Best Tennis Rackets
Despite the variety of best tennis rackets out there, each offering distinctive, unique, and specially-designed frames, it can seem a daunting task to find the one that will truly suit you.
It may be highly tempting to select best tennis rackets purely based on the logo that adorns the frame, or even to opt for the brand used by your favorite professional player.
This temptation must be avoided at all costs because, as this article will demonstrate, there is much more thought required when picking out your best tennis rackets.
This article will assess six of the best tennis rackets out there on the market, discussing the advantages and disadvantages to provide a well-rounded perspective.
The different aspects to consider when choosing best tennis rackets type will then be discussed, with a particular focus on the fundamental anatomy of a tennis racket.
Finally, the player’s skill level will be considered, offering guidance for players at every level and capability.
By the end of this article, you will be equipped with all the best information, guidance and support, so that you can take comfort in the knowledge that you’re making a well-informed decision.
Table of Contents
#1. Babolat Pure Strike 16 × 19
Debuting in the summer of 2019, the Babolat Pure Strike 16 x 19 has sent shock waves through the industry.
|For tennis players who like to add a spin to their shots, this racket offers the perfect opportunity to do so. The 16 x 19 variant offers much more spin potential than the 18 x 20 frame due to the more open pattern of the strings, which means they have more space to move.||Compared to the Pure Drive shape, the Pure Strike racket is not as maneuverable, mainly because it is more weighted, requiring greater effort to swing and manoeuver it in-play. This might not be the optimal choice for players who prefer much more lightweight rackets.|
|This helps create more friction upon contact with the ball, increasing the number of revolutions on the shot.||Many players prefer rackets that sit on the heavy end of the spectrum, offering greater stability and control. One drawback of this racket is it is relatively lighter compared to other frames. However, with the potential for customization, this can easily be fixed with a modification of strings.|
|According to The Tennis Bros, the Pure Strike 16 x19 is a brilliant frame for customization because players can add some extra weight to the racket’s head to give it a little bit more swing weight and gain some more power. Having this advantage truly is a bonus that can serve as a real plus for some tennis players.||Because this racket is more headlight in balance, this can be detrimental to performing a whip action upon contract with the ball, as the racket is heavier in the hand and requires greater effort. It might not be the perfect racket for players who prefer a head heavy racket.|
|This control is partly due to the greater level of stability that the racket offers via the thicker beam. Weighting around 305g, the relatively light-weighted nature of this racket allows for easier control, which is interesting given that this attribute is most often accredited to heavier rackets.||As mentioned above, the Pure Strike 16 x 19 is balanced to be more headlight, meaning that most of the weight is found in the racket’s handle and, therefore, in the player’s hand. Some players have complained this racket is a bit too stiff for them, which has led to muscle and elbow problems.|
|By thickening up the beam on this racket, Babolat has created a frame that gives that extra bit of stability. This extra stability means most of the energy built up throughout the stroke will go through the ball, giving a much heavier shot with a lot of power and spin.||It must be noted this will only be the case for those who play tennis regularly. Therefore, it is worth assessing the player’s skill level and the amount of time spent on the court.|
#2. Wilson Blade 98 16 x 19 V7
Released in August 2019, the Wilson Blade 98 16 x 19 V7 is the seventh version of this racket, with new and improved features adding even more wow factor.
|Increased flexibility can really change the game for a player, so it is a beneficial quality to possess.||Sitting on the more expensive end of the spectrum, this might not be the most suitable racket for players who don’t want to break the bank when purchasing a racket. For those who genuinely want to invest in a good-quality, expensive racket, the price won’t be too much of a downside, but it’s advised that newer players opt for a cheaper frame to begin with.|
|With a top grip taper having been added to the grip on the Wilson Blade 98 16 x 19 V7, two-handed backhands will feel much more comfortable and possible to achieve. Because this makes for a much easier hand positioning. Therefore, this racket is for players who want to perfect their two-handed backhands!||Like the above point, this racket isn’t designed to generate lots of power. For players who have the ability to provide powerful shots without the help of a racket, this won’t be a problem. However, for many players who need the racket to generate that energy, this isn’t the best-suited racket for that.|
|With the increase in flexibility, Wilson added greater stability to the frame by 11.4% to mediate the improved flexibility. Having a really stable frame is good because it means the impact from the contact with the ball will impact the racket less, leading to a better possibility for greater control.||For players who like to hit topspin balls from the baseline, this racket won’t be the one, as there are others out there that are built better for achieving these types of hits.|
|The 16 x 19 string pattern paired with the 305g weight offers a greater opportunity for better control, which can be highly beneficial for the vast majority of players who want to get behind the ball with flair and technique. Having control over the ball is what can take tennis playing from good to great, so it is a real added plus that this frame is built for offering good levels of control to players.|
#3. Wilson Clash 100 Tour
Using both FreeFlex and Smart Stable technologies, Wilson tried to develop a fresh, innovative take on a tennis racket.
|Made with performance carbon fiber and Free Flex technology, this frame enables the player to remain flexible with every swing due to the carbon mapping. Because this racket flexes less upon contact with the ball, it can sustain the ball’s energy for more powerful shots, making for an easy point. Increased flexibility also paves the way for better comfort, so you check two boxes just by having a more flexible frame, which is a fantastic quality to have.||For novice tennis players, this racket will not be for you. Due to the specifications of this frame, it is better adapted to fulfill the requirements of more intermediate to advanced players, making this racket inaccessible to some.|
|The Smart Stable feature has quickly become a tennis favorite because it gives the racket much better-holding power, which offers great stability. Stability is an essential component of acing the game because it gives rise to more consistency with the shots, making this feature a real advantage.||For players who rely on the racket type to help them generate power, including beginner players, this racket might not be ideal. Defined as a low-powered racket, it is best for aggressive players who naturally give more power through their strokes without needing the aid from a racket. Control and power are often in a constant trade-off with one another, and this racket is no exception; it’s great for control, but not so much for power.|
|With the balanced mix of flexibility and stability, this racket has a sweet spot well-suited to intermediate to professional players. After all, a larger hitting area can dramatically improve the power of a backhand swing. Having a larger sweet spot increases the accuracy and potential for hitting consistently good shots. Even more so for beginner players who don’t quite have the ability or technique yet.||The muted response can be due to the lack of direct feedback; this can scare some players away from using this racket. This wholly depends on the individual, though, as a more muted feel can be advantageous for some. Generally speaking. However, this is more of a downside. The muted response can be due to the lack of direct feedback; this can scare some players away from using this racket. This wholly depends on the individual, though, as a more muted feel can be advantageous for some. Generally speaking. However, this is more of a downside.|
|Weighing 295g, this racket comes in just above the lightweight category for typical best tennis rackets. This weight optimizes the ability to control and maneuver the swing without sacrificing power, which is optimal. Moving the racket with more ease during the game allows for quicker movements and less lag, which will make the player much more able to hit a wide variety of shots more easily .||Some reviews have remarked this racket isn’t the most consistent; some shots are hit perfectly, while others simply don’t have that ‘right’ feel. It’s important to note this can be down to the individual, though, and isn’t necessarily a complete reflection of solely the racket.|
#4. Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13
Just like the previous version, this racket weighs 332g. It provides intermediate and advanced players with an easily maneuverable entry point into the feel and precision of the Pro Staff racket.
|As a control-oriented frame, it comes as no surprise it offers exactly that. But, what makes it that bit better is the good level of power it also offers through the enhanced stiffness.||Although the stiffness of the frame is good for giving power, it means it’s stiff on the arm, which can be quite uncomfortable and painful for some players, especially those with arm issues.|
|For players who like to play with a nice-looking racket, the Pro Staff 97 v13 is a great option because of the attractive cosmetics of the frame given by the matte finish. Who says best tennis rackets have to be boring?||For players who prefer a lightweight racket, this isn’t the one. Weighing 332g, it is on the heavier end of the spectrum, which won’t suit everyone.|
|Many players who have tried and tested this racket have noted generating a topspin with this string bed is favorable. This can add a lot of flair and technique to the game so that it can be used as a real advantage.||Because this is a heavy frame, as discussed above, some players will find it difficult to swing with ease, which reduces the maneuverability of the racket.|
|Due to the nature of the materials used, it is a durable racket that won’t get worn down easily. This is good for players who are consistently playing and need a good racket that won’t need replacing often.|
#5. Yonex EZONE 98
The Yonex EZONE 98 delivers a balanced performance that will work well for many tennis players, with the number of downsides being minimal.
|The isometric shape of the head increases the size of the sweet spot by 7%, which improves the accuracy of shots and gives more opportunities to hit a decent shot. This is excellent for the more novice players, but it offers advantages for players at any level.||For tennis players who like to hit big. This racket won’t offer the level of control that might usually be desired. Tweaking the string setup will be required for big hitters and can be a good solution to this issue.|
|With a swing weight of317, the Yonex EZONE 98 allows for a quick and long swing, which is a great quality for a racket to possess.||Some players have noted this frame doesn’t give as good a spin as expected, and this can be down to various factors. However, it’s important to remember that this will be dependent on the player, as each individual will have different expectations and the ability to generate spin|
|This technology is added to the handle to give a better grip when returning or serving volleys. This technology filters out unwanted vibration without making it too mute to respond, so it is the best of both worlds.|
|Yonex have added their Linear Tech Grommet System with many grommet holes drilled straight through to improve the racket’s feel and comfort. It also has an advantageous effect on power. Having a racket that feels good in the hand is a real plus point, as it will give the player a more positive experience if they feel comfortable.|
#6. Babolat Pure Drive 2021
Originally released in 1994, Babolat’s Pure drive rackets rose to popularity due to the incredible power the frame offers and easy playability.
The 2021 version has been updated to include different features and technologies to cater to the needs of the modern tennis player.
This racket range has always been hailed for its ferocity and ability to enhance the aggressiveness of a player. It allows for easy power, which many players enjoy, especially less advanced ones.
For players who struggle to hit a heavy ball, this could be a significant advantage for them.
The FSI power technology used in this racket enhances the racket’s power. The new string pattern paired with diamond-shaped grommets keeps a wide spacing between cross strings, and the tension of the strings puts more force behind the ball. Wider spaces also facilitate receiving powerful serves without hitting the ball too hard.
Although this racket offers the advantage of coming in behind some explosive serves, it’s not ideal for using on those harder pickups.
Of course, it’s important to remember that the style of play will depend on how difficult this will be. It all depends on your style of play.
Of course, Tennis Bros suggests this racket is much better suited to singles matches.
The strings on this racket allow for the possibility to generate good spin, which will enhance any game.
For players who want to play using a topspin, this racket can facilitate that well, making it an optimum choice for players focusing on perfecting that specific technique.
Power is the main feature that makes this racket a real weapon on the court, and this results in control being forfeited slightly.
For players who can generate a lot of power themselves and therefore need a greater emphasis on control, this racket isn’t best suited.
Previous versions of this racket have been chastised by some for the high levels of stiffness, which have caused discomfort for some players.
To combat this issue in this new version, Babolat has added the SWX Pure Feel, a material that helps reduce vibrations. This gives an improved feel to the racket, which many will prefer.
Although Babolat has made a genuine effort to improve the feel of the racket, and it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed, this is still one of the major downfalls of this racket.
This racket is built to absorb shock upon coming into contact with the ball, making for good returns.
Shock absorption makes the racket much more forgiving, so newer, beginner-level tennis players will find this a useful feature as well.
The Babolat Pure drive 2021 will set you back around £180 for a brand-new frame, making it sit on the costlier end of the spectrum.
While some players, mainly advanced players or professionals, won’t be too deterred by an expensive racket, this can be a major factor that puts people off from buying it.
The high cost means this racket isn’t best suited to new tennis players, but is an investment for those who are serious about the game and who play a lot, and would get great use out of such an expensive racket.
Weighing up the pros and cons of different brands and types of racket is a valuable exercise to do when choosing a racket, because it allows you to truly decide what it is you’re looking for from a racket.
It might be that you may have to compromise on a few aspects, but with the possibility to switch strings and make other little adjustments, you should end up with a racket that is suited to you.
Choosing the Best Tennis Rackets
Selecting an optimum racket will either make or break a player’s game.
Therefore, it is not a decision to be made lightly nor flippantly. It requires much more thought than that.
Many factors should be considered when making this decision because each component of a tennis racket will be manufactured, built, and used differently.
It is well worth being aware of each variation possibility.
First, the different aspects of the anatomy of a tennis racket will be discussed, providing a complete overview of what each part is, what it does, and what variation is best suited to which type of player.
👉 Then, the different skill levels of players will be looked into, analyzing how other rackets will suit a different level of advancement.
#1. Head size of Best Tennis Rackets
The head size is a major determining factor in the size of the sweet spot.
This is known as the region where the contact with the ball is optimal for both power and accuracy, so naturally, the bigger the head size, the bigger the sweet spot, and the greater potential to hit it each time.
Tennis Nuts states that large head size will be approximately greater than 102 square inches and, for the reasons stated above, are ideal for newer players who suffer from a lack of consistency.
There are such things as oversize rackets, measuring above 110 square inches, which are a perfect option for players who aren’t quite yet able to generate sufficient power to get the ball across the court.
A small head size is deemed to measure below 100 square inches. It is recommended for the more advanced players, who don’t have so much of a problem with accuracy and consistency.
There is a risk with smaller head sizes, and that hitting the sweet spot is much more difficult with this nature of racket, so the probability of hitting a perfect shot dramatically reduces.
Hence, they are ideal rackets for advanced players who aren’t put off by this risk.
#2. Weight of Best Tennis Rackets
The racket’s weight will be a great indicator of how powerful a swing you will be able to achieve.
Weight is also the most vital determining factor of how the racket will feel and handle in your hands, therefore indicating comfort.
Thirdly, weight goes hand in hand with racket stability; if there is more mass at the point of contact with the ball, the less chance there is the racket’s stability will change.
With this in mind, the heavier the racket, the more powerful and stable it will be.
The ideal tennis racket weight will allow the player to swing with equal power and ability on all the main contact points.
Whether a low ball or a high ball, a front hand or backhand swing, a perfectly weighted racket will mean that the player can accelerate and hit all different types of shots.
This means a player won’t tire or get fatigued too quickly, which can quickly sap the fun out of any game.
There is a tendency for novice players to opt for a lightweight racket because they feel much easier to play with. Therefore it seems like a sensible, natural choice.
However, the risk of this is that it hinders the proper development of the player, as it doesn’t allow them to develop their strokes properly.
Therefore, they are doing themselves a disservice by choosing what seems like the rational option.
Perfect Tennis recommends that adult males who envisage playing regularly should choose a reasonably heavy headlight racquet that sits somewhere between 30 – 320 grams and balanced between 5 – 12 points headlight.
The weight would be between 290 – 310 grams for adult females, 3 – 8 points headlight, with a 16 × 19 string pattern.
These recommendations demonstrate that multiple factors that characterize the player, for example, gender and body type, are important to consider.
It must be remembered the level of skill that the player is at should not be a determining factor for racket weight, so a lightweight racket is not necessarily ideal just because a player might be new to the sport.
#3. Frame stiffness
The stiffness of the frame influences the level of power and control the player can possess and the level of comfort.
The unit used to measure frame or racket stiffness is known as RA. The spectrum ranges from very flexible (0 RA) to very stiff (100 RA).
Most standard rackets fit within the range of 50 – 70 RA, with very flexible frames measuring less than 70 RA.
For players who prefer to use a racket that allows greater control, this frame is the best option.
Frames with greater flexibility will deform more upon contact with the ball compared to a stiff frame. Therefore, more energy is lost, meaning less acceleration.
However, the loss of energy can be compensated with the player’s power; this is more advantageous the more advanced the player is.
For beginners, it is recommended to use a stiff frame, measuring more than 70 RA.
Here, the racket aids contact with the ball by giving more acceleration to the ball. Therefore, less force is required from the player.
Regarding comfort, to a certain extent, stiffer rackets are usually much more uncomfortable to use than more flexible rackets.
Stiff frames will transfer larger impact shock to the wrist, elbow, and shoulder compared to a medium stiff frame.
It‘s critical to understand that comfort is relatively difficult to measure; each player will have a different idea of comfort.
That being said, players with any physical ailments, for example, arm problems, are better off considering frames with an RA of 66 or
The balance of a racket is identified by whether its weight is distributed more towards the head or the handle, with points usually being measured in millimeters.
This length, measured from the bottom of the racket, illustrates the point at which the racket can be balanced without tipping either way.
Therefore, a higher point indicates the racket is heavier towards the head.
A standard-length racket (27 inches / 86 millimeters) will be evenly balanced at a balance point of approximately 343 millimeters.
Although most rackets have similar balance points of below 343 millimeters, therefore headlight, it’s still useful to know and compare the extent of the balance.
For instance, a racket with a balance point of 315 millimeters will be more headlight than a one with a 325 millimeter balance point.
Therefore, even if all other specifications are identical, they will feel much more different to play and hold.
On more headlight rackets, the weight is closer to the hand, which improves the ability to maneuver on ground strokes and volleys, and allows the player more control.
However, it’s more challenging to create head speed on swings, so opting for a headlight racket may cause a struggle for power. It is advised that only advanced players should pick balances of 315 millimeters or below.
On more head-heavy rackets, the larger weight in the head can help build momentum on swings and therefore cause greater power.
That being said, the accuracy with which a player can direct a shot could worsen, as it’s harder to achieve with this type of racket.
Amateur tennis players seeking easy power from their racket should choose balances above 340 millimeters.
For most other competitive players, including beginners and intermediates, rackets between 315 and 340 mm will be suitable depending on the factors mentioned above, as well as taste and preference.
If more power is required, rackets towards the 340 millimeter point are best, whereas if more control is needed, a 315 millimeter point would be preferable.
#5. String Pattern
The string pattern is a solid indicator of how many main and cross strings your tennis racket has.
The number of main strings is always given first, followed by numbers of cross strings. For instance, a 16×19 string pattern means the racket has 16 main strings and 19 cross strings.
16×19 or 18×20 are the most common string patterns.
The number of strings will also help distinguish between an open and a closed string pattern.
An open string pattern, like 16×19, signifies that the racket has fewer mains and crosses. Therefore, the distance between the strings is larger.
An open string pattern generally offers solid acceleration and high spin.
Known as the trampoline effect, the strings give more slack, allowing the tennis ball to penetrate deeper into the racket’s string bed.
However, the strings undergo significant stress, therefore reducing their durability.
Additionally, this string pattern limits the control of the stroke. Open string patterns are advised for beginners.
Want to know how about the different types of tennis strings
Selection According to Skill Level
A quick way to make sure you’re selecting the perfect racket is to filter them by skill level.
Not all players at every skill level will require the same characteristics from a racket, due to varying techniques and needs from a racket.
Tennis Companion emphasizes how a proper racket can help maximize potential.
For true tennis beginners searching for a new racket, the exact specifications of the frame are less significant than making sure the racket feels comfortable and not too heavy.
It can be fairly tempting to begin with either an expensive racket jam-packed with impressive features, or copy the model used by a favorite player😍.
However, this strategy can hinder progress and technique because it’s highly likely that the racket chosen doesn’t align with the player’s skills.
First, a beginner should check when selecting a new racket is the grip size.
Using a proper grip size lowers the risk of developing hand or arm ailments and offers a more solid grasp.
Most often, beginners fare better with rackets boasting a head size larger than 100 square inches because a larger head offers a lower margin of error and increases the size of the sweet spot☺️.
The disadvantage of using a bigger head is the lack of control this often brings with it.
However, for a novice, this is a trade-off that will likely improve performance during the learning curve.
Another significant factor worth thinking about is the weight of the racket. For beginners, it’s a smart idea to keep rackets under approximately 11 ounces (312 grams).
Generally starting at about 8 ounces (227 grams), there are plenty of rackets that will be appropriate.
If you err on the smaller side, it’s recommended to start with a racket that sits in the lower end of this weight spectrum.
Lighter rackets are easier to maneuver and can help prevent injury from using heavier frames.
Once the beginner stage is merely a spot in the distance, you will begin to have greater control over shots and will be more competent at generating power.
For players at the intermediate level, smaller head sizes and heavier rackets have likely become desirable elements that are tempting to experiment with.
Beginners who opted for a larger head size at the start are better off moving to rackets within the 98 to 100 square inch range to gain extra control as an intermediate player.
Typically, intermediate level best tennis rackets are characterized by medium head sizes while maintaining solid maneuverability and sacrificing some power.
However, for those who have been playing for some time, you can likely generate more power yourself than when you were a beginner to make up this difference.
Players can also consider moving up to heavier rackets if it feels comfortable.
A heavier best tennis rackets will offer greater stability upon contact with the ball.
For players who have played tennis competitively for years, you’ll likely have already established the type of player you are.
Advanced players have greater strength, better stamina, and more control compared to lower-level players.
For players at this level, heavier racquets and smaller head sizes are very manageable.
However, just because it’s possible to use smaller and heavier racquets doesn’t mean it’s necessary.
Ultimately, the best tennis rackets you should be playing with is the one that feels the most comfortable to you.
For players at this level, improving your game will happen by matching your style of play to the type of best tennis rackets you’re using and modifying the specifications to maximize performance.
Many advanced players will prefer a control racket or a modern player’s racket. Control rackets are optimal for players who possess the technique that allows the generation of plenty of power.
Attributes Of A Racket
Tennis Companion lists 6 attributes that should be kept in mind when selecting a tennis racket
The best tennis racket will be the one that possesses the right balance of all these attributes that suits that particular player.
Of course, every individual is different, and there is; therefore, no one size fits all racket that will suit every player.
Consequently, it is essential that the player knows themselves inside out, their technique, strength, power, and everything else in between.
Only when a player truly knows themselves and how they play tennis, will they then choose a tennis racket.
A good tennis player can hit pretty hard and create power through proper technique, regardless of the racket they play with.
However, some rackets make generating pace considerably easier, and these are often referred to as power-oriented rackets.
Powerful rackets usually have bigger head sizes, stiffer frames, and sometimes much longer and are referred to as extended length.
Usually, as a player gradually becomes more experienced, more control will be required from their racket placement to ensure the ball goes precisely in the direction they want it to go.
In addition, players with more experience and advancement will likely have developed the technique and skill needed to create their own pace.
With this in mind, control-oriented rackets tend to have thinner beams, less stiff frames, smaller head sizes, and tighter string patterns.
Comfort is most often associated with the shock sent to the player’s arm when hitting the ball or the vibration felt after the ball has been hit.
However, it’s also possible that a player might associate comfort with the racket’s weight in relation to their strength.
Comfort-oriented rackets tend to be a bit heavier, more flexible, and focus further weight toward the handle to help better shock absorption.
Comfort is key in tennis because playing with a racket that causes any form of discomfort can truly hinder the player’s performance and progression and increase the possibility of injury or damage to the arm ☺️.
Most often, touch or feel is linked to a sense of control and connectedness, mainly when hitting volleys and finesse shots, including drop shots.
This sentiment is a bit nuanced and depends on the player’s preferences, meaning that this will vary from individual to individual.
Rackets that provide enhanced touch tend to be heavier, with smaller head sizes, and have more flexible frames, as this is key to a good feel, rather than too much stiffness, which can be uncomfortable.
Rackets that are easy to maneuver tend to feel lightweight in the hand and make changing the direction of the racket head happen with much more ease.
This feeling is often a direct consequence of the overall weight of the racket, in combination with the frame’s distribution of weight or balance, usually “head light.“
To put it more simply, a more significant portion of the best tennis rackets weight falls lower on the racket, towards the handle.
Best tennis rackets that have optimal stability remain steady when hitting a ball and help instill a positive feeling of consistency and accuracy.
Most often, stable best tennis rackets tend to be a bit heavier, have smaller heads, and less stiff frames.
Stability is a component that can often be overlooked, so it’s crucial to remember how significant it is and its impact on the game.
The six best tennis rackets discussed above are all excellent rackets in their own right and are the best out there.
Weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of each racket is a good way to get a well-informed overview of a racket with different, nuanced perspectives.
It is always advisable to consider the pros and cons before making a best tennis rackets purchase.
It is wise to ensure you’re buying the racket that is truly tailed to your specific needs and requirements.
This guide has provided you with all the necessary information needed when deciding what best tennis rackets to purchase, so you can be confident in the knowledge that you are well-equipped to make the best decision.