Part of me says "just string them tighter next time and you're good to go" but at the end of the day tension loss will happen. Also, I hear people talk about how much lower they have to string poly, and how much lower it is recommended to string by the manufacturers, it feels like stringing it at 60+ pounds would just be "wrong" for some reason. I have my own stringer and fully planned on experimenting with all kinds of string (I would like to try multifilaments as well) but I would really like to figure out how to get some kind of poly setup that I am happy with, I really really loved how it felt at first. I think I may have to try a few different polys, I know Cyberflash is supposed to have good tension retention, and of course I can play with using a full poly setup and changing the configuration (string/tension) of the cross. Anyway, I ended up alot wordier with this post than I was planning, but I don't want to leave any of it out. I'm pretty lost right now, any help/advice would be much appreciated!