Choosing the “right” tennis racket is the eternal question, isn’t it? Because we are never quite happy with racket we play with, there’s always a new model or a thought at the back of our heads that maybe, only maybe that racket might be what I’m looking for to change my game for the better, get that shot of extra power or spin you need.
I wrote a post earlier about the racket not making all the difference, but the footwork, the mindset and your technique, but there are of course a few things to be said for having a racket more suitable to your game. And besides, you need to have something in your life to spend your money on, right? You never get tired of buying stuff.
And I honestly never get tired of buying and testing new rackets. It’s like an addiction, I just enjoy playing around with my game, trying new things, new techniques, to feel slightly different on the court. Sometimes I blame the rackets too much and I change racket several times during a session to find the key to my game (which usually boils down to sloppy footwork or bad racket preparation), but even though I realize this, it must be said that I will probably never stop hunting for holy grail of rackets. It’s simply too much fun.
Choosing the right racket has been a long journey for me. I’m a pretty advanced player, coach occasionally (though rarely these days) and hit with the local Davis Cup team. I like flexible frames and heavy player sticks but I’ve reached that conclusion by trying out the swing-and-spin focused Babolats and similar rackets with pretty light weight and rather large head sizes. What I’m playing now is a brilliant racket called Head Prestige IG MP with specs that should suit my game perfectly. I string it with Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power and get lovely feel and power from it. I’ve played with it now for six months and I can’t really complain.
Still, I sometimes want more weight and a traditional feel on my racket and I pick up my old K90, the older model of the BLX Pro Staff 90 that you see Federer swinging during Wimbledon (his stick/paint job for 2012) and I love the plow-through, the precision and that the racket simply doesn’t give you anything for free, but at the same time does exactly what you tell it to.
This has made me start thinking again, should I go back to the K90 or maybe even upgrade to the BLX Pro Staff 90? Sometimes I feel it’s “too easy” with other rackets and your footwork starts lagging behind because you can swing only with the arm, hit slightly off-center and still have the ball landing in the court with decent power. Sometimes I’d rather want the racket to force good footwork, to make me move and prepare properly for each shot. Am I being masochistic or just loving the game of tennis enough to make me try harder?
I don’t know. I only know I want to buy a new racket once a year or something to keep me feeling fresh about my tennis. Maybe I’m strange thinking like that or maybe it’s the tennis marketing machine that’s doing a good job?
No matter what is true, I’m going to keep checking out new rackets (you find almost everything at Tennis Express along with good prices) and work on my game. If I do get the BLX Pro Staff 90, which I think I might, I will review it here. But if you’re looking for a player-stick with very amateur-friendly specs, good control, easy to swing and great feel – then I’d recommend the Head Youtek IG Prestige MP any day of the week.
Read more about tennis gear by clicking the link in the navigation bar or read these very popular articles on tennis rackets: The Best Tennis Racket for Intermediate Players and What Tennis Racket Should I Buy?