The secrets to finding the perfect tennis racket — and the 6 tennis rackets pros say you should consider


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Experts say that finding the right tennis racket can improve your game, but there’s a lot to consider before you buy. Three big things: Head size, weight and grip size. The smaller the head, the more control a player has; the larger the head, the more power, according to the United States Tennis Association. It recommends beginners use a rackuet with a head size between 100 and 115 square inches with a weight of 9.5 to 11 ounces and a standard length of 27 inches. Grip size matters too. This guide from Dick’s Sporting Goods offers pro tips, including an easy way to measure grip size: Hold the racket in the forehand position and leave space for a pencil to fit between your fingers and your palm. 

You also don’t want to cheap out on a racket.  Los Angeles-based tennis coach Alex Kantarelis says that most good rackets are in the $150 to $250 range. If you want something more affordable, Kantarelis recommends checking out an older model of a current racket. “A 2017 version of a current racket will save you a little bit of money, and the quality is the same — they usually only change the paint,” says Kantarelis. 

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With Wimbledon beginning, we asked tennis professionals what rackuets recreational players should get their hands on. 

Best for beginners and casual players: Babolat Pure Drive ($229) and Babolat Pure Aero Team, $209, both from Dick’s Sporting Goods


Dick’s Sporting Goods

Stephanie Cordoni, store manager at BusterPro, a tennis shop in Los Angeles, says the Babolat Pure Drive is the best-selling racket in their shop. Not only did Andy Roddick play on tour with this racket, Dominic Thiem plays with one as well. Because it’s widely versatile for a range of players from beginning to advanced, New York Magazine lists the Pure Drive as one of the best overall rackets for beginner

As for the Babolat Pure Aero Team, it’s the choice of professional American tennis player Jennifer Brady, who’s currently ranked number 13 in the world. New York Magazine also lists this racket as the best choice for serious beginners, as recommended by their four experts. 

Pro tip for men and women: Cordini says they recommend a racket about 10.6 ounces for male recreational players and around 10.1 ounces for female recreational players.
BUY NOW: Babolat Pure Drive ($229) and Babolat Pure Aero Tea, $209, both from Dick’s Sporting Goods

For the all-court player: Yonex Ezone 100SL, $209, from Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s Sporting Goods

If you’ve played for a few years and are comfortable with a variety of different shots, this may be the racket for you: “They’re making some of the best rackets out there,” says Tim Trombley, owner of True Tension Racquet Sports in Westport, Connecticut. Naomi Osaka plays with a Yonex racket, and this model is engineered to be lightweight for a fast swing. It’s designed for an all-around player and is 9.5 ounces with a 100 square inch head size, and features the brand’s isometric design.
BUY NOW: Yonex Ezone 100SL, $209, from Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Best lightweight racket: Tecnifibre T-Fight 300, $219.95, from Amazon

Amazon

The number two player in the world, Daniil Medvedev, plays with a Tecnifibre racket, and some pros like it too. “I tried out many rackets and experimented with different styles before I stumbled upon this version of the T-Fight. It’s a little lighter than what I was used to and it has a wide string pattern that helps me add a lot of spin on my groundstrokes without sacrificing any feel at the net,” says Kantarelis. “Players who are new to the game should use a lighter racket to add power to their swing,” says Kantarelis.

For tournament players: Head Graphene 360+ 2021 Radical Tennis Racquet, $239, from Dick’s Sporting Goods


Dick’s Sporting Goods

Players like Novak Djokovik, Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berretini and Coco Gauff play with Head rackets, and this one is best suited for all-court tournament players because of its combination of power, control and spin which give aggressive tournament players extra power. Weighing 10.6 ounces, this racket has a 98 square inch head size and is made from Graphene 360+ material, which is designed to give it a more responsive feel and better stability. 
BUY NOW: Head Graphene 360+ 2021 Radical Tennis Racquet, $239, from Dick’s Sporting Goods

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For power and precision: Wilson Blade SW 102 Autograph, $249, from Wilson

Wilson

World tennis champ Serena Williams has played with this racket, which features inspirational words that are an ode to the star. Former tennis pro and current racket technician Mike Helmuth says, “It’s a new school take on an old school design that has a classic feel and flexibility but with better maneuverability.” With a glossy gold trim, this racket is both beautiful, and designed to assist with increased control accompanied by intense power. The racket features a smaller head and countervail for reduced vibrations and extra comfort.

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