How to Straighten Tennis Strings

Anyone who has recently got their racket restrung may notice that their strings are not straight on their racket (especially on the cross strings). This is a regular occurrence and can be fixed quite easily.

This article will look at why you should straighten your tennis strings, some easy ways you can use to straighten your tennis strings and some steps you can take to stop your tennis stings from moving.

Table of Contents

How to Straighten Tennis Strings
How to Straighten Tennis Strings

Why should you straighten your tennis strings?

You should always try and keep your tennis strings as straight as possible as straight strings provide the following benefits:

  • They help you to hit cleaner groundstrokes that are more consistent
  • They help you get more power on your serves
  • They help get more touch and feel on your volleys, drop volleys and drop shots.

How to Straighten Tennis Strings

There are a couple of ways you can use to straighten your tennis Strings including using your thumbs, using a setting off awl tool or using the String Thing String Straightening Device.

1. Using your Thumbs

Using your thumbs is probably the simplest and most cost effective way to straighten your strings. I would recommend placing your racket in front of a wall with a contrasting colour to the colour of the strings so that you can more easily see whether the strings are straight or not.

I always start with the cross strings as these are the more likely to be out of place. I then use my two thumbs to adjust the strings one by one until they are all straight. Then I turn the racket over and do the exact same thing to the mains strings.

It only takes a couple of minutes to do but can make a big difference to the power, touch, feel and consistency of your tennis shots.

2. Using a Setting Off Awl Tool

This is a tool that is mainly used by stringers who have to string a lot of rackets as if you are using your thumbs to straighten the strings your thumbs can become sore. By using a setting off awl tool, you can avoid this and save your thumbs.

3. String Thing String Straightening Device

The String Thing String Straightening Device is a tool you can use to straighten your strings in less than a minute.

Below is a video from Tennis Warehouse, showing Mark Philippoussis demoing the String Thing String Straightening Device, which is available to buy from the Tennis Warehouse website.

How do I stop my tennis strings from moving?

There are a couple of steps you can take if you want to reduce the amount of movement in your tennis strings.

1. Switch to a Polyester String Setup

Polyester strings move much less than other string types e.g. multifilaments or natural gut so if you want to reduce the amount of movement in your strings then switching to an all polyester string bed is a good option.

2. Avoid Synthetic Gut Strings

Synthetic Gut Strings are often used in cheaper under $100 tennis rackets and know for moving a lot and requiring frequent adjustments to keep the strings straight so they are best avoided.

3. Increase your string tension

Increasing your string tension will help to keep the strings from moving but remember that will also affect how the racket plays so if you are a player that likes to play with low tension in their strings then this may not be an option for you.

How Often Should I Straighten my Tennis Strings?

The answer to this really depends on what string setup you have i.e. if you are using a Synthetic Gut then you may find that you have to adjust your strings after every point whereas if you are using a polyester setup then you may not find you have to adjust your strings at all during a match.