Aslan Karatsev has shocked the tennis world with his extraordinary season in 2021. But what is Karatsev’s racquet?
The 27-year-old from Vladikavkaz in Russia reached the semi-finals in the Australian Open, won the ATP 500 tournament in Dubai, and reached the final in the ATP 250 in Serbia after defeating no other than Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. He has seemingly come from nowhere and showed that he has the game and grit to become a consistent force in the game. But what is Karatsev’s racquet?
It looks like a Prestige Pro or MP if you just look at the paint job, but as you know, with pro players, it’s rarely as easy as that.
How do you find out?
How much attention should you pay to pro-player specs?
Not too much, frankly. It’s interesting to know and as a bonafide tennis nerd, I find it fascinating. However, I never take the information into account to what racquet I should play with. Just because we play with Karatsev’s racquet, doesn’t mean we’ll play even remotely close to Karatsev.
I receive emails from people who think that the reason a certain player is so successful is partly to do with the racquet and if he used that racquet he would have to stop worrying about racquets because he uses “the best one”.
It doesn’t work like that. You need the racquet that works best for your game and level. And there is no BEST racquet. Sure, it pays off to put some time and effort into finding the right racquet for you but beware of falling into the rabbit hole of racquet specs and put the time into working on your game and playing tennis instead.
Most rec players, including myself, struggle with consistency and footwork most of all. Those are the biggest areas of improvement for 90% of all club players in my opinion.
Okay, that was a tangent.
If you’re into tennis racquets, you can tell by the pictures that this is not the mold of a regular Prestige that you can buy from Tennis Warehouse. Looking at the throat, the thickness of the beam you see that it more closely resembles the old HEAD Pro Tour mold or the PT57A that it’s called in pro stock terminology.
I have already mentioned the specs in my post “Who is Aslan Karatsev” where HEAD racquet expert on TW forums Dr325i listed Karatsev’s racquet specs as:
String pattern: 18?20
Weight: 340g strung
Balance: 32 cm / 6 pts HL
Swing weight strung: 340
String: Head Hawk 1.25
If you want a racquet similar to this, but don’t want to pay the high price that PT57As usually go for – go for the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0. It’s the same mold, but a bit stiffer for more free power.
If you want a similar racquet to Karatsev but more forgiveness, you should check out the HEAD Prestige MP, which is the racquet I am mainly using myself alongside the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0.
Karatsev’s racquet is not forgiving, but if you are a player that hits the ball as clean as hard as him, it’s about control and then the HEAD Pro Tour mold is still going strong in 202 1! 25 years or so after its release.