I wanted to create a series of videos on the topic: Things to know about tennis racquets. This one deals with weight, swing weight & balance.
Why I lumped them together into one video called “Things to know about tennis racquets” is because I often get the question: if the weight and balance of my racquets (same model) are the same, will they have the same swing weight. The short answer to that is: no. The weight distribution inside the racquet will affect the swing weight, so although a similar weight and balance might make it closer, it's still not the whole answer.
If you're serious about your tennis and your gear, these are things that I really suggest you get a general understanding of. I played many years without paying any attention to these things and often wondered why two racquets of the same model played differently.
Racquets can also vary in stiffness, so that might be a reason why one racquet feels better than the other despite them being matched. I have a HEAD 3-in-1 machine to measure swing weight, but few machines on the measured stiffness, but we can't customize that anyway, so let's leave that out of the discussion.
Is swing weight the most important metric?
You might have a relatively light racquet, but it's still heavy to swing. That's because there is a lot of weight in the head of the frame. The opposite might also be true, a heavy racquet can have a relatively low swing weight, if it's very head-light, meaning that most of the weight is situated in the handle of the racquet. This is kind of an old-school specification of a racquet, while we're seeing lighter racquets with high swing weights today.
Carlos Moya is one of the more extreme cases of light and head-heavy racquets. His Babolat Soft Drives used to weigh 322 grams strung but be 7-8 pts head-heavy and have a swing weight nearing 400 (!!). That's quite an extreme spec, even for a pro.
Alexei Popyrin is another good example. His PT57A has so much lead tape at 12 o'clock that despite being only around 330 grams with strings, it still has a 364 swing weight!
That spec works for him, while for other players it might be unplayable. Racquets and their specs and setups are highly personal.
Knowing your spec range and understanding how different racquets and specs affect your game can be highly useful in finding the right racquet for you.
Watch the video
I will create more content about this fascinating topic, but for now – I hope you enjoy the video!
Great Article. That Pro Stock TGT I showed you I could get to match Popyrins spec but good god, like, NO WAY lol. My wrist hurts thinking about that.
I held Moyas frame when they were being customised from scratch by the pro customiser in Spain. He handed me an unstrung Pure Drive (paint job of Moya) and the custom Moya frame and told me to turn the frame around to feel the balance difference and I was gobsmacked. The frame was light, but as you say all the weight in the head. Unusual for an ATP pro, as you say. Very rare to have HH balance….
Different drill pattern too I believe.