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Dominic Thiem Tennis Racquet

by Jonas Eriksson

You might have watched the Austrian Grand Slam winner and thought: What is that Dominic Thiem tennis racquet?

Dominic Thiem Tennis Racquet

Austrian wunderkind Dominic Thiem is using the old Babolat Pure Strike 18×20 with Babolat VS Touch Black (natural gut) in the mains and RPM Blast 17 in the crosses. This is now painted as the new Babolat Pure Strike.

So the stakes are high this year. Will he live up to his massive potential? For Babolat I’m sure this is a big question as well, since Thiem has the potential to become a racquet poster boy with the new Babolat Pure Strike , but he is actually using the old model – the Babolat Pure Strike 18×20 with silicone in the handle and lead tape. You can get the older model really cheap right now, but I personally prefer the new one and this is my main stick at the time of writing…

Thiem is deceptively strong and creates massive racquet head speed in his big swings and that’s what makes him exciting to watch. I think he’s pretty much the perfect ambassador for the Babolat Pure Strike and Babolat desperately needs to reignite the model after the “failure” with the previous, in most players view, rather “boardy”-feeling racquets.

Thiem is stringing his Babolat Pure Strike with Babolat VS Touch Black in the mains and RPM Blast 17 in the crosses (you can buy this in a hybrid set as well). This gives him an arm-friendly, yet control-oriented setup.

Ps. If you want to purchase Dominic Thiem’s tennis gear, check out my affiliates Tennis Warehouse, Tennis Warehouse Europe or Tennis Only (AUS). If you buy anything through my links, Tennisnerd gets a small commission. DS.

His specs are supposed to be the following:

337 grams strung, 33 cm balance, 345 swing weight and his racquet handle is molded to have the HEAD classic rectangular shape. He uses the old model with Babolat RPM Blast and Babolat Natural gut hybrid string setup.

The Babolat Pure Strike has received rave reviews and seems like a great modern weapon for an attacking tennis similar to Thiem. If you’ve tried the racquet, let me know what you think in the comments field.

If you’re interested in what other ATP professionals use on the tennis court, check this list of articles describing the racquets of the ATP professionals. And if you’re curious about pro stock tennis racquets, I suggest you read this article about pro stock tennis racquets.

Here are the strung specs of the Babolat Pure Strike


Head Size: 98in²/630cm²
Length: 27in / 68,5cm
Weight: 11.3oz / 320g
Unstrung Weight:10.8oz / 305g
Balance: 33,02cm / 4 pts HL
Unstrung Balance: 32cm / 7 pts HL
Swingweight: 323
Stiffness: 67
Beam Width: 21.3mm / 23.3mm / 21.3mm
Composition: Graphite
Racket Colours: White/Orange
Grip Type: Babolat Skin Feel
String Pattern:
16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Mains skip: 8T,8H
String Tension: 50-59 pounds / 23-27kg


Racquet buying guides

Here is a great racquet buying guide to get you started.
What tennis racquet should I buy?
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The Gear of the Year 2016
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Quick facts about Dominic Thiem:


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devtux_at January 12, 2017 - 10:21

I have tried the 100er version of the new Pure Strike, but IMO the frame felt to stiff, even if not as stiff as the PDs.
Also per default it lacks some weight, maybe lead at 3&9 and a leather grip will help with that.
I think I will test the 98er also, currently I am not quite sure about the RAs of the two rackets.
Do you have the stiffness ratings?

Tennisnerd January 12, 2017 - 11:01

The 100-inch version is quite stiff – listed as 68 RA strung. The 98 is slightly softer at 67 RA, but not close to “soft” in feel. I’m a big fan of lead at 3 and 9 and use it for most of my setups, since most modern racquets in stock form lack stability.

You can try some adding some lead tape and see how it plays. Also stiffness can be in large part affected by your string selection. What strings do you use and what tension do you string them at?

Good luck finding a setup that works for your Pure Strike. If you’re looking for a softer feeling 98, I would go either to the Yonex DR98 or the Wilson Blade 98 with Countervail.

Let me know how it goes! Cheers / Jonas

devtux_at January 13, 2017 - 15:28

The Babolat was a tester only. My current setup is a DR98, with Pacific leather grip, 2g lead at 2&10. Strung it’s currently 348g heavy and quite stable.
As string I am using Völkl Cyclone, 22kg mains, 23kg crosses.
Pretty satisfied with the racket, found nothing similar soft and whippy!

Ethan February 19, 2017 - 00:52

I’ve now played 8 sets of friendly doubles with the new Pure Strike 18×20 (Solinco tour bite 16L strung about 51 Lbs).

I’d describe the racquet as fast and nimble. I really like the thin beam. It’s stiff but softer than most Babolats. My wrist and elbow are a little tired but not sore. A few people commented that my control and consistency had improved.

Tennisnerd February 19, 2017 - 09:23

Hi Ethan,
Sounds like you’re enjoying the new Pure Strike then! How would you describe the launch angle of the 18×20 pattern? Seems like the 16×19 is by far the most popular of the two.

If you want to soften the response of the racquet even more, I’d suggest going with a softer poly like a Solinco Tour Bite Soft or the Ytex Quadro Twist. Weisscannon Silverstring is another good option.

Let me know how you get on when you logged some more hours on the court.

Cheers / Jonas

Ethan February 21, 2017 - 00:37

Hi Jonas,

The launch angle of the 18×20 Pure Strike is higher than that of my Prince 100P 18×20. I think this has something to do with the spacing of the strings on the Pure Strike. The pattern is much denser in the center.

I’ll take your suggestion and investigate Tour Bite Soft, when its time to restring. I like firm string such as Tour Bite or RS Lyon. Does the Soft Tour Bite retain enough firmness or is it doughy like the Yonex Poly Tour Pro?

Tennisnerd February 21, 2017 - 10:04

Hi Ethan,
If you’re looking for a crisp/firm string with a softer feel, I think Tour Bite Soft fits the bill pretty well. My favorite crisp yet arm-friendly poly is definitely Solinco Hyper-G. Have you tried that one? I’m not a huge fan of Yonex Poly Tour Pro. Another one to consider is Diadem Solstice Pro.

Let me know how it goes. Cheers / J

Ethan April 19, 2017 - 04:35

Solinco Hyper G 17 at 51Lbs pairs well with the 18×20 Pure Strike. Control and reasonable comfort; better durability than Tour bite

Tommy Bolander May 6, 2017 - 18:05

Tested the new Pure Strike 100 for a short period of time. It´s very stiff and has less feel than my P.S 100(2014) I have a sore shoulder and felt a discomfort I never had with the old P.S 100. I´m keeping my old ones and selling the Pure Strike 100(2017).
I strung it with RPM blast on all the rackets 23-24 kgs/50 lbs.

Tennisnerd May 7, 2017 - 07:39

Thanks for commenting. Interesting observation! Most people seem to think the newer Pure Strike is more comfortable, but that might be for the 98-inch. If you have shoulder issues I would consider switching racquet or string to something softer. The RPM Blast is notoriously stiff and ages quickly (feels great the first 8 hours however!). There are many interesting softer poly options these days such as Solinco Tour Bite Soft, Luxilon 4G Soft, and Weisscannon Silverstring. You could also consider stringing your racquets with half natural gut or multifilament string and half RPM Blast for a softer response.

Cheers / Jonas

Tommy Bolander May 7, 2017 - 11:50

I will try a softer poly, hybrid or multifilament. I don´t have the same discomfort with my old Pure Strikes though.

thank you for your rekommendations Jonas!

Lee May 19, 2017 - 19:26

I play a Wilson blade 18/20 last generation and love its buttery feel and control ploughing thru etc. just demoed the 18/20 pure strike for 1 week, got locked in on the third day and love love love this racquet. Similar to the Wilson but more and easier pop on the ball. Played the 100 inch for one day and it was a not go. Will try the 16/19, more buzz but I love a good 18/20 and this one was sweet.

Tennisnerd May 19, 2017 - 19:52

Thanks for your comment, Lee! 16×19 is a sweeeet stick…Cheers / J

Alex June 2, 2017 - 08:42

Could we get an update on this? Do you know his real spec? Weight, SW etc? Also is he using the old one under the paint job or the new one? What strings is he currently using?
Thank you:)

Tennisnerd June 2, 2017 - 09:02

Thanks for the comment! I updated the article.

Sadly I don’t know the specs 100% – a serious guess would be 340 grams strung, 4-5 pts head-light. He is using his old Pure Strikes 18×20 painted as the new model. He is using Babolat VS Touch Black in the mains and RPM Blast in the crosses.

Bryce June 7, 2017 - 18:33

I’m just getting back into tennis, and I picked up a couple of the 16×19 Pure Strikes. Love them! Pinpoint accuracy, great control, amazing spin, and just the right amount of power. It’s a very fun stick to play with. I formerly played with different versions of the Pure Drive. I like this better. I have mine strung with Volkyl Cyclone @ 50 pounds.

However, I am having arm issues. I may try a softer string in the future. And most likely, my form is at fault and not the stick.


Tennisnerd June 8, 2017 - 10:02

Hi Bryce,
They are great sticks. If you’re feeling some arm pain, I have a few suggestions:

* I used to love Volkl Cyclone but it is a rather firm poly string. I would try a Weisscannon Silverstring, RS Lyon, Solinco Tour Bite Soft or Solinco Hyper-G (my personal choice). You can of course also use a hybrid setup with natural gut, but that is a bit more costly.
* I have also noticed some arm pain, but since I added lead at 3 and 9 to the racquet, it does feel much more stable on off-center hits and that has improved the comfort quite a bit. I did also add some weight in the handle to make it more head-light – some lead and Wilson leather grip.

So my suggestion is try a new string, maybe add some lead at 3 and 9 to battle those potentially nasty off-center hits and hopefully your arm will be less sore.

Good luck and thanks for reading! Cheers / Jonas

David Friedman June 8, 2017 - 16:02

Great article and glad to have found your blog!!!! I have a Pure Drive and want to string it with Tour Bite Soft and ISO Control 16. Currently using RPM in mains at 54 and Addiction in crosses at 57. Want more power with no loss of control. Thoughts?

Also why is Theim using VS in the mains and RPM in crosses? Doesn’t the poly usually get strung on the mains?



Tennisnerd June 9, 2017 - 09:22

Thanks David! I think your suggestion is decent. Have you tried a full bed of Tour Bite Soft? The string is rather arm-friendly for a poly and you can string it rather low and get good power and control. The downside is that it doesn’t have the best durability – there are really no “soft” poly that has this.

Using the natural gut in the mains is quite popular, for example Andy Murray is doing this. You get more power and comfort but a little less spin. It’s a matter of taste and game style in the end.

Good luck experimenting with your setup! Cheers / J

Kevin June 9, 2017 - 23:21

Tennisnerd and Alex,

With respect to Thiem’s racket, I’ve read different posts on TW’s forums from people who have strung/measured his rackets and the general consensus is that his racket is 337 grams, has a balance of 33 cm, and a 345 swingweight (strung and overgripped). Also, his handles are customized to be shaped like Head racket handles (Thiem played with Head rackets as a Junior and early on as a Pro before moving to Babolat). Lastly, Thiem generally has his VS Gut 16/RPM Blast 17 hybrid strung between 55 to 57 pounds.

Tennisnerd June 10, 2017 - 07:21

That sounds like reasonable specs and I know he played with HEAD racquets before. Thanks for the info Kevin!


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