After three grueling months of stress and tension (pun intended) the Tennis String Showdown is complete. We tested out seven different strings and string combinations throughout the play-test period. To make up the play test, each set of strings were used in matches, practices, and hitting sessions. All strings were tested on a Dunlop Aerogel 500 tour for about 2-3 weeks, or until they broke.
Most “Well Rounded” (Power, spin, control)
The Nominees: Volkl Cyclone Tour, Acelon Advanced and Acelon Seven Hybrid Combo, and Tourna Big Hitter Blue Rough
The Winner: Tourna Big Hitter Blue Rough
Tourna really came through with the Big Hitter Blue Rough (BHBR). Being a company that is almost only known for their over grips honestly surprised me with this one. The BHBR is probably one of my favorite strings I’ve ever used. This string stacks up against big name manufactures like Babolat and Luxilon. As an all court player I had plenty of touch at the net and still able to deliver a blistering down the line forehand. I initially strung them at 56lb, but soon realized it was too tight. Not giving up on them I strung them again at 50lbs and they played perfectly for about three weeks until I cut them off to move onto the next set to review.
Final thoughts: The BHBR is an all around solid string. While it does not have the most power, generate the most spin, or best control I would rate the BHBR good-very good in each of those catagories, making it the most “well-rounded”. Lastly I would not rule out any of the nominees that we chose, they are all great strings. This was based off personal playing styles and you should not hesitate to try them out either.
The Nominees: Acelon Advanced and Acelon Seven, Babolat XCel and Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour, Head RIP Power and Head RIP Feel (Intellistring).
The Winner: Acelon Advanced and Acelon Seven
As we expected you probably never heard of Acelon. This is why we decided to put them on the big stage, with the big guns in an “If you’re not first, you’re last” market. While I am sure there are better hybrid combos out there, do not think twice about trying this combination out. In our opinion this preformed better then Babolat XCel and Pro Hurricane Tour in the play test. The general consensus on the Babolat combo was that it was quite stiff and not very durable as far as hybrids go, lasting only three matches, about four sets. The Acelon hybrid was initially a letdown. When first playing with the strings I felt no power at all, they felt completely dead. I let the strings set for a few more days before I gave it another try. The second time around I was pleasantly surprised. After hitting for about 45 minutes the strings were in full gear. Solid top spin, decent power, and durable enough to go the entire play test without breaking.
Final Thoughts: If you are skeptical, I understand. If you already discovered your dream hybrid that works for you, stick with it. If not, give the guys over at Acelon a shot, maybe you will be as surprised as I am. Both mains and crosses were strung at 52lbs
Best on a Budget (Less than $10 a set)
The Nominees: Tourna Big Hitter Blue Rough, Tourna Big Hitter Black 7, Volkl Cyclone Tour
The Winner: Tourna Big Hitter Blue Rough
Coming in at only $8.95 you cannot beat this. For almost half the price of power-house string companies charging $15.00-$20.00 for a single set of strings. As you saw earlier, the BHBR was voted as Most “Well rounded”. So this should tell you that the price tag doesn’t always determine quality.
Final Thoughts: All of Tourna’s strings are a great go-to if you don’t want to drop $15-$20 on a set of strings, the BHBR was my favorite of the bunch. The Cyclone Tour plays similar to the BHBR with a price tag of $9.99, try that out too, and give us your feedback!
We loved the “Carolina” Blue color on the BHBR
The Nominees: Tourna Big Hitter Blue Rough, Volkl Cyclone Tour, Dunlop Black Widow, Babolat Xcel and Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour Hybrid Combo
The Winner: Dunlop Black Widow
As far as this showdown goes, the Dunlop Black Widow is in a league of its own when it came to control. Painting sidelines and easily hitting some of the most unforgivable angles from anywhere on the court the Dunlop Black Widow is like a Flexjet card, this string has no problem getting you where you want to be when you want to be there.
Final Thoughts: While the Black Widow does not lack power, it definitely shouldn’t be recognized for it. So, if you have the power, and are lacking control give the Black Widow shot, and leave your opponents in disbelief. Felt good at about 53lbs
Best in Spin
The Nominees: Acelon Seven, Tourna Big Hitter Black 7, Dunlop Black Widow
The Winner: Tourna Big Hitter Black 7
There is no question why this razor-wire string was named #1 in spin out of 163 other strings by RSI. The Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 is straight up nasty. If you like the spin Babolat RPM Blast, but not stiffness and guaranteed side effect of tendonitis, BHB7 is your new go-to. Very similar to the Dunlop Black Widow, I was more comfortable with this, I felt was able to get some more power with the BHB7.
Final Thoughts: If you are a topspin enthusiast, get this string. It is a MUST buy, you will love it. Felt great at about 50lbs. Give us your feedback!!
We completely support the RSI’s #1 in Spin award, well deserved
Personal favorite: Tourna Big Hitter Black 7
As a spin junky I loved the BHB7. The softer poly was much better than the Babolat RPM Blast; I felt no pain on my arm during the play test. I loved the feel and control, the somewhat limited power was not a problem, considering I already have a big swing and the extra power is not a necessity. This played similarly to the Dunlop Black Widow but being $3 cheaper I will almost always go with the BHB7. Chances are this will now be my full-time string until we have another “String Showdown”, to see if someone can de-throne the Tourna Big Hitter Black 7