Without a doubt, tennis is a sport that requires a good amount of skill and athletic ability to play well. You need to have quick feet, strong arms, and well above average hand-eye coordination if you are going to excel at it. Talent alone is not enough to get you to the top of the sport. You also need good equipment and obviously, one of the most important pieces of equipment is your tennis racquet. We wrote this article to help you learn how to pick out the best tennis racquet for your style of game. It includes not only a buying guide but also quality tennis racquet reviews.
Why is your tennis racquet so important? It gives you an edge when playing if you use a tennis racquet that caters to your skillset. That is why it is so important to know what to look for when you are shopping for a new one. Such things as tennis racquet size should not be overlooked. There simply is no doubt that with the right tennis racquet in your hands it can really help you elevate your game to a much higher level.
How to Choose The Best Tennis Racket?
Here are some of the key characteristics of tennis racquets that you should focus on when you are looking to buy a new one for yourself:
9 Key Characteristics of Tennis Racquets
Tennis racquets come in a very wide variety of price ranges, to say the least. You may want to set yourself a budget to help narrow down your choices because you will have so many of them. Do we find a correlation between the price of a tennis racquet and the quality of it? The answer here is absolutely but you have to be careful here too. In general, the higher the price a tennis racquet is the better quality that tennis racquet is because it most likely much innovative design features built into it. Be careful here too, though. Because things such as the tennis racquet brand or a tennis racquet that is designed by a famous player may up the price of a tennis racquet without it making the tennis racquet better than some lower-priced models.
You definitely want to base your tennis racquet buying decision on your skill level too. Here are some examples. You probably don’t need to buy a $200 tennis racquet if you just want to go out and volley some balls with a friend to see if you like the sport. Also, if you are an advanced player who likes a little extra power and a racquet that helps you put you more spin on the ball as you return it, then a $70 tennis racquet is probably not going to fulfill that need.
As you are looking at tennis racquets in the store or shopping online it is important to note the head size of any racquet you are thinking about purchasing too. It stands to reason that the bigger the head is on your tennis racquet the bigger the sweet spot on it is also. A bigger sweet spot means you a less prone to mishitting the ball when you go to return it. Just be careful the head size is so big it adds extra weight or it throws off your game because you are not used to it.
The weight of the tennis racquet you use is very important too. You need a heavier tennis racquet to generate more ball speed but you also need to be able to swing it fast enough to hit that ball in the first place. So you have to balance the weight of the tennis racquet you use with other considerations too. For instance, if you are slight in stature it may be to your benefit to use a little lighter racquet to help you turn on the ball faster as you go to return a shot. If you are a player whose game strategy is to win on long volleys you may benefit from using a lighter racquet so you do not get tired out as much swinging so much during a match.
There are many different types of string that tennis racquets come strung with but not all of them will be beneficial to your game. Less expensive tennis racquets have strings that are made out of material like nylon; these are basic strings and do not deaden the ball much as it hits the racquet or helps you to add spin to your shot.
More expensive tennis racquets will you advanced synthetics are even strings made out of the internal parts of animals; these high-quality tennis strings will let you do more when you hit a tennis ball but will also sign up its price. One thing you have to keep in mind as far as a tennis racquet’s string goes is that you can always change it if you are dissatisfied with it. So do not stress too much if you are not sure which type of string you want on your new tennis racquet.
A few heavy hitters like their tennis racquets to be a little top-heavy so they generate more power when hitting a ball but that is usually the exception as opposed to the rule. In general, it is usually best to start out with a tennis racquet that is balanced; this is especially true if you are a novice player. A balanced racquet will give you a little more control as you swing at and strike a tennis ball. Things that can throw a tennis racquet’s balance off are such things as an oversized racquet head, extra padding on a handle, and innovative racquet designs that purposely redistribute weight to a specific area. So be aware of this when you are shopping for your new tennis racquet.
There is nothing that says you cannot look good when you play the game of tennis and that includes having a stylish tennis racquet that accentuates your attire. It is probably not something that you want to be a major factor in your purchasing decision but if you have narrowed your choices down to 2 or 3 similar racquets it can be used as the deciding factor.
Sometimes a company will include some extras in with the tennis racquet and these are always nice to have. So if you can get a nice cover to help protect your racquet when not using it or a can of decent tennis balls this is never a bad thing. Don’t make it a point of emphasis in your tennis racquet buying decision but these things are a nice bonus if you can get them.
Recommended Surfaces for Use
Not all tennis racquets are meant to be used on all different kinds of court surfaces. You will have to pay attention to this when shopping for a new tennis racquet. It will probably not matter what tennis racquet you use on any surface if you are a novice tennis player but that is hardly the case if you are an intermediate or above tennis player. Some racquets are of such high quality that you can use them on any type of surface but others work best on specific types of tennis court surfaces. This will usually be noted either on the packaging description of the tennis racquet or you can most likely look it up on the manufacturer’s website too.
Best Tennis Racquets Comparison Chart
Wilson Tour Slam Adult Tennis Racquet
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HEAD MicroGel Radical – Intermediate to Expert Players – STRUNG
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Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Tennis Racquet
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Babolat 2018 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet
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Oppum T80 Tennis Racquet With a carrying bag
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Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Tennis Racquet
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Best Tennis Racquet Reviews (Updated List)
After looking at several different models of tennis racquets here are what we thought were the best ones out of all of them.
1. Wilson Tour Slam Adult Tennis Racquet
What we loved about this racquet is the combination of excellent price and unsurpassed quality. Ideal for beginners to intermediate level players, it offers stability, power, control, and a broader sweet spot. A go-to choice in the original Tour Slam.
The stop shock pads help the string bed soak up additional vibration, transferring more power to your shot. The head size of 112 square inches makes it an excellent choice for beginners to intermediate players due to its wider margin of error. All the while, its balance, and design offer more comfort, precision, and control.
Although ideal for beginners, it’s a bit on the heavy side, so definitely not for children or elderly players. Also, its handle is thicker, so if you have smaller hands, this racquet may not be comfortable. The handle is also white and gets dirty quickly.
Read more: Wilson Tour Slam
2. HEAD MicroGel Radical – Intermediate to Expert Players – STRUNG
Combining HEAD Radical series quality with the impressive MicroGel Technology, the Head MicroGel Radical Racquet is the go-to choice for intermediate and expert players. Featuring a well-balanced body, increased width for more spin, and the unrivaled MicroGel Technology, this racket requires technique and experience to wield. If you are an advanced enough player, you will be rewarded with more control, comfort, and impressive game.
The HEAD MicroGel Technology featured in this racquet allows for even distribution of shock and stress from the ball, allowing for more control and comfort while playing. Tightly strung at 18 x 20, it may not provide a lot of power, but gives you the advantage of a stronger pop and maximum accuracy. It is designed to cater to the needs of intermediate and expert players.
Obviously, this is not for the amateur and inexperienced players. This means that the racquet is unforgiving and requires real technique and experience to get results. If you are looking for power from your racquet, this is not the right choice for you. You get a lot more control and comfort overpower.
Read more : HEAD MicroGel Radical
3. Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Tennis Racquet
This racquet made our list because of its excellent combination of power and accuracy. Developed using Hyper Carbon Technology, it offers a sturdy, durable, and lightweight feel that is unsurpassed. Suitable for intermediate and recreational players, this racquet is even an outstanding choice for beginners that are looking for fast advancement in their training.
Lighter than most other racquets due to its Hyper Carbon Technology, this racquet is a superb option for improving your skills. It is developed to be durable, combining added power and control, all the while increasing reach and better serve angles due to its added length. Head heavy frame and more massive beam make it more forgiving with a more significant sweet spot.
Being so lightweight comes with a downside. Due to its lightweight structure, you feel the vibrations more, thus losing stability. Also, it’s head heavy design may result in too much power with full swings. Although great for improving your skills, it does require more effort and practice to get a perfect topspin.
Read more : Wilson Hyper Hammer
4. Babolat 2018 Pure Aero Tennis Racquet – strung
The newest of the Babolat series is by far the best released so far. With numerous upgrades and added comfort, your game will improve as you will be able to apply and show off your skills on a whole new level. The racquet is specially designed to give you extreme power and accuracy all the while a killer spin that will take out any opponent.
The racquet is created for power hitters that benefit significantly from added comfort and accuracy. It’s completely designed to add support all the while boosting efficiency and power to every hit combined with an impressive topspin. The unique design and added padding to the handle help reduce vibrations and stress upon contact with the ball, giving more accurate hits.
Firstly, if you are going to be investing in this racquet be ready to spend a good penny. It’s definitely on the expensive side, but with reason. Also, we don’t recommend this racquet if you are a beginner player because you can benefit from most of its features if you are experienced and a power hitter.
Read more : Babolat 2018 Pure Aero
5. Oppum T80 Tennis Racquet – With a carrying bag
This is one of the most affordable racquets that pack so many features. The Oppum T80 is an excellent choice for beginners and recreational players that don’t want to splurge on an expensive racquet but still get a quality practice racquet to learn on. Featuring a lightweight construction, wooden handle, extra broad face, and perfect grip size for both men and women, it’s a brilliant choice at an affordable price.
The first thing that catches the eye is the price, even more, the numerous features you get for it. With a lightweight construction to prevent arm tiredness and make learning stress-free, it’s an excellent option for beginners.
Of course, such a low price comes with its own problems. You do get what you pay for. Even though numerous features make it a great starter racquet, there are concerns about its durability. Also, it may need to be restrung as it tends to lose tension after several uses.
Read more : Oppum T80
6. Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Tennis Racquet
Here is Wilson’s third tennis racquet on our top review list and it’s a very good one. Rest assured that any sporting product that Wilson attaches the ‘Pro Staff’ moniker on is going to be of the highest quality that any manufacturer will offer.
The design of this racquet emphasizes ball control. It is a heavy racquet that is also strung heavily too in order to help accomplish this. So players that use this type of style will fall in love with this tennis racquet. A lot of the input for the design of this racquet was done by tennis superstar Roger Federer who uses a similar style.
This racquet is certainly in the more pricey range which may not appeal to casual tennis players. It also has a kind of weird rubbery type paint coating on it that some players will not take a liking to.
Read more: Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph
Babolat AeroPro Drive – Pure Aero – STRUNG
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Babolat Drive Max 110 Racquet
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Head Ti.S6 Tennis Racquet
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Babolat-Pure Strike 16/19 Tennis Racquet
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Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) Countervail Racquet
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7. Babolat AeroPro Drive – Pure Aero – STRUNG
The second of Babolat’s tennis racquets on our list may be the best of all of them. Everything from its aerodynamic construction, superior stringing, and comfortable grip suggests that it is one high-quality tennis racquet for sure. This racquet is an advanced or intermediate level player’s dream.
The aerodynamic design of this tennis racquet is simply amazing. It will really cut down on the air resistance as you swing. That results in higher-powered shots and less arm fatigue when playing in long matches.
This is truly a great tennis racquet but like some other on the list is a bit on the pricey side for anyone but tennis players that play the game seriously and at a very high level.
Read more: Babolat Aeropro Drive
8. Babolat Drive Max 110 Racquet (Strung)
The third Babolat tennis racquet on our top review list is also one of their more affordable models. Just don’t make the mistake of taking it as meaning this tennis racquet is not a good one. It is an excellent model for novice and intermediate level players. It is also a racquet that favors those players that prefer to use more power than finesse when playing the game of tennis.
Players who use this model racquet like the way it can be swung very smoothly. It is a very well balanced tennis racquet.
This racquet follows the same pattern as many of the other lower-priced tennis racquets that we reviewed. The string quality is very suspect on it and may need to be replaced to improve play with this racquet.
Read more: Babolat Drive Max 110
9. Head Ti.S6 Tennis Racquet
This tennis racquet from Head is both affordable and very functional. It is an excellent quality entry-level tennis racquet that most beginners will really find to their liking. It has a good grip that fits smaller size hands well and it is constructed out of materials that keep it stiff as you hit the ball to help generate extra power on your shots.
This racquet is very lightweight in nature. We think any youth player or adult player that is slighter in stature will greatly benefit from using this racquet. You can practice or play the game for a long time without getting tired when using this tennis racquet.
It is definitely not a tennis racquet for more experienced players. You will not get a lot of ball control with it and it does not hit shots consistently either.
Read more: Head Ti S6
10. Babolat-Pure Strike 16/19 Tennis Racquet
If you are a tennis player that plays aggressively then you will really like this high-quality tennis racquet from Babolat. The emphasis with this racquet is definitely placed on return shots with power and higher than normal spin. It is a very stiff racquet that uses a unique hybrid design to accomplish this.
The sweet spot on this racquet seems to be larger than most and that should give you an edge if you are an excellent ball striker. The sweet spot is around 10% bigger than those you will find on most conventional tennis racquets.
This is a high-quality tennis racquet for sure but it is also a tennis racquet that comes with a higher price tag. It will definitely not fit in everyone’s tennis equipment budget.
Read more: Babolat Pure Strike
11. Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) Countervail Racquet
Here is a great racquet from a very reputable tennis equipment manufacturer. Wilson is a well-known name when it comes to quality tennis products, to say the least, and this good racquet does not disappoint. It features such things as grippy string technology that quickly dampens the energy of the ball as it strikes the racket so you can get a better spin on your return shots. It is also ultra-lightweight and has a new class paint finish that gives it some style.
This racquet should have a different feel than the previous years this model was made because of what Wilson calls their ‘countervail technology’. It is a technology that uses an extra layer of carbon to help further deaden the speed of an opponent’s shot so you can return it with better control.
This is a great tennis racquet but it is out of the budget range of all but the most serious of tennis players.
Read more: Wilson Blade 98
Popular Tennis Racquet Brands
You may not have noticed but there were several brands of tennis racquets on our top review list that had a manufacturer with more than one model tennis racquet on it. Here are some of the most popular brand names when it comes to tennis racquet sales. They are in no particular order.
It is these brands that dominate both the professional tennis player market and the recreational tennis player market too.
Which Tennis Rackets Are Used By The Top Players?
Did you ever wonder what tennis racquets the top pros use? Some of their selections just might surprise you. Here is a list of the top 5 men’s and women’s players and the type of tennis racquet they use to stay at the top of their game:
Rackets used by Men Tennis Players
- ANDY MURRAY, GREAT BRITAIN: Head Graphene XT Radical Pro
- NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SERBIA: Head Graphene XT Speed Pro
- STAN WAWRINKA, SWITZERLAND: Yonex VCORE Duel G 97 330g
- MILOS RAONIC, CANADA: Wilson Blade 98 (18×20) Countervail
- KEI NISHIKORI, JAPAN: Wilson Burn 95
Rackets used by Women Tennis Players
- SERENA WILLIAMS, USA: Wilson Gut with Luxilon 4G
- ANGELIQUE KERBER, GERMANY: Babolat VS Team with Yonex Poly Tour Fire
- KAROLINA PLYSKOVA, CZECH REPUBLIC: Babolat Pure Drive
- SIMONA HALEP, ROMANIA: Wilson Burn 100
- DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA, SLOVAKIA: Babolat Pure Drive
It is important to note that some of these players do use other brands but these are their number one choice in racquets on game day in most instances.
How to Re-Grip a Tennis Racquet
If you have played the game of tennis long enough you know that the highest wear item on your racquet by far is your grip. Not only it is subject to constant wear and tear by changing hand positions and by sliding your hands into position on it, but it also rubs on the court surface on occasion and is exposed to sweat and the elements too. It’s no wonder these have to be replaced very often on a tennis racquet.
This can be expensive to get done on a regular basis so many people choose to do it themselves. The problem is most people do not know how to do this. Well, here is a step by step instructions on how to re-grip a tennis racquet yourself.
- At the end of the grip towards the racquet head, you will find a piece of sturdy tape that holds the old grip on. Remove it. Remember how it came off because it will have to go back in the same way.
- Unwrap the old grip all the way off. Make sure not to tear off any of the paddings underneath the grip tape by accident.
- Take the new grip out of its protective wrapping and set the end grip tape aside.
- Wrap the new grip tightly around the very end of the racquet once.
- Now reverse the process that you did in step 2. Hopefully, you noted how the grip tape wraps like we pointed out. Make sure you put the new grip on neatly and that it does not overlap too much in one spot. Wrap it all the way up the handle until you get to the same spot the old grip ended.
- Trim as necessary and apply the new strip of grip adhesive tape to hold the new grip in place. You can use a smooth piece of electrical tape here too if the supplied grip tape is not enough.
- It is very important that you take many practice swings with your racket and play with it a few times before you play in a match. This will help form fit the new grip on your hand and help break it in
Once you have done all seven steps then just double-check everything to make sure it looks right and then you should be good to go.
Tennis Racquet FAQ’s
Here are some questions that we are repeatedly asked about tennis racquets so we thought we would pass them along to you.
How do you determine the grip size you need on your new tennis racquet?
Finding your tennis racket size is so important to playing the game well. A grip size that is too small will cause your hand to slip on your racquet a little and a grip size that is too big will restrict your wrist movement and make it hard to adjust your grip as you play. To measure your grip you need to take out a measuring tape. Place your fingers on your hand extended out and together and then turn your palm up. With the measuring tape take a measurement from the very end of your ring finger down to the bottom crease in your palm (usually adjacent to where your thumb attaches to your palm).
That will be the size grip you need to look for. It usually will fall between 4 inches and 4 ¾ inches on most people. Keep in mind that you may want to add a layer of grip tape to your new racquet as many people do. If you are one of those people then it is best to get a grip size that is one size smaller than what you measured your hand to be. This will allow for the extra grip tape without making the grip too big for your hand.
Is it better to order a tennis racquet that is not strung already?
This really depends on your experience level to be truthful. Many pro players will buy a racket they like and then get it strung with a particular type of string that they like. We don’t really recommend that for the average player. First, do a little string research, then get a racquet that is already strung with a type of string that you think will work well for your playing style. Remember, you can always restring your racquet later if you are not happy with it.
I like to play my shots with lots of spin like gut string helps you do. Is there a close alternative?
Great question. Thanks for asking it. The gut string really is great for tennis players that know how to use spin and other shot variations to their advantage. It also deadens the ball more than most other strings will so it helps prevent mishits too. We do not feel there is a synthetic string out there that will give you quite as a dramatic effect but that is changing a little.
Some of the new synthetic types of tennis racquet strings that are coming out are getting close to the quality of gut string. So if you look in tennis pro shops or in tennis specialty stores you might be able to find a synthetic racquet string that is to your liking.
We also answered one more anonymous question: Would a tennis ball launcher help improve my game?
Finding The Right Tennis Racquet For You Is Easier Than You Think
Well, hopefully, this article has helped you learn more about tennis racquets than you knew before you started reading it. Tennis rackets and the technology behind them really are much more complicated than most people think. If you use the information we provided you here in the right way it will really help you very much when you go to purchase your new tennis racquet. It helps you to be well informed when you are trying to find the best tennis racquet for you.
For sure you can never go wrong purchasing any of the models we did tennis racquet reviews on in this article. They feature such things as excellent racquet grip size, large sweet spots and they also have many advanced technologies used in their construction. If you don’t like any of those models, then you should refer to the handy buying guide to help you with your new tennis racquet selection process.