It seems like yesterday the Australian Open was just getting started. Now were are entering the busy March Madness double header: Indian Wells and Miami. 2020 has already seen an impressive array of new racquets, but often tennis strings are overlooked for the shinier, more appealing racquets and apparel. Let’s explore what 2020 has given us thus far in the racquet string world.
Dominic Thiem switched to RPM Power last season, and has been continuing his impressive results. The string has a smooth surface, unique coating, and a more powerful response than RPM Blast. While still in the control category, RPM Power plays more comfortable than your average polyester string. The brand has found a way to create a softer polyester while maintaining a crisp feel. Our play-testers found a sightly tighter string tension suited them the best (52-55 pounds). RPM Power comes in a striking electric brown color in 16G (1.30mm) and 17G (1.25mm).
HEAD set out some seeding samples of “Confidential” late last year. Now we know the string is a co-polyester called Lynx Tour. Head’s Lynx tennis strings have thus far been on the softer, more powerful end of the polyester spectrum, but Lynx Tour vastly ups the control and spin factors. The string features a six-sided construction and it makes Lynx Tour the most spin friendly string in HEAD’s catalog. While still comfortable, Lynx Tour is firmer and more controlled than any other Lynx string. Lynx Tour is available in sets of 16G (1.30mm) and 17G (1.25mm) in Champagne (Tan) color.
Solinco has garnered an impressive following among professional, collegiate, and high performance juniors. Tour Bite still resides in tons of pro player racquets, and Hyper-G, the bright green string, seems to be everywhere. After years of pro player testing, Solinco Confidential is finally here.
Confidential has a unique structure to help generate spin, and it plays between Tour Bite and Hyper G as far as firmness goes. Solinco recommends waiting 24 hours after stringing to let the string settle in before hitting. Our play-testers found Confidential to perform best between 45-50 pounds. Solinco offers Confidential in 16G (1.30mm), 16L (1.25mm), 17G (1.20mm), and 18G (1.15mm).
Wilson continues their impressive tradition with a tweak to the popular NXT multifilament string. NXT Soft offers 30% more elongation than the original NXT, as well as 26% more filaments. Expect NXT Soft to be more powerful and shock absorbent than any other version. NXT Soft is a great string to soften up a firmer racquet, and make it more arm friendly. NXT Soft is available in blue and silver colors in 16G (1.30mm).
Yonex celebrated the launch of their Ezone racquets by offering a new blue color for their most popular co-polyester string. Poly Tour Pro, is also now available in an ultra thin 18G (1.15mm) for an amazing amount of spin with improved power and feel. It is one of the more arm-friendly co-polyester strings around, and is used on tour by Nick Kyrgios, Frances Tiafoe, Steve Johnson, and Belinda Bencic. Poly Tour Pro is available in blue, flash yellow, and graphite colors in 16G (1.30mm), 16L (1.25mm), 17G (1.20mm), and 18G (1.15mm).
One of the best-strings-in-the-business is back with some new gauge variations. ALU Power now comes in 16G (1.30mm), and 18G (1.15mm), to go along with the world renowned 16L (1.25mm). Expect the thicker gauge to offer increased tension maintenance and the thinner version to provide more power and spin, with a slight dip in durability.
It is easy to miss new strings when they hit the market because we are so focused on racquets, shoes, and apparel, but in the first quarter of 2020 the top brands have delivered some surefire winners. Now is the time to stock up!
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