Home Tennis Instruction Choosing a racquet – What is your key shot?

Choosing a racquet – What is your key shot?

by Jonas Eriksson

One question you have to ask yourself while choosing a racquet is: What is your key shot? This will help you navigate the jungle of racquets.

The ideal racquet is one that works well for all your shots. But that’s not always the case. You need to compromise. There is no perfect balance of power, spin, control that will be the best for you on every shot. So you need to ask yourself – what is important for my game? What shots do I rely on in a tight match? What is the bread-and-butter stroke that wins me a lot of points? Choosing a racquet can be difficult, but there are some tips that can help us on the way. My latest Patreon vlog dealt with one of those things and I decided to do a publically available video for it as well.

What is your key shot?

I didn’t want to write “best shot” here, because it also relates to shots that you depend on in matches, despite perhaps not being the most dangerous weapon in your arsenal. For me, this is the slice. I use the slice defensively to buy time and aggressively to approach the net, so a racquet that doesn’t help me produce a heavy and consistent slice is likely not a good match for me. This is a reason I tend to enjoy racquets with a high twist weight and a tight string pattern. It will help to knife the ball to produce an effective slice.

I don’t only hit slice shots of course. That is why I need a racquet that can do most things well for my game, but the slice is one of the most important shots for me. I also want stability at the net and not too large a head size to be able to whip through the contact zone. Listing these things down and understanding how I play in matches will greatly help me in finding my next racquet.

In the video, I use the customized Wilson Ultra Pro. It gives me excellent control, is not too heavy to swing, offers a decent sweet spot, and produces a nice slice. That is why it is a contender for my next racquet of choice together with the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0. Yes, I do enjoy playing with a weapon like the new HEAD Extreme Tour, but the high power level makes me hesitant to swing out when it comes to points play and matches. If I had a more natural topspin game, things would be different.

Understanding your game

The key to choosing a racquet is understanding your game. What are your tendencies in tight situations? Do you go for too much? Do you shorten your takeback in your swings? Do you tend to slice more than you do while hitting? You should always test a racquet in match play before you commit to it. You can see a player hit brilliantly, but let the nerves get the better of him or her as soon as the stakes go up and points are counted.

What is your key shot?

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Mark July 21, 2020 - 21:38

Backhand slice and backhand cross-court.

Tennis Lion July 23, 2020 - 21:27

Having demoed a number of rackets over the last year since returning to tennis, I have concluded that the best for me is a frame that just does why I expect on each shot, and gets out of the way rather than influencing a shot. Previously I enjoyed the Six-One 95 and RF97 for backhand slices and initially I liked the Volkl V-Sense 10 325g just for it’s manoeuvrability and serve, but now I find that latter stick works well everywhere, so I don’t fear or favour any particular strokes.

Ed V August 16, 2020 - 16:16

I love hitting backhands and will step around a forehand to hit it.
I serve and volley and like to attack second serves.
Slice is dicey at high altitude, but making your opponent hit up can produce errors.
I’m in between right now.
I have my last Blade 93 and a Volkl VFeel 8 which I won in a give away.
The Volkl is very comfortable but a bit unstable.


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