Here is an excellent article on how to avoid and recover from injury by choosing the correct string stiffness for your health.  I have found that string stiffness is what leads to more injury than the stiffness of the racquet itself although both need to be examined and work in concert to protect and preserve the muscles and tendons we count on in tennis.

reprinted from  Article by Dave Bone

Anyone who’s suffered from tennis elbow knows that it’s enormously frustrating and can keep you off the court for long periods of time. Obviously, things like rest, stretching, physio and strengthening exercise are essential however a few changes to your racquet set-up can make a huge difference.

While most of the racquet and string manufacturers claim to have a magic cure the truth is actually much more simple – the more flex in your racquet and elasticity in your strings, the better it is for your arm. In slightly more scientific terms the more flex in a racquet and more elastic a string, the more energy it can store and release into the ball.

So which racquets and strings are those?

As far as racquets are concerned be sure to take a look at the stiffness rating before making a decision – it’s also important you don’t get a racquet that is too heavy (for example the Wilson Pro Staff 90 comes in with a relatively low stiffness rating and is a flexible frame, however at a strung weight of over 350 grams it’s probably not going to do your arm too many favours…) or has a small headsize / sweetspot (which makes off-centre shots more common). As a guide we can take a look at two best selling racquets of the past year – the Babolat Pure Drive and the Wilson Blade 98. Both racquets share similar specs as far as headsize and weight are concerned but will put very different levels of stress on players arms. The ever-popular Pure Drive is a much more powerful frame which can lead people to believe it will take the pressure off their elbow however this isn’t the case, with a stifness rating of 72 (the higher, the stiffer) it is one of the stiffest frames on the market and will transfer a lot more of the impact onto the arm. The Blade 98 is more of a control-orientated frame however with its stiffness rating of 65 is going to be a much better option for a player suffering from elbow trouble.

Which leads us to strings – as far as elasticity is concerned Natural Gut is at the top of the heap (but you will pay for it). Other factors such as differences in gauges, twist rates and raw materials will cause gut strings to have minor variances between brands however Natural Gut will always come out on top despite any claims from manufacturers. Next in the pecking order are Nylons and Synthetic Guts followed by Polyester and finally, Kevlar which is, in my humble opinion, not only the worst string as far as looking after your arm is concerned but also the worst option for anyone who enjoys the feeling of hitting tennis balls.   As someone who has played with a full set of kevlar for a couple of months on a European tour due to being completely, utterly broke I beg of you – please never, ever use Kevlar.

Listed below is the Tennis Industry Magazine  String Selector Guide 

2014 String Selector Guide – Tennis Industry Magazine

1. Start by finding the string you currently use in the list below (we’ve broken the market down into four categories: Nylon, Polyester, Natural Gut and Kevlar).

2. Note the string’s stiffness and tension loss numbers.

  • If you’re completely satisfied with your current string and don’t want anything different from their next string, strings listed in the same neighborhood (very close to their current string) will likely play similarly.
  • If you’re happy with how long their string plays well, but don’t love the feel of their string, try something with similar tension loss but with a different Stiffness Rating. Strings with a higher number should feel stiffer (or crisper), while strings with a lower number should feel softer (or more comfortable).
  • If your client is happy with how their string feels, but not with how long it feels that way, try something with a similar stiffness rating but a lower Tension Loss rating.


String                                                                          Material              Gauge               Stiffness         Tension loss
Newest strings on the market (as f 2016) 
PacificBull Gut 16LNatural Gut1.27758.44
PacificBull Gut 16Natural Gut1.32829.24
HeadReflex MLT 1.25Nylon1.2513115.73
GammaSolace 16Nylon1.2913714.84
HeadVelocity MLT 1.25Nylon1.2513715.50
YonexMono Preme 125Nylon1.2413813.90
GammaOcho XP 16Nylon1.3113815.55
Mauve SportsMSV Soft Control 1.25Polyamide1.2613911.55
GammaSolace 17Nylon1.2513914.97
YonexMulti-Sensa 125Nylon & Polyester1.2413917.42
Mauve SportsMSV Soft Control 1.30Polyamide1.3014013.19
HeadReflex MLT 1.30Nylon1.3114216.27
TecnifibreHDX Tour 15LElastyl & Polyester & SPL1.3514913.05
YonexMulti-Sensa 130Nylon & Polyester1.2715219.12
HeadVelocity MLT 1.30Nylon1.3015314.89
PacificNyltec 1.35Nylon1.3415415.17
WilsonSpin Effect Hybrid (Multi)Hybrid1.3115417.55
YonexMono Preme 130Nylon1.2815510.59
PacificPLX 16Nylon1.3115714.66
PacificPLX 16LNylon1.2715714.80
PacificPLX 17Nylon1.2415813.60
GenesisBlack Magic 18Polyester1.1816721.75
Tier One SportsStrike Force Rip 118Polyester1.1917119.31
GenesisTrionic 18Polyester1.2017119.75
GammaiO Soft 17Polyester1.2417223.10
GammaMoto Soft 17Polyester1.2317421.52
Mauve SportsMSV Focus-Hex 1.10Polyester1.1117515.52
GammaOcho TNT 161.2917515.92
DiademSolstice Pro 16LPolyester1.2617519.34
YonexPolytour Fire 120Polyester1.2017619.78
TournaBig Red 17Polyester1.1917719.20
PacificSpin 6 16LPolyester1.2717720.90
GammaMoto Soft 16Polyester1.2917724.23
PacificPoly Force 18Polyester1.2317821.65
YonexPolytour Fire 125Polyester1.2518118.92
DiademSolstice Power 17Polyester1.1918216.14
Mauve SportsMSV Hepta-Twist 1.20Polyester1.1718217.15
Mauve SportsMSV Hepta-Twist 1.20Polyester1.1918217.68
Mauve SportsMSV Go Max 1.25Polyester1.2118218.81
GammaiO Soft 16Polyester1.2618223.09
Tier One SportsStrike Force Rip 123Polyester1.2318321.94
PacificChampTour 1.30Polyester1.2818324.98
GenesisTrionic 16Polyester1.3318521.24
DiademSolstice Pro 15LPolyester1.2718715.37
PacificXcite 18Polyester1.2218917.09
GosenPolylon Premium 1.27Polyester1.2618919.21
Mauve SportsMSV Go Max 1.20Polyester1.1919021.34
DiademSolstice Power 16Polyester1.2919415.09
TecnifibreBlack Code 4S 18Polyester1.1819415.86
TournaBig Red 16Polyester1.2719416.32
LuxilonElement 125Polyester1.2419419.74
Mauve SportsMSV Focus-Hex 1.23Polyester1.2319815.37
TecnifibreBlack Code 4S 17Polyester1.2219916.69
Mauve SportsMSV Hepta-Twist 1.25Polyester1.2219917.42
WilsonSpin Effect Hybrid (Mono)Hybrid1.2419919.94
Tier One SportsStrike Force Rip 128Polyester1.2919920.49
Mauve SportsMSV Focus-Hex 1.18Polyester1.1520015.17
GammaiO Soft 15LPolyester1.3920023.28
LuxilonElement 130Polyester1.3020117.09
BabolatPro Xtreme 1.25 (MAIN)Polyester1.2420421.94
Mauve SportsMSV Focus-Hex 1.23Polyester1.2220815.87
YonexPolyTour Spin G 125Polyester1.2621215.41
GenesisPro Advantage 17Polyester1.2221313.83
GosenPolylon Premium 1.32Polyester1.3121316.71
BabolatRPM Blast 15LPolyester1.3521819.19
TecnifibreBlack Code 4S 16Polyester1.3121917.37
Mauve SportsMSV Focus-Hex 1.27Polyester1.3322016.45
GenesisPro Advantage 16Polyester1.2922314.33
GammaOcho 16Polyester1.2923611.53


Older strings on the market (as f 2014)

StringMaterialGaugeStiffnessTension loss
Babolat VS Team 17 (BT7)Natural Gut1.25907.74
Babolat Tonic + Ball Feel (BT7)Natural Gut1.29948.8
Babolat VS Touch 16 (BT7)Natural Gut1.311108.42
Ashaway MonoGut ZX Pro 17Zyex1.313316.53
Ashaway MonoGut ZXZyex1.313518.31
Ashaway Dynamite Natural 17Nylon & Zyex1.2614513.17
Prince Premier Touch 16Nylon1.3214517.57
Yonex Tour Super Solid × 125Nylon1.2315118.75
Prince Premier Touch 15LNylon1.3415216.8
Dunlop Pearl 17Nylon1.2515313.83
Victory Acelon Synthetic Gut TCF 17Nylon1.2415516.41
Victory Acelon Wildfire 17Polyester1.2515713.47
Volkl Classic Synthetic Gut 17Nylon1.2515716.21
Gosen TecFlex 17Nylon & Polyurethane1.231589.95
Prince Premier Power 18Nylon1.1915815.17
Victory Acelon Wildfire 16Polyester1.3115816.64
Prince Premier Control 15LNylon1.3515916.4
Ytex MicroFiber-X 16Nylon1.2916114.49
Wilson Optimus 16Nylon1.2816115.13
Prince Premier Power 17Nylon1.2216213.21
Gosen Tecflex 16Nylon1.3116213.45
Dunlop Pearl 16Nylon1.2816313.61
Yonex Tour Super Solid × 130Nylon1.316316.28
Asics Resolution 16Nylon & Polyurethane1.2916412.35
Boris Becker Pulse 17Nylon1.2516412.61
Prince Premier Power 16Nylon1.2516413.27
Asics Challenger 17Nylon & Polyester1.2516512.61
Prince Premier Control 17Nylon1.2516512.7
Prince Premier Control 15Nylon1.3716514.51
Head FXP Tour 16Nylon & Polyester1.3316514.93
Gosen Tecgut Remplir 17Nylon & Polyurethane1.2316516.96
Tourna Quasi Gut Armor 16Nylon1.2916612.37
Victory Acelon Supermax 17Nylon & Polyurethane1.2516712.99
Asics Resolution 17Nylon & Polyurethane1.251689.59
Prince Premier Control 16Nylon1.3216814
Volkl Classic Synthetic Gut 16Nylon1.2916814.95
Babolat SG Spiraltek 16Nylon1.2717013.07
Asics Challenger 16Nylon & Polyester1.317013.56
Victory Acelon Supermax 16Nylon & Polyurethane1.2917013.65
Victory Acelon Advanced 17Polyester1.2317223.11
Tourna Big Hitter Silver 17Polyester1.217323.74
Tier One Sports Triumph 130Nylon1.3217412.13
Victory Acelon Synthetic Gut TCF 16Nylon1.3117514.4
Golden Set Dura Match 16 (Crosses)Nylon1.2917714
Ytex Touch 16Nylon1.3117911.89
Tourna Synthetic Gut Armor 17Nylon1.2417913.63
Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 17Polyester1.217921.79
Gamma FTX 17Nylon1.2418010.85
Yonex Poly Tour Pro 120Polyester1.1918121.08
Topspin Max ROTation 1.31Polyester1.2718219.54
Tourna Synthetic Gut Armor 16Nylon1.2918411.44
Golden Set Velvet 15LNylon1.3418412.65
Wilson Synthetic Gut Power 16Nylon1.2918613.03
Volkl Cyclone Tour 18Polyester1.1918622.18
Ytex Sintex 16Nylon1.2818911.45
Prince Tour XT 18Polyester1.2218921.39
Gamma FTX 16Nylon1.2919110.3
Pacific DuraTech Flex 15LNylon1.3219211.46
Volkl Cyclone Tour 17Polyester1.2419322.83
Tier One Sports T1 Firewire 120Polyester1.1919515.41
Gosen AK Pro Spin 15LNylon1.3719611.8
Volkl V Torque 18Polyester1.1819616.03
Topspin Max ROTation 1.27Polyester1.2319616.78
Tier One Sports DuraFluxx 118Polyester1.2119620.27
Volkl V Torque 16Polyester1.2619723.46
Prince Tour XP 15LPolyester1.3819818.46
Gosen AK Power 16Nylon1.3220011.29
Ytex ProTour 1.20Nylon1.1920017.73
Prince Tour XS 1.25+Polyester1.3720018.9
Volkl Cyclone Tour 16Polyester1.3220023.26
Pro Supex Ultra Spin 1.23Polyester1.2720120.06
Wilson Synthetic Gut Power 15Nylon1.3720214.51
Wilson NXT Power 17Nylon1.2720312.46
Gamma RZR Rx 17Thermoplastic Elastomer1.2820417.11
Volkl V Torque 17Polyester1.2120422.03
Wilson Synthetic Gut Control 16Nylon1.2820510.3
Head Sonic Pro Edge 16Polyester1.3120519.53
Tier One Sports Tour Status 120Polyester1.220615.86
Prince Tour XS 1.35+Polyester1.4520718.81
Golden Set Power Cord 17Polyester1.2420723.31
Volkl Cyclone 18Polyester1.220815.94
Gosen Polylon ILD 16LPolyester1.2620816.51
Wilson NXT Power 18Nylon1.242099.53
Luxilon ALU Power Feel 120Polyester1.220918.35
Signum Pro Thunderstorm 1.30Polyester1.3220920.04
Gamma Poly-Z 17Polyester1.2220922.91
Wilson Synthetic Gut Control 17Nylon1.2521010.39
Gamma iO 18Polyester1.1721016.78
Prince Tour XP 17Polyester1.2821019.25
Ytex Octo-Twist 1.28Polyester1.2921021.35
Wilson NXT Duramax 16Nylon1.342119.71
Gosen Polylon ILD 16Polyester1.3121117.35
Signum Pro Firestorm 1.30Polyester1.321321.21
Ytex Dynamic Black Power 1.18Polyester1.1521419.18
Victory Acelon Seven 16LPolyester1.2621517.31
Pacific Poly Power Pro Black Series 16Polyester1.321523.51
Prince Tour XP 16Polyester1.3121616.21
Golden Set Power Cord 16Polyester1.2921622.38
Tier One Sports Tour Status 125Polyester1.2621716.49
Head Hawk 17Polyester1.2321717.61
Boris Becker Bomber NYC 17Polyester1.2521815.15
Kirschbaum Super Smash Orange 1.23/17Polyester1.2321816.76
Victory Acelon Seven 17Polyester1.2121819.47
Wilson NXT Power 16Nylon1.312198.98
Gamma RZR Rx 16Thermoplastic Elastomer1.322015.92
Head Hawk 18Polyester1.2222016.78
Dunlop ICE 17Polyester1.222018.28
Dunlop ICE 16Polyester1.2922022.44
Tier One Sports T1 Firewire 125Polyester1.2922113.85
Kirschbaum Black Shark 1.25/17Polyester1.2322219.49
Babolat RPM Team 17Polyester1.2722416.54
Head Hawk 16Polyester1.2922418.46
Gamma Poly-Z 16Polyester1.2822423.44
Kirschbaum Pro Line × 1.25/17Polyester1.2322515.61
Ytex Trivolution Black 1.25Polyester1.2422519.18
Genesis Typhoon 16Polyester1.322521.94
Prince Tour XC 15Polyester1.422622.36
Luxilon 4G Rough 125Polyester1.2822717.57
Gamma iO 17Polyester1.2222815.41
Boris Becker Bomber NYC 16Polyester1.2522815.61
Ytex ProTour 1.25Nylon1.2523015.92
Wilson Ripspin 17Polyester1.2623018.39
Gamma Moto 17Polyester1.2423115.35
Tier One Sports DuraFluxx 123Polyester1.323115.67
Victory Acelon Advanced 16Polyester1.2823216.19
Prince Tour XC 17LPolyester1.223218.85
Wilson Shock Shield Mono 17Polyester1.2423220.66
Wilson Ripspin 15Polyester1.3423221.69
Kirschbaum Black Shark 1.30/16Polyester1.2923320.22
Yonex Poly Tour HS 130 16Polyester1.2723517.2
Wilson Ripspin 16Polyester1.2823520.18
Tier One Sports T1 Firewire 130Polyester1.3523614.18
Tier One Sports Tour Status 130Polyester1.2723614.66
Yonex Poly Tour Spin 125 16LPolyester1.2923615.79
Ytex Dynamic Black Power 1.23Polyester1.2323616.83
Kirschbaum Pro Line × 1.30/16Polyester1.3223616.92
Kirschbaum Super Smash Orange 1.28/16LPolyester1.2823717.86
Prince Tour XC 16LPolyester1.2623819.09
Tecnifibre ATP Razor Code 18Polyester1.223916.14
Gamma Moto 16Polyester1.2924013.83
Gamma Zo Dart 16Polyester1.2924215.1
Gamma iO 16Polyester1.2724215.51
Victory Acelon Seven 16Polyester1.2924316.09
Tier One Sports DuraFluxx 128Polyester1.2724416.87
Babolat RPM Dual 17Polyester1.2624514.37
Babolat RPM Dual 16Polyester1.2924516.03
Luxilon ALU Power 138Polyester1.3724719.94
Luxilon 4G 125Polyester1.2424913.3
Gamma Zo Dart 17Polyester1.2425015.06
Tecnifibre ATP Razor Code 17Polyester1.2525216.43
Gamma Zo Verve 16Polyester1.2925614.53
Genesis Black Magic 1.33Polyester1.3726618.7
Wilson Synthetic Gut Duramax 16LPolyester1.2726719.16
Luxilon 4G 130Polyester1.2926913.74
Ytex Dynamic Black Power 1.28Polyester1.2827015.85
Tecnifibre ATP Razor Code 16Polyester1.2927818.59
Luxilon 4G S 141Polyester1.4628715.65
Golden Set Dura Match 16 (Kevlar Mains)Kevlar1.2733610.81


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