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2 piece Tennis string

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A Master Racquet Technician considers the advantages of using two-piece stringing.

By Tim Strawn

You and your customer have chosen a frame, using our Racquet Selection Map. Now, the frame needs to be strung. For years the debate has raged on among racquet technicians as to whether one-piece or two-piece stringing is better.

This of course, is a personal decision that every technician is faced with from the moment they decide to take up the challenge of learning to string a racquet. They will, through personal experiences and encounters along the way, decide for themselves which method they prefer.

However, one point needs to be emphasized before we proceed: The technician’s primary goal is to see that the racquet maintains its original shape after the stringing process is completed.

We know that the racquet is going to “breathe” and the shape is going to change during the stringing process. But, if you were to take measurements of the racquet before and after stringing, you want those two measurements to be as close to the same as possible.

Some technicians reading this probably are already saying that you can’t just do one method over the other all of the time. For the record, they’re right. There are touring pros who prefer patterns that are rarely, if ever, used in a typical tennis shop, like a triple-box ATW (around the world) pattern. There are also some racquets that can benefit from bottom-up installation of the cross strings.

I’m making no attempt here to circumvent other available patterns. The purpose is to point out that in the majority of cases, two-piece stringing just makes good common sense. Let’s take a closer look.

We know that on many racquets the main strings end at the throat. If you were to use one piece of string and a standard stringing pattern (not a version of an ATW), you would end up stringing the cross strings from the bottom up to the top. Some manufacturers, Yonex for instance, recommend two-piece stringing and their intent is to make sure that you install the cross strings from top to bottom. The reasoning behind this is that the yoke of the racquet (the Y-shaped piece just above the handle) is the strongest part of the frame. Each time you install a cross string the stress on the racquet builds in the direction you’re weaving. The idea is to reduce the stress as much as possible, and pointing it in the direction of the strongest part of the racquet is a good place to start.

Through the years there have been enough arguments presented and some thoughtful insights from fellow technicians that I decided to do a little digging on the subject. Here are some of the things I’ve uncovered.

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