How to Select the Right Tennis Racquet

We know that finding the right tennis racquet can be very confusing. That's why we're here to help you navigate the options, so you can feel more confident about choosing your stick. What do all of these factors mean and how do they apply to you?

1: Level of Play

There are three levels of play to consider when looking at racquets and each is designed to play to your strengths. There are racquets made for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Knowing your skill level is the first step to narrowing down your options. Use the NTRP Player Rating Scale to determine your level of play. Players with a 1.0 to 3.0 rating are typically classified as beginners, 3.5 to 4.0 as intermediate, and 4.0 to 7.0 as advanced.

2: Head Size

A larger head size gives you more power and a larger sweet spot. The sweet spot is the area on the string bed (typically located near the center of the string bed and extending out to the frame) that is the optimal area to strike the ball for the most effective contact to achieve the greatest power and control possible for a given amount of effort. If you have control but lack power or can't seem to hit the sweet spot, this can help. A smaller head size offers more precision. If you’re a power hitter, a smaller head size will help you aim those mammoth shots, but you’ll need enough skills to hit that smaller sweet spot.
Power vs. Control

3: Length

Standard racquets (27") provide the most maneuverability while extended racquets will provide extra power and greater reach on groundstrokes and serves.

Racquet Lengths

4: Swingweight

Independently, the weight does not tell you much about the playability of the racquet. However, when you combine the weight of the racquet with the balance, the swingweight can be determined. Head heavy racquets are more power oriented while head light racquets are more control oriented. The swingweight is very important because this number describes how the racquet actually feels when you swing it. Imagine how different it would feel to swing a hammer while holding it by the head instead of the handle.

5: Frame Stiffness

A seemingly unbending racquet frame does flex a little when you hit the ball. "Stiffness" tells you just how flexible (or not) a racquet is. This is generally indicated using a number between 50 and 85 with 50 being very flexible and 85 being very stiff.
Flexible vs Stiff

6: String Pattern

String patterns can be open or dense. Open string patterns have fewer strings that are spaced farther apart to create more spin and a softer feel. Dense string patterns have more strings that are spaced tighter together to give you more control and string durability.
Open vs. Dense
Here at Holabird Sports, we have many tennis experts on staff to help match our customers with the best racquets, strings, balls, shoes, and much more. We also offer stringing services by our certified master racquet technicians and free string upgrade options with over 150 tennis racquets.
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