Home Players Aryna Sabalenka’s Racquet

Aryna Sabalenka’s Racquet

by TN

Aryna Sabalenka won the Madrid Masters after only dropping a set during the entire tournament. But what is Sabalenka’s racquet?

Sabalenka is a force in the women’s game. When she is on and her shots are firing, there is seemingly no stopping her. That’s how it was in Madrid, where she blazed through the draw to land in a final against world number one, Ash BartyΒ (click the link to find out about Ash Barty’s racquet). She had lost to Barty in Stuttgart and was hungry for revenge. And what a revenge she got! In the first set of the match, she was completely unplayable, hitting only one unforced error, loads of winners and serving Barty the first bagel in four years. It impressed most tennis nerds enough to ask: what is Sabalenka’s racquet? πŸ™‚

Sabalenka’s racquet

Figuring out pro-player racquets is quite difficult unless you manage to buy them somewhere or there is a stringer or customizer who has worked on the players’ racquets and is willing to share. In Sabalenka’s case, I don’t know the specs nor the tension. I do know that she is using a relatively small head size in the women’s game, where most players use a 100 sq inch tweener-style frame.

Sabalenka endorses the Wilson Blade 98 V7 18×20 but uses a Wilson Blade pro stock (thanks to Bogdan for correcting me), which means that it’s likely an older version of the Blade painted to look like the latest one. It’s difficult to know which one, but there are pictures of her using the Blade 2013 many years back, so it could be that one.

Sabalenka uses the 18×20 version and she has it strung with Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 1.25.

Since she can produce so much power herself, she needs the kind of control that this setup brings.

You can check out Sabalenka’s current gear page at Tennis Warehouse, Tennis Warehouse EuropeΒ or Tennis Only (AUS).

Or check out the Blade Pro and other Wilson Pro Labs racquets at Wilson.comΒ (any purchase through my links will send a small commission to Tennisnerd at no cost to you).

How far can Sabalenka go?

This is what her coach Dimitry Tursunov (remember his blog? That was great!) said about Sabalenka in 2018:

“She could be that person that changes the game the way Serena changed the game, or the way Monica Seles changed the game, or the way Steffi Graf changed the game,” Tursunov said in 2018. “She’s bringing a lot more physicality, a lot more power, but also controlled power. There’s a lot of girls who can hit hard but, generally, they tend to not move well or they’re just kind of one-dimensional.”

This quote comes from the WTA Insider.

“Now working with coach Anton Dubrov and fitness coach Jason Stacy, Sabalenka has discovered a way to play her blistering power game consistently. Since the tour restarted after the pandemic break last summer, Sabalenka has won four titles and made her first Slam quarterfinal in three years, narrowly losing in three sets to Serena Williams at the Australian Open.”

Sabalenka is ranked 4th in the world but has never gone beyond the 4th round at a Grand Slam. Is it time to make the change at the French Open? There is no doubt that she is putting the pieces together and she has the game and firepower to win a slam title in my opinion.

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3 comments

James Mcdadi May 11, 2021 - 08:17

Aryna’s team is using Data analytics from Data Driven Sports Analytics, it’s been the big driver in her improvement, particularly on clay.

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Miguel Diaz May 11, 2021 - 08:49

Interesting read! What would the different effect outcome be using a 16×19 string pattern versus a 18×20 as Sabalenka uses?

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J May 13, 2021 - 22:19

Hi Miguel, usually 16/19 has a higher launch angle and a bit of an easier sweet spot.
18/20 usually more control at contact but more need to self generate with good technique, the 18/20 usually, but not always, has a higher swingweight. More strings for a start.
Hard to say, because Wilson QC specs have a reputation for being absolutely all over the place. Maybe you get 305g, maybe 290, maybe 320. Maybe 310sw, maybe 340.
It annoys me, it’s why I stopped using Wilson frames.
@James, data analysis is fantastic, assuming that players have defined patterns of play or responses especially bat critical moments. Right up to the moment when the top players figure out that you are programmed to follow the data and they just do either the total opposite or behave in a random fashion.
Data is incredibly useful as long as when u get figured out, you have an adaptable game that can go toe to toe Vs any opponent and you understand your own data strong points and can still play your own A game to win, rather then be rumbled for your data driven strategy. I read some discussion from ‘the big 3’, individually about this.
She for sure has enough game to mix it, and if data takes her to mix it with the top then winning can be a momentum driven habit.
And she smiles, has personality…..nice to see.

I’m still going for Swiatek though. Lol

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