Construction: 100% Zyex Monofilament
Color: Black and Natural
Gauge: 16L (1.27mm)
Length: 40' and 360'
Test Racquet / Tension
Head Graphene XT Speed MPA 16x19 @ 54lbs
Up until recently, Ashaway was probably most known for producing Kevlar strings designed for players seeking durability at all costs. With introduction of their Monogut ZX string, Ashaway is targeting players looking for the power and comfort of gut or multifilament, but in a more durable package. The monofilament string is made entirely of a material called Zyex. Zyex has excellent dynamic stiffness and a high degree of elasticity, giving it exceptional power and feel with the added durability of a monofilament design. I spent some time hitting with Monogut ZX recently and here’s a look at what I found.
There is excellent access to power with Monogut ZX. The power level is much closer to gut or multifilament strings and it plays livelier than most polyesters. I found the power level to be more consistent on this version than the thinner ZX Pro version. While players still want to be cautious about going too low on tension, the string provides noticeable pop throughout a range of tensions. The elasticity of the string provides good ball pocketing resulting in a smooth, controlled feel. The string has good directional accuracy even with the heightened power level. Spin production was a bit better than nylon but not quite at the level of many modern, spin oriented polyesters. I still had access to enough spin to control depth and create margin on my shots without losing the ability to flatten out balls when I was taking the offensive.
Feel / Comfort
The unique construction of Monogut ZX means that feel and comfort are the premium characteristics of the string. The string is incredibly elastic, something evident as soon as you string it. This allows it to have excellent ball pocketing and flex on contact. I executed touch and drop shots with ease because of the ample amount of feel the string offers. The solid connection to the play also allows players to hit with confidence from all areas of the court, knowing exactly how the ball is reacting off the string bed. Players looking for comfort will also find plenty of positives with Monogut ZX. The elasticity and low stiffness provide a plush feel on contact no matter the area of the string bed. The high level of comfort also makes this string ideal for use in hybrid applications to soften up a polyester string.
The durability of Monogut ZX is on par or better than most monofilament polyesters. There was a slow build up of notching over the course of use and I eventually broke the strings around the 15 hour mark. Any string that gets into double digit court hours for me gives a good impression for durability. This version also holds tension a bit better than the thinner Pro version, allowing it to play with a bit more consistency over the course of its life. The blend of power off the ground, feel for volleying and solid spin makes this string a strong all court performer capable of suiting multiple play styles and levels. It’s all court response along with its high degree of feel and comfort makes it easy to play in either a full set or part of a hybrid with a polyester string. Much like its ZX Pro sibling, this string is very noisy during play. It produces a unique, high pitched creak/squeak on contact and may take some getting used to.
Players looking for the classic feel and performance of gut with the modern durability of a monofilament and a more tolerable price point should give serious consideration to Ashaway’s Monogut ZX. Its Zyex construction results in exceptionally low stiffness for excellent power and feel, while the solid single piece construction provides durability and quality tension maintenance. Monogut ZX is a string capable of meeting the needs of a wide variety of players and styles and its versatility and unique attributes make it more than worthy of a trial by any player.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.