There is an amazing array of choices for which tennis racquet someone could use (and they change the models every year or two, to make things even more complicated); so, what are some of the factors to considering in picking the best one to play with?

Singles vs. Doubles – For me,the first consideration should be whether you play mostly singles or mostly doubles. For doubles players, the play is much quicker with shorter strokes; so a lighter racquet with more control is best. Singles players have the luxury of being able to take a longer swing; so they can use heavier racquet and frequently are looking for a little more power in their strokes.

Style of Play – Then, within all that is your personal style of play and physical abilities. Here, it is usually a good idea to talk with your local pro, who knows your game. They can give some good observations on how you really play (which is sometimes different from how you THINK you play) and which type of racquet best suits you.

Head Size – This is the very basic place to start in picking the racquet… should the square inches of the racquet head be traditional, mid-sized, or over-sized. Again, it comes down to what you play and how you play.

Balance and Weight – There are some fairly big differences in the overall weight of a tennis racquet, with some models being 25% or more lighter or heavier than others. Without getting too technical, racquets can also be: head heavy, head light, or balanced. This is where you can swing a racquet to get the ‘feel’ of it and get advice which suits you.

Power vs. Control – Manufacturers are now designing frames that theoretically give you either more power in your swing or more control in your strokes (some claim to give you both).

In addition to talking with your local pro, most shops and online services will let you test out different racquet frames. That is the best way to really get a feel for what best suits your game – before making an investment of $100 – $200.

3 thoughts on “Racquets

  1. My criteria for a racquet has to do with preventing tennis elbow. A heavy racquet that is head light, combined with a softer string, has served me well the last 10 years. No more elbow problems. Unfortunately, my current Pure Control is discontinued and wearing out. Looking forward to getting a new racquet and seeing if the advanced technology really makes a lasting difference.

  2. I think Head light is more important for dubs than overall light weight. A little on the heavy side helps with stability and less shock. I recently switched from Wilson K Blade (tight string pattern, 98 sq in, narrow beam) to a Donnay Dual X-P ( more open string pattern, 102 sq in). It seems to have definitely helped my game, solid but a little more forgiving, with good spin potential. Donnay is definitely worth checking out – not as popular as others but I think the technology and feel is really good. They also make a kit to adjust the weight and balance to your liking. Good to see you in TX, George – your game is lookin’ good!

    Geoff – tks for the info and the kind words. george

  3. Had a nice talk with Rick Flach about rackets and we are both of the same mind. I said same, not sane. We both believe that the most stiff, which means the most powerful, racket will give the player the most advantage. Rick said whenever one of the top pro’s changed to a stiffer racket, their results improved once they got a little used to the racket. That’s why the racket companies went from wood, to metal, to graphite, to high modulus graphite, and then to shapes like the Wilson Profile that all gave the player more power. I always said the pro’s were the last ones to change rackets because they would blame missed shots on the rackets and go back to their old ones. Seniors, on the other hand, the smarter and more knowledgeable of tennis players, would almost immediately jump on the more powerful rackets. If the ball goes long, you either swing a little slower, put more spin on the ball, or aim the ball lower, all of which will improve performance. Tennis ailments, elbows, wrists, etc., can be protected by looser strings.

    Fred – How loose would you recommend on the strings to protect your arm? thanks. george

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