There are so many different racquets, but some models you see repeatedly. Why? Let’s dive into the most popular tennis racquets.
The Most Popular Racquets
One of the critical aspects of the most popular tennis racquets is ensuring you have successful players to endorse them. As you know, most pros don’t use the racquet they advertise. It’s their old racquet painted to look like the new one.
To make sure you sell a lot of racquets, you need to spend some money on marketing and endorsements, but you also need to create good products that suit the target group.
Let’s start with the iconic Babolat Pure Drive. Why is it so popular? The model has been around for almost 30 years and has gone through many different iterations. However, it stays loyal to the characteristics of easy power.
Babolat was lucky to get the Pure Drive, actually the Babolat Soft Drive, in the hands of ultra-talented Carlos Moya in the 90s. He became the face of this famous line, which then became a hit on the WTA Tour especially, but also in American colleges where Babolat has built a strong presence.
The Pure Drive means easy power, decent spin, and a forgiving racquet for the masses. The stiffer feel can result in some arm issues with the incorrect technique or wrong string, but for most players, this frame results in easy depth.
Many pros use a generation of the Pure Drive today: Garbine Muguruza, Fabio Fognini, Sofia Kenin, Karolina Pliskova, and many more.
Before we live Babolat, we should also mention the Pure Aero, which were made for a certain Rafa Nadal in 2004, using the Pure Drive. Back then, it was called the Aero Pro Drive. I’m not sure if this spin-focused racquet with aerodynamic properties and grommets accentuating string movement has surpassed the Pure Drive in sales, but I would assume so.
Rafa is the obvious poster boy and engine for the Aero. But many pros use the model today and you see it everywhere on the local club level here in Spain. Active pros: Botic Van de Zandschulp, Benoit Paire, Leyla Fernandez, Danielle Collins.
The Wilson racquet you see all over the place is the Blade. Yes, the pros might be using other models underneath, like several pros on the WTA tour who use the Steam 100 instead, like Badosa, Anisimova and Raducanu to name a couple.
On the men’s tour, you also see loads of Blades. Sometimes there are actual Blade 98 racquets, like Stefanos Tsitsipas, Tommy Paul, and David Goffin. But you often have Blade Pro or H22 users like Karen Khachanov, Pablo Carreno Busta and Filip Krajinovic.
The Blade is also extremely popular among college players and club players. Why? Because it offers control without being too soft or not powerful enough. It’s a very balanced frame and you can choose if you want a higher swing weight and more precise string bed with the 18×20 or more spin with the 16×19.
For advanced players, there is no doubt that this is the most popular racquet.
The Wilson has also sold many Clash racquets thanks to its excellent marketing campaign and arm-friendly technology. Still, it has yet to find itself in the hands of professional players. The reason partly is that it’s a new model, but it also lacks the control that pros need.
Federer has single-handedly sold many, many Pro Staffs. You see the RF97, the 97, or the lighter versions in clubs everywhere. They are not as prevalent on tour, but we have Jabeur on the WTA tour and Dimitrov on the ATP playing with a version of the Pro Staff.
HEAD offer many different racquet models. The Speed line is their most popular, though as it’s endorsed by players like Novak Djokovic, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Jannik Sinner. In Novak’s case, “endorsed” is the key word, but Jannik uses a Touch Speed MP. This line is popular because it lands in the middle of racquets like the Blade and the Babolat Drives. It’s a balanced yet forgiving frame.
And with the Pro and the MP you can also choose between string patterns and weights.
You see many other HEAD frames on tour, the Radical and Gravity perhaps ahead of the Extreme and Boom. The Prestige is still widely endorsed, but sales for this kind of control-focused racquets are not easy these days.
Check out HEAD tennis racquets.
Yonex have made considerable strides to become a serious player in the racquet industry in recent years. The power line, Ezone, has been an enormous success and the pro player roster using a version of this frame is spectacular: Osaka, Kyrgios, Kokkinakis, Bublik, Fucsovics are all Ezone 98 users.
Power but with the control of a slightly smaller head size is the selling point of the Ezone 98. The Ezone 100 is more direct in what it offers and is used by Jessica Pegula and a bunch of other players on the WTA Tour and Casper Ruud in the extended version.
The VCORE and VCORE Pro are not quite as popular as the Ezone, but you have Hurkacz, Shapovalov and Tiafoe leading the charge on the ATP tour.
In my video about the most improved racquet brand, I singled out Tecnifibre because I think they have made serious progress in their development in recent years. They do have some powerful endorsements now, with Iga Swiatek and Daniil Medvedev endorsing the brand as world number ones.
Still, it will take a long time if they were to become a mainstream brand you see out among juniors and club players. You need massive distribution, marketing, and time to build world-class brands. And it takes time for people to recognize brands and products. Maybe it will happen, and Tecnifibre is possibly doing better than ever, but I would still say it’s a niche brand compared to the big four in tennis.
Like many smaller brands, Prince still produces good products but lacks the marketing muscle and player endorsements to fight against the top. Isner and Andujar are the remaining players I can think of using this old tennis powerhouse. But although the sales might be OK thanks to their relationship with Tennis Warehouse, it’s hard to see them do exceptionally well without the endorsements of top players.
Quality products are not enough to build world-class brand, you also need to invest in marketing for the long term.
That’s a clear realization from looking at the most popular tennis racquets right now.
Check out Prince tennis racquets at Tennis Warehouse.