A tennis racquet is a must have if you play tennis once in a while. Yes, it all depends on the extension of arms and how long you spend time in practice to get the good scores in a game, but a good tennis racquet will help you develop the stroke you need.
The process involved in choosing a tennis racquet is based on the player’s skill level. Beginner tennis players may look for better all-around racquets which are lightweight and easily maneuvered. Intermediate players may choose racquets that enable them to win more games, primarily by selecting a tennis racquet that plays according to their strengths. Advanced players, on the other hand, have the highest freedom. These are the tennis players who play in a competition and have been playing competitively for years after years. The professionals know their playing style and they know how to play to win tennis games. These are the players who look for a racquet specifically customized to their playing style and according to their unique strengths and weaknesses.
Tennis racquets have variations. Some players like the weightier racquet to give them that extra power to blow away the opponents off the court, whereas some like more controlled, lighter racquet to guide shots past the opponent standing on the opposite side of the net. But the most important things to look at when you are choosing a tennis racquet that suits your needs are the head size, the racquet length, the racquet weight, the balance and the stiffness of the racquet. Last but not least, it is crucial to choose the correct grip size as you want to get the right grasp when hitting the tennis ball.
Today, I’m going to give you a glimpse of what I feel are the top 8 best tennis racquets available right now in the market. If you are planning to buy a high-quality tennis racquet, you will never go wrong choosing one from these.
The 8 Best Tennis Racquets Reviews In The World
- Babolat Pure Strike 98 Tennis Racquet
- Babolat Pure Aero Tour Tennis Racquet
- Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Tennis Racquet
- Yonex EZONE DR 100 Scores
- Wilson Blade 98 (Countervail) Tennis Racquet
- Head Graphene XT Radical S Tennis Racquet
- Babolat 2018 Pure Drive Tennis Racquet
- Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket
1. Babolat Pure Strike 98 Tennis Racquet
Among the most popular racquets that the company sells, the Babolat Pure Strike 98 was the one that took the tennis world by storm when it was first launched. First and for real, it is a player’s racquet, perfect for those who like powerful serves with deep baseline shots. The newest versions of the Pure Strike 98 include a hybrid frame combining elliptical and square sections which give more grasp to the player over where the ball goes.
The Babolat Pure Strike tennis racquet feels good to hold from the baseline; it responds to shots with unbelievable power and control. The easy to control frame leads an effortless punching through volleys at the net. On the serve, the mass and power of the Pure Strike lead to an extra oomph and speed to every service you hit.
Any player can instantly pick up the Babolat Pure Strike (as it is so light) and enjoy playing with this racquet, making it be #1 on our list of the top 8 tennis racquets.
- 10% bigger sweet spot than any averagely sized racquets.
- Lightweight for faster swing speeds.
- Stiff-frame design.
- No whip action while striking the ball.
- Bigger players may find it too light.
RELATED: Best Tennis Shoes For Standing On Concrete All Day – Reviews & Buying Guide
2. Babolat Pure Aero Tour Tennis Racquet
Being popular with the reputation of manufacturing rock solid frames, Babolat’s Pure Aero Tour tends towards the heavier end in the world of the advanced racket classification and because of that, it packs quite a punch. If you are not into Babolat 2018 Pure Strike 98, which is more on the lighter end, you can definitely put your hand on Babolat Pure Aero Tour that can give you that heavy, weightier hold. Yes, Babolat has racquets for all the tennis players out there!
Well, this 315g beast with the frame’s unstrung weight and fairly generous 100-square-inch racket face is aimed at the more talented end of the market, which means generating power will never be a problem.
If you are wondering about the look, don’t worry, its lime-green color combined with jet black will never disappoint you.
- Good heft, excellent plow-through
- Very stable, suitable for heavy shots
- Excellent spin production.
- Comes with a single racquet bag.
- Only a niche group of people who are physically fit will like it.
- At times, this can be way too heavy to handle.
- The grip is not durable.
3. Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Tennis Racquet
Next, on our list, we have Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Tennis Racquet, engineered for the greatest players of all time. The Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph 2018 plays like the previous two versions but has been designed with a tuxedo cosmetic. The Pro Staff RF97 Autograph can impress the play-stars at the baseline with its plow through, blend of power, stability, superb feel and amazing control. From all corners of the world, the players have raved about this racquet’s stability at the net, and a good number of professional players called it one of the best volleying racquets on the market right now.
Although the serves and returns can prove to be more demanding for some, many players have loved what this racquet offers once they got used to its heavier feel. The racquet also has Federer’s favorite string, Wilson’s Champion’s Choice, covered with the full bed of poly. Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Tennis Racquet is, indeed, one of the best options available for advanced, big-swinging players out there.
- Rock-solid stability
- Plow through power
- Grip Feel and touch
- Easy access to topspin, speed, depth, precision, as well as a touch at the net.
- Counterbalanced to compensate for the extra weight.
- Sleek black finish with laser sculpted graphics
- Too heavy (12.9 oz.) for some players liking
- The rubbery paint finish is not in everyone’s liking.
RELATED: Best Tennis Ball Machine – Top 8 Reviews And Buying Guide
4. Yonex EZONE DR 100 Scores
At number 4, let me introduce you to a cool blue version of the EZONE DR 100, a racquet that provides intermediate and advanced players with spin, speed and controllable power. Yonex designed the layup with Nanometric DR, a premium carbon graphite material that allows more powerful ball repulsion. Also new to this model are expanded grommet holes, which help the strings to absorb more of the shock produced from off-center shots. Another amazing technology that it includes is the iconic Isometric head shape, which is reputed for providing a larger, more forgiving hitting zone. Yonex also adds the Quake Shut Gel inside the handle to further prevent the harsh impact vibrations.
All these technologies together with this DR 100, give an impressive level of comfort and dampening while also maintaining the crisp and firm feel that connects the player to the ball. From the baseline, this racquet feels comfortably stable for its maneuverable 11.1-ounce weight. Thanks to its aerodynamic, fast profile and headlight balance, topspin players will have no problem generating the extreme head speed needed for hitting an effective spin. At the net, this stick is fast enough for reaction volleys that hold up very well when redirecting a heavy pace.
So, you can deduce the fact that Yonex has built a very impressive weapon for the player who wants a comfortably crisp racquet that has controllable power and easy access to spin.
- Spin friendly and comfortable
- Powerful (controllable power)
- Easy to use
- Heavy swing weight for plow-through
- The stiffer feeling is high in the string bed
- Not a great racquet for finesse players.
- Not the most stylish tennis racquet.
5. Wilson Blade 98 (Countervail) Tennis Racquet
In our 5th spot is a racquet made popular by all-time great, Serena Williams. The Wilson Blade Countervail is also called the “American muscle car” of tennis racquets. Wilson has truly designed an arm friendly yet heavy hitting racquet in the Wilson Blade Countervail.
It’s true; complaints have been made of the Wilson Blade series that its off-center hits were especially unforgiving and jarring to the wrist and arm. However, in the Countervail series, Wilson has taken this to heart and made a more muted string bed lessening vibrations.
On the court, the Wilson Blade Countervail shines. From the baseline, players can have a blast with the groundstrokes while still easily controlling the shot placement with accuracy. Up at the net, the 11.5 oz. of this racquet show its magic, allowing players to easily hit volleys.
Heavy hitting players who are looking for a balance of power and control, the Wilson Blade 98 Tennis Racquet is perfect for being one of the best tennis racquets around.
- Excellent control, balance and feel
- Low vibration
- Large Head Size
- Braided graphite and basalt build.
- Dense string pattern
- Countervail technology
- Braided graphite and basalt build
- Minimalist Matte look
- Spin Effect Technology, which increases ball RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) without players having to change their swing.
- Doesn’t come with Wilson stencil logo on strings.
- Pricier than its substitutes.
RELATED: The 7 Best Tennis Strings Reviews
6. Head Graphene XT Radical S Tennis Racquet
Next, on our list, we bring to you one of the Head’s most popular series, Head Graphene XT Radical S Tennis Racquet. Everybody, from beginners to pros can play with this tennis racquet. Featuring a mix of power and control, any player can easily pick up this racquet frame and outmaneuver their opponent.
Instead of other racquets mentioned here, such as the Wilson Blade Countervail and the Babolat Pure Strike which focus mainly on power, the Head Graphene XT Radical primarily focuses on providing players with a feel for the ball and complete control over shot placement.
Featuring a classic 16 x 19 string pattern, the Graphene XT Radical supplies plenty of spin for aggressive players. At the net, this racquet attributes an easily maneuverable and lightweight frame making it easier to get in the right position for each volley.
For its amazing combination of power, control, and accessibility to the players with different skill levels, the Head Graphene XT Radical has made its way directly onto this list of the best tennis racquets.
- Great control without weight issues.
- 16/19 string pattern for a greater spin.
- Graphene XT technology (provides an optimized weight distribution for a faster swing and higher power).
- Flamboyant color palette.
- Superior handling with a softer feel and lesser vibrations
- Its special color combination racquets (‘crazy flamingo’, ‘neon yellow’ and ‘lagoon blue’) are limited to only 10,000 rackets.
- Stiff feel
- Uncomfortable off-center
RELATED: Best Clay Court Tennis Shoes – Top 7 Reviews
7. Babolat 2021 Pure Drive Tennis Racquet
Again we are back with Babolat, and this time it’s Babolat 2018 Pure Drive Tennis Racquet. With an updated color scheme in 2018 compared to its previous versions of the Babolat Pure Drive, this racquet not only just look amazing, but also feels stunning on the tennis court.
With a name like Pure Drive, you can simply guess what this racquet is well known for: it’s power. From the baseline, the Babolat Pure Drive gives pop and additional power to any tennis ball you plan to hit. Though the Pure Drive is not typically known for its spin (as Pure Aero is best known for that), Babolat has put an attempt to work on that in its more recent versions.
In the latest version of the Babolat Pure Drive, players can easily use both power and spin to devastating effect. One aspect where the Pure Drive falls a little short is in terms of handling the ball. Compared to the other racquets mentioned on this list such as the Pure Strike or Yonex Ezone DR 100, the Pure Drive provides a muted feel to players.
So, if you’re more interested in hitting the ball fast and hard, the Babolat Pure Drive is the best tennis racquets for you.
- Great power and control.
- Improved spin potential.
- Solid and stable in feel and looks
- Easy to use.
- Extremely lightweight for faster swing speeds.
- Adjusted sweet spot.
- Great maneuverability.
- Enhances your game efficiency and performance.
- Some players do not like the new feel of the stringing.
- The off-center sweet spot doesn’t work for all players.
8. Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket
Last but not the least; we have Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket in our list of best racquets. The Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 is one of Wilson’s best-selling racquets for really good reasons.
Categorized as a ‘Tweener tennis racquet’, the Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 is engineered to have a healthy balance of both power and control, giving it the ultimate qualities of a pure player’s racquet with some traits in the game improvement category. This tennis racquet is perfect for intermediate players and recreational adults who want to generate lots of power without losing control.
The Hyper Hammer 5.3 comes in two different models with individual head sizes: the Oversize with a 110 sq.in head and the Midplus with a 95 sq.in head. The Wilson Oversize model is specifically well known for its additional power.
Overall, this racket performs really well on the tennis court. It has got the appropriate swing weight and stiffness to shoot bullet-like shots towards your opponent and win any matches you want.
- Much lighter than other majorities of racquets.
- Head heavy frame and larger beam width provide significant amounts of power.
- Bigger head size with an open string pattern means a larger sweet spot.
- Pre-strung and instant ready to play with.
- Increased racquet length for greater reach and better angles for serves.
- Recommended for intermediate or recreational players with moderate to fast swings.
- Full swings have a tendency to generate too much power.
- Little stability due to greater vibrations.
- Can be considered a game improvement racquet.
Buyers Guide: Factors To Consider When You Are Planning To Buy Best Tennis Racquets
When you’re searching for the perfect tennis racquet, it can be hard to determine exactly what to look for amongst so many options. But when you are buying, look for these nine crucial factors:
- Head Size
- Head-Heavy vs. Head-Light
- Frame Width
- Frame Mass
- Grip Size, and
- String Pattern
Yes, it is extremely easy to find a tennis racquet that is very powerful or very user-friendly (feels good on the court), but what is hard to find is a tennis racquet that stands out at each of these 3 characteristics at the same time. You don’t have to find further as all of the racquets mentioned in our best tennis racquets list excel in each of these categories.
But why you should emphasize these categories?
Power is necessary for tennis to determine how far the ball will go. The more power a racquet holds, the harder you can hit. In tennis racquets, there has to be an important balance between power and control. Too much power will cause every shot to go out of bounds. Too little power may enable you to easily control the ball, but your opponent will hit winners on you all day.
So, know this, the best racquets feature a combination of both power and control. In some cases, say the Wilson Blade Countervail above, the balance is more tilted towards power. In others like the Yonex Ezone DR 100, the balance is more focused at control.
So, it’s necessary for you to find a racquet that has the best of both worlds, in this case, power and control.
Keeping along on the same line, if you can’t place the ball properly, whether you are trying to pass somebody at net down the line or hitting a simple cross-court shot, you won’t win matches. True, you can hit the ball as hard as you want but without accuracy; you’ll run into undeniable errors, thus the beginning of “end” of any tennis professional’s existence.
Control commonly comes down to the damping and design of the racquet. As mentioned above, some racquets do have a muted feel to the string bed. While this dampens the vibrations to the wrist and arm, this lessens the control over where the ball goes.
So, the best racquets must combine power and control for the best results.
Last but certainly not least, the feel of a tennis racquet is vital to how you play with it when you are in front of the opponent. Most tennis professionals advise trying out a new tennis racquet before buying it for this very reason. No matter how awesome the technical specifications are, if the racquet doesn’t feel right to you then it will never be a good fit.
Though this is more of a qualitative measure as compared to the other attributes used to generate this list, how-you-feel-holding-the-racquet is equally an important category, if not more.
4. Head Size
Probably the most dominant racket variable is the size of the head. Remember, larger head sizes create higher speeds of ball bounces and have a larger sweet spot—that is, the area on the racket face where the ball rebound is the most accurate and fastest. A large racket head also effectively increases the racket’s resistance to twisting on off-center impacts.
5. Head-heavy vs. Head-light
Lightweight, head-heavy rackets are good choices for the beginners and intermediate players. The idea behind these rackets is to offer a light racket with greater weight at the point of impact. Preferably, these rackets can be swung faster while still maintaining weight at the hoop for increased control and power.
Professional players, on the other hand, prefer the heavier, head-light rackets, which is considered to be the traditionally weighted racket. They offer more control for players who can contribute their own power.
6. Frame Width
Another dominant racket variable is the design variation in terms of the width of the racket frame. The higher the width of the frame, the more its stiffness and eventually the speed of ball rebound, since less energy is spent bending the racket. The cost of such increases in width is the transmission of a greater impact shock to the arm.
7. Frame Mass
Modern tennis rackets are getting lighter and lighter every year. However, racket mass is directly proportional to speed on a ball, keeping all other variables constant. Greater mass means higher power, given that the player is eligible to provide the powerful swing. The beginners tend to prefer the lighter racket more as it allows them to swing it faster.
The other advantage of a racket with greater mass is that this helps protect the player’s wrist and arm by being more resistant to the acceleration of impact. For example, lightweight rackets are perfect for the fast movements of a serve-and-volley player, but it provides less protection to the arm during the shock of impact. A heavier tennis racquet helps protect the arm as it mechanically discourages the tendency to swing wildly at shots.
8. Grip Size
The most crucial aspect of grip size is the ratio of comfort to wrist strain. A grip that is too small will be flexible but will cause the muscles of the hand and forearm to work very hard to hold the racquet. Larger grips are easier on the holding muscles, but the wrist/hand will be less mobile.
Now, for example, players who have tennis elbow problems might switch to a larger grip that decreases demands on the muscles and increases leverage to counter off-center impacts. The golden rule for grip selection is to hold the racquet in the forehand position, then you should be able to place your index finger between the area on the grip where your palm begins and fingertips end.
9. String Pattern
An open string pattern has a greater gap between strings for the ultimate grip when applying spin on the ball. A dense string pattern, on the other hand, offers more control of the ball but needs more power for applying spin.
Benefits Of Buying The Best Tennis Racquets
Good For Baseliners
Heavy racquets help to produce powerful baseline strokes, which is ideal for singles or for doubles players who stay back. Contrast that with lighter rackets that are easier to maneuver. Easy maneuverability is great, but it is useful mainly for volleys, serves, and overheads. Though serving is a big part of the singles match, overheads and volleys are more likely to be used as a matter of regular play in doubles. So if most of the shots you hit during your games are from the baseline, you are more likely to prefer a heavier racket. On the other hand, for volleys having a lighter racquet would make the deal.
Transfers Less Shock
If you have a tennis elbow, it’s a good idea to use the heaviest racket which you can comfortably handle without becoming tired during the match. On the other hand, a light racquet will feel good when you pick it up and hit with it. However, since it is light, it will not absorb the shock of the ball as much as heavier rackets shall do. This means your wrist and arm will absorb more of the shock, which is not recommended for tennis elbow.
If you especially prefer a light racket, for its easier applications, you can always get one and make it heavier by adding lead tape to its frame.
Though you can win tennis matches with extensive hours in practice, you need the power to compete against the best players. A USPTR tennis instructor Ron Waite said that power is essential in modern games. A heavier racket produces this power. Want proof? Look to physics: power is equal to mass times velocity.
But the warning is you need sufficient muscles to move a heavy racket with the speed needed to produce power.
Power means little if it isn’t maintained by control. Lighter rackets are easy to maneuver. However, heavier rackets provide you with more stability, and the more stable your racket is, the less the impact of the ball affects it, which leads to better control.
RELATED: Types of Tennis Shoes
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which one is the best racquet for me?
Answer: This question is common and the answer is very simple. There is no ‘perfect’ racquet for anyone; each manufacturer offers 10 to 20 different models to meet the needs of players at various stages of skills. The common mistake most people make is to buy a racquet because it is recently launched and the most expensive one or just because a professional player uses it. While it could be a good racquet, the actual question is: Does it suit your style of play?
Q: Should I play with oversize or mid plus?
Answer: Head size is a personal choice, but there are some rules and guidelines. Oversize provides a bigger sweet spot and therefore a good margin for forgiveness and this is helpful if you are a beginner or a low-intermediate player. High-intermediate and professional players typically prefer mid plus because of its maneuverability and control. But then again, Andre Agassi and Serena Williams play with oversized racquets at courts, and they are anything but beginners.
Q: What is my perfect grip size?
Answer: While you are holding the racquet in an eastern forehand grip, you should be able to easily fit the index finger of your non-gripping hand in the area between your ring finger and palm. This is the ultimate way to determine proper grip size, but there are also some other things to consider.
If you are a player who uses a lot of wrist and hand movement in your strokes, a smaller grip will give you greater freedom to do that. This is why racquets for badminton, racquetball, and squash have a much smaller grip size compared to a tennis racquet. But keeping in mind that too small of a grip is more likely to cause the racquet to twist often during off-center hits. If you are in between two grip sizes, you can always go with the smaller size; slowly you can build it up with an overgrip or a heat shrink sleeve. This is because a big grip is sometimes impossible to reduce, especially with some of the new super-lightweight racquets.
Q: Should I buy the lightest racquet that is available at the market?
Answer: Even though lightweight racquets may feel great to swing at the store, thus they grab people’s attention easily; you should buy the heaviest racquet which you can handle comfortably for an entire match.
Q: Why should I buy a longer racquet?
Answer: A longer racquet will give you more reach and power, while an average-length racquet (27 inches) is more maneuverable and easier to swung and control. To test this, aim a ball towards any target you chose; swing the racquet with your hand close to the throat first, then with your hand at the end of the butt cap. You should get more control of the racquet when your hand is closer to the hitting zone.
So In A Nutshell…
This article is instrumental to the beginners or any professional tennis players who want to improve his/her tennis gameplay. It is important for one to discover his/her weaknesses first in the court, and then mind the strengths to discover which racquet to choose.
The Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Tennis Racquet came out strongly as one of the most preferred racquets to tennis players who wish to dominate the play in the court. Intermediate tennis players are highly recommended to go for the Babolat 2018 Pure Strike 98 Tennis Racquet which is a fairly light and powerful racquet, plus offers great comfort in the hand of the player. As for beginner tennis players, the Babolat 2018 Pure Drive Tennis Racquet is an excellent choice due to its easier maneuverability and ability to wield. It is also light in weight thus becoming a major must have. The Head Graphene XT Radical S Tennis Racquet is also an excellent racquet that makes a ridiculous amount of power and spin. And finally, if you are concerned about how your racquet looks (which also performs better), Yonex EZONE DR 100 Scores should be your ultimate choice.
Way to go, tennis head!