The four most important factors
Natural gut is the recommended choice for players with arm problems. It is used more in hybrids, combining polyester mains with natural gut crosses. Natural gut offers maximum feel and control due to its low dynamic stiffness.
(Co-) Polyester is the material which is used in monofilament strings. Co-Polyester strings became very popular with ATP (and WTA) players, because it provides added durability and doesn't move. During the past few years polyester based strings have become softer (i.e. easier on the arm). These strings are ideal for players searching for durability with control and spin. There are three different lines of MSV co-polyesters strings:
• MSV FOCUS-HEX® line (hexagonal profile)
• MSV Co.-FOCUS line (round profile) and
• MSV TWIST line (twisted string) – all offering a broad range of different strings and benefits.
Polyamid/Nylon based strings are normally made of a single nylon core and various resistant wraps of smaller filaments. This construction technique provides all-around performance by combining the improved tension maintenance of the solid core while improving the feel and playability by utilizing the outer wraps. This string's performance has improved over the years, providing dynamic response and feel enjoyed by players of various levels. MSV’s Polyamid based portfolio includes five different string models.
Aramid/Kevlar - The most durable string available. Aramid is very stiff and strings up very tight. Therefore, it is usually combined with nylon to reduce the string bed stiffness (Aramid main strings, nylon cross strings). Players trying Aramid hybrids for the first time (from nylon strings) are recommended to reduce tension by 10% to compensate for the added stiffness. Not recommended for beginners or players with arm injuries. A special elastomeric bonding treatment employed in the ultra thin gauge of the MSV Technora NRT 100 string creates increased power and spin control with excellent resistance to tension loss.
There is a broad variety of string constructions and profiles to achieve specific performance benefits. It includes
• solid core with one outer wrap or multi wrap
• multifilament • multicore with wraps
• textured / structured
• twisted • composites
Structured strings like hexagonal strings (MSV FOCUS-HEX® line) or heptagonal strings (MSV HEPTA-TWIST) offer greater spin potential and control compared to strings with round profile.
The below table shows the impact of the gauge on the various performance benefits
String Gauges and Diameters in millimeters
15 = 1.41-1.49 mm
15L = 1.34-1.40 mm
16 = 1.26-1.33 mm
16L = 1.22-1.26 mm
17 = 1.20-1.24 mm
17L = 1.16-1.20 mm
18 = 1.10-1.16 mm
19 = 1.00-1.10 mm
4. STRING TENSION
Tension is the final piece in the racquet-string-tension triad. It’s also the least understood by most recreational players. Let’s start with the basics - lower tensions provide more power, tighter tensions provide more control. This is a very general rule of thumb and assumes a certain level of player ability (especially the control part). A beginning player may need more control but tighter string tensions aren’t the solution. This player needs a soft, forgiving string bed that lower tensions provide due to the frequency of off-center hits. Advanced players who swing fast and hit hard usually need more control and will, therefore, benefit from tighter tensions. There are, of course, always exceptions but these generalizations apply to the majority of players.
Each racquet has a recommended tension range. This range has been determined by the manufacturer as a result of extensive play testing by real players. If a player doesn’t have a specific need (more power, arm problems, etc.), he should start at mid-range and make any adjustments from there. Otherwise, here are some specific guidelines for selecting a string tension. Tension is like gauge — you just have to decide if you want to go up or down. There are some more complex systems used by stringers that involve stringing some strings tighter than others. But, most players have their strings all installed at the same tension.
• Looser strings soften the stringbed reducing shock. Good for arm problems.
• Looser strings may also translate into deeper shots.
• Creates a bigger sweetspot (area of the stringbed where you get the cleanest and most powerful shots).
• Crisper feel.
• More control on strokes, helping to keep balls from flying long.
The MSV MiniSTT electronically measures the tension of your string bed in 10 sec. and helps you to understand the most appropriate tension for a successful play. More than 14,000 MSV MiniSTT devices were sold globally since its launch in 2000.