The Miracle String? MSV Focus-Hex Plus 38 Review

The Miracle String? MSV Focus-Hex Plus 38 Review

by Michael Flanigan

Speaking broadly, tennis strings fall into two categories: Elastic, powerful strings such as guts and multifilaments; and the stiffer, control-orientated polyester strings.

Today, many advanced players use polyester strings for their greater access to spin and higher degree of control at lower tensions. However, the critical disadvantage of polyester strings is the same characteristic that offers up so much control: The stiffness.

This makes a polyester setup unforgiving and underpowered, which can hold back recreational and junior players from performing at their best, particularly from the back of the court. Switching to a springier, multifilament, or gut string would solve the power issues.

However, these strings will reduce spin access, not to mention offer inferior durability for string-breakers. However, the engineers at MSV Strings have come up with a solution. A further improvement to their Focus-Hex Plus 25 string, Focus-Hex Plus 38 is a uniquely forgiving polyester.

It offers up to 38% more elasticity over a standard poly string – a characteristic I noticed immediately when I first strung with it, as Focus-Hex Plus stretches far more than any other polyester I’ve ever strung with, behaving much closer to a gut or multifilament string when tension is pulled.

The result of this uniquely elastic polyester is a very comfortable setup for a full stringbed of polyester. This makes it perfect as a transition string for juniors looking to move from multi string to polyester, as the extra elasticity of the stringbed greatly reduces the risk of injury.

It’s also very useful for accomplished players who are looking for more power from their racket, but don’t want to compromise on the durability or access to spin that a full polyester setup offers. However, despite the incredible performance of Focus-Hex Plus 38, no string – not even a “miracle string” like this – is perfect.

To start, this string can lack the “sharpness” in feel that many newer polyesters offer, resulting in a stringbed that can be a little dull in response. As a solution, I recommend using a hybrid string setup, with Focus-Hex Plus crossed with a gut or multifilament string, which will add some much-needed liveliness to the stringbed, as well as soften the feel further still.

Following on, it’s worth noting the tension maintenance is... not great. Polyesters are expected to lose tension rather quickly, and Focus-Hex Plus 38 suffers from this trope and then some. The comfortable nature of MSV Focus-Hex Plus 38 means the notorious dead polyester arm pain is staved off a little longer, however the racket’s control takes a severe dive.

Competitive players, including juniors, should look to have rackets strung regularly, if they’d like to keep the ball in court. But despite these minor, addressable issues, the take-home message is Focus-Hex Plus 38 is one of the most interesting and distinct strings I’ve hit with in years.

While I have strung using a lot of competitive juniors’ rackets with this string, it’s also been utilised by players of all levels, including professionals. Former Czech WTA player Petra Krejsova, who achieved a career-high doubles ranking of 158 in July 2018, using this string.


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