Do you wonder about the tennis racquets of ATP Professionals? It is rarely the racquets they advertise…
The Tennis Racquets of ATP Professionals
Pro tennis racquets are most often something else with a paint job of the latest commercial racquet model. This post will help you get insight into what racquets the tennis pros actually use.
The tennis racquet industry needs to sell racquets to survive, and the best way to sell a racquet is for a popular and successful player to endorse and market it. But since most tennis pros are meticulous about their gear, and the tennis racquet is so important, they would not want to change racquets willy-nilly. Instead they use the racquet model they are used to. It is then usually customized to their specs and the company paints it as a new model and the player “endorses” this line of racquets. The racquet they really use under the so called paint job is usually referred to as a pro stock tennis racquet.
Behind the scenes
Sometimes, it is pretty close to what they are actually using. For example, Rafael Nadal plays the first edition of the Babolat Aero Pro Drive, but has always been endorsing the latest Aero Pro or Pure Aero line of tennis racquets from Babolat – right now being the Babolat Pure Aero. They are quite similar however, so it does not feel like a complete deception. It is similar with Nick Kyrgios who is using the Yonex Xi 98, but is endorsing the latest model Yonex Ezone 98.
Then we have a guy like Andy Murray who is playing with a very flexible 20-year-old tennis racquet (with a string pattern that was never available to the public – the 16×19 version of the HEAD Pro Tour 630 is called PT57A in pro stock lingo). It has a true racquet face of 95 sq inches while he has been endorsing the Head Radical line of tennis racquets in its countless different iterations.
Same goes for Novak Djokovic who has been endorsing a 100 sq inch racquet with the HEAD Speed line, but is using a 95 sq inch model based on an old racquet with the HEAD pro stock code PT113B. You can not buy Novak Djokovic’s real racquet in stores, but that does not mean the racquet he endorses, the Speed MP, is a bad racquet.
Do we all need pro stock racquets?
So this is just the name of the game. Most recreational players will do fine with a good retail tennis racquet and need not worry about buying a pro stock racquet unless they really, really want to. And if you are not happy with your current racquet setup or have not found one with the specs you like, remember that you can always customise the racquet to your liking.
I have written a good number of posts on what the ATP professionals really use and here is the list so far. Please let me know if there is a player missing and I will try to find out what he uses. I have also reviewed a lot of retail racquets and you can find a decent overview on this page. Also, if you want to buy a new racquet – you will find a few decent guides here:
ATP Professionals and their tennis racquets
Juan Martin Del Potro
Pablo Carrena Busta
Victor Estrella Burgos