Home GearTennis Racquets Can you play a match with two different racquets?

Can you play a match with two different racquets?

by Jonas Eriksson

I’ve thought about this question quite a bit: Can you play a match with two different racquets? The reason is that I simply can’t decide which racquet benefits my game the most.

Let’s look at the easy answer to: Can you play a match with two different racquets? Yes, of course you can. Just switch a racquet mid-way through the match. But what it does to your game is obviously the key issue here. Not being decided on what racquet you play competitive matches with can feel like a potential liability and create anxiety before and during a match.

You would never think a pro tennis player actually brings two different racquet to match since they’re usually meticulous down to the gram with their racquet customization and want their racquets to be matched (aka exactly the same) for their tournaments. But during the Next Gen finals, Alexander Rublev brought two different racquets to the court and did change between them mid-match! Read about this situation in this post.

My own racquet commitment issues

I’ve been in this situation myself recently where I’m not sure if I should use my Angell K7 Red or HEAD LM Radical Tours simply because they do different things well. With the Radicals I get utmost precision, but I need to swing fast and be alert with my footwork. When I play well, they give me everything I need, but when I’m not feeling the ball or moving that well, my Angells simply give me more power and a bigger sweet spot. They simply make tennis that little bit easier.

But the Angells are not as precise and not as stable when you play someone who hits hard and flat balls. So for that game situation my Radical Tours work much better…you can see where it screws with my head right?

The other day I played a match where I warmed-up with the Angell K7, felt it lacked the plow I needed on that day (I’ve since added more lead tape to it) and before the match started I switch to my Radical and played a good match. This was arguably not a mid-match switch, but if I felt the same after a set, I’d probably played the second set with a different racquet.

Still, I would feel much better if I committed to a racquet instead of playing this sort of “backup-tennis”. The plan some months ago was to go all-in with the Radicals, but then the Angell K7 came along and made me confused. And I’ll be reviewing more racquets shortly which might make things even worse. For now, I guess I’ll just bring two different racquets to my competitive matches!

Here’s a highlight clip from the above session.

Do you recognize this situation? Have you found a solution to it? Please comment below!

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Seb March 18, 2018 - 22:17

I guess it is just mental, given by the fact that you have another choice in you bag.
It happens often to me as well. My problem is even bigger, because right now I have five different rackets in my bag:
Wilson SW 104 when I need big serve and power. I can’t play long matches at the same level with this one.
Yonex DR 98+ for power and deep balls
Yonex SV 98+ for big flat serves, killer cross backhand, easy access to topspin overall
Head Pro Tour 630 for fun, for feel, for the celebrity of this racket
Prince Phantom 100 for comfort, precision, backhand slice and because I can play long matches with this stick

So, I have clear reasons in my mind for using every racket from my bag and I can’t make a decision if I must sell two or three of them, but I’m pretty sure that if I would have to play with only one, I would not be so unhappy. All in all, I’m pretty sure that everything is just in my mind.

JJ March 20, 2018 - 03:00

Yes, it’s mental but it could be understood. I played radical pro for 10 years I think, and suddenly felt like to change racquet since June 2017, tried almost all the main stream ones for 6 months, last month I shifted back to the latest radical pro. I cannot express how familiar I am with the racquet and I reckon it’s becos my skills are developed together with it over the years. That’s why it’s so hard to change, no meaning you cannot play the new ones but probably not at the level as your used one (my case).

Magnus March 21, 2018 - 12:00

Maybe one racquet when you’re serving and anothet when you’re receving ?!

Tennisnerd March 21, 2018 - 17:31

Haha, good idea!

Antonio March 21, 2018 - 17:08

I can relate to this. In my bag I have my “go to” racquets (PS 6.0 95’s, and yes, I like old school racquets), but usually there’s a 6.0 85 too (most of the times for practice and warmup), and some more racquets (Slazenger Pro Braided, Dunlop Ag 300 tour, both weighted up, lately a Prince Tour 98, with this one I’m not sure if I keep it, and if the conditions are ok, I might take an Avery M3 control or a Wilson N-6.1 18×20, that I love for doubles)

I always go back to the 6.0 95’s, but I fool around a lot

Tennisnerd March 21, 2018 - 17:33

Good taste in racquets, Antonio. Those are all good sticks, but I haven’t tried the Avery one. The 6.1 95 18×20 is a gem of a racquet, as is the PS85 and 95.

António March 21, 2018 - 23:50

The Avery is a rare gem. Plays like a flexible very open string pattern PS 6.1 classic, very cool yet demanding stick.
It’s made from an old Prince mold, even the handle is “Princish”.
And the sound of it, is so, so addictive. I like loud racquets (the N-6.1 is probably my loudest racquet, and the Avery is very close), with the Avery I cannot hold a smile every time I crack a big flat forehand right at the sweet spot.
Try to get one, sometimes they pop on ebay, if you dig old school no thrills sticks, it’s one of the funniest and rewarding rides you can have with a racquet

Tennisnerd March 22, 2018 - 21:10

Sounds brilliant to me! Cheers / J

GOSH March 25, 2018 - 06:46

I had experienced this during a match.
I played with Dunlop AG 100 and bought along with 2 in my bag.
The first racket strings popped during warmup and the 2nd had broken when I was leading 4-1.
Then I asked for everyone outside the court to lend me a racket and even my opponent ( you should know his answer).
At last a gentleman handed me an AeroPro Drive and I was just shanking the balls everywhere for a few shots. After that I’ve got used to it with shorter swings and played on.

But I kept in mind that ” I can beat you with any racket” and finally won the match 6-2. So I have to agree that it’s more of mental thing.

I won’t forget this match and also that helpful gentleman.

Tennisnerd March 25, 2018 - 08:18

That’s a nice story! I once had to borrow an AeroPro Drive (no lead, dead poly) before a training match against a strong junior player and ended up not only losing the match but also getting the worst arm pain of my life after a single session. I guess the reason was that my opponent hit heavy balls and I had to defend using a lighter than normal (for me) and stiffer setup. Now I bring racquets on every trip! Cheers / Jonas

Felipe April 19, 2019 - 22:57

Hi, it´s been over a year, what do you think now about switching racquets during a match? I would like to know your thoughts about it. Greetings from Chile!

Tennisnerd April 20, 2019 - 07:20

Hi Felipe,
Good question! Well, if everything is going badly, I still think it can have an impact. But although I have trained myself to switch between frames relatively easily, I still think it is a much better idea to find a racquet and really commit to it. You will definitely play much better tennis. But it is tempting and fun to switch! Greetings from Malta!

Regards / Jonas

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Fran August 7, 2020 - 10:55

Really useful article. I have been taken to different rackets (ezone 98 and pure Strike) to my matches. I definitely feel more anxious as to whether I should play with a Babolat or Ezone. I kept thinking of which racket is best while I’m playing a match which is not great at all. I have decided to keep one racket! Thanks for sharing.


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