I’ve been asked this question quite frequently: What are the best racquets for the one-handed backhand 2023?
The Best Racquets for the One-Handed Backhand 2023
This is, obviously, a subjective list. Some would argue you can hit a great one-handed backhand with any racquet. But since I got this question so often, I wanted to reply with the racquets I am most comfortable with, of the ones released in 2023, to hit my one-hander with.
What I like in a racquet on the one-handed backhand specifically is:
A thinner beam
Smaller head sizes (98 and below)
A throat that feels comfortable to grip when you’re taking the racquet back
Another note is that these things might not be what you value in a racquet. But for me, these characteristics come back time and time again.
You can watch my video detailing my one-handed backhand recommendations here.
I created two categories for my recommendations: spin/power and control/feel.
The spin/power category holds more modern racquets with thicker beams and higher stiffness, while the control/feel category is more traditional racquets.
Power and spin racquets
HEAD Extreme Tour Auxetic
This racquet just feels RIGHT on the one-hander. It comes through the air easily and gives you good net clearance thanks to a semi-high launch angle and a good balance of power and control. It sometimes play a bit too powerful for me on other shots, but one the one-hander it is brilliant. You can check out my HEAD Extreme Tour Auxetic review. Fans of Lorenzo Musetti might want to check out the Boom Pro, but he is really using the Extreme.
Wilson Shift 99
For a 99 sq inch head size with a thick beam (23.5 mm), this racquet surprised me with good maneuverability and a solid feel. It’s a new line from Wilson and seems to have wowed most play-testers. Check out my Wilson Shift 99 review.
Babolat Pure Drive 98
I really enjoyed this racquet, but I would like to add a warning sign for the stiffness. It’s one of the highest on the market at 74, and in a dense string pattern, that type of stiffness can create issues for some players. Still, it’s an excellent frame. I was not sure whether to include this one or the Pure Aero 98. Both are great. The Aero is more comfortable, but I feel like the aerodynamic features force me to swing a bit more unnaturally if that makes sense. Check out my Pure Drive 98 review here.
Tecnifibre IGA 298
This racquet is also listed as having a high stiffness, but the foam-filling helps the comfort and stability. It is lighter than the other racquets but gives you room for customization and plays stable enough thanks to the foam. Whippy and powerful. Here is the Tecnifibre IGA 298 review.
Yonex VCORE 95
The Yonex VCORE 95 seems to work well for Denis Shapovalov and it does move really well through the air. The 95 sq inch head size plays bigger than listed thanks to the trademark Yonex isometric head shape. This racquet has surprising amounts of power and spin for a 95! Check out the Yonex VCORE 95 review.
Dunlop FX 500 Tour
This is a bit of a sleeper racquet since it’s not seen as much as some of the others, but it works great on the one-hander and gives you good power for a 98. I noticed that it sometimes comes in a lower spec, so might need some customization. Alexey Popyrin seems happy with his change to this racquet. Check out the Dunlop FX 500 Tour review.
Control and Touch Racquets
HEAD Prestige Pro 2023
This is such a classic Prestige in terms of feel and control, but it has a more forgiving head size than the traditional Prestiges. This racquet requires a serious player but if you bring the game, it delivers. Read the Prestige Pro review here.
For a lighter and easier Prestige, I can really recommend the HEAD Prestige MP L, which was my favorite in the play test.
Wilson Pro Staff 97 V14
What is a one-handed backhand racquet list without the Pro Staff 97? This racquet comes through the air beautifully and if you don’t like the new cosmetic, you can get the Noir version. Read our Wilson Pro Staff 97 V14 review.
Babolat Pure Strike VS
This racquet is easily overlooked. It takes back to “the good old days” of the Babolat Pure Control racquets. You need to be an advanced player to benefit from it, but it does most control things really well. Check out the Pure Strike VS review.
Yonex Percept 97
This racquet has been growing on me a lot. It just delivers that excellent feel and control, and the comfort is top-notch. Yonex racquets can be somewhat muted and dampened, but I think this one balances that well with a good feel. Check out the Yonex Percept 97 review.
It is sometimes difficult to figure out whether a new generation of a racquet model is an improvement or not. But no matter what, the Tecnifibre TF40 remains a great control racquet with a solid and predictable feel. And now you can also get it in a 16×19 string pattern. Our Tecnifibre TF40 review is here.
Dunlop CX 200
Did I choose too many control racquets? Maybe, but I felt like I had to mention the excellent CX 200, as used by Felix Mischker from Tennis Brothers. Great frame, due an update in 2024. The Dunlop CX 200 Review.
There you have it. I realized the last two options weren’t from 2023, so they shouldn’t have been included. But maybe you can find them on sale and get a bargain, so I will keep them there for now.
What racquet do you think is best for the one-handed backhand?