The string pattern expresses how many main and cross strings your tennis racket has. The number of main strings is always given first and followed by the number of cross strings.
For example, with a 16×19 string pattern, the racket has 16 main strings and 19 cross strings. The most common string patterns of tennis rackets are 16×19 or 18×20. Depending on the number of strings, we distinguish between an open and a closed string pattern.
An open string pattern (e.g. 16×19) means that the racket has fewer mains and crosses. Accordingly, the distance between the strings is greater. With an open string pattern, you generally benefit from solid acceleration and high spin.
In this case, the strings give more slack, allowing the tennis ball to penetrate deeper into the string bed of the racket. This effect is also called the “trampoline effect”.
A disadvantage is that the strings are subjected to a lot of stress and therefore the durability is reduced. In addition, the control of the stroke is worse with this string pattern.
We advise you to choose an open string pattern if you are still a beginner or if you like to play with spin.
With a closed string pattern (e.g. 18×20) the tennis racket has more strings than with an open string pattern. The smaller spacing between the individual strings makes the string bed appear somewhat stiffer.
The ball can therefore no longer penetrate so deeply into the string bed when hitting the ball. With a closed string pattern, your racket has less acceleration and less spin potential, but you have more control over the shot.
In addition, the strings have a better durability, as they are less worn out. Most experienced players and professionals prefer a closed string pattern.