The Best Tennis Racquets for Beginners

A tennis racquet on top of a ball

So you’ve decided to take up tennis. Congratulations! You’ve made a fine choice of sport to play: the game of tennis is beneficial no matter the reason you take it up.

If you just want to get moving and be fit, tennis will have you running around and burning a lot of fat and energy.

If you want a game where you can either play with a friend or rely on yourself, the flexible singles or team nature of the sport allows you to play it however you want.

And tennis is also relatively low-maintenance. You just need two important pieces of equipment to play–a good pair of tennis shoes (or any shoes, really, that allow you to run and move well across a court) and a solid racquet.

The Best Tennis Racquets For Beginners

Now it’s time for what you came here for: our list of the best tennis racquets new players can get. Here’s the thing about the choices we’re recommending–they’re classified according to the kind of build the racquet has, and subsequently, the type of play it’s suited for.

But since you’re a beginner who’s looking for a good racquet to play with, this list will be skewing toward lightweight models. They’re honestly the best kind of racquet for newbies as they’re still developing their swing and arm power, and any racquet that allows them to play with the best form possible (not to mention managing to send the ball over the net) is a good one.

Also, don’t forget about the price! The beginner racquets on our list vary from around $70 to under $200 (with exceptions for junior-sized models) but don’t worry about what the “best” model on this list is. All of these racquets are great for new players, and if budget is a consideration, there’s not much difference between a $79 racquet from a $179 racquet when you’re starting out. As you grow in skill, that’s when you should consider moving up to a model suited to your specific needs, so don’t worry about it too much.

With all of that out of the way, here are our picks of the year:

Head Ti.S6

Weight: 7.9 oz

Size: 115 sq. in.

Why you should get it: It’s the best all-around lightweight tennis racquet on the market right now for beginners

Without a doubt, the Head Ti.S6 is the ultimate tennis racquet for beginner players. It’s really forgiving. It’s extremely lightweight and flexible due to the titanium-graphite composite material of the frame (it’s just slightly under 8 oz!), and newer players can get their best game with the wide 115 square-inch head size that allows them to hit the ball as much as possible.

And if you weren’t convinced that the Head Ti.S6 would give you the best game possible, it even has a handle that’s longer than usual, coming in at 27 and ¾ inches, effectively extending your reach in all swings, including serves. It’s largely a racquet made for men as the grip comes in a range of 4 ½ to 4 ⅝, though, and if you need anything smaller you may have to go for another model.

The best part is that the Head Ti.S6 is one of the more affordable racquets out there, especially with special deals and discounts on Amazon, really positioning itself as a true beginner-friendly tennis racquet in the market. You can’t go wrong with this one.

 

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Wilson Burn 100

Weight: 11.8 oz

Size: 100 sq. in.

Why you should get it: This tennis racquet, while on the heavier side is cheap, the headframe’s size is just right, and it’s great for players working on their aim

Don’t be fooled by the slightly heavier weight of the Wilson Burn 100; while it’s ounces heavier than the above-mentioned Head Ti.S6, you virtually won’t feel that added weight once you’ve stepped on the court and started swinging.

The Wilson Burn 100 is a great racquet for beginner players simply because those extra ounces help you control the ball. Most new players generally have a hard time with their aim as they’re still getting used to swinging and making sure they hit the ball (the Burn 100’s 100-square inch head size will make sure you catch it), but that’s just one half of the game they have to master.

The Wilson Burn 100 comes with grips made for both men and women, but be wary; some models may ship unstrung, so if you don’t know how to string a racquet yet, make sure you order it pre-strung or you may have to seek out someone who does.

 

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Prince Textreme Warrior 107L

Weight: 10 oz

Size: 107 sq. in.

Why you should get it: This beginner-friendly tennis racquet has everything new players need, and the pink colorway not only stands out, but also goes toward the good cause of breast cancer awareness

If you want to play in style and for a good cause, the lightweight, carbon-fiber Prince Textreme Warrior 107L is the perfect match for you. It’s got all the features a beginner tennis player needs to make sure they learn the game the best way possible: the lightness that makes the racquet easy to swing around and the player move around the court without difficulty, as well as a wide headframe size that helps players hit the ball.

But we can’t talk about the Textreme Warrior 107L without addressing the elephant in the room: yes, this pink racquet is mainly marketed toward female players. As much as we don’t want to reinforce the stereotype that pink equals girls, the breast cancer awareness cause kind of pigeonholes it under the women’s category. Still, though, pink is powerful. If men want to play with this racquet, there’s absolutely no stopping them, as it also comes in your usual men’s four-inch grip variants.

No matter how you feel about it, one thing is guaranteed: with its popping color, you’ll definitely stand out on the court.

 

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Wilson US Open Junior Tennis Racquet

Weight: 6.4 oz. to 7.8 oz.

Size: 82 sq. in. to 106 sq. in.

Why you should get it: The Wilson US Open Junior is the best racquet you could give to a kid or teenager starting out in tennis, with everything they need as beginners

Of course, we didn’t forget about the kids and teenagers starting out in tennis. A lot of tennis players start out in their younger years, after all. The Wilson US Open Junior comes in four different sizes: the 25, 23, 21, and 19, with the numbers corresponding to the racquet’s overall length in inches, and allows the young player to have four different options for the maximum power and control in their swings.

The large length-to-headframe size ratio of the US Open Junior allows for a more forgiving game, allowing players to hit the ball as much as possible. The short handle lends the player a more compact swing, increasing power and control.

The only potential issue that lies with the US Open Junior is that its lightweight construction, while making the racquet extremely cheap and ideal for young starting tennis players, may end up giving up some durability over time. Then again, if they’ll be playing for a long time, they’ll eventually outgrow the junior-sized racquet and move on to adult-sized models.

 

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Yonex Ezone DR 100

Weight: 11.8 oz.

Size: 100 sq. in.

Why you should get it: If you want to play with a sleek-looking racquet, the Ezone DR 100 from Japanese manufacturer Yonex is a great choice

The Yonex Ezone DR 100 is one of the more beautiful beginner tennis racquets available on the market — and it’s no surprise, as it’s a product of Japanese design. While a weight of almost 12 oz. may seem like it’s on the heavy side (and it is), the Ezone DR 100 is made of graphite, so it doesn’t actually feel heavy when you’re swinging it around on the court. While there are lighter options, that heavier weight makes the racquet stable, durable, and powerful.

Beyond the weight, the Ezone DR 100’s grip also makes it a fine racquet to hold. It’s definitely built for power and looks, and the 100-square inch headframe size goes a long way in making sure that you get to hit the ball as much as you can, as far as you can.

The only thing about the Yonex Ezone DR 100 is that it’s a little on the expensive side compared to other racquets of the same purpose, but if you’re already a strong athlete, then this is definitely one to consider.

 

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Babolat 2015 Pure Drive

Weight: 10.6 oz

Size: 115 sq. in.

Why you should get it: With this racquet being lightweight and having a wide headframe, this is one of the best choices a beginner can make. It’s also a worthy investment as the Pure Drive could possibly last players years.

The Babolat 2015 Pure Drive is a huge tennis racquet. Look at the size of that headframe! With this racquet, it’s probably impossible for you not to hit the ball unless you’re all the way on the other side of the court.

This racquet is definitely made with beginners in mind, because Babolat wants all new tennis players to be able to have as much fun playing the game as possible. Not only is the headframe big, making sure you hit the ball, but it’s also pretty lightweight at under 11 ounces, and the material the frame is made of lends you unparalleled power in your swings. It’s also got a dampening system built into the frame to maximize your comfort and minimize your strain and fatigue when you swing and hit the ball.

While the Pure Drive may be one of the most expensive racquets on this list, it’s only because it’s also guaranteed to last you for years. It’s not one of those racquets that players easily outgrow when they feel it’s time to learn advanced skills. You can use the Pure Drive no matter your skill level, hence it being a worthy investment.

 

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Head MicroGel Radical

Weight: 10.4 oz.

Size: 98 sq. in.

Why you should get it: The cutting-edge Micro Gel engineering in the Radical’s frame makes this racquet ridiculously lightweight, giving you a faster swing and more power

What is the “MicroGel” in the MicroGel Radical’s name referring to, you ask? It’s basically what the racquet’s frame is made of: microgel is a silicone-based material that has really, really low density. It’s the lowest density solid in the world, in fact. As a result, the MicroGel Radical is one of the lightest tennis racquets you’ll ever wield on the court, and with it, you’ll have one of the fastest swings in your life. It’s also quite cheap for the technology that it has.

Not only that, but the MicroGel Radical wants you to be comfortable using it. Not only is it lightweight, but it’s also got a really soft grip, making sure you hold the racquet as firmly as possible, maximizing your power even further. You may even have to exercise a lot of control in making sure your shots don’t send the ball careening to the outsides.

The only downside is while the light weight and increased power makes of the MicroGel Radical a dream for beginners, the relatively smaller headframe size (clocking in at under 100 square inches) may also make it harder for those who are still working on hitting the ball properly. As a result, the racquet may not be a decent first choice for those with errant or compact swings.

You may want to get the MicroGel Radical when you’re more advanced. When you do, you may not like the stock strings that come with it, so restringing it might have to be an option. Then again, if you’re still a relatively new player, the quality of the strings may not matter to you at the moment.

 

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Babolat 2018 Pure Aero Lite

Weight: 10.1 oz

Size: 100 sq. in.

Why you should get it: Send the ball to exactly where you want it to go with the great spin the Pure Aero Lite gives you

For players who have already mastered much of the basics of tennis, namely hitting the ball, swinging with power, and moving around the court, the Pure Aero Lite is a perfect bridge from beginner to intermediate. (It’s also worth noting that it’s a lighter version of the racquet Rafael Nadal uses.) The Pure Aero Lite is incredibly lightweight, making your swings incredibly fast.

With the speed you generate from wielding the Pure Aero Lite, you can add power to your spins, getting the ball exactly where you need it to go, and allowing you to play on offense more. It’s also got a Woofer Grommet system built into the frame to dampen and absorb the ball’s impact, making it even more comfortable to play with.

The only downside of the Pure Aero Lite is that it’s the most expensive racquet on this list. It’s one of those racquets that’s expensive because, as already mentioned, it favors relatively more experienced players. When you’ve got the basics figured out, you can get this racquet without guilt.

 

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Why Is A Good Tennis Racquet Important?

You may be wondering why you should spend a lot of time, effort, and money in getting the best tennis racquet. After all, you’re just hitting a tiny ball to send it to the other side of the court. You can do that with just about anything, so why does it have to be a fancy, expensive piece of metal and graphite?!

Well, the choice of racquet you play with does actually affect the way you play the game. There are four important factors in the way a racquet is made which affect a player’s performance:

  • Weight of the racquet – The first thing you’ll likely notice when you hold a racquet for the first time, as well as when you try out different ones. The weight of the racquet directly affects the force you’re exerting when you swing, how you move around, and your energy levels–the lighter the racquet, the better you can move, the faster you can swing, and the more energy you can save. Heavier racquets play better for players who prefer courts that promote a slower game. A racquet that’s 7 to 10 oz is considered a light racquet.
  • The racquet’s grip – Okay, so this one is also pretty obvious; the better you grip the racquet, the more you have control and power in your swings. You don’t want to hold a racquet that barely fits your hand; the average grip for men is a 4 ¼, and a 3 for women. Depending on how big or small your hands are, you may have to adjust (some women can have bigger grips, and some men can have smaller grips); to check if the racquet’s grip is right for you, hold the racquet with one hand and try to fit the pinky in your other hand in the space between the gripping hand’s thumb and index finger. If it fits perfectly, the grip is right.
    Remember: Most racquets have grip options that vary slightly, and you may not get a good feel of what the right grip for you is if you’re shopping online. If you’re buying a racquet for the first time, it may be better to go to a sports store in person so you can test the grip yourself.
  • The size of the racquet head’s frame – Basically, how big the racquet head is and how likely it is to catch the ball as it approaches. For smaller players, a bigger and wider racquet head may compensate for the smaller, narrower reach they may have. Taller and larger players may have a better time with smaller racquet heads. But for beginners, a wide head is best while they’re still learning to catch the ball in the center of the racquet as much as possible.
  • The tension of the racquet strings – The reason why racquets are strung instead of having a flat, solid head is that the tension nylon strings generate results in more power. A relatively looser-strung racquet can generate more power as the strings’ curving allows the player to launch the ball faster than if the strings are tight, but tighter strings allow for greater and more precise ball control.
    Remember: some racquets are sold online unstrung by default; if you don’t know how to string a racquet yourself, always make sure to order it pre-strung at the tension you want. Most retailers can string it at a tension that’s suitable for beginners.

So when you’re out there buying your very first tennis racquet, or moving on to others, keep testing until you find the type of racquet that works best for how you play. You’re not going to get this with the first one you buy, so you need to keep playing so you get a sense of how you want to play the game–and, eventually, find the racquet for you.

Conclusion

As mentioned in the introduction, you’re not beholden to getting the absolute best tennis racquet on this list. Just because a racquet has more advanced or cool-sounding features, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the racquet that helps you be the best tennis player as you’re starting out. A good racquet plays to your strengths and helps shore up your weaknesses, and that’s not necessarily the most expensive one out there.

If you’ll be buying your first-ever racquet, again, it’s best to buy it personally at a sports store so you can get a feel for it before you spend your money. But if you’re looking for a new one or an upgrade over your old one, shopping for it online is not a bad approach. Good luck with your journey into the sport of tennis!