Best Tennis Racquet

Tennis is a multi-billion-dollar business drawing attention from millions of spectators around the world each year. However, reputation of many famous players have been seriously dented in the wake of the recent doping scandals alleging that they relied heavily on using power-enhancing chemical substances rather than their ability to manage their bodies and muscles more effectively.

Nevertheless, examples of such renowned players as Djokovic or Sharapova may still make one’s heart skip a bit when one thinks about oneself in a tennis gear. Finally, the decision has been reached – you would like to start practicing this game yourself. What should you begin with? Let us start with one of the most important paraphernalia in your future tennis games – the tennis racquet.

How to Choose the Best Tennis Racquet

Unfortunately, there is no universal tennis racquet that can be used by anyone. Everything is extremely individual here, therefore you need to read carefully below information to be able to choose what you really will need soon. A word of caution must be made as many beginners prefer buying very expensive professional gear imitating their tennis idol or thinking that this is the way to success. This is not the case because purchasing such equipment will not give you any advantage in the game if you are a novice player.

First you need to consider what you would like to achieve in general. If you would just like to practice this is one thing; if you would like to improve your already available tennis skills, then this is a completely different goal.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Tennis Racquet

There are several factors that a buyer of a tennis racquet needs to keep in mind to make his choice best to herself/himself. The factors are:

  • Weight and Balance of the Racquet
  • Stiffness of the Racquet’s Frame
  • Head Size
  • Length of the Racquet
  • Strings Pattern

Factor #1: Weight and Balance of the Racquet

This factor will play an important role on how you feel the racquet in your hands. The main rule here is that the heavier the racquet, the less vibration the player will feel. The opposite is also true. However, a lighter racquet allows player to perform more manoeuvres and a greater swing which is also required for a good game.

There are heavy racquets with a balance shifted towards the handle. They are used mainly by professional players and usually weigh from 300 to 400 grams. Their balance is usually shifted 1-4 cm to the handle so that the racquet retains manoeuvrability. Overall, they are aimed for professional gamers who have already acquired necessary skills and power.

Light racquets has its balance shifted towards the string frame. This gear is popular among novice players. They give even to a beginner a feel of lightness and thus confidence because one’s hands and wrists are not tired even after hours of practice. While some people note that these tools are extremely prone to vibration and lack a sturdiness of heavier racquets, nevertheless there are ways to use them. One thing should be certain, there are pros and cons of either of two.

Factor #2: Stiffness of the Racquet’s Frame

This criterion should be understood as rim’s ability to withstand pressure from the strikes. Currently tennis gear manufacturers use a scale from 55 to 75 lbs. The higher this number, the less the racquet deforms during the strike and, thus, absorbs the speed of the ball. The vice versa scenario is true as well. There is a popular myth among many tennis players that the more racquet deforms from the strike of the ball, the more energy it will eventually return to the ball. Computer simulation and practice show that this is untrue, the rim plays no role in speeding up the ball.

This feature of the racquet contributes also to the overall comfort of the game. Many professional players prefer tools with minimum harshness to make the playing experience less tiresome as they reduce the vibration considerably. Thus, if you have problems with your wrists, hands or joints (such as rheumatism) you’d be better off selecting a racquet with lower harshness.

Factor #3: Head Size

The striking capacity of the racquet depends on its string surface area. The tool with the larger area will provide the ball with more speed than the one with a smaller area. Current models have areas of 220 to 350 sq inches. Racquets in the middle of above criteria usually offer balanced approach to speed and power. Beginners should concentrate on models with slightly larger areas since they will be able to catch balls with more striking surface. For professionals who have their own tricks this is usually not the issue and they tend to choose control over comfort i.e. racquets with smaller area.

Factor #4: Length of the Racquet

Modern day racquets range from 27 to 29 inches in length. The optimal length is 27 inches while longer racquets allow to cover greater area during the professional game matches like the one at Wimbledon. Moreover, the latter are lighter than the traditional ones.

Factor #5: Strings Pattern

This factor sometimes is ignored by beginners. However, they need to understand that this feature greatly influences the tennis game. For instance, if the strain is low (i.e. strings are not close to each other), then after the strike of the ball, the racquet will speed up the ball. It may even become curved if the strike is make in a right manner. Therefore, players who would like to seek additional rotation of the ball should pay attention to the racquets with lower strain of strings. Please bear in mind that this may also reduce the lifetime of your product because strings will deform easily after each strike.

Best Tennis Racquets

There are three major tennis manufacturers in the US now. We have tested and reviewed one tennis racquet suitable for beginner tennis player from each of them based on Amazon bestselling items and customers’ feedback.

So the top 3 tennis racquets are:

  1. Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket
  2. 2016 Babolat Play Pure Aero Tennis Racquet
  3. Head YouTek IG Prestige MP Tennis Racquet

1. Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket

This is one of the bestselling models available for Amazon consumers now although it first appeared in supermarkets in 1999! It can be considered by someone as outdated, still it continues to show stellar performance in many games. Therefore, we have included it in our review.

Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket

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About the manufacturer: Wilson

This company was founded in 1913 and is currently one of the world leaders in manufacturing tennis equipment. It is famous for bringing new technologies and constantly improving the quality of its products.

Feature #1: Well Balanced

This racquet is 27.5 inches long which is slightly more than traditional models. This means that a player will be able to reach even curved balls during the game; overall good manoeuvrability is a trademark of this model. While it is heavy in the head it does not feel “heavy” at all in one’s hands during a game. At the same time, it has all the power of the similar truly heavy in the head models.

Players who usually prefer full swing will love this racquet. However, it is very difficult to actually spin the ball with this kind of racquets so if this is your favorite game style, make a note for yourself while selecting the right product. Moreover, several reports confirm that performing volleys with this product is the easiest thing to do. Not so with the groundstrokes though.

Feature #2: Confusing Names

There are two models of this racquet on the market: Midplus and Oversize. They absolutely differ in quality so please make sure that you understand which model you intend to buy. The current review is about Midplus model only.

Feature #3: Very Stiff

Novice players may be uncomfortable with very high and visible stiffness of this Wilson racquet. You will notice that after half an hour of intensive practice with this product your ball will lose some of its fur. So please make sure you have stored enough tennis ball with this product.

Feature #4: Material

The manufacturer used graphite and hyper carbon for this racquet. This contributed to overall lightweight of this product. One will be able to play with it for hours provided that previously one was used to its peculiarities and features as mentioned above and practiced a lot. Otherwise one can become easily exhausted with its performance on the court. If you are looking for truly heavy racquet this is also not the right choice for you. Experienced players may also prefer variations of this model that allow to spin a ball more effectively.

Real Users Feedback

Let’s now see what people’s experience with this product may tell a potential would-be buyer. Customers usually express satisfaction with this racquet as it provides them with the necessary feeling of control and one can serve many balls with it. Others also highlighted its lightweight which makes a player more eager to concentrate on risky techniques of repelling the incoming balls.  People also notice that one should practice with it a lot since the first balls will land in the net irrespective of one’s previous qualifications. It simply requires time for players to get adjusted to it.

Customers also say it vibrates a lot. Many notice cracks and loose strings after couple of months’ usage so it is necessary to carefully examine the racquet after each game and strengthen the springs as necessary. Other mention that it is best suited for beginners; experienced players may prefer to have something more powerful.

Pros
  • Gives a good sense of control
  • Relatively powerful with oversized head
  • Lightweight
  • Famous Brand
  • Allows to serve balls easily with practice
Cons
  • Requires time to get used to playing with it
  • Vibrates
  • Strings and frame needs to be checked to avoid early breakage

2. Babolat Play Pure Aero Tennis Racquet

This is one of the ultra-modern products available at the market today with many interesting features. Besides, Rafael Nadal used it for many tennis matches during his career on court.

Babolat Pure Aero Play Tennis Racquet

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About the manufacturer

Babolat is another famous producer of good quality rackets with great history. The company was founded in 1875 in France specializing in tennis strings and it released its first tennis racquet in 1994.

Feature #1: Latest Technology

This nice tennis gear is equipped with the latest technological developments in the sports. Thanks to its “AeroModular2” technology, this racquet is one of the fastest you can find these days. It is characterized by extremely good aerodynamic effects allowing it to increase its trampoline effect tremendously in comparison with similar models. At the same time, it is efficient in reducing vibration so the player can feel the ball without any disturbances.

Feature #2: Powerful and Stable

It is powerful and very stable product allowing a player to perform impressive swings. It should be a “weapon” of choice for players who look for both the good speed of the ball and ability to spin it effortlessly thanks to its FSI SPIN feature. It also available in many colors and your racquet will not be mistaken for another one on the court. So if you would like stand a bit out of crowd, pay an attention to it.

Feature #3: Interactive

If you have ever wondered what is your game style’s pros and cons you will love this feature of this product. The racquet has special interactive sensors integrated in its handle. They will provide you with all possible information about how you play, the average speed of the ball, number of strokes, etc. You can download a special application for your iOS and Android device and sync information from the sensors to your notebook. This will allow anyone to establish a reliable personal performance map over the time to understand whether the player progresses with her/his skills or otherwise. Your personal trainer is truly in your hands! And you can truly play with utmost dedication with this tool since you know you will be able to see your game’s ups and downs with your own eyes afterwards!

Real Users Feedback

Customers say that this tool helped them a lot to improve their gaming style and many call it a “game changer”. Although it might be a little heavier that traditional “Aero” models, it performs well during the game giving a player a full and powerful control over the match. Players are even able to say with exact precision how many balls they shot during the game thanks to interactivity of this racquet.

People acknowledge that its length of 27 inches and used durable graphite material with synthetic grip allows a player to handle it for prolonged period of time without getting tired. This is especially valuable point for rookie players who still need to get used to spending hours on tennis court. Thus, despite its advanced technological features it is good for beginners as well since this product allows a user to monitor her/his achievements during the whole period of practice and provides them with excellent gaming experience.

We have not recorded any negative reviews of this product so far.

Pros
  • Powerful and reliable
  • Famous Brand
  • Equipped with latest technology available
  • Interactive
  • Made for Good Swings and Spins
  • Durable Material
Cons
  • Expensive
  • A Bit Heavier than Other “Aero” Models

3. Head YouTek IG Prestige MP Tennis Racquet

This is also one of the best models available for sale on the market.  While being in production for quite some years, the current model is modernized with the most advanced technological features.

Head YouTek IG Prestige MP Tennis Racquet

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About the manufacturer

HEAD is the Dutch company originally founded in the US in 1950. It is one of the global manufacturers of tennis equipment. The brand “HEAD” has established itself with a line of reliable and trustworthy tennis racquets. Such famous players like Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray won their tournaments using HEAD’s gear.

Feature #1: Innerga Technology

This 27-inch racquet is made of composite material (carbon) with Innerga fiber which provides for improved strength without adding additional weight. Moreover, it is very stable and gives a player a good sense of control.  Players equipped with this product are able to deliver long swings and they feel that the handle and the frame are very solid.

Feature #2: Performance

Due to material and technology used in its manufacturing process, this racquet is very stable and durable. It will not lose any of its features even after extended period of usage. Moreover, it adjusts almost instantaneously to player’s gaming style and is highly resistible to deformation.

Feature #3: Stiffness

During the impact of the ball, the inner molecules of the frame can adjust to the strength of the ball making the racquet immediately very stiff to parry the ball. When the ball’s speed is slow, then the product retains its flexibility allowing the player to spin the ball with maximum precision and accuracy. It is intended for serious players who know how to play and are looking for ultimate “battle ax” with plenty of maneuverability and ability to deliver fast swings.

Real Users Feedback

Many users of this racquet say that they got very addicted to playing tennis thanks to this product. While it is mid-sized, it is able to provide long swings and deliver balls with superb accuracy. Here and again many say this tool is suitable for serious players who tested varies types of racquets and know exactly what they would like to have. The current model is a bit heavy than other similar products, but is very sturdy and provides a good grip for players. Many colors are also available in stock.

Pros
  • New Technology: Immediate Adaptation Period
  • Unparalleled Performance
  • Famous Brand
  • Long Swings and Manoeuvrability
Cons
  • Good for Experienced Players
  • A Bit Heavy

Comparison between All 3 Models

Now we can recap all features of the reviewed tennis racquets to answer the question which one of them is the best.

Factor #1: Weight and Balance of the Racquet

While Wilson’s racquet is famous for its power and control, however it does not make it too heavy. To the contrary this heavy towards the head racquet is quite light due to the usage of modern materials like hyper carbon. This allows the product to weigh considerably less than metal racquets reducing strain for players’ hands. The downside of this peculiarity is that vibrations may occur during the game.

Babolat’s racquet is well balanced and lightweight one with additional technological perks. Despite being lightweight it will also provide a player with required level of comfort and stability during the game.

Finally, the HEAD’s racquet is light and solid as well. It reduces vibrations thanks to modern D3O technology and offers good balance for an experienced player.

Factor #2: Stiffness of the Racquet’s Frame

Wilson’s racquet is built with medium stiffness allowing player enough power and control on the court. Babolat’s racquet is characterized with moderate stiffness providing a user with great playability. This is good if player still learns how to play and needs some time before developing her/his gaming preferences and style. Finally, HEAD’s masterpiece is stiffer than other two models reviewed here due to its technology. It is good for experienced players knowing how to manage a suddenly very stiff racquet and actually looking to wield one to achieve their gaming ambitions; it may become a bit uncomfortable for a rookie player at the beginning.

Factor #3: Head Size

Wilson’s racquet has an increased size of the head making it more powerful than similar models. It measures 110 sq. inches with extended length allowing players to reach for different types of balls and volleys.

Babolat’s head size is 100 sq inch which combined with its advanced technology makes this racquet a good training choice for beginners.

HEAD’s product has the smallest head of 98 sq inches. Therefore, it requires considerable skills of its owner to play with the different types of the balls shot at the court.

Factor #4: Length of the Racquet

Wilson’s racquet is the longest of the three while the other two are of the same size. As we reviewed many unique features of these three products, their length plays not so significant role relating to their performance during the game

Factor #5: Strings’ Pattern

HEAD’s racquet features closed pattern of strings providing sufficient level of control to players. Wilson’s model has an open pattern of strings and this is good for attaching balls that have not been hit by the center of the racquet. Finally, Babolat’s product with FSI Spin technology provides a real breakthrough in this field. While it allows more flexible movement of strings; in combination with another advanced technology this racquet can deliver unprecedented spins during the game.

Final Verdict

Now we have covered all major features and peculiarities of above models. With all things more or less equal, the Babolat Play Pure Aero Tennis Racquet is the most user friendly racquet. This product is a good combination of traditional, well-tested manufacturing process and latest technologies. For players who have just started their tennis practice this racquet will provide, together with other essential characteristics of a good tennis gear, something unique: interactivity. Equipped with this gear, one will be able to monitor her/his progress in the game on a daily basis in hassle-free way by interacting with one’s mobile devices running on one of the two major operating systems.  It is not a cheap product of course, however, investing in one’s gaming confidence and potential good sports results may well worth the price tag of this tennis racquet.

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