The Internet loves list and Tennisnerd just needs to get on the bandwagon and produce more lists! Well, I just thought it would be fun to create top lists of most popular/interesting/value-for-money tennis racquets out to buy right now. This list is not scientific, but I’m a certified and licensed racquetaholic that played tennis for most of my life as well as tried most racquet models in some iteration available on the markets so I hope I can use some of that experience in creating this list of the Top Tennis Racquets to Buy Right Now. Like the title says, I’ve decided to look at racquets you can buy right now and not legendary racquets like the Head Pro Tour 630, the Wilson Pro Staff Classic or other retired tennis racquet models.
Babolat Pure Strike (2017)
The Babolat Pure Strike was probably one of the best launched tennis racquets of all time. With the release of the prototype called Project One 7 in hands of promising and active players all over the world, Babolat managed to create a massive buzz around the new edition of the Babolat Pure Strike. Dominic Thiem was an excellent choice of main ambassador of the line with his flashy brand of aggressive tennis. The design is bold with a mainly white color with some red and black/grey accents.
Then the reviews came in and it was all Babolat could have ever dreamt of. Pretty much all reviews hailed the new Babolat Pure Strike as an excellent racquet for intermediates up to advanced players. They talked about improved feel, stability and comfortability compared to the older Pure Strike and the tennis racquet retailers such as Tennis Warehouse and Tennis Express all gave really high test scores.
It is a nice feeling racquet, but as I write in my small review, maybe not the racquet for players who have arm problems. And I would recommend you to string low and preferably with a softer poly.
The Babolat Pure Strike is endorsed by Dominic Thiem (among others) and available in a bunch of different models.
Wilson Blade (2017)
I’ve been a long time fan of the Wilson Blade series. Ever since the nBlade in 2006 (the Wilson nCode series was a really good line of racquets) they have captured that modern, crisp, yet quite forgiving feel. And “Blade” really works as a name for the line as the racquet cuts through the air like a knife.
My favorite Blade so far is the 2015 version in 18×20 string pattern which I used for quite a while (I added lead tape and a leather grip) and I recently play-tested the new version with Countervail and although I didn’t like that one as much, it is still a very good racquet. A bit too muted for my personal taste since I really like to feel where in the string bed I hit the ball, but a comfortable response for players who are worried about stiff joints.
Yonex had a blockbuster hit with the really nice playing Yonex Ai 98 but it did suffer from some instability issues at times although the feel and playability was top notch. With the updated line Yonex DR they made the racquet more stable and slightly crisper and it’s now one of the best, most versatile frames on the market.
The racquet is endorsed by Nick Kyrgios.
Head Graphene Touch
Head racquets have always been famous for their feel and with legendary lines such as the Prestige and Radical used by so many great players over the years, they sure have a tradition to maintain. The racquet purists deem the Head IG line as the last classic-feeling racquets in the history of the brand and Head received a lot of criticism for venturing into the “modern” category with stiffer, lighter racquets. Yet you have to understand the Head marketing team trying to reach a younger Pure Drive swinging demographic.
Still, Head Graphene was one of the most hated “racquet technologies” on the tennis forums due to its stiff and somewhat “boardy” feel. Now Head has tried to fix this with the new Head Graphene Touch line of racquets. They have released the Head Graphene Touch Speed and also something called Head Graphene Touch Adaptive, which means you can change weight and string pattern on your racquet similar to the “failure” of the Dunlop iDapt
The Head Graphene Touch Speed is a nice playing line of racquet although according to some they suffer from similar issues as the Wilson Blades, they’re a bit too muted. I guess the racquet companies are just trying to find ways to reduce shock to people’s arms and I think that’s a noble cause in the age of stiffer and stiffer racquets and strings.