The 10 Best Tennis Strings for 2021 | A Complete Guide

The Best Tennis Strings for 2021

Find the perfect set of tennis strings

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If you’re in the market for a new set of tennis strings, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve thoroughly playtested and carefully selected the ten best tennis strings for 2021 and developed this guide to help you find the set that fits your needs.

For a quick summary, here’s a table of our top 10 picks that we’ve categorized based on the different types of strings and specific goals you may be looking to achieve with your purchase of a new set for yourself or as the perfect tennis gift.

CategoryBest StringTypePrice
Natural GutBabolat VS TouchNatural Gut$$$$$
MultifilamentWilson NXTMultifilament$$
Polyester (poly)Luxilon ALU PowerPolyester$$$
Synthetic GutPrince Synthetic GutSynthetic Gut$
HybridWilsons Champions ChoiceHybrid$$$$
TopspinBabolat RPM BlastPolyester$$
PowerTecnifibre X-One BiphaseMultifilament$$$
ControlSolinco Hyper-GPolyester$$
DurabilitySolinco ConfidentialPolyester$$
ComfortPrince Premier TouchMultifilament$$$

Article Contents

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String Index

To learn more about each string we chose and why we think it’s the best in its category, keep reading or click a link to jump to that section.

Let’s dive in!

How to Use This Guide

When selecting a new set of tennis strings, we’ve found two approaches for narrowing options that benefit a broad range of players.

  • Type of string
  • String features

The different types of strings that we cover include:

  • Natural gut
  • Multifilament
  • Polyester
  • Synthetic gut
  • Hybrid

Here are the string features that we find players ask for most frequently:

  • Topspin
  • Power
  • Control
  • Durability
  • Comfort

Our goal with this guide is to provide you with a strong recommendation that we feel best represents each category regardless of which is top of mind for you.

For example, if topspin is your main priority, we feel confident that our string selection will deliver that characteristic. However, one thing to keep in mind is that there will often be tradeoffs with tennis strings. In this guide, we’ve highlighted those so you can make the best decision.

Recognizing there are more than a handful of great strings out there, we’ve also provided you with a few alternatives to consider for each of our best of picks, and we’d encourage you to check those out as well.

Best Strings for Beginners & Children

When you’re first starting to learn how to play tennis as an adult or child, it’s absolutely worthwhile to restring your racquet regularly.

However, the type of string you use isn’t worth obsessing over at this stage because you likely won’t be able to detect or appreciate the benefits provided by more expensive strings.

With that in mind, our recommendation is to string your racquet with a quality yet inexpensive synthetic gut. Our pick for the best synthetic gut tennis string is Prince Synthetic Gut, an excellent string with a long-standing positive reputation in the tennis community.

Here are a few inexpensive yet quality alternatives to Prince Synthetic Gut for beginners and children:

  • Head Synthetic Gut PPS
  • Gamma Synthetic Gut
  • Wilson Synthetic Gut Power
  • Goosen OG-Sheep Micro

If you prefer to bump up the string quality slightly, then Gamma TNT2 is an excellent premium synthetic option worth considering.

Early on as a player, you’ll see the most significant strides in your performance by focusing your energy on the fundamentals and your technique. As your skills develop and you graduate to a more expensive performance tennis racquet, you’ll be in a much better position to benefit from the selection of a higher quality tennis string.

Ultimately, we hope players of all ages and levels benefit from this guide. However, this guide focuses primarily on providing high-quality recommendations for intermediate and advanced tennis players.

Tips for Selecting a Set of Tennis Strings

To help you get the most out of this guide, we’ve also included a few tips to assist you in selecting a tennis string.

Tennis String Gauge

Once you find a set of tennis strings that you’d like to try, you may get tripped up with what gauge or thickness makes the most sense for them. There are two key factors to consider when thinking about string gauge: durability and spin potential.

Typically, the thicker a string, the more durable it is and less spin potential it has, while the thinner a string, the less durable it is and more spin potential it offers.

Best Tennis String Tip - String Gauge

Strings are widely available at 17 or 16 gauge, with 17 being a thinner string and 16 thicker. In the spirit of keeping things simple, we suggest players start with one of those based on whether they’re looking for more durability or spin and then adjust from there.

If you’d like to dive deeper, check out our article on tennis string gauge.

Tennis String Tension

While string gauge is one of the last questions players have before buying a set of strings, tension is frequently the first question afterward.

Various types of strings can require slightly different considerations, but you’re typically making a tradeoff between more power with a lower tension or added control with a higher tension.

Luckily, racquet manufacturers provide players with a recommended tension range, which they print on the frame. A good starting point is typically the middle of their recommendation.

For example, if your racquet’s tension range is 50-60 pounds, then a good starting point is 55. Once you play with your racquet strung at that tension, you’ll be able to gauge whether to increase or decrease from there.

String tension can have a substantial impact on performance, so if you’d like to dive into the details of string tension, we’d recommend you check out our article on how to enhance your game with the right tension.

Hybrid Stringing

If you’re not already familiar, hybrid stringing is where a player uses one type of string for the mains and another for the crosses.

The result is a blend of string attributes, with the string used in the mains dominating the overall feel and the crosses influencing the mains’ feel and performance, giving players even more flexibility and options when stringing.

Some string sets, such as Wilson’s Champions Choice, our pick for the best-prepackaged hybrid, include two different types of strings. In this case, Wilson combines natural gut with a polyester string.

However, you can mix any two types of strings as a hybrid. For example, some players will combine two different gauges of the same string for added durability, improved feel, or enhanced topspin.

Regardless of whether you experiment with hybrid string setups, it’s great to be aware of the option, which has become more popular over the years and, in our opinion, highly underrated.

String Replacement

As you look to buy a new set of tennis strings, it pays to know how frequently you should replace them. Typically, many recreational players will wait until their strings break.

While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, it’s useful to recognize that the performance lifespan (referred to as playability duration in the string world) is generally far shorter than the time it takes to break a set of strings.

At the end of the day, it’s entirely a personal preference, but these factors can help you determine when you should replace your strings:

  • Frequency and length of play
  • Style of play
  • Level of competition
  • Budget
  • Personal preference

We have an article dedicated to providing more guidance on when to replace your strings if you’d like to learn more.

Your Racquet

As you can imagine, every set of tennis strings performs differently strung up in various tennis racquet. Like strings, manufacturers design racquets to provide players with specific attributes, i.e., spin, power, control, etc.

Assuming you’re sticking to the same frame while experimenting with various strings, which we’d recommend, you should expect a set of strings to deliver the attributes covered in this guide.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that your racquet combined with what makes you unique as a player will likely offer a slightly different experience than someone else using the same string in another racquet.

While there aren’t any rules to which strings you should use for a given tennis racquet, it’s worth keeping in mind, especially if a friend who uses an entirely different racquet is recommending a specific type of string.

Your Style of Play, Preferences, and Opinion

Last but not least, one of the best tips we can offer when considering a new set of strings come back to you as a player.

First off, take into consideration your style of play. Are you a baseliner who hits with heavy topspin or perhaps a serve and volleyer?

You’ll also want to consider your personal preferences on what you’d like to get out of a new set of strings as well as your own opinion on what you like and don’t like.

All too often, we find players swayed by what the pros are using or a teammate or friend’s advice with little or no consideration for the factors that make them unique as a player. Of course, you can learn a lot by looking for outside feedback, and we encourage you to listen to those thoughts.

However, we tend to find that players get a much better result and are happier with their string setup when they pause to consider their own needs versus what’s popular.

To that end, we can’t stress the value of experimenting to find the right set of strings. Rarely is it a one-and-done scenario to figure out what works best for a player, and while paying for restringing isn’t super cheap, we find it’s a sound investment for players who are serious about their game.

Furthermore, expect your preferences to change as your skills improve and your style of play evolves. Although we don’t recommend changing strings all the time, it’s worthwhile to consider your options periodically.

Our Selection Process

To select our 2021 picks for the best tennis strings in each category, we evaluated each set of strings across eight attributes to provide you with the most objective ratings possible.

We playtested each string, rated every attribute on a scale of 1 to 10, and calculated the average score to arrive at the rating.

Here are the attributes we used in our selection process.

Power

Some tennis strings return significantly more energy when striking a ball, making it easier to generate pace.

Higher power strings will require less effort to increase the ball’s speed, while low-powered strings will demand more from the player.

Spin

The number one factor that influences spin is racquet head speed. However, a player’s racquet and strings also have an impact. As a result, some strings provide players with more potential for generating topspin than others.

Strings with high spin ratings enable players to create more topspin, while strings with low spin ratings will result in less spin potential. However, keep in mind that you’ll be able to generate topspin with any string.

Control

A player’s ability to direct and place the ball accurately and with confidence is generally perceived as control, especially when taking significant cuts at the ball.

Power and control are intertwined, i.e., a lower power string will usually provide players with more control, while a high-powered string will give players less control.

Touch/Feel

Most players associate touch with feel, or their ability to delicately and accurately place the ball with finesse.

A higher rating of touch will help give players an enhanced sense of command over the ball. On the other hand, a lower score will reduce touch and make it more challenging to execute certain shots and require additional focus and attention.

Comfort

The amount of shock and vibration felt by a player when hitting with different strings will be perceived as high or low comfort.

Some tennis strings are better at absorbing and reducing shock and vibration, resulting in a more comfortable feel. Of course, a player’s racquet and technique also play a significant role in comfort.

Durability

The capacity of a set of strings to limit wear and tear from hitting, moisture, debris, changes in temperature, etc. that can ultimately lead to breakage or reduce the lifespan of a string represents its durability.

Playability Duration

The length of time a set of strings can maintain tension and quality play or performance is its playability duration. Many strings may be highly durable and not break easily but require frequent replacement to preserve the quality of the strings’ performance.

Movement

Strings that snap back into place after hitting and don’t move a great deal or require constant straightening will have higher movement ratings.

Strings with low scores will move considerably and require players to straighten them continually. There is little evidence suggesting that strings that become out of alignment impact performance, but it often becomes a bit of a pet peeve for players trying to keep them straight.

Best Tennis Strings Guide

Below you’ll find our picks for the best tennis strings in 2021. As you review those selected, keep in mind that we’ll only allow a single string to win best of for a single category.

If a string is a candidate for multiple categories, then it will only be elected for the one it performs best. With that in mind, many of those we selected perform exceptionally well in multiple areas.

Natural Gut

As far as tennis strings go, natural gut is some of the best (and priciest) on the market and was considered the gold standard for years.

To the surprise of some players, manufacturers create natural gut tennis strings by weaving together cow intestine strands.

The material’s elasticity is exceptional, it’s fantastic at holding tension, and it’s easy on a player’s arm – an ideal set of characteristics. For 2021, we’ve awarded Babolat VS Touch as the best natural gut tennis string.

Helpful Tip
If you’re a fan of natural gut, you may want to consider using string savers to extend their life and cut down on the cost of restringing.

Babolat VS Touch

Babolat VS Touch - Natural Gut

In 1875, Pierre Babolat developed the first tennis string made of sheep gut, and the evolved, more refined Babolat natural gut they’ve worked to perfect has remained the gold standard for natural gut tennis strings ever since.

Players will find Babolat VS Touch delivers on power, comfort, and feel. The string has also received slight upgrades over the years to increase its durability and resistance to moisture – historically two pitfalls of many natural gut tennis strings.

Why We Love It

Power

Hands down, natural gut is the most powerful string on the market, and Babolat’s VS Touch stands at the head of its class.

Comfort

The natural elastic fibers with Babolat VS Touch make for a string with unrivaled comfort. However, what’s unique about this string is that it also plays super crisp and doesn’t lose its comfort at higher tensions.

Feel

The cherry on top for Babolat VS Touch is the incredible feel that it offers even when strung at a high tension, which gives you a strong sense of control and connection with the ball for exceptional touch.

Tradeoffs

The downsides to Babolat VS Touch are control and spin, which go hand in hand. Some players will find it brings too much power, and it may be challenging to match the level of spin you’re going to get with a quality set of polyester strings.

However, again, one of the strings’ unique attributes is that you don’t lose out when you string at higher tensions, which is a great way to rein in its built-in power for more control.

Finally, it’s worth noting the natural fibers with this string will result in fraying. While common with natural gut and multifilaments, this may be a turn-off for some players.

Babolat VS Touch Ratings

Power 9.9
Spin 7.8
Control 7.5
Touch 9.5
Comfort 10
Durability 7.0
Playability Duration 9.2
Movement 7.2
Overall 8.51

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 15L
  • 16
  • 16 Black
  • 16 half set

Natural Gut Alternatives to Babolat VS Touch

If you like the idea of Babolat VS Touch but want to explore some alternative natural gut options, then we’d recommend you start with Wilson Natural Gut. It’s an excellent string and comparable to Babolat’s, delivering similar specs overall. Another solid pick would be Luxilon’s natural gut, which is a top performer as well.

A few other options worth checking out are Volkl V-Icon and the more affordable KLIP Legend Natural Gut. Besides the price, one of the things we appreciate about KLIP natural gut is the number of options available, making it a good starting point for players venturing into the world of gut.

Multifilament

Multifilament tennis strings are composed of hundreds or thousands of tiny microfibers woven together to form a single tennis string with many qualities similar to natural gut, making it an excellent, less expensive alternative.

In particular, multifilament tennis strings offer excellent playability and exceptional comfort. If you suffer from tennis elbow or any other arm injury, then you’ll likely appreciate the added comfort they offer.

Today, there are many multifilament tennis strings on the market and more than a handful of terrific options. However, Wilson NXT earns the label of the best multifilament for 2021.

We also love that this string comes in two colors, both natural white and black – which is slick.

Wilson NXT

Wilson NXT - Multifilament

There’s no doubt that Wilson NXT is a long-standing leader in the multifilament space with a strong following and proven track record.

Whether you’re stringing a full bed or combining it with another string as a hybrid, this string is an excellent option for many players. Here are the top reasons we love this string.

Why We Love It

Power

Wilson NXT’s standout feature is its power, which it delivers through the combined effort of 1,600 individual microfibers. However, arguably the best part of its power is that it’s not overbearing.

As a result, most players will find the extra power a welcome feature that they can easily put to use without having to worry too much about overhitting.

Comfort

Perhaps what Wilson NXT is best known for is its comfort, which is the feature that Wilson highlights as the string’s strongest asset.

True to that claim, NXT is a delightfully rich string that is easy on the arm, but it doesn’t sacrifice the response and playability that players demand.

Feel

While Wilson NXT packs a punch on the power end of the spectrum, we still found it provides excellent feel and delivers all-around playability that we believe suits a broad range of styles and skill levels.

Tradeoffs

The main thing you give up with Wilson NXT is durability, which is easily the biggest complaint about the string. To compensate, we recommend you go with the 16 gauge to help extend its life.

Players might also consider string savers to extend the life of Wilson NXT.

Wilson NXT Ratings

Power 8.8
Spin 7.5
Control 7.7
Touch 8.2
Comfort 9.0
Durability 6.3
Playability Duration 6.9
Movement 7.4
Overall 7.73

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 15L
  • 16
  • 16 black
  • 17
  • 17 black

Multifilament Alternatives to Wilson NXT

If you’re looking for an alternative to Wilson NXT, then the good news is you’ve got options. The truth is, while we give Wilson NXT a slight edge, Technifibre’s X-One Biphase and NRG2 are borderline equivalents, and we’d encourage you to check out all three. If power is high on your list, then we’d give both of Tecnifibre’s strings the edge.

One of our favorite multifilament tennis strings for its exceptional price combined with all-around performance is Head Velocity MLT. Other options well-worth checking out are Gamma TNT2 Touch and Babolat Xcel, which is more durable and plays with extra control.

Polyester (Poly)

Within the past 10-15 years, polyester tennis strings have become hugely popular, allowing players like Rafael Nadal to take massive cuts at the ball and redefine our expectations and what’s possible with topspin.

Unlike multifilament tennis strings, which are composed of thousands of microfibers, polyester strings are typically monofilament or a single solid filament.

Many players seek out polyester strings for their control, spin, and durability. However, this tends to come with a drawback that the strings aren’t as forgiving and can be harsh on your arm.

Our pick for the best polyester tennis string for 2020 is Luxilon ALU Power, which has developed a cult-like following and is widely popular on the ATP and WTA tour.

Luxilon ALU Power

Luxilon ALU Power - Polyester

It’s hard to utter the word polyester without the Luxilon brand coming to mind in the tennis world. The popularity among professional and competitive tennis players speaks volumes regarding what this string brings to the table.

Luxilon ALU Power defines what modern players expect from a polyester tennis string in terms of control, spin, and durability.

A fun development for this time-tested polyester is a slew of new colors available for purchase, including blue, green, red, and lime.

Let’s look at some of the features that make Luxilon ALU Power so popular, especially among intermediate to advanced tennis players.

Why We Love It

Control

Without a doubt, Luxilon ALU Power delivers fantastic control without sacrificing great touch and feel, which can often be a drawback of other polyester tennis strings.

In particular, intermediate to advanced players will love the fact that you can take big swings at the ball without sacrificing control – you’ll know exactly where the ball is going.

Furthermore, Luxilon ALU Power retains a liveliness to the extent that the string doesn’t feel underpowered or dull.

Spin

Luxilon ALU Power also delivers excellent access to spin.

True to most polyester strings, the lower power allows players to accelerate their racquet head faster to generate added spin without fear of sending the ball long.

Durability

Luxilon ALU Power does not disappoint when it comes to durability, one of the polyester category of strings’ trademark features.

Luxilon ALU Power stands out because it’s hard to break, but it also does an excellent job maintaining tension, which helps extend the strings’ overall life.

Tradeoffs

When it comes to polyester tennis strings, the tradeoffs are generally low power and comfort. However, it’s merely the cost of the spin and control that this category of strings delivers. Unfortunately, ALU power is no exception to these rules.

Luxilon ALU Power Ratings

Power 6.2
Spin 8.9
Control 9.1
Touch 9.5
Comfort 7.5
Durability 9.6
Playability Duration 8.4
Movement 9.5
Overall 8.59

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 15
  • 16 (new in 2020)
  • 16L
  • 16L Blue, Green, Red, Lime

Alternatives to Luxilon ALU Power

When it comes to Luxilon ALU Power alternatives, one of our favorite places to look is among the line of Luxilon strings. From Luxilon ALU Power Rough to ALU Power Spin, ALU Power Soft to 4G and Element, among others, they have a world-class lineup of polys.

However, if you’re looking outside of the Luxilon family of strings, then there are plenty of others we’d recommend you check out.

  • Babolat RPM Blast
  • Babolat Pro Hurricane
  • Solinco Hyper-G
  • Solinco Confidential
  • Tecnifibre Ice Code
  • Tecnifibre Black Code
  • Volkl Cyclone
  • Volkl V-Torque
  • Yonex Poly Tour Pro
  • Yonex Poly Tour Spin
  • Wilson Revolve

There’s a lot on offer and plenty of options to suit a wide range of player preferences and budgets.

Synthetic Gut

On the lower end of the performance spectrum, synthetic gut tennis strings provide players with access to a quality product without the higher price tag typically associated with natural gut, multifilament, and polyester strings.

The result tends to be an inexpensive string that performs reasonably well all around without the enhanced features associated with other types, i.e., the extra comfort available through many multifilaments or control and spin familiar with polyester.

If anything, synthetic gut strings will tend to err on the side of durability, which is an excellent feature for players looking for an affordable option because they’ll also last, which adds to their value.

Helpful Tip
If you’re new to tennis, we’d encourage you not to underestimate synthetic gut tennis strings. They aren’t a string players rave about online, but they’re a terrific option when first starting out or for occasional recreational use.

This year, we’re awarding the best synthetic gut tennis strings to Prince Synthetic Gut, a classic string that offers comfort and good power at a wallet-friendly price.

Prince Synthetic Gut

Prince Synthetic Gut - Synthetic Gut

For years, Prince Synthetic Gut has provided recreational players of all ages and levels with a time-tested string that delivers all-around playability at an unbeatable price.

While it doesn’t provide the unique strengths of other string categories, Prince Synthetic Gut is a superbly cost-effective choice that will continue to satisfy players’ needs around the world. Plus, it comes in a wide array of colors, which is particularly fun for younger players for whom string performance isn’t a priority.

Can’t decide which color to buy? Players can choose to purchase their latest evolution, dubbed Prism, which is the same great string in a rainbow of colors.

Why We Love It

Value

When it comes to the synthetic gut family of tennis strings, it’s all about value, and Price Synthetic Gut delivers with an excellent price point.

While you won’t get access to some of the higher-end features available with natural gut, multifilament, or polyester strings, you should find that these strings are great all-around performers for the price.

Tradeoffs

Prince Synthetic Gut isn’t an exceptionally high scorer in any single category, but we find it lacks the most in durability, control, and feel.

Generally, we see this as a terrific option for beginners who won’t have the technique and skill-set to notice a significant difference between strings. They’re also perfect for recreational players that don’t play frequently or occasionally play for exercise.

Prince Synthetic Gut Ratings

Power 7.7
Spin 7.3
Control 7.2
Touch 7.0
Comfort 8.3
Durability 5.8
Playability Duration 7.6
Movement 6.0
Overall 7.13

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 16: Prism (rainbow-colored)
  • 16: black, gold, silver, blue, purple, red, pink, orange, yellow, green, white
  • 17: black, gold, red, pink, orange, green, white

Synthetic Gut Alternatives to Prince Synthetic Gut

There are quite a few alternatives to Prince Synthetic Gut. However, a near equivalent and one we highly appreciate is Gosen’s OG-Sheep Micro, which is even more affordable.

A few others worth considering include:

  • Head Synthetic Gut PPS
  • Gamma Synthetic Gut
  • Ashaway Synthetic Gut
  • Wilson Synthetic Gut Power

At the price points offered by these strings, we’d encourage you to experiment with a few to find out which you prefer.

Hybrid

One of the challenges that players have faced over the years is that strings come with distinct pros and cons. For example, many players will find multifilaments to be too powerful and lacking in the spin department, while polyesters tend to be harsh on the arm.

To make up for the advantages and disadvantages of different string types, players began to combine strings (one set for the mains and another for the crosses) to get the best of both worlds. Over time, it’s become a highly popularized approach.

It’s also worth noting that a hybrid can consist of two different gauges of the same string – it doesn’t have to be two distinct types.

While you can combine any two strings to form a hybrid, we found Wilson Champions Choice to be the best-prepackaged hybrid.

With it, you’ll get Wilson’s Natural Gut coupled with Luxilon ALU Power Rough polyester to strike an exceptional balance between comfort, power, spin, control, and feel.

Wilson Champions Choice Hybrid

Wilson Champion Choice - Hybrid

If there’s a defining characteristic of this hybrid string set, it’s the fact that it’s Roger Federer’s choice – one of if not the game’s greatest player.

Of course, beyond the name recognition, the combination of two remarkable strings (and brands) blended as a hybrid provides a unique balance to suit a wide range of players.

As a reminder, the main strings’ characteristics will dominate the feel of the racquet. If you’re going for durability and control, we’d recommend stringing the Luxilon in the mains. At the same time, you’ll find a softer feel and increased playability by using Wilson’s natural gut in the mains.

While it’s different for every player, we found the natural gut in the mains to serve as the ideal setup with this string set. It’s also the most common approach when stringing a hybrid with gut and polyester.

Why We Love It

Power

With Wilson’s Natural Gut in the mains, Champions Choice delivers more than enough power. However, it’s not overbearing because Luxilon ALU Power Rough is a lower-powered string that balances it out.

Comfort

For players looking for excellent spin potential along with comfort, we find it hard to beat this combination. While you can undoubtedly get more comfort with a full bed of natural gut, the tradeoff with spin and control is frequently too much – this hybrid delivers it all.

Balance

The best part about hybrid string setups is combining the best of two worlds in natural gut and polyester tennis strings. As a result, you get a blend of each string category’s features, which provides players with a balance that only a hybrid setup can offer.

Tradeoffs

One can argue that hybrid stringing with natural gut and polyester is a double-edged sword. While you get a blend of characteristics, you don’t get the full benefit of either string type, and you end up meeting somewhere in the middle. For many players, this is a dream scenario. However, it may leave others wanting.

In particular, we believe players used to full polyester string setups may find Wilson Champions Choice a bit too high-powered and slightly lacking in the spin and control departments. Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference.

Wilson Champions Choice Hybrid Ratings

Power 8.7
Spin 8.5
Control 9.3
Touch 9.3
Comfort 8.7
Durability 8.0
Playability Duration 8.4
Movement 8.2
Overall 8.64

Gauge & Color Variations

  • n/a

Alternatives to Wilson Champions Choice Hybrid

For many, the price of this string set is a bit too rich. With that in mind, we’d recommend players check out Wilson’s Control Duo Hybrid, which is a combination of Wilson NXT Tour and Luxilon ALU Power.

Additional hybrid strings we’d recommend are Bobalat Hybrid RPM Blast + VS Gut and the more affordable KLIP X-Plosive Gut/Poly Hybrid.

Of course, keep in mind that the possibilities are endless, as you can combine any two strings to form your hybrid setup. For example, one of our all-time favorite hybrids is Babolat VS Touch and Luxilon ALU Power.

Topspin

With players like Rafel Nadal on tour, one of the most sought-after attributes for tennis players is the ability to generate massive topspin.

If you’re looking to follow suit, then there’s no doubt that polyester tennis strings are a fantastic choice. Their slick surface and ability to snap back into place are a dynamic combination to help you generate maximum spin.

However, with more than a handful of polyester strings on the market, one string stands out as the best tennis string for topspin, and that’s Babolat RPM Blast.

Babolat RPM Blast

Babolat RPM Blast - Topspin

Babolat RPM Blast takes topspin to the max. First, as a polyester tennis string, the strings are slick and quickly snap back into place upon contact, helping to generate topspin.

However, this string set goes a step further, with a unique octagonal shape that helps grab the ball and increase the spin potential, which is second to none.

One of Babolat RPM Blast’s unique attributes is that it’s surprisingly comfortable to play with for a polyester tennis string, which makes it a terrific option for anyone looking to test the waters with a poly to help push their topspin to the next level.

Why We Love It

Spin

It should come as no surprise that our favorite feature with Babolat RPM Blast is its ability to help maximize spin. Hitting forehands and backhands from the back of the court is a joy, as the ball propels itself off our strings with a level of topspin that’s possible only with a polyester.

Control

The combination of spin and low power of RPM Blast allowed us to take full swings and huge cuts at the ball. The resulting topspin enabled us to clear the net with confidence that the ball would dip back into the court, and we never feel we have to worry about the ball sailing long.

Together, these attributes gave us a strong sense of control, which allows us to dictate points and move players from side to side.

Durability

While durability isn’t always the most exciting feature of a tennis string, Babolat RPM Blast delivers in this category and is a string you can count on to stand up to a beating and last. Most players will find they’ll cut the strings out to replace them before they break.

Tradeoffs

As you might expect from a poly, the most significant tradeoff with Babolat RPM Blast is its lower power and comfort relative to other types of strings. While the low power is part of what makes this string fantastic, it does have the potential to leave some players longing for more.

It’s a stiffer poly and nowhere near what players will find with gut or multifilaments from a comfort standpoint. For that reason, we recommend players consider this facet before taking the leap.

Babolat RPM Blast Ratings

Power 4.5
Spin 9.9
Control 9.2
Touch 8.4
Comfort 6.4
Durability 9.2
Playability Duration 7.8
Movement 9.4
Overall 8.10

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 16
  • 17
  • 18

Alternatives to Babolat RPM Blast for Topspin

When it comes to maxing out topspin, there are plenty of options. Here are a few of our favorites, which are all polyester strings:

  • Diadem Solstice Power
  • Luxilon ALU Power Rough
  • Luxilon ALU Power Spin
  • Solinco Hyper-G
  • Solinco Confidential
  • Tecnifibre Ice Code
  • Volkl Cyclone
  • Volk V-Square
  • Volk V-Torque

Hopefully, you can track down one you love from this mix of strings. As you might expect, each comes with its pros and cons, but there are plenty of exceptional options to test and evaluate.

Control

As the game of tennis has evolved with stronger players and more aggressive styles of play, the ability to control the ball has become increasingly important.

Whether you’re looking to tone down the power of a stiffer frame or you want to avoid overhitting to keep the ball in play while generating topspin, a control-oriented string might be a great option.

The low power associated with polyester tennis strings makes them a perfect fit for control. However, not all polyester is created equal. In this case, we’re naming Solinco Hyper-G the best tennis string for control.

Solinco Hyper-G

Solinco Hyper-G - Control

If control is a priority, then look no further than Solinco Hyper-G – a bright green co-poly that’s developed a cult-like following. What sets it apart from the rest is that it’s firm and ultra-low powered, which allows you to take massive cuts at the ball while maintaining precision.

Hyper-G is square-shaped, so it has four edges for embedding into and gripping the ball. Combine with a great polyester’s trademark ability to snap back into place and the lower power that allows you to increase your racquet head speed confidently, and you end up with loads of topspin to help further dictate placement.

However, what makes Solico Hyper-G extra special is that it delivers on the promise of control while also maintaining superb feel. There are only a handful of polys out there that manage to do both well.

Why We Love It

Control

A big part of what produces a string with a greater sense of control is knowing what to expect every time the ball leaves the stringbed, and Hyper-G checks the right boxes to make that happen.

Spin

Topspin plays a significant role in a player’s control. The more you have, the more you can swing through the ball while maintaining confidence it’s going to clear the net and drop back into the court. Although it doesn’t quite stack up to Babolat RPM Blast in this category, it’s a strong contender and excellent from the back of the court.

Feel

When you think of polyester tennis strings, feel might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, within the realm of polys, Solinco Hyper-G delivers a welcome high-end performance that sets it apart from many other low-powered strings in its category. Ultimately, the strings feel results in a highly predictable string that further aids control.

Tradeoffs

Although the low-powered performance of Solinco Hyper-G is well suited for intermediate to advanced players, many will find it swings the pendulum too far in this department. Furthermore, it doesn’t offer a high level of comfort, so players with arm issues will need to keep that in mind.

Solinco Confidential Ratings

Power 4.7
Spin 9.3
Control 9.8
Touch 8.9
Comfort 6.8
Durability 8.6
Playability Duration 7.5
Movement 9.2
Overall 8.10

Gauge & Color Variations

  • 16
  • 16L
  • 17
  • 18

Alternatives to Solinco Hyper-G for Control

Although Solinco Hyper-G is a terrific option for control, others deliver a fantastic performance as well. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Babolat RPM Hurricane
  • Babolat RPM Blast
  • Luxilon ALU Power
  • Luxilon Big Banger Original
  • Solinco Confidential
  • Tecnifibre Ice Code
  • Tecnifibre Red Code
  • Volkl Cyclone
  • Volkl V-Torque
  • Yonex Poly Tour Spin

If you’ve struggled with arm injuries in the past and you’re looking for a string that delivers control, then you’ll likely want to steer clear of polyesters or, at a minimum, string it as a hybrid.

Of course, while these are some of the best control oriented strings, other types of strings offer enhanced control with a softer feel, i.e., Wilson NXT Control is an excellent example.

Power

Unfortunately, we’re not all built with the strength to turn up the heat when we’d like. Perhaps you’re looking to hit a bigger serve or groundstrokes, or maybe you’d like to add a little pop to a more flexible, control-oriented tennis racquet.

If so, a string that naturally brings more power to your shots can be a great option, and Tecnifibre X-One Biphase delivers precisely that as the best tennis string for power.

Tecnifibre X-One Biphase

Tecnifibre X-One Biphase - Power

As a multifilament tennis string, Tecnifibre X-One Biphase is a technological powerhouse with features like PU 400 and Elastyl that help deliver more power with ease.

It’s also an incredibly comfortable string to play with, which makes it an excellent choice for players with tennis elbow and an exceptional option for use as part of a hybrid string setup along with a more control-oriented, spin-friendly polyester.

Why We Love It

Power

Tecnifibre X-One Biphase packs a punch and delivers power as a standout feature. From serving to volleys and everything in between, players will find the ball jumps off the strings.

In some cases, players may find they need to tweak the tension to find the sweet spot between balance and control.

Comfort

Generally, multifilaments and the thousands of fibers that make up this family of strings provide an arm-friendly hitting experience.

However, X-One Biphase stands out as an ultra-comfortable string that does a great job at absorbing shock and reducing the impact on your arm without losing the liveliness that makes this string a crowd favorite.

Feel

While powerful, Tecnifibre gets the ingredients right with a string that delivers excellent feel and touch that we enjoyed from all areas of the court but stood out to us at the net.

Tradeoffs

The main tradeoff you’re going to make with Tecnifibre X-One Biphase is with spin. It doesn’t have the natural ability to snap back into place as a multifilament, an attribute that aids in generating topspin.

Compared with a polyester tennis string, some players may find that X-One Biphase is a bit overpowering, which materializes in feeling like it’s a bit harder to control the ball.

Lastly, while the playability duration or the lifespan of the strings’ performance is strong, the strings’ durability may be an issue for chronic string breakers.

Tecnifibre X-One Biphase Ratings

Power 9.2
Spin 6.8
Control 7.5
Touch 8.6
Comfort 8.7
Durability 7.5
Playability Duration 8.8
Movement 8.7
Overall 8.2

Variations

  • 16: natural, red
  • 17: natural, red
  • 18: natural, red

Alternatives to Tecnifibre X-One Biphase for Power

If your number one goal is power, then you might consider natural gut as an option. Unfortunately, natural gut’s price is often cost-prohibitive for the vast majority of players, so it’s not our first recommendation.

We’d recommend checking out two strings: Tecnifibre’s NRG2 and Babolat’s Origin, which will deliver a bit more control. Both are multifilaments with similar playing characteristics to X-One Biphase.

Of course, while Wilson NXT doesn’t deliver quite the punch of the strings mentioned above, it’s a strong contender and our pick for the best multifilament.

Durability

If you’re a big hitter who frequently breaks strings or you’re looking to extend the life of each restring, then you’re going to want a durable string that lasts. After all, restringing too often can become an expensive habit.

Once again, polyester strings enter as the durability leader due to their solid monofilament construction and slick surface that wards off notching.

While you’ll find most polyester tennis strings are considerably more durable than natural gut, multifilament, or synthetic gut tennis strings, the best durable string for 2021 is Solinco Confidential.

Solinco Confidential

Solinco Confidential - Durability

Solinco Confidential is a newer string released in 2020, but it’s quickly gained popularity as a strong contender for one of the best polys.

Although durability is one of its defining features, it scores well in many other areas, including spin, control, and the duration in which the string holds its performance.

Like some of the other polys on offer from Solinco, Confidential is a 4-sided string, which offers a bit of extra added bite. If you’re looking for a highly durable poly that doesn’t skimp on performance in other areas, then it’s a string well worth checking out in 2021.

Why We Love It

Durability

If you’re a heavy hitter or chronic string breaker that requires extra durability to prolong the life of your strings, then look no further than Solinco Confidential. It’s one of the most durable strings out there.

Spin

With its polyester makeup and 4-sided construction, Solinco Confidential delivers terrific access to spin. We particularly enjoyed the heavy topspin we were able to produce on our groundstrokes and found it helped provide tons of spin on our kick serve, which enhanced the ball’s rebound off the court – well out of most player strike zones.

Control

When a string provides an outstanding balance between spin and feel in a low-powered package, you frequently end up with excellent control. Solinco Confidential delivers on this front, which helped us move our opponents around and dictate points.

Tradeoffs

To get access to some of our favorite attributes this string provides, you’re going to need to give up in a few other areas. More specifically, Solinco Confidential is a lower-powered tennis string with less comfort.

If a low powered string is appealing and you haven’t experienced any issues with your arm, then it’s an ideal fit for players seeking durability.

Solinco Confidential Ratings

Power 4.5
Spin 9.1
Control 9.4
Touch 8.5
Comfort 6.1
Durability 9.3
Playability Duration 8.9
Movement 9.2
Overall 8.13

Variations

  • 16
  • 16L
  • 17
  • 18

Alternatives to Solinco Confidential for Durability

There are many fantastic polyester strings out there, but they don’t always have the highest durability level.

If you’re looking for a few alternatives to Solinco Confidential, we’d recommend you check out these:

  • Babolat RPM Blast
  • Babolat RPM Hurricane
  • Luxilon ALU Power
  • Luxilon Big Banger Original
  • Tecnifibre Ice Code
  • Tecnifibre Red Code
  • Head Lynx Tour
  • Head Hawk
  • Yonex Poly Tour Strike
  • Volkl V-Square
  • Volkl Cyclone

Another solid option if you’re looking for a thinner gauge poly that doesn’t break easily is Luxilon Big Banger Ace. It only comes in an 18 gauge, making it hard to recommend in many scenarios, but it’s a fantastic option that’s ultra-durable.

Lastly, if you’re looking for maximum durability, you may consider checking out Ashaway’s Crossfire Kevlar strings. They’re super durable but come with the drawback of being extremely low on comfort, which is why we’re more inclined to recommend polyester.

Comfort

One of the most common injuries in our sport is tennis elbow. If you’ve ever experienced it yourself, you’ll know how painful it can be and how it can sideline a player from playing the game they love.

Luckily for us, string manufacturers have continued to develop products that aim to ward off the harsh vibrations that can result from playing tennis.

In this category, we’ve selected the multifilament Prince Premier Touch as the best comfort-oriented tennis string.

Prince Premier Touch

Prince Premier Touch - Comfort

As a multifilament, Prince Premier Touch combines thousands of individual fibers to build a string that resembles natural gut’s makeup.

However, Prince took things a step further than most multifilaments and used a spiraled ribbon construction to match the serosa fibers used in an authentic natural gut more closely.

The result is the softest multifilament we’ve ever tested, which all but matches the comfort of the best natural gut on the market and is the perfect option for players for whom comfort may be at the very top of their list of priorities.

Why We Love It

Comfort

We can’t speak highly enough of the comfort that this string offers, so it’s a no-brainer for players who require strength in this attribute and are willing to sacrifice in some other area. Another option for players who want to strike a balance is to consider Prince Premier Touch as part of a hybrid string setup.

Power

Prince Premier Touch also packs a highly respectable level of power. Even at a higher tension, the ball leaps from the strings. Players who hit with a lot of topspin may find the string lacks control if they’re used to a stiffer, control-oriented tennis string.

Tradeoffs

As with all tennis strings, there’s always a tradeoff, and Prince Premier Touch is no exception. The areas where we feel like the string gives up the most are the spin, control, and feel departments.

Relative to other tennis strings, we found we had to work significantly harder to generate topspin, and even our best efforts left us wanting. Combine that with the ultra-soft stringbed that lacked feel, and we felt like the string kept us on our toes because it just wasn’t as effortless to control and direct the ball with precision.

Prince Premier Touch Ratings

Power 89
Spin 50
Control 68
Touch 71
Comfort 95
Durability 68
Playability Duration 76
Movement 62
Overall 7.24

Variations

  • 17
  • 16
  • 15L

Alternatives to Prince Premier Touch

If you’re looking for an arm-friendly tennis string that’s high on comfort and you can afford the higher price tag, we’d recommend you check out a natural gut-like Babolat VS or Wilson’s Natural Gut.

However, there are plenty of other tennis strings worth checking out. Here are a few additional multifilaments that we’d recommend:

  • Babolat Origin
  • Gamma TNT2 Touch
  • Head Reflex MLT
  • Tecnifibre X-One Biphase
  • Tecnifibre NRG2
  • Wilson NXT

Unless maximum comfort is a must for you, we’d encourage you to explore some of these alternatives, which will provide exceptional comfort and dramatically better overall performance.

Conclusion

There you have it – our top 10 picks for the best tennis strings in 2021, updated from our selections in 2020.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our list, or at the very least, it helped point you in the right direction. As a closing thought, keep in mind that what many players will determine is that “best” is relative and subject to personal taste. Over time, you’ll develop a preference for what’s best for your game, which likely will change as your game develops.

What are your picks for the top tennis strings? Do you agree with our selection? We’d love for you to share in the comments below.

Home > Gear > Strings > Best Tennis Strings 2021

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2 replies
    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for dropping by. I’ve played with Mantis Comfort Synthetic, but haven’t experienced Gosen Tour 3.

      It was several years ago, but from what I recall, I enjoyed my hit with Mantis. It was a soft multifilament with moderate power and good all-around performance.

      I haven’t heard Mantis mentioned in quite a while. Out of curiosity, what turned you on to those strings?

      I hope that helps!

      All the best,
      Jon

      Reply

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