SirCraigoryy

New User
First of all, I'm a long-time TT lurker who finally made an account. Secondly, I apologize if this topic has already been discussed in previous threads but I haven't seen it anywhere. I understand that most people on here who discuss poly/poly hybrids either like or prefer some sort of shaped poly in the mains and either another thinner shaped or smooth round poly in the crosses. However, I fairly recently bought 8 sets of Babolat Revenge 16g, an old red, round, and discontinued poly on "that site" for $30. I strung it up in a full bed at 52lbs in my customized Babolat Pure Storm GT. I liked the string but I hated that there was a lot of string movement and no snap back which kills me and my OCD as I hate fixing my strings in between every point. After finally getting frustrated with the string movement, I ended up cutting out the full bed and tried it as a hybrid with the Revenge 16g in the mains at 50lbs and a half set of Volkl Cyclone 17g I had left over from a previous hybrid I did in the crosses at 48lbs. I want to preface that I prefer round polys over shaped ones because I prefer the consistent response and launch angle of the round strings over the extra spin and higher launch angle created/added by the shaped ones but overall I found this hybrid was incredible! The ball was pocketing really well, I could feel the snap back of the strings, and it felt like I was hitting a heavier ball than I would usually get in a full bed of poly. So I was wondering, is there anyone out there crazy like me who prefers a round slick poly in the mains and a shaped one in the crosses in a poly/poly hybrid? If so, what strings/tensions have you tried? What racquets/string patterns did you use? What results did you find? What was the comfort level, spin potential, launch angle, tension maintenance, power level, feel on touch shots like, etc? What combinations would you use/have tried that would yield the most/best feel, spin, power, comfort, touch, tension maintenance? Would you try/use this as a cost effective way to use a premium string like Luxilon ALU POWER? I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts!
 

SirCraigoryy

New User
Sorry! I may have gotten a bit carried away with my first post. I may be completely off or wrong but from what I understand slick round polys have a low string on string friction due to the consistency of their smooth round surface but slick shaped polys have the potential to have less string on string friction because the round main could be sliding against an edge of the shaped poly cross as opposed to one of it’s flat sides. At least that was my thought process,
 

JohnC

New User
Federer and Djokovic both use gut mains and ALU Power crosses. I would surmise that round mains and shaped crosses is the modern full poly version of their setup.
 

SirCraigoryy

New User
I haven't tried round poly mains with shaped poly crosses in a few years mostly due to my own laziness and not wanting to string hybrids. However, I do remember getting better bite and spin on the ball than I did with a full bed of round poly in addition to the consistent response of having round poly mains. I did play a 16g in the mains and 17g in the crosses though and am not sure if that had something to do with the response. I do think a hybrid of a luxury string like alu in the mains and a cheaper slick shaped string like volkl cyclone could yield some good results and be more cost effective than a full bed. It would require some more testing which I may revisit at some point this summer but as of right now I am happy with my lazy one piece string job.
 

PRS

Professional
Federer and Djokovic both use gut mains and ALU Power crosses. I would surmise that round mains and shaped crosses is the modern full poly version of their setup.
Pretty sure the modern version of this setup is still gut/ALU *rough* (at least Fed used rough, unsure about Djok). There is no such thing as a full poly version of a gut/poly hybrid, you can't replicate that at all.

Also, I would never do a round/shaped hybrid. The point of shaped strings is to bite the ball, but to do that you need the edges to be going up/down. Might get some benefit if it was twisted, but just shaped in the crosses wouldn't do much for you. I'd rather use rough, but if I'm doing that, I'd probably just go full bed rather than a round/rough poly poly hybrid.
 

JohnC

New User
Pretty sure the modern version of this setup is still gut/ALU *rough* (at least Fed used rough, unsure about Djok). There is no such thing as a full poly version of a gut/poly hybrid, you can't replicate that at all.

Also, I would never do a round/shaped hybrid. The point of shaped strings is to bite the ball, but to do that you need the edges to be going up/down. Might get some benefit if it was twisted, but just shaped in the crosses wouldn't do much for you. I'd rather use rough, but if I'm doing that, I'd probably just go full bed rather than a round/rough poly poly hybrid.
Less pros are going with gut/poly combo and more are going with poly/poly hybrids.
Going round mains and shaped crosses does seem counterintuitive, but so does gut mains and poly crosses (which is why it is not so popular). The point is not to replicate, but rather to have something analogous. That's where I was going when I mentioned "full poly version".
 
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PRS

Professional
The point is not to replicate, but rather to have something analogous.
I don't see how it's analogous though when it's a very different string setup. And I don't know anybody that's using a round/shaped hybrid on the pro tour either (there very well may be some, but none come to mind right away).
so does gut mains and poly crosses
I would disagree completely. Gut mains/poly crosses makes a ton of sense if you're looking for more feel, power, and tension maintenance than full poly but more control and spin than full gut.
 

SirCraigoryy

New User
The point of the original post was just for fun asking if anyone else had tried this kind of set up already knowing that it goes against the general consensus.

The theory was...
  1. A round poly in the mains gives the consistent response and launch angle off the string bed where I feel it can vary with shaped strings depending on how much they grab the ball.
  2. A thinner slick (this part is important) shaped poly (the mores sides the better for a rounder shape i.e. 6, 8, 10) would allow for greater snap back of the mains and have potentially less friction due to the possibility of being on an edge in addition to great feel.
  3. This combination would result in a consistent shot with tighter spin and a more penetrating ball than a full bed of round poly. Which I thought was achieved and even though I didn't test it extensively it was fun.
Side notes:
  • To be fair I don't know anyone who does this either (it was merely done out of curiosity and those half sets were the only thing I had at the time of stringing).
  • Tennis can be a trend/fad sport. You may not see anyone using this string set up now but if Alcaraz all of a sudden switches to it and wins the French Open I'm sure everyone and their mother would be doing the same. The post Aero Storm gen Pure Aero VS/98 line was a dying line until Alcaraz and Rune picked them up and now every other person I see has one.
  • Players do far stranger and non-optimal/mainstream customizations to their rackets on these forums and potentially on tour.
If you disagree, that's okay. If you're interested and want to try it out, that's okay too.
 

PRS

Professional
A thinner slick (this part is important) shaped poly (the mores sides the better for a rounder shape i.e. 6, 8, 10) would allow for greater snap back of the mains and have potentially less friction due to the possibility of being on an edge in addition to great feel.
Sliding on an edge isn't a stable action though, so the string will always turn ever-so-slightly to be on a side, which will create greater friction compared to a round string.

That's actually the idea behind rough strings though; I don't know about all rough strings, but Luxilon's rough strings are basically indented all over the place, so when they string is sliding across another string, there are basically holes in the string (where the indents are) in terms of the sliding surface, creating lower surface area and thus lower friction and greater movement and snapback.
 
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