# Proportional Stringing

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
I tried a proportional stringing pattern (Sergetti @ sergetti .com) and I liked it a lot. But using that process can be quite expensive with multiple rackets, tensions, and strings so I thought I test out some other alternatives. I'm going to use the spreadsheet diredesire has on his site (http://diredesire.com/tennis/TW/ProportionalStringing.xls) and the USRSA has a calculator on their site.

I've contacted diredesire and he does not have any other instructions other than what is in his spreadsheet. Does anyone else have any more information on the process?

Just out of curiosity has anyone ever tried the USRSA proportional stringing system or any other proportional stringing methods? I sure would like to hear from you if you have.

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#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
On the USRSA website (if you're a member,) the proportional stringing calculator is located at Menu bar>Tools>Calculators>Proportional stringing.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
I'm also aware of the Jet and JayCee methods of stringing. Any opinions you have on these methods are welcome too.

#### MathieuR

##### Professional
@Irvin, good initiative to start an exchange of experience/knowledge.
I just bought 2 extra spare racquets secondhand, so I can join the experimenting (Yonex Ultimum RD Ti 42, complete unknown model; same specs as the Ultimum RD Ti 80 light, but different paintjob, and made in Taiwan).

As a standard I use "some" proportional stringing in every racquet. The first 2 cross-strings: ref.tension - 4kg. Cross-string 3 and 4: ref.tension - 2 kg. Last 4 cross-strings (3-4 -4kg, 1-2 -2kg).
I could check with the StringLab2 "all" different SBS-values in the different locations, but this has been a long time that I did this.

Problem with the "cross-string-values" is of course the string-string-resistance. The actual cross-string-tension will very much depend on CP or LO, and the way the stringer "wiggles" etc.
(I can not check this, but I suspect the "actual" cross-string-tension of a LO will be "a lot" less compared with CP + wiggling; of course we all know this is also true for the mains, but this can be compensated using a higher ref.tension)

#### eelhc

##### Hall of Fame
On my todo list... when I have enough free time and patience...

Have you tried Live Periphery stringing? This is a simpler, modified version of proportional stringing advocated by Weed Tennis (the guys who make super OS racquets).

https://gssalliance.com/boards/topic/conventional-versus-non-conventional-stringing-methods/

http://weedracquets.com/stringing

I've also seen some frames with a different, softer strings on the outside mains/crosses in a boxlike pattern. Not sure what this pattern is called.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
Have you tried Live Periphery stringing?
I have not but I tried something similar. I started with the center 8 mains strung at the same tension, dropped 2 lbs on 5&6, then dropped 2 more on 7&8. The top and bottom two mains were -4 and the 3&4 from the top and bottom were -2.

#### kkm

##### Professional
Look at these figures (p 9) showing the actual tension of each string:

http://www.racquetbase.com/PDF/reviews/3.pdf

Without changing reference tension (without doing any proportional stringing) the actual tension of the outer mains is lower than that of the inner mains.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
Look at these figures (p 9) showing the actual tension of each string:

http://www.racquetbase.com/PDF/reviews/3.pdf

Without changing reference tension (without doing any proportional stringing) the actual tension of the outer mains is lower than that of the inner mains.
I don't know how the data was collected so I am not so sure the data is correct. I know when stringing a racket there is a greater angle on the outer string than on the center strings and the greater the angle the greater the tension difference between the set tension and string tension so it stands to reason the outer strings should have less tension than the center strings.

Here is another figure showing how the tension on a center main drops and goes back up as a racket is strung. One point that I was not aware of is after stringing the cross strings and the racket has been restored to it original length the center main never get back up to the original due to creep.

I'm aware of that and I'm aware there are many errors and disadvantages of proportional stringing but I just want to try it out. Primarily because of the experience I had with the Sergetti method. I would also like to get other's opinions of what they think of any proportional stringing they may have tried.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
Well I compared the USRSA proportional stringing method to the Sergetti systems today. The first thing I noticed was the racket came off the machine requiring a little more force to open the supports. The Sergetti frame measured 27" when I took it off and it is still at 27". The USRSA frame was 26 7/8" when I took it off. Both frames were strung with tension calculated with a 56 lb reference, but the Sergetti frame has a noticeable stiffer stringbed. all this is understandable though because the crosses in the Sergetti racket produce a 43% greater force on the sides of the racket where the mains in the USRSA frame. I would not use the USRSA method again unless I made some modifications to the tensions.

I believe the downfall of the USRSA method is that it only uses the length of the string to determine the tension. There needs to be something added to ensure hte pressures on the sides of the racket are proportional to the pressure on the ends of the racket. In addition to that when stringing the crosses there is a lot more friction because of the main string, so I believe additional tension needs to be added for that. I don';t think the side pressures created by the crosses really puts an additional 43% force on the sides. a lot more work to do.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
Another point is many may think it takes a lot longer to adjust the tensions for all the strings. Taking a guess I would say it adds a minute maybe 2 at the most. Maybe on a drop weight it would be a PITA but not on an electronic machine.

#### MathieuR

##### Professional
What is the point of all of this ???
"My point" (and I think this is the "general" point) is:
- try to get a bigger sweetspot
- and that way get a more uniform interaction bal - stringbed.
- this way get more control

Edit: a player that can hit the bal every time on the exact same spot of the stringbed does not need proportional stringing.

#### Booger

##### Hall of Fame
Edit: a player that can hit the bal every time on the exact same spot of the stringbed does not need proportional stringing.
Which is no one. Even the GOAT himself isn't going to sweet spot very many 130mph serve returns. So of course, I wonder why I've never heard of a high level player/pro using this method.

#### MathieuR

##### Professional
So of course, I wonder why I've never heard of a high level player/pro using this method.
Several guesses:
- we are looking for the holy grail.
- pro's are rarely willing to experiment or change procedures
- .......

#### Karma Tennis

##### Hall of Fame
"My point" (and I think this is the "general" point) is:
- try to get a bigger sweetspot
- and that way get a more uniform interaction bal - stringbed.
- this way get more control

Edit: a player that can hit the bal every time on the exact same spot of the stringbed does not need proportional stringing.
But that doesn't matter. Even if a player can make contact with the ball on the exact same spot of the stringbed it is virtually impossible to make contact on the exact same spot on the ball every shot. A tennis ball is not a uniform object because of how it is manufactured. So it is virtually impossible to get a perfectly uniform interaction with the ball even if the ball hit the string bed at exactly the same velocity, angle and rotation level every time.

Near enough is good enough. That is the main reason why elite players aren't overly fussed with exotic stringing methods.

There is no "magic pudding". Equipment helps to a certain point. But beyond that point, it is about the player and their ability to react with the conditons they play in rather than the equipment they use.

As for your reference to "Holy Grail"! I would suggest the real "Holy Grail" for a player is to win as many tennis matches as possible.

This is the problem with tennis. There are so many variables that get in the way of the main goal ... which is to win matches !

BTW, I'm have the view that Bigger sweet spots makes for lazy tennis players and has ruined the sport at the elite level for the most part. Conversely though, it has made the sport a lot more popular among the masses because it makes the sport easier to play at lower levels.

I have so many junior players and parents of junior players come to me and suggest that they will become better players if they just find the perfect racquet and stringbed configuration. My standard answer to all of them ... "Concentrate on developing your footwork and your stroke technique. Once you have that at a decent level, start thinking about game strategy and tactics. Once you've sorted that out, if you are still not achieving the success you crave, consider doing something else, because the best equipment on the planet isn't going to help you."

#### Dags

##### Professional
- pro's are rarely willing to experiment or change procedures
Is this a fact or opinion? Discussion around the boards - particularly the Pros' Racquets and Gear sub-forum - would suggest that many pros experiment with new equipment and setups, particularly during the off-season.

#### MathieuR

##### Professional
Is this a fact or opinion?
It was a guess.
I think you are right, pro's do make changes, but in little steps.

Look how long it took Federer to change headsize.
Edit: although that was quit a shift!

#### MathieuR

##### Professional
I did string my 2 "new" frames, Yonex Ultimum RD Ti 42, 16*19.
One my traditional way, one proportional. I used the Tension-Advisor, corrected with my "experience data". I use as basic values as calculated for DT28​

Traditional: inner-dimensions of 32.2*24.4cm --> mains 19.1kg, crosses 18.6kg.
After stringing the mains I used my normal tension-transfer between the mains.

I then took the length of outer main and top-cross: 22.9*16.6cm. Corrected TA gives me: 11 kg mains, 10 kg crosses.
So, proportional frame (PF) I did string the center 6 mains and crosses same as TF (traditional frame): 19.1*18.6kg.
Then I used for the remaining mains, going outward: 18/16/14/12/10 (10 should have been 11, error)
For the remaining crosses going outward: 2*17/15/13.5/12/10
No ty-off increase, no tension-transfer mains.

I measured the DT with a Stringlab2 after 2 days, no playing. Between brackets value of the PF:
Mid spot, between cross 9-10: 35.92 (35.51)
Left mid, X9-10, M 3-4: 39.36 (38.25)
right mid, X9-10, M 3-4: 39,62 (39.63!)
Bottomside-mid, X3-4: 39,48 (36,95).
Top-mid: X3-4: 41.49 (39.41)

Looks promising.

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#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
What is the point of all of this ???
I tried out the Sergetti system of stringing in one of my rackets. the first thing I noticed is the racket ame off the stringing machine as easy as it went on. When I hit with the racket it fells great. But the system of stringing (IMO) is expensive. so I wanted to try out different proportional stringing patterns to see if any or all of them produce similar results. So far I have only tried the USRDA methoud and Sergetti. Hands down the Sergetti is better. I would say the USRSA methods is not as good as the Conventional pattern with the same tension in mains and crosses.

#### MathieuR

##### Professional
BTW, I'm have the view that Bigger sweet spots makes for lazy tennis players and has ruined the sport at the elite level for the most part.
Yes and no. It is a totally different game. We could go back to "old-school" and reduce the racket-headsize to woodies-size, 65 sq.inch.

I am glad with my 98sq.inch. I will never reach the "elite-level", I am 63, and the bigger the sweetspot the better.

Edit: @Karma Tennis , but I assume that you are not playing with the smallest head-size available.

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#### Karma Tennis

##### Hall of Fame
What's the purpose of tuning a strung instrument?
I can easily hit a tennis ball over a net with a string instrument.

I am yet to successfully play Pachelbel's Canon (in any key) on any of my tennis racquets regardless of how they are strung.

#### Karma Tennis

##### Hall of Fame
Edit: @Karma Tennis , but I assume that you are not playing with the smallest head-size available.
95sqinch for me these days. Still prefer the old woodies though. Nothing better than a Donnay Allwood IMO

#### skydog

##### Semi-Pro
I tried out the Sergetti system of stringing in one of my rackets. the first thing I noticed is the racket ame off the stringing machine as easy as it went on. When I hit with the racket it fells great. But the system of stringing (IMO) is expensive. so I wanted to try out different proportional stringing patterns to see if any or all of them produce similar results. So far I have only tried the USRDA methoud and Sergetti. Hands down the Sergetti is better. I would say the USRSA methods is not as good as the Conventional pattern with the same tension in mains and crosses.

Kind of pricey, but if it works....

How would you determine your reference tension if you are currently using a hybrid at different tensions? I run 57lbs in the mains and 50lbs in the crosses, what tension would I enter? Do you only get one reference tension per unit cost?

#### Booger

##### Hall of Fame
I tried out the Sergetti system of stringing in one of my rackets.
Holy smokes they charge \$50 PER RACQUET for the formula? Is it substantially different than the generic techniques available for exactly \$0?

#### Dags

##### Professional
I tried out the Sergetti system of stringing in one of my rackets. the first thing I noticed is the racket ame off the stringing machine as easy as it went on. When I hit with the racket it fells great. But the system of stringing (IMO) is expensive. so I wanted to try out different proportional stringing patterns to see if any or all of them produce similar results. So far I have only tried the USRDA methoud and Sergetti. Hands down the Sergetti is better. I would say the USRSA methods is not as good as the Conventional pattern with the same tension in mains and crosses.
Are you going to share data on how you've strung them? A post like the one by @MathieuR would be most helpful.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
Holy smokes they charge \$50 PER RACQUET for the formula? Is it substantially different than the generic techniques available for exactly \$0?
Exactly my thoughts when I first seen the prices.

Are you going to share data on how you've strung them? A post like the one by @MathieuR would be most helpful.
I can share thing you want to know except for the actual tensions used that is protected by copyright. For the most part they really do nothing more than tell you exactly how to string the racket. Length of string, knot locations, never 1 piece, etc...

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
Kind of pricey, but if it works....

How would you determine your reference tension if you are currently using a hybrid at different tensions? I run 57lbs in the mains and 50lbs in the crosses, what tension would I enter? Do you only get one reference tension per unit cost?
There you have it. 57 & 50 is what you give them. That's one problem though. Suppose 57 & 50 are not your true optimum tensions.suppose the best tension for you and you racket is really 50 & 57? There is nothing built into the stringing sheet for modifying your tensions. For that you need to pay again and get another sheet. IMO that's asking way too much, so I though I try to come up with my own proportional stringing system very much like they did. That's why I created the thread, I wanted to see if anyone else had any system they like.

#### Dags

##### Professional
I can share thing you want to know except for the actual tensions used that is protected by copyright. For the most part they really do nothing more than tell you exactly how to string the racket. Length of string, knot locations, never 1 piece, etc...
Unfortunately, that's not really going to be conducive to a successful thread... right now you're telling us that you tried out a new system, the secret sauce was great, and we too can taste it for the bargain price of \$50.

They can't really copyright numbers, and given that the website suggests those numbers would be different for every racquet/string/tension combination, you wouldn't really be giving much away. But I'll respect that you aren't comfortable sharing them. Based on your other comments:

- length of string. Is this any different from normal? If so, why?
- knot locations. Different from the manufacturer tie-offs?
- never 1 piece. So always 2? Or are these three pieces of information a hint that this method involves several pieces of string, and more than 4 knots?

In general, are longer strings always tensioned higher than shorter ones?

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
@Dags, no the string length knot locations and never one piece is really nothing new. They are the same as manufacturers recommendations. Just saying you always use 2 piece. Here is any example, they recommend a specific tension for the outermost mains and you should not use the knot function on the machine to increase it more. The drawback has already been accounted for when suggesting the tension. I have been using starting knots instead of a starting clamp to start crosses. They suggest using a starting clamp and not to tension the top cross a second time to remove the clamp. They say to clamp the string and take off the starting clamp.

I'm not really trying to promote the Sergetti system but I do think it is very good. I'd just like to know if anyone has any other proportional systems they like and can share.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
...In general, are longer strings always tensioned higher than shorter ones?
Not really. The USRSA system uses a pattern that drops the tension defendant only the string length. But when I used the USRSA pattern the over all racket length was shortened by 1/8" on my racket and it has always been 27" before.

#### Booger

##### Hall of Fame
Alright, I bought a Sergetti tension sheet because I am curious and not all that bright. I stringed up an RF97 with Diadem Elite XT using the tensions on the sheet and played a match today. Like other methods, the tension on the center mains/crosses is increased about 10% from reference and decreases as you work your way outward.

I'm happy with how I played and how the stringbed felt, so I will stick with it for a while. I will use the Sergetti tensions for the next month (6-7 string jobs for me) and then switch back to regular stringing to see if I can feel a difference.

I wish someone would do some more scientific testing with this method (or any other proportional formula). It's impossible to eliminate placebo, so it'd be nice to have some kind of confidence that this is objectively better. Think we can bribe the TW lab to set something up?

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
@Booger the mains and crosses were 10% higher? Not the case on my sheet. If you were to string the outer strings at lower tensions I'd expect the stringbed to be softer so it stand to reason if you're used to conventional stringing at 55# you would have to bump up the tensions to get the same feel. I seen a small increase on the main center strings but a much larger increase in the center cross strings. And yes the outer string tension does tend to drop as you go outward from the wider points but there are two mains where the tension goes up just off center and the tie off locations go up a great deal. (See EDIT)

I'm curious did you string your own frame? If you did what type of machine do you use and how much longer it took you to string your racket? I'm guessing it took me maybe 1-2 minutes longer if that. But I can imagine on a drop weight it would be a lot longer.

You mentioned you were ok with how it felt and played, and you were going to wait 6 months and switch back to see if you can feel the difference. Didn't you feel a difference going to the Sergetti system?

EDIT: Being as your racket is a 97 si 16x19 and my frame is 98 si 16x19 I would expect the tensions to be very similar.

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#### Booger

##### Hall of Fame
@Booger the mains and crosses were 10% higher? Not the case on my sheet. If you were to string the outer strings at lower tensions I'd expect the stringbed to be softer so it stand to reason if you're used to conventional stringing at 55# you would have to bump up the tensions to get the same feel. I seen a small increase on the main center strings but a much larger increase in the center cross strings. And yes the outer string tension does tend to drop as you go outward from the wider points but there are two mains where the tension goes up just off center and the tie off locations go up a great deal. (See EDIT)

I'm curious did you string your own frame? If you did what type of machine do you use and how much longer it took you to string your racket? I'm guessing it took me maybe 1-2 minutes longer if that. But I can imagine on a drop weight it would be a lot longer.

You mentioned you were ok with how it felt and played, and you were going to wait 6 months and switch back to see if you can feel the difference. Didn't you feel a difference going to the Sergetti system?

I'm sure our sheets are pretty close to one another. I didn't describe it very well. I string my own frames on a babolat Star 5, same as you. I'd say it took me maybe 5-10 minutes longer as I kept referring back to the sheet. I worry a little bit about wearing out the buttons on the control panel. I've worn out similar buttons on appliance control panels, so I know they have a limited number of presses before they quit responding.

I would cautiously say that it felt better, but I have little confidence in my or anyone else's ability to isolate the effect from proportional tension alone. I was playing with fresh strings in a match against a hard hitting opponent, so who knows how much was due to placebo, honeymoon effect, how I played that particular day, etc.

In short:

#### MathieuR

##### Professional
I'm happy with how I played and how the stringbed felt, so I will stick with it for a while.
I was also happy with my "PF". Alas, I got a small rupture in my calf-muscle, so no experience-data from my side the coming 6 weeks

I wish someone would do some more scientific testing with this method (or any other proportional formula). It's impossible to eliminate placebo, so it'd be nice to have some kind of confidence that this is objectively better.
Well, it seems you are not afraid to invest some money. You can buy a Stringlab2, that allows you to measure the DT on 90% of the stringbed as individual points. (And with the adapter you can measure the flex of a frame. Your own mini RDC, without swingweight )

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#### MathieuR

##### Professional
As always the reactions/experiences on a subject that's "outside the box" are minimal.

Are forum-members only interested in knots/ATW-variations/"best stringer"/....??

Proportional stringing could be "the way to go". (and maybe it is a hoax ); but it should interest "all" stringers (shouldn't it??)

#### Dags

##### Professional
As always the reactions/experiences on a subject that's "outside the box" are minimal.
I’m not sure there’s much to say at this point. Irvin likes the results of a method that remains private, so we can’t discuss what it may be that makes it preferable to him.

You’ve posted details of how you strung your racquet, but are unable to play at the moment (I’m also injured - wish you a speedy recovery) so can’t provide any feedback on the playability.

Booger has invested in a string pattern, and is to trial it for a month.

My initial instinct is that there’s a lot to be said about keeping stringing simple - it will aid consistency and repeatability. Every step of complexity you add makes it more likely you’ll get a different result. For instance, I’m not a fan of equalising the strings by hand, because making that identical between string jobs is difficult. Changes in tensions for each string hold the threat of human failure - as you found yourself when you pulled a different tension to what you intended.

So I am a skeptic… but also curious enough to trial something. I have an idea about how I want to string a racquet, just want to run it past a friend first.

As Booger states, the biggest issue is to how measure the results. Aside from checking a method doesn’t cause frame deformity, we could consider whether it holds tension better... but then really it’s all about how it plays. Once I’ve experimented some, if I find a method that I think looks promising, I may ask some players for permission to string two of their frames, one conventionally, another proportionally. Not telling them which is which and conducting a blind comparison test might be the best way to get feedback.

#### Karma Tennis

##### Hall of Fame
Proportional stringing could be "the way to go". (and maybe it is a hoax ); but it should interest "all" stringers (shouldn't it??)
If a player is winning most of the matches they play, they probably aren't too concerned about changing the way their racquets are strung in which case their Stringers probably aren't too concerned either.

Again, we should never lose sight of the ultimate goal of all of this discussion.

I'm interested in winning tennis matches more than I am in stringing tennis racquets. I would prefer that racquets never had to be strung but unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to win a tennis match with an unstrung racquet or a racquet with worn out strings.

Beyond a certain point, the quality of the racquet and the string job no longer plays a signficant part in whether a player wins or loses a tennis match.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
As always the reactions/experiences on a subject that's "outside the box" are minimal.

Are forum-members only interested in knots/ATW-variations/"best stringer"/....??

Proportional stringing could be "the way to go". (and maybe it is a hoax ); but it should interest "all" stringers (shouldn't it??)
Proportional stringing is not easy. To begin there may be many factors that should be taken into account when doing proportional stringing. To circumvent those factors you could buy a plan from Sergetti or use some poorly thought out process.

#### Dags

##### Professional
you could buy a plan from Sergetti or use some poorly thought out process.
And I think we all know which of those two options I'm going to choose.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
^^There is a third option, do nothing at all. and just string as you have in the past.

#### Rabbit

##### G.O.A.T.
TW's Don Hightower commented on this way way back. I think he fooled around with it and decided it wasn't worth the effort.

#### MAX PLY

##### Hall of Fame
I understand why it makes some sense but I am unconvinced that it would materially improve the performance of my (or anyone's) racquet over my (or their) favored tension so as to make the effort worth the result. While there is no question this is a method that is largely most practical using an electronic tensioning system, even then, the extra time and attention it would take would seemingly make it uneconomical for the commercial stringer--and the further fact that it's not yet been embraced at pro (player or stinger) level leads me to the same conclusion--interesting, but time consuming and only marginally beneficial. That stated, I am enjoying the education (and happy I am not putting in the efforts--but thanks, guys).

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#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
and the further fact that it's not yet been embraced at pro (player or stinger) level leads me to the same conclusion
I have only ever strung proportional for one player. It was used at the Madrid Masters a few years ago. Roger Federer was the player. Apparently he liked it......
The problem with proportional stringing is most of the time the tension is varied directly proportional to the length of the string and nothing else. That won't work, I tried it with the USRSA method.

#### MAX PLY

##### Hall of Fame
I'm still pretty sure it's not been "embraced", despite Richard's anecdote, but won't be crushed if proven mistaken. Also happy to drop a few of my frames by your place, let you do the work (I'll bring the string) and compare it to my normal set up (heck we can even compare your Bab to my faithful H and give MatthewR something to weigh in about).

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#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
I'm still pretty sure it's not been "embraced", despite Richard's anecdote, but won't be crushed if proven mistaken. Also happy to drop a few of my frames by your place, let you do the work (I'll bring the string) and compare it to my normal set up (heck we can even compare your Bab to my faithful H and give MatthewR something to weigh in about).
Where do you live and what rackets do you have?

#### MAX PLY

##### Hall of Fame
Just inside the north end perimeter-- RF97s (2015 version). I'm sure we will cross paths some day.

#### Irvin

##### G.O.A.T.
Just inside the north end perimeter-- RF97s (2015 version). I'm sure we will cross paths some day.
That's a problem (RF 97s) I only have the tension sheet for Tecnifibre 315 Limited 16M frame. Your frames and string will be difference with the Sergetti system.

EDIT: Did I85 problem affect you much?

#### MAX PLY

##### Hall of Fame
Yes, very disruptive for my daily travel--I work in midtown. Used MARTA mostly, which was fine (mostly inconvenient for tennis before or after work -- just getting to work was easy on MARTA). Glad it's fixed.

Oh, no worries on the frames--perhaps one rainy day I'll tinker with that method.