Tier One Black Knight Review and Play Test
String: Tier One Black Knight (17 1.25 mm)
Construction: Co-Polyester (6 Sided)
Racket Used: Babolat Aero Pro Drive
Tension: 60 lbs (about 27 kg)
Cost: $9 a set
Black Knight – What You Need to Know
Tier One has a great reputation and I can see why. This is one of the best high performance polyester strings money can buy. When you consider it’s just $9 it’s a great bargain as well. Black Knight was the first Tier One string I tried and within about 10 minutes of hitting I was a believer. This string is designed for the high performance player so if you don’t take massive swings at the ball you’ll be left wanting for more power. However if you’re a fan of strings like Genesis Black Magic, Luxilon Alu Power, or Babolat RPM Blast this is a must try string.
Black Knight – What I Loved
I felt confident taking huge cuts at the ball when playing against opponents hitting with a lot of pace and spin. A lot of times I tend to fly the ball long against those type of players (user error) but with this string I could take big cuts and for the most part not worry about sailing balls. That’s what I really loved about this string. I had another racket with Black Magic in it and while they both offer the same degree of control I found myself preferring Black Knight because the response off the string bed was crisper and more rewarding. I liked it on serve more than I thought but it’s still not as nice as Hyper-G or other textured Polys when it comes to serve.
Black Knight – What I Hated
The only thing I didn’t particularly like was that when the string went dead (after about 9 hours) it really went dead. It happened pretty suddenly and soon after I had to put the racket down and I didn’t pick it up again. When this occurred the string felt very boardy and the feel on the arm wasn’t particularly pleasant either. Unlike Hyper-G that I can leave in my frame until it breaks I had to cut this one out. This isn’t uncommon for polyesters and it’s something you do expect but if I had to say something negative for this string that would be it.
Great Value. Players who currently use RPM Blast, Alu Power, or another high performance polyester would want to give this one a try to see how it compares. A reel of Black Knight will cost you $129 compared to the $245 you’d spend on Blast.
Who this string IS for
Like the package states I’d say this string is designed for the high performance high school, college, or professional player. If you are looking for maximum control and like to take a super big/fast swing at the ball this string is for you. If you rely on the string/racket to generate even just a fraction of you’re power there are better options out there.
Who this string is NOT for
Pretty much every other type of player not listed above. This is a control orientated string designed for players who take big swings at the ball and generate their own power. There will be some 3.5’s player who could benefit from this string but again it’s all about how you swing. This string isn’t an arm killer but it’s definitely not arm friendly either.
For Polyester Users who take a massive cut at the ball black knight is a MUST TRY.
Against players who really hit hard I prefer this string to Hyper-G (#1 on my Polyester Power Rankings) because I don’t fear missing long as much. However, against all over play styles I’d still go Hyper-G for the little extra pop and power.