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Sportsjam.In Tennis Racquets Buyer's Guide

Choosing a tennis racquet may not be an easy task with the variety of options available in brands and technology. We hereby provide you a Buyer’s Guide for Tennis Racquets, where you can understand basic concepts about racket specifications. At Sportsjam.in, you can select tennis rackets according to Play level, Weight, Head size, Grip size, Length and compare all features for making a better purchase decision.  

 

I) Racquets according to Play Level: The basic types of racquets differentiated according to the player's level of game are given as follows: (You may also go through the specifications below to understand about Racquet features) 

 

  • Beginner Rackets: If you have just started playing tennis, you could choose a racquet which is light enough so that it is easy to swing and also provides power. Racquets with Oversize heads and head-heavy balance are good for beginner and recreational players.

 

  • Intermediate rackets: These racquets ideally offer a combination of power and control. These are typically medium-weight, slightly head-light and relatively large head sizes. 

 

  • Advanced rackets: These racquets are designed for those players who play competitive tennis and can create their own power. These racquets have heavy frames, with a head-light balance and medium-sized head.

 

At www.sportsjam.in, go to Tennis Racquets and select from 'Play Level' options of Professional / Advanced / Intermediate / Beginner in the Search Menu to filter rackets as per your play level. 

 

II) Power vs. Control Racquets: Players often require racquets according to their playing style, where they would like the racquet to provide them with more power in their shots or more control or a blend of both. You may read up the following classification (with examples) and the racquet features below for a better understanding of your racquet selection. 

 

  1. Power Racquets: These are usually lightweight racquets (225-275 gm) with Oversized head and are heady-heavy or even-balanced racquets. These racquets are stiffer and are designed for players with short swings and those seeking power in serves. Eg. Head YOUTEK Graphene PWR Speed, Yonex S-Fit 5, Wilson Cirrus One Racquet.

 

  1. Tweener (Powerful Control) Racquets: These racquets are for Intermediate to Advanced players looking for a combination of power and control. These racquets are usually light, balanced between little head-light to little head-heavy, and Mid-plus heads. These are ideal for intermediate-advanced players looking for more spin and manoeuvrability. Eg. Babolat Aero Pro Drive, Babolat Pure Drive, Wilson Juice 100L, Wilson Steam 99 LS, Head Graphene Instinct MP, Head YOUTEK IG Radical MP, Yonex Ezone Ai 100 Racquet.

 

  1. Control (Players) Racquets: These racquets are for Professional and Advanced player playing tournaments and competitions. These are heavier racquets, with smaller heads, thinner beams and head-light balance for more manoeuvrability. Ideal for players with long swings who can generate powerful shots on their own and seek more control from the racquet. Eg. Babolat Pure Control, Babolat Pure Strike, Wilson Pro Staff Six.One 95, Wilson Blade 98, Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro, Head YOUTEK Graphene Radical Pro, Yonex V Core Tour G, Yonex Ezone Ai 98 Racquet.

 

 

III) How should I choose the weight of a racket?

The average weight of Tennis Rackets range between 270gm to 300gm (unstrung). At Sportsjam.in, we have rackets in a variety of weight range.

 

  • Light-weight rackets (225-275 gm) are easy to manoeuvre and good for players with shorter swings or those who seek power in serves. Beginners can choose light-weight or medium-weight rackets.

 

  • Medium weight rackets (276-300 gm) work best for most players as they provide a combination of power and control. Choose these rackets if you are a reasonable club player or intermediate level looking to improve your game.

 

  • Heavier rackets (>300gm) are good for advanced players who can generate their own pace and are looking for more control with their shots.

 

Log on to www.sportsjam.in and go to Tennis Racquets and select from options of “Unstrung Weight” in the Search Menu to choose rackets of your preferred weight. 

 

 

IV) What is the balance point in a racquet? 

Racket Balance or ‘Balance point’ refers to the weight distribution of the racket and is determined by where the centre of balance lies in the racket, starting from the base of the handle. There are 3 typical categories of balance in any racquet: 

 

  1. In Head-heavy rackets (345-370mm) the weight has been shifted from the handle to the frame head, which is the main hitting area. These racquets thus provide power and stability to the lighter frames.

 

  1. Head-light rackets (290-320mm) add manoeuvrability to heavy frames and are designed for advanced players who provide their own power. These racquets are also called ‘Control’ rackets and ideal for players who have full swings and are looking for good control in their heavier racquets. These are also well suited for players who play at the nets.

 

  1. Even-balanced rackets (320-345mm) have an evenly distributed weight across the racket and gives good feel and flexibility to players. These are ideal for all-court players, providing power for baseline play and manoeuvrability at nets.

 

Note that adding a string increases the weight of the racket head by approx. 14-18 gm and adding a grip to the racket handle increases weight towards the handle and reduces the balance point. 

 

 

V) What Head size should I choose for my racquet ? 

A larger head size gives more surface area for the ball to come in contact with the string, and hence usually a larger ‘sweetspot’ and generates more power. This is suited for beginner and intermediate players. A Smaller head size provides more control on the racquet and is good for experienced players. At Sportsjam.in, you may search by “Head size” of racquets in given range (in Search menu on Tennis Racquets page) :

 

Mid Size

Mid Plus (‘MP’)

Oversize

Super Oversize

Small Head Size

Standard Head Size

Large Head Size

Extra Large Head Size

88 - 95 sq.in

96 - 102 sq.in

103 - 110 sq.in

>110 sq.in

 

 

VI) What is the ideal racquet length for me? 

The Standard length of racquet for an adult player is 27”. Longer racquets (‘+’ version) are also available with 27.25” length or more, which help cover more area on court and offers more power in serves. However, very long racquets may not be as manoeuvrable as the standard ones. Junior racquets of length 26” or lower are broadly for the age group : 

 

Racquet Length

19”

21”

23”

25”

26”

Age

3-4 yrs

5-6 yrs

7-8 yrs

9-10 yrs

10-11 yrs

Height of player

Upto  3’6”

3’6”– 3’11”

3’11”– 4’6”

4’6”- 4’9”

> 4’ 9”

 

Log on to www.sportsjam.in and go to Tennis Racquets and select from options of “Racquet Length” in the Search Menu to choose rackets of your preferred length. 

 

VII) Which Grip size is ideal for me? 

The standard grip size is 4 3/8”, but we also have smaller and bigger grip sizes to suit your requirement. The common method to check your grip size is by placing a ruler in the middle of your palm and measuring the distance between the intersection of the thumb and fingers straight upto the top of the ring finger. If you are unsure between 2 sizes, choose the smaller grip size and add an overgrip that suits you. At Sportsjam.in, you may search by “Grip size” of racquets in Search menu on Tennis Racquets page.

 

VIII) What is Beam thickness?

The thicker the beam, the racket flexes less and gives more power. Most control rackets are 18 - 21 mm, while most power rackets are 28 mm and above. Usually the in-between rackets are 23 - 27 mm.

 

IX) What are the different Material composition of rackets? 

Different brands often have their own material composition specifications. Broadly, tennis rackets are available in three types of composition - in pure or composite (alloy) form: 

 

1. Aluminium (or Alloy) – These rackets are heavier than the other available options. These are reasonable and good for beginners. 

 

2. Graphite Composite – These rackets are lighter than aluminium and have a combination of Graphite and other material like Titanium, Kevlar, Karophite Black etc. You may choose these racquets if you are looking for lesser- priced racquet with carbon technology. These are ideal for recreational players.

 

3. Pure Graphite – These are 100% Graphite racquets and are expensive. These racquets are light-weight and generate powerful swing. If you are an Intermediate to Advanced player, you may choose pure graphite over composite graphite racquets for best performance.

 

X) What is Stiffness or Flex? 

When a ball hits the racquet, the impact makes the frame bend or ‘deflect’. The resistance to deflection is known as flex. Most racquets fall in 50-75 range and higher numbers signify more stiffness. Racquets which are more flexible, bend more on impact and absorbs more energy from the ball. Racquets with Stiffer frames, deflect less, and less power is taken away from the ball. Hence, stiffer frames provide more power than flexible ones, but are less comfortable as they transmit more impact shock to the wrist. However, an individual’s play level and style of play may affect what is more comfortable for him.

 

XI) What is the impact of various string patterns? 

A more open pattern of 16 mains x 15 crosses (or less) has bigger spaces and provides more spin as the string bites into the ball more deeply. Eg. Wilson Pro Staff 95S Racquet. A denser pattern of 16 mains x 19 crosses provides more control but less spin. Eg. Wilson Pro Staff 95 Racquet.

 

XII) What is String Gauge?

String Gauge is the thickness of the string ranging from 15 gauge (thickest) to 18 gauge (thinnest). Thinner strings provide more feel and control but are less durable.

 

XIII) Why are some racquets Unstrung?

Most junior, beginner and recreational racquets are pre-strung at an average tension by the manufacturers. However, intermediate and advanced racquets come in unstrung condition as it provides a choice to the players for choosing their desired string and getting it strung at a tension conducive to their playing style.

 

XIV) Which String should I choose?

You can play with different Strings at varying tensions to optimise the combination of power and control according to your style of play. The typical string types are given below:

  1. Synthetic strings are made of polymer and the most commonly used and durable.

 

  1. These can be of Multifilament type with hundreds of micro-fiber wrapped together and provide more power and comfort to players eg. Babolat Xcel RG/FO, Wilson NXT Tour, Head Power Fusion, Luxilon 4G String

 

  1. Monofilament strings are a solid single core design which provide more durability than the multifilament variety, along with comfort and spin. Eg. Babolat RPM Blast, Babolat Pro Hurricane tour, Wilson RipSpin, Luxilon Alu Power String

 

  1. Professional players use Natural gut which are expensive, but provide the best power and ‘feel’ for them. Eg. Babolat VS Team , Wilson Natural Gut

 

  1. Some players prefer a blend of comfort and power in their strings and choose Hybrids ie. one string type for Mains and another string type for Crosses eg. Babolat Hybrid PHT+N.Vy or Wilson Spin Duo String. This gives them durability and the flexibility that they desire.

 

 

XV) At what Tension should I get the racquet strung?

How the racket string interacts with the ball is crucial and thus it is important that the tension at which the racket should be strung should be according to your game. You will note that most rackets have the recommended string tension mentioned. The average string tension is in the range of 55 - 58 lbs for a balance of power and control in the racquet.

 

  • If you are an advanced player, you can have Higher tension in your racket. Tighter stringing implies that the racket will be in touch with the ball for a shorter time and will transfer less power and more control to your shot. Advanced players, for whom precision and control are more important, usually get their rackets strung at high tension of 59 lbs or more. 

 

  • Lower tension provides more power in the shots as the ball is repelled from the string bed like a spring effect. Beginners should get their rackets strung at low tension, around 55 lbs. and as they graduate to intermediate level of play with better control of the racket, they can restring their racket at slightly higher tension.

 

 

At Sportsjam.in, do make use of the Search & Compare features to select your favourite tennis racket according to your Play level and desired specification. You may browse through the various tennis strings available for purchase on Sportsjam.in and get your racket strung by using our Tennis Racquet Stringing Service to select your choice of string. For any further queries, please write to us at info@sportsjam.in