Tennis is a beautiful game but like a lot of games, it has its maintenance costs. Balls, new racquets, strings, all come with a certain lifespan attached to them. When balls get old, there is no choice but to buy new ones as the old ones lose pressure even if you take care of them and only play one set a day. Tennis racquets are very durable, especially the modern frames, as they can last up to 10 or so years without a problem. Strings, yeah, they tend to break quite often depending on the type of player and the material they are made out of. My brother used to break a lot of strings and complained that it was costing him a lot, so I went on a little researching mission to find the solution to his problem. I did find the solution, or solutions I should say.
The answer to the question above is that Yes, you can prolong the life of your tennis strings. Whether or not it is effective is answered below. But if you are strapped for cash or are in an area where you do not have the ability to get your racquets restrung then you can save your strings. They should last quite a bit of time unless you are a string breaker, then you might have to get them replaced soon.
How to Prolong it?
So, there are actually two ways of doing it. One is to change to polyester strings altogether, they are extremely strong and easily last a month if you are not the extreme string breaking type. Polyester strings are a little tough on the elbows and I won’t recommend them to a beginner because they require a considerably larger amount of power compared to synthetic and natural gut. In most areas, this is an effective method to save money as you can find pretty affordable polyester strings, and they are a must-have if you use topspin. A lot of pros on tour use polyester strings predominantly because of their ability to produce topspin and control. An affordable poly that I use pretty regularly is the Signum Pro Poly Plasma. I am in love with this string, it’s very comfortable compared to the Babolat Poly I was using before and the power/control balance is second to none.
The other solution is the use of String Savers, all the big tennis manufacturers make them and you can easily find them on Amazon for pretty affordable prices. My favorite one is the Babolat Elastocross String Saver, it is the generic string saver and gets the job done for $10. Roger Federer is a big endorser of string savers as he uses it for his Natural and Poly hybrid (Natural Gut Mains and Polyester Crosses). Watch this video to get a better idea of how to do it. It is pretty simple
The way to apply them is pretty simple too, they come with this small stapler kind of device, and you just insert them in the sweet spot region wherever the strings make a cross. Keep this in mind though, that this will make the string bed a little stiffer and creates a control situation, but if Roger Federer, the greatest player tennis has ever seen can handle them, you can too.
Is It Worth Saving Their Life?
The answer to this question is that, well it depends on a lot of factors. If you are someone who breaks a lot of strings and are not that strong financially then I would a hundred percent recommend you go and get one of these solutions. Everybody likes saving money, whether you are earning 50k a year or a 100k a year, you would rather save the money that you spend on bi-monthly string jobs towards your house or travel funds.
String savers, unless you can get them easily through Amazon can be a little harder to get in other countries so for them I would recommend a good polyester string like the one I mentioned above. It should be able to last you close to a month easy. For my personal use, I can go by a month easily without even coming close to breaking them, so I just get them restrung. Polyester strings go dead after a month of use so be sure to get them changed after than period.
I have never been too stripped for cash in my life, so I just a get new string job done. There is nothing as better feeling as a fresh string bed to play with. The tension is perfect, the shots go with the same power every time and I enjoy that feeling.
Are there any cheaper options?
When it comes to trying to save strings, these are the only two options and considering their prices, I would say they are as cheap as anything could get. You can probably change the polyester string to a cheaper one, but I would not recommend that. Signum Pro is the best affordable polyester, and anything lower than that will end up causing you problems with your game.
If you are a beginner or someone who has passed their prime then I would recommend just getting the string savers. They are cheap and effective, you might have to buy a lot of these because they do tend to break because of the pressure the ball applies to them but they are pretty sturdy.
Do Pro Players Do it?
The most notable pro players that use string savers have to be Roger Federer and Pete Sampras. Both of them employ a hybrid string configuration that definitely requires some string savers otherwise they will just break.
For Roger Federer, a player that uses a lot of power but uses a lot of topspin, a natural gut and poly hybrid provides him with the best of both worlds. If it were in his control, I bet he would only go with natural gut but that gut is expensive and breaks very fast. To save himself the trouble of using more than the 6-7 racquets he takes on court, he uses string savers on the sweet spot of the racquet head. This saves the strings quite a bit, even though he is a pro player and ends up breaking them quite often.
Most people love to follow their favorite players and I know for a fact that Roger Federer is the most popular player in tennis. So, if you are a Federer fan want to emulate the great, go on right ahead.
Should You Do It?
Should you try and save your strings? If you are a beginner, then I would say yes. Most of the times beginners have trouble getting new strings—they do not know where to get them done, what are the different tensions and what is the recommended tension for their game. But unless you are a pro player who uses hybrids and fear that they will break mid-match, then you do not need to get them.
A new string job benefits intermediate to advanced players a lot. Pro players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who use poly beds tend to do just fine without string savers, and I have rarely seen them break strings mid-match because Poly Strings are extremely strong and last a really long time. Nadal is known as the person with the heaviest topspin in the modern game and he does not have the ability to beat the Babolat RPM Blast that easily.