Best Tennis Racquets in 2017

Choosing from the best tennis racquets for this year is not an easy decision to make. There are so many different brands and models that it can be often difficult to know where to start. Tennis racquets come in different shapes, sizes, and weights. The different variations will all affect how you play your tennis game for better or for worse.

The good news is that we have done most of the hard work for when it comes to choosing the best tennis racquets of 2017. But first let’s discuss how you can pick the best racquet that perfectly suits your needs.

Our Top Racquets

ModelHead SizeStrung WeightLengthPrice
Head Liquid Metal 8 Strung112"9.3 oz27 1/3"
Wilson [K] Zero Strung Performance Value118"9.1 oz27.5"
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph97"12.6 oz27"
Babolat AeroPro Drive GT100"11.3 oz27"
Babolat 2015 Pure Drive100"10.6 oz27"

How to Choose the Best Tennis Racquet for Beginners

If you are just starting out in the world of tennis, you should go to your nearest sports store and try out different brands and models of tennis rackets.

When trying out a racket for the first time, keep your eye out for the following:

  • What model is the easiest for you to handle and use?
  • Is the racquet easy or difficult to serve?
  • Do you hear any concerning noises when using the racquet?
  • Does the model feel sturdy enough when striking the tennis ball?

To help with your aim of choosing the best tennis racquet of this year, we will go over some of the most common features of tennis racquets so you are able to make an informed decision whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player.

What makes a good tennis racquet?

Racket Head Size

The size of the racquet’s head is arguably one of the most important factors when selecting a model. Each tennis racquet has what’s called a sweet spot when playing tennis. The sweet spot is the ideal position for the ball to hit the racquet, resulting in more powerful and responsive gameplay when on the court. The head size determines how large the sweet spot will be.

One thing to keep in mind about buying a racket with a large head size is the trade-off between control and power. A larger sweet spot will result in more powerful swings but may lack the responsiveness that you need to win games.

Head size surfaces can range between 516cm and 870cm, depending on the make and model. Manufacturers of tennis racquets distinguish their head sizes by grouping them into different categories of Midsize, Midplus, and Oversize models.

  • Midsize: (80-94 inches) midsize racquets usually are not recommended to beginners due to their smaller head sizes. However, in the hands of a seasoned player, they can provide the most control because of their lighter frames.
  • Midplus: (95-104 inches) Midplus head sizes strike the perfect balance between power and additional control that other models lack. The midplus range of racquets is suitable for intermediate players.
  • Oversize: (106-135 inches) Oversize racquets are perfect for people who want a bigger sweet spot, which means they are an ideal choice for beginners and people who are still getting used to the game.

Racket Length

The length of the racket should be taken into consideration. Most rackets are between 68cm and 73cm in length, with the most common length being 68cm. Shorter models of tennis rackets are available that have been designed for children.

The advantage of having a longer racket is that you will have more powerful serves, but at the expense of usability. Small differences in racket length translate to a big difference in how powerful your serves will be, especially if you are not very tall.

Longer tennis rackets are generally lighter than those of standard lengths.

The three most common sizes for tennis rackets can be viewed below.

  • Standard – 68.57cm
  • Extended – 69.21cm
  • Extra – over 69.84 cm

Tennis Racquet Grip Size

The grip is literally where you would place your hands on the racquet. Choosing an appropriate grip size is important to avoid elbow injuries, as well as getting a secure feel of the racquet.

You will know if the handle size is appropriate if the tip of your index finger holding the racket can reach your inner palm.

Tennis racquet grip size is something that you will need to get a feel for in person. Local sports stores will have racquets you can test to see what models will work best for you.

Weight for Tennis Racquets

The weight of the tennis racquet will affect its stability and control during play. A heavier racquet will lead to less vibration when hitting the ball, which increases stability. While a racquet with a lighter frame will feel more manoeuvrable and you will be able to strike the ball faster.

It should be noted that light tennis racquets can always be modified to be heavier, while heavier models have a set weight.

When deciding the weight of the tennis racquet, you should take an honest evaluation of your arm strength and your level of play. Lighter racquets are good for beginners and children whilst heavier models are suited towards advanced players.

Below is a rough guide to help you select the appropriate weight.

  • Children: (250 grams)
  • Beginners: (250-270 grams)
  • Intermediate: (270-290 grams)
  • Advanced: (290-311 grams)
  • Professional: (310+ grams)

As stated previously, for advanced and professional players we advise that you try out a heavy racket as this will allow you to get the most out of every swing.

For beginners, we suggest trying a model that is under 280g. The reduced striking force of the lighter model will help keep the ball inside the tennis court, as well as preventing the ball from bouncing across the end line of your opponent’s side of the course.

Balance of The Tennis Racquet

Balance of the tennis racquet will determine how the weight of spread over its surface. The weight can be distributed to the top or towards the bottom. The balance of the tennis racquet should be taken into consideration as a beginner or even an intermediate player.

For advanced players, it is recommended that you choose a racket that has more weight distributed to the bottom for better maneuverability.

Beginners should pick a racquet that has a balanced weight ratio for the best of both worlds in terms of stability and power.

Material for the Tennis Racquet

It should be no surprise that there are different kinds of materials used in the best tennis rackets, with the most common racquets seen are those made from aluminium. Aluminium rackets are durable and stable enough for even competitive play, although for a player who prefers to strike hard with a high amount of accuracy, an aluminium frame may not be ideal.

Most players who are new to the game are recommended to pick up a graphite model as these are generally cheaper and easier to handle for novices.

What Strings To Use

Many professional tennis players consider their choice of strings to be one of the most important features when choosing the best tennis racquet. The type of strings you choose will affect the tension of the racket, as well as the density of the wires, which will in turn influence your playing style.

Some common materials used for tennis racquet strings are as follows:

  • Natural gut
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Spun Threads
  • Multi-filament

As always, each type of material used in the string will have a considerable impact on how your tennis game is played. Different strings have varying benefits and weaknesses and are designed to work in different ways. You should endeavour to select the type of string that works for you.

Elastic strings will generally give you more power with every serve, as will choosing a model that has longer strings. If you are learning it is advisable to choose a model that has softer strings such as polyester, as this material is great for reducing string vibration, which can lead to more accurate shots. Advanced players may want more spin on their serves, which is where thinner strings can make for the perfect choice.

Top 5 Tennis Racquets for 2017

Head Liquid Metal 8 Strung Tennis Racquet (4.25 inches)

Head liquid 8 racquet

The Head Liquid 8 tennis racquet is in a class of its own when it comes to playing tennis. There are no better options on the market that can make you feel like a pro in no time. The Liquid 8 model is lightweight, as well as powerful. The designers have gone to extreme lengths to make sure that you get optimal control and power when hitting the ball.

The racquet only weighs only .50 lbs. and packs a serious punch that is unrivaled by even the heavier models.

Liquid 8 comes with a special feature designed to reduce unwanted string vibration called No Shox. This addition to the Liquid 8 tennis racquet improves the player’s focus and momentum, allowing one to respond to your opponent’s movements more easily. Because the Liquid 8 racket is both lightweight and powerful, it makes for an ideal choice for advanced players and beginners alike.

The racquet has a head size of 110sqm, which is much larger than other models. The extended head size means that it will be easier for you to strike the tennis ball when swinging and setting up a serve. The Liquid 8 is ideal for both competitive and practice matches due its sturdy grip and performance.

In short, the Liquid 8 Metal Strung Tennis Racquet is simply one of the best choices on the market. Thousands of beginners and seasoned tennis players have vouched for the racquet’s effectiveness, as it strikes the perfect balance between power and control. The lightweight frame will allow you to respond what’s happening on the court in real time, while the racquet’s string dampening technology will let you hit the sweet spot with an effortless ease.

Key Features of the Liquid Metal 8 Strung Tennis Racquets:

  • Beam Size: The beam size of the Liquid 8 is only 28x26mm, so it’s easy to handle.
  • Sweet Spot: Unlike other models on the market, this racquet has a sweet spot that has been optimized to fit the entire head of the racquet. This feature is called Total Sweet spot Construction and ensures that even beginners will have no trouble serving and hitting the ball.
  • String Pattern Area: 16 strings x 19 strings.
  • Head Size: The head size of the Liquid 8 is one of the largest at 110 square inches, which affords greater accuracy when hitting the ball.
  • Weight: As stated previously, the weight of the racket is one of the features that makes it stand out from its’ competition. At less than ten pounds, it is one of the best lightweight performance models that money can buy.

Wilson Zero Strung Performance Racquet

wilson zero strung racquet

 

The Wilson Zero has one of the lightest frames of any racquet on the market. Due to the racquet’s low weight, it is perfect for intermediates and people who are getting used to the game. Although it may not be ideal for advanced players, it is a great option for people who have a defensive play style due to its extreme maneuverability.

This racquet is considered the most balanced out of all the top tier models in its price range. This makes Wilson Zero racquets great for beginners as well as those who desire more a stable option.

The racquet makes up for its lack of power with ease of use, allowing free movement and powerful defenses against your opponent’s plays. Wrapping lead tape around the racquet’s frame can give it some extra punch when it’s required, although its defensive power alone can easily change the tide of a close matchup.

The construction of the racquet’s strings is widely praised by many of its’ users. There is little unwanted string vibration during use, and most people would not to replace the strings for some years even under heavy use. The strings are also dual tapered, which means users can expect accurate serves every time the ball is hit.

Key Features of the Wilson Zero

  • Lightest racquet available.
  • Provides extreme manoeuvrability.
  • Stable and prevents vibrations.
  • Easy to use and control.
  • Head Size: 118 sq. inches
  • Weight: 1oz (260g)
  • String Pattern: (16×19 strings)

In summary, the Wilson Zero is ideal for people who are gradually getting used to the great game of tennis. The enlarged head of the racquet means that the sweet spot is easily hit on every swing. Although it may not be the strongest racquet that money can buy, it is extremely easy to swing and use, which makes it a viable option for doubles matches even for advanced players, making it one of the best tennis racquets available today.

Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Tennis Racquet

wilson pro staff rf97

 

The technology of tennis racquets is getting more advanced every day. Wilson’s engineers have designed the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 with the help of renowned tennis player Roger Federer. This racquet provides an enhanced sweet spot area as well as a larger head size for more accurate swings.

The designers of the RF97 have stuck to a classic composure during its design, resulting in an attractive yet heavy frame of the racquet.

The downside to the racquet is that some players may find it difficult to handle due to its weight. The good news is that the RF97 will force you to step up your game and learn a thing or two about aerodynamics and how to get the most out of every shot.

If you are a professional or advanced player, then the RF97 will suit you nicely. All you’d need to do is swing the racquet correctly and the rest will be taken care of by its own momentum.

The tennis racquet does require a certain amount of force to swing, but in return it will provide you with more shock absorption of the incoming ball than lighter models. The studier frame of the racquet along with the enlarged head size all work to make the swing more stable during play. The RF97 was designed for people who have an aggressive play style and those who like to dictate the rhythm of play.

The RF97 is great for returning a wide ball or serving a blazing serve at full strength. The racquet also has an advanced string pattern that helps to deliver more control over the ball and added stability during the spin.

Features and Dimensions of the Wilson Pro RF97

  • Head Size: 97 square inches
  • String Pattern: 16*19
  • Length: 27 inches
  • Weight: 13 ounces
  • Made from graphite
  • Ideal choice for aggressive players
  • Classic design
  • Amplifeel technology

With the proper training and skills, you’ll be able to respond to every corner shot, set up rallies in the baseline and volley every shot with ease. The Wilson Pro RF97 is a real beast of tennis architecture. If you can bring the racquet under control then you can end up dominating your games.

Babolat Aeropro Drive GT Tennis Racquet

Rafael Nadal tennis racket

 

The Aeropro Drive GT is the weapon of choice used by Rafael Nadal. The advanced design of the racquet gives it an improved top spin compared to other models on the market. The Drive GT gives you an incredible control over the ball and lets you respond to your opponent from all corners of the court.

The feature of this racquet gives the user an unfair advantage when on the tennis court. It also provides greater topspin when making a ground stroke, which can lead to creative plays that will catch your opponent off guard.

Drive GT’s Cortex Active Technology helps to link the handle and the frame together, resulting in more responsive swings. The patented technology also helps to prevent disturbing string vibration that can lead to more controlled swings.

The handle was designed in a unique way to redirect the vibrations to the centre of the user’s hands. It also features aero modular technology, which is a common feature included among the best tennis racquets. This feature, along with its complimentary beams, helps to increase the speed and accuracy of the spin when hitting the ball.

Features and specifications

  • Design of the racquet improves stability
  • One of a kind architecture
  • Great for long swings
  • Synthetic grip
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Length: 28 inches
  • Materials: Graphite and tungsten
  • Head size: 110 square inches
  • Employs GT Technology

Many professional and advanced players use the Drive GT because of its performance in the back court, as well as providing an unparalleled spin and balance on every serve. The racquet will give you the same result when hitting the ball from the tip of the frame as when you land it in the middle of its sweet spot.

The only downside to the Drive GT is arguably its stiffness during prolonged play, which is why it is not recommended to be used by beginners. The manufacturers of this racquet have paid attention to their user’s feedback and have gradually increased its head size from 4 to 7.

Babolat Pure Drive Tennis Racquet

babolat pure drive

 

The Babolat Pure Drive is widely known as the most balanced of all top-tier models in its price range. This racquet provides the optimal synergy between balance and power. It is a racquet that has been designed to unearth the total potential of a talented player.

Pure drive comes in bold colors of black and blue, combined with light strokes of white to reveal an illustrious appearance. This racquet takes advantage of the most recent and significant innovations in the field of tennis to help any player master their game.

The majority of reviewers that tested this racquet agreed that this is one of the most technically advanced models to date, resulting in an improved impact zone over the traditional racquet.

Notable features and specifications of the Pure Drive Tennis Racquet

  • Various Grip sizes: 4 ½, 4 ¼, 4 1/8, 4 3/8, 4 5/8.
  • Frame Interaction Technology: This feature enhances the optimal impact area for the racquet.
  • Woofer Pattern Feature: Works to clench the strings in the area of the sweet spot to enhance performance.
  • Appealing Elliptic Shape: Not only is the shape of the racquet easy on the eyes, it also effective in achieving ideal string tension and increases the power of your serves.
  • Cortex Dampening System: The cortex dampening system gives the user more control and power when hitting the ball with reduced string vibration.
  • 16 Mid Tension Strings

To summarize the 2015 Babolat Pure Drive, it is a technically advanced racquet that is best used in the hands of a seasoned player. It is also very accessible and comfortable to swing. This model’s custom strings means that you do not have to worry about restringing it every couple of years, saving you time and money.

The Bottom Line – What Racquet is best for me?

That concludes our list of the best tennis racquets for 2017. Due to the numerous models and options that are on the market today, you may still be left wondering what option is going to work for you, which is why we’re going to discuss the best options for the beginner, intermediate and advanced players.

As always, you are encouraged to first experiment with each type of tennis racquet to get a feel for each type before purchasing. Most major sports stores around the world will have a variety of tennis racquets that you can use free of charge, so there’s really no excuse.

If your budget is a concern for you but you still want a top-tier racquet, there are finance options available such as the Amazon Store Card that will allow you to pay off your purchases in small monthly instalments. The full terms and conditions of the Amazon store card can be found via Amazon’s website, but the short of it is that your total order will need to be over $599 in order to qualify.

How to Choose the Best Tennis Racquet for Beginners

We have already gone over the pros and cons of each racquet for beginners that can be seen in our buyer’s guide above, but we will attempt to summarize the information again and leave you with a few suggestions to check out if you still can’t make up your mind.

If you a beginner, you will want to look for the following qualities to find the best tennis racquet:

  • A model with a larger head size.
  • String dampening technology.
  • A common brand for cheaper repairs and servicing.
  • A model that is vouched for by the tennis community.

In light of the above prerequisites, two options to consider are Liquid 8 Strung Tennis Racquet or the Wilson Zero. Both come with glowing reviews from verified Amazon shoppers and are relatively inexpensive for a quality model.

Choosing the best racquet for intermediate players

If you have been playing the game of tennis for a while, then you are probably getting pretty good, but may lack the crucial mechanics and responsiveness that advanced players have to get your game to next level. This is where a quality racquet can be the deciding factor between success and failure.

You want to pick a racquet that challenges you and stretches your skills.

You should look for a racquet with the following qualities:

  • Medium weight for more powerful swings and added responsiveness.
  • Optimized head size with a small sweet spot for faster volleys.
  • Opt for power over utility.
  • Possibly a model that is used by professional players.

The Liquid 8 tennis racquet perfectly caters to all the requirements above, but so would something a little more challenging such as the RF97. It could be seen that the Liquid 8 is the safe option for anyone no matter what, while the Wilson Pro RF97 is going to force you to step up your game and improve your mechanics.

Either racquet is guaranteed to get you your money’s worth of value. If you are still unsure, the best way to verify the company’s claims of success is by reading the numerous reviews about the racquets that can be found on the model’s product page on Amazon.

For Advanced Players

For seasoned and even professional players, you are likely crushing it already, but there is always room to go higher. There will always be people on the court that have the bleeding edge over their competition, which will ultimately result in them winning more games over the long-term in major tournaments and the professional arena.

A key advantage that you have as an advanced player is that you can experiment with different technologies that have been designed for the competent player in mind.

For this reason, you should look for the following features when searching for the best tennis racquet if you want to take your game to next level.

  • Experiment with heavier racquets to give you an unexpected amount of power against your opponent.
  • Try out the latest technologies and innovations in racquets such as new string configurations and dampening features.
  • Stick to the untested and experimental.
  • If something looks like a risky choice, you have nothing to lose by going for it.

Because you already have core mechanics and competencies already dialled in, you can opt for the most innovative options on the market such as the Babolat Aero drive GT or the Pure Drive model by the same manufacturer.

Each model that can be seen above has been carefully researched and selected due to their competitive prices and numerous positive reviews. The full spec sheet of each can be viewed on their respective product pages on Amazon. You are encouraged to do your own research of each model and come to your own conclusion about what racquet is ultimately going to be the best for you.

If you still can’t make up your mind about what model to purchase and you don’t have the time to visit a sports store, you can always watch videos of players using the best tennis racquet on video sites such as Vimeo and YouTube and learn from their opinions and advice.

As a final note of caution, it is important that you only buy from verified merchants when looking for the best tennis racquet, as there are fraudulent and imitation models of the most popular brands out there if you choose not to buy from credible retailers such as sports stores and Amazon.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading our reviews of the best tennis racquets and that this guide was both interesting and informative to read.