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Home GearTennis Racquets Great Racquet Buying Guide

Great Racquet Buying Guide

by Tennisnerd

Here’s a great racquet buying guide from Tennis Express on buying a racquet. I’ve also written extensively on the subject since I’m addicted to buying racquets. Yes, I might as well come out and say it – it’s kind of an addiction and I have tested hundreds of racquets over the years.

Below you’ll find some of my posts on the racquet buying process. If you want to know about what the ATP professionals play, you’ll find lots of information on this page.

Some sample posts covering the tennis racquet buying process.

But let’s be more interactive than that. Why not ask Tennisnerd? Just write your questions in the comments field and I will try to guide you to the right racquet.

 

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27 comments

Florian March 11, 2017 - 11:16 am

Hi!
I’m looking for new racquets for the tennis kids in my club. My question is at what age would you recommend an adult racquet. The kids are 11 years old and play on the full court with green balls.
I was thinking about a racquet with max weight 265g and head size minimum 100in2. You find racquets with this specs also in adult racquets. Whats the difference in junior racquets? It would be nice if you would write about junior racquets. Thanks a lot for your blog. Best tennis blog!
Kind regards
Florian from Austria

Reply
Tennisnerd March 12, 2017 - 7:02 am

Hi Florian,
Thanks for your nice comment!
I think the specs of the racquet depends a bit on the size of the kid. Age 11 is exactly that age where they either would use a 26-inch or adult-sized racquet. The only real difference between a junior racquet and an adult one is the length of the racquet (junior ones are always on the lighter end of the scale as well). That extra inch changes the manoeuvrability slightly, but it shouldn’t be a huge change for them. As long as you keep the weight rather low, you should be fine.

So my personal take and advice on this is to buy a good, light-weight adult racquet and start getting them used to that one.

I will definitely write more on junior racquets as well, as that’s an important subject and comes up with various coaches frequently.

Good luck and let me know what racquet you buy in the end.

Cheers / Jonas

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Florian March 16, 2017 - 6:37 pm

Thanks for your immediate answer.
The kids are now trying some wilson junior racquets. Your comment really makes sense to me, that’s why i think most of the kids should change to an adult racquet this summer. When they get used to the adult racquets (with low weight) quite early, they have an advantage when they are older.
Thanks a lot!

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Brandon D August 12, 2017 - 6:24 pm

I currently use a Head Graphene Speed XT MP A but I am looking for a good control racquet to further customize. Head size between 97 and 100 with a 18 20 string pattern
It should have good maneuverability, be on the lighter side, and have quality feel.
I have looked into the new Wilson Ultra Tour. Should I get a relatively modern racquet such as the Ultra Tour or an older generation racquet such as the IG Speed MP? Thanks

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Tennisnerd August 14, 2017 - 9:50 am

Hi Brandon,
I’d really suggest you try the Wilson Ultra Tour or a Prince Textreme 100P. Both are light, suitable for customization and are quality racquets.

The IG Speed MP doesn’t match these racquets in my view.

Good luck and let me know how it goes! Cheers / Jonas

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Matty October 23, 2017 - 5:37 am

Hi,

I used to play with the Wilson Pro Staff 85. I loved the whippy, headlight feel of this racquet, but it lacked easy power when I was stretched out by big hitters. My current racquet is the Pro Staff 90 which has a bit more power. I am now thinking of getting a bigger racquet (97-98 sq inch) with similar weight and balance specs to the Pro Staff 85. The RF97 is the obvious choice, but I am wondering whether the open string pattern of the RF97 combined with larger frame would reduce feel and control. Would I be better off getting a frame with a 18×20 string pattern to maintain control? Is there a big drop in topspin and power with a closed string pattern?

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Tennisnerd October 23, 2017 - 9:21 am

Hi,
Understand your situation. The Pro Staff 85 is a great racquet, but it has a hard time fitting in into a competitive situation today, at least on higher levels. I used the Pro Staff 90 for a while and it’s a great racquet too, but suffers from a small sweet spot when you face players with heavy top spin. Personally, I think I’d try a Wilson Six One 95, a Prince Textreme Tour 95 (with lead tape) or another 95 sq inch racquet before I go to the 97. Personally, I find the RF 97 quite tricky to play with at times because it’s a lot to swing and you’ll definitely not get a “whippy” feel in any way or form. It is a good racquet, but quite string sensitive and can feel harsh to some players.

Top spin and power can be generated from pretty much any string pattern and racquet with the correct technique so I definitely think you should try one of the racquets above and see if you like it. I also enjoy the Tecnifibre Tfight 315 Ltd very much and that you can find in 16×19 if you prefer that string pattern. Also, the Angell TC 97 Custom can be ordered to your specification so I probably try that before the RF 97 – but that’s based on my personal preference.

Good luck and let me know how it goes! Cheers / Jonas

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Johan Jonasson December 27, 2017 - 1:32 am

Hello. I play with a Head graphene xt speed mp with lead inlays so it weighs 315 grams. I wonder if I need a heavier one?

This is a video of me trying to hit a forehand with a straight elbow like Federer.
At this stage I have played little less than three years.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?
v=rggcqtCvtIg

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Johan Jonasson December 27, 2017 - 1:41 am Reply
Gaetano February 3, 2018 - 7:44 am

Hi, I’ve some tennis elbow issues, I am using a Yonex ezone 100 with 50 lbs multifibre strings, Do you have any suggestions on a different racket to use?

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Tennisnerd February 3, 2018 - 3:39 pm

Hi Gaetano,
The Yonex Ezone 100 is a little bit stiff. If you like Yonex, the Ai 100 or 98 is softer. Prince Textreme Pro 100 or 100P are also very comfortable (more than the Yonex racquets). Another great racquet is the Angell K7 Red, which is one of the most comfortable racquets on the market.

You can’t go wrong with either of these racquets! Hope you find something you like. Cheers / Jonas

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Max July 12, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Hi,
I am looking for some advice. I use the HEAD Prestige MP now with babolat rpm team, around 24 kg. I like the control but I want a racket that is easier to generate pace and spin with. I am an allround player but dont volley as much anymore, more power based. I have a single handed backhand and good forehand, my rating is 3 so I am a pretty good player. Do you have any recomendations.

thanks in advance

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Tennisnerd July 13, 2018 - 9:30 am

Hi Max,
There are many good options if you want to move up from 95 sq inch control racquets.

Here are some that I usually recommend:
Yonex DR 98 – a good control/power combo.
Babolat Pure Strike 98 – a bit stiffer, but really nice response.
Angell K7 Red – Really soft racquet with loads of spin, but low on power.
Prince Beast 98 – Versatile racquet with good spin and power.
Wilson Ultra Tour – More control-oriented than the above, but bigger sweet spot than the Prestige MP.

I think any of the above would be a good transition into a more powerful and forgiving racquet.

Good luck! Cheers / Jonas

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Katie Brooks August 7, 2018 - 8:15 am

Hi Jonas

I read your website everyday! I love it, especially your racket reviews!
I am a bit like you, addicted to trying out new rackets!
I just want to find the perfect racket for me!

I am a fairly good player!
I am a full time coach but I also play competitively in club matches, county matches and national events!

I currently use the Head Radical MP 295g – and I have won all my matches this Summer!
However, I am always looking to change racket – I need a bit more power to my game!
I am intrigued about the new Babolat Aero Drive – I have never used a Babolat before – maybe this could transform my game!

You are the expert!
I have the Prince Green racket too which I have really enjoyed using!

Many Thanks

Katie

Reply
Tennisnerd August 7, 2018 - 9:38 am

Hi Katie,
Thanks! The HEAD Radical MP is a decent racquet, but more low-powered than the Babolat Aero Pro Drive or Pure Aero as the more recent editions are called. I definitely think you should try it if you want more power. There is a new edition of the Pure Aero coming in a few weeks if you want something fresh! There are a couple other interesting options as well if you want to add power to your game.

* Babolat Pure Aero or Pure Drive
* Yonex DR/SV 100 (a bit less stiff than the above version)
* Prince Textreme Tour 100P (might be the Prince Green you’re referring too!)

Good luck in finding a good setup for your game!

Cheers / Jonas

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Oleg August 27, 2018 - 8:35 pm

When do u think the next pure strike will be?

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Tennisnerd August 28, 2018 - 10:38 am

Good question! Should be later next year. Interesting update!

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Andrés January 15, 2019 - 5:41 am

Hello – I’ve been playing with a second-hand Wilson Blade, 98 sq, and I’m torn between buying a new Blade, or else switching to a Ultra.

I’ve been playing for two years, and like serve and volley, and coming do the net to finish points there. Blade gives me a lot of feel and control, but not so much power (that’s up to me, I guess). What would you recommend?

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Tennisnerd January 15, 2019 - 8:36 am

Hi Andres,
The Ultra is even less powerful so if you want more power, these are some decent options:

Yonex VCORE 98
Babolat Pure Strike 98
Diadem Elevate

If you have arm issues, I would avoid the Pure Strike, otherwise it plays nice.

Cheers / Jonas

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Grant January 15, 2019 - 12:32 pm

Hi Jonas,

What we your specs when you were using the pure strike 98? Right now I matched a pair to be 337 grams and just a tad over 4 pts headlight. Swingweight is probably just a tad over 330. Nice setup, just wish it could be a tad more maneuverable.

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Tennisnerd January 15, 2019 - 1:06 pm

Hi Grant,

Very close to your specs! I added a leather grip and 4-5 grams at 3 and 9 so mine were a bit more head-light…Cheers / Jonas

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Grant January 18, 2019 - 5:20 am

Jonas,
Thanks for the reply. I’m used to racquets that are a little less headlight so maybe that explains why I like it. Do you have any reccomendation for good players racquets around 97-98 inches in case the strike becomes a little too much for my arm? I don’t think it will be with low loose I string but I just want to be prepared.

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Stefan February 24, 2019 - 10:14 am

Hi Jonas,
I‘m looking for my wife a new Tennis racquet and ask for your advice. Currently she use the Prince Warriors 100 and customized the racquet at 320 grams with a balance of 315 mm unstrung.
She likes to play from the baseline, but also looks for the way to the net and plays a two-handed backhand. She likes the control but want a racquet that is easier to generate pace and spin with.
Thanks a lot!

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Tennisnerd February 24, 2019 - 10:21 am

Hi Stefan,
Sounds like she is already using quite a powerful racquet. But she could try the new Babolat Pure Aero, offers a nice blend of pace and spin. Also, the Wilson Clash Tour could be an interesting test for her. Good luck!

Regards / Jonas

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Frank April 7, 2019 - 8:25 pm

Hi Jonas,

could you please help me with a string set up including tension for my Yonex DR98? I am quite small and looking for strings that give some extra power on my groundstrokes.

Many thanks!

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Tennisnerd April 9, 2019 - 5:55 am

Hi Frank,
There are quite a few powerful strings on the market. A few that I mention in my latest string post: Volkl Cyclone Tour, Diadem Solstice Power (Diadem Flash is also good), Solinco Tour Bite Soft. Cheers / J

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David Yaconi September 10, 2019 - 1:52 pm

Hi,

I’m 40 years old and haven’t played much in the last 20 years. I grew up playing some tournament tennis with the Sampras pro staff mid. I’m a bigger/taller guy and for some reason that racket gelled with me back then. I no longer play as much but I’m wanting to start playing more and wonder if there isn’t a better racket for me now. At the baseline I hit forehands with a lot of top spin and I have a one handed backhand that I mix up with a slice. At the net, I’m somewhat of a finesse player. I would say that I don’t have any problem generating power. What I need most is control and consistency on my forehand. My rackets are still strung very tight from habit, but I curious is that might need to change. I know the newer pro staff’s are an obvious choice and I should probably check those out but I’m curious what other suggestions you might have for me.

Thank you,

David

Reply

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