Women and Tennis Strings
At the very top level of the professional game there is a specialist stringing company and they look after some of the best male players in the world. They provide an annual service where they do everything from customised grip pallets to weight matching to onsite tournamwnt stringing.
The reason I mention them is that I recently came across an interview done by the owner, where he was asked about why he has no female clients. I find his answer hard to believe but he said "that the female players do not take their stringing as serious as the male players".
There are a few ways to look at his answer, the first is that the women are more than happy with the service provided at each tournament, where some of the most experienced stringers in the world form part of the teams. I know Nadal is one of the players who always uses the stringing service provided at each tournament.
The other is, he's right and the female players don't pay enough attention to this aspect of their equipment. You would hope and imagine the first is more the reason.
That said, from my own experience (more than 25 years stringing) I do find that men are more vocal about what they want and more adventurous when it comes to picking a string. They may not always have the correct information but they will definitely ask more questions.
There are no definitive rules when it comes to choosing a string, every player is different but there are guidelines that should be explained properly and decide from there.
The choice of strings is the same for men and women, as is the criteria for choosing string. You must take into account the racket they are playing with, their physical size, the style of game they play and any feedback they might give you to help with the selection.
I am not referring to professional players here, I am talking about club and social players that I have dealt with over the years. Generally speaking most of the womens rackets that I have strung are under 300 grams of weight. Based on an article by Tecnifibre, and generally recommended by the other brands, any racket that weighs less than 300 grams is stiff enough and would not require the player using polyester strings.
If a female player does currently use polyester and is unsure about it, or their racket is under 300 grams or they are considering using polyester because it has been recommended to them, I generally try to get them to try a hybrid setup, where I put the poly in the crosses and a nylon or multifilament in the mains. This adds the control that they might want but still keeps the stringbed reasonably soft.
My first preference is a good multifilament. From here we can use a thicker gauge for more control or raise the tension, or a thinner gauge or lower tension for increased power. It's hard to beat a nice multifilament!
The biggest problem I encounter when talking to female players about their game and string is embarrassment. Embarrassment in case they say something that makes them sound foolish or that, even though they have been playing for a longtime they don't actually know much, if anything about strings. The reality is most people know a lot less than they think.
So unfortunately they seem to listen to the advice of someone at the club or aren't lucky enough to have a qualified stringer in their area that will share the correct information with them.
I have found once you explain how each string performs and how the correct choice can help their game, most choose a multifilament or a hybrid because the majority of club and social players are looking for more power.
They also like the idea that softer strings are easier on your arm.
For me the most important thing with all my customers is to talk to them, and do it in a way that they don't feel foolish.
Explain things properly to them and they generally make the correct choice themsleves.