So, you feel like you are pretty competent at tennis now and can hold your own. Your fundamentals are satisfactory and you feel like you understand the game enough to upgrade to a more intermediate oriented racquet/racket. This guide should help you find the racquet suited to your game and I’ll make some recommendations along the way. So, if you are still not sure of what racquet/racket to get then you pick one of those racquets and it will serve you pretty good for the next 4-5 years.
Choosing a racquet is not rocket science but it is not a walk in the park either. You have to make a calculated decision based on your playstyle and comfort level because for most people, changing a racquet every few months is quite difficult because racquets are not very cheap.
What are Modern Rackets/Racquets made of
Nowadays, Tennis rackets are made from a combination/mixture of Graphite or Carbon Fiber. It basically serves two important purposes. The first being making the racket stiff and secondly to bring stability during the movement of the racket through the air. Apart from these two materials titanium and tungsten are also used to add more stiffness to the Tennis Racket if necessary.
Modern materials such as graphite and carbon fiber are more durable, lighter and comfortable than the age-old wood and aluminum. In the old days of tennis players had such a hard time moving racquets and this made for a much more slower paced game of tennis.Nowadays lighter materials are paving the way for faster tennis and are increasing the popularity of the sport.
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Should help you out immensely.
When Should An Intermediate Player Think of Getting A New Racket/Racquet
It is no secret that having the right sort of equipment helps to give you that extra edge in the competitive tennis environment of today. Provided that your technique is perfected, by that I mean that before even considering to get a new racket you should at least be at home with your skills.
How do you do that? Drills, that’s right, wear yourself, focus on developing your signature play style after that find a racket that satisfies just that, who knows maybe you get endowed by beginner’s luck. So, unless you feel comfortable in your own game it is not a smart move to get a new racket.
What should an Intermediate Player Consider When Choosing the racket/racquet
Nowadays the racket market is flooded with all sorts of designs and technologies and at times a person might get confused as to what sort of rackets suit their playstyle.Always do your research when considering a new racket.
To help you through the process I have come up with a few pointers that have helped me along my tennis journey when choosing new rackets. These steps are here to help combat the confusion that has crept up in today’s game. These pointers may come in handy but in the end, the decision rests on you so, if you feel like something is right for you then go for it and don’t let anybody stip you.
People always think that they need expensive tennis racquets to play their. I try to explain in this post why that may not be the case always, as racquets have been the same for the last 20 years now.
More often than not if you are a beginner transitioning to an intermediate player, you have an oversize racket are confused by all the other intermediate to pro level rackets.
The lower down the spectrum rackets go, the lower the power of the racket and higher the control of the racket. Pro players stay in the range of 95 sq.in to 100 sq.in because they have the ability to hit the ball extremely hard and these rackets help with the control of the ball. The smaller the head size is the smaller the sweet spot is to hit. But these rackets provide better stiffness and a more solid feel compared to the bigger sizes.
For an intermediate player, I would recommend staying in the mid-plus range and probably narrow it down to a range of 98 sq.in-100 sq.in. This range is also the most popular one on the pro tour and you can’t go wrong with picking a racket/racquet in this size range.
Let’s face it tennis grips are usually the most overlooked factor in selecting a new racket. They are measured right up to the center of the racket handle. If not selected appropriately can have severe repercussions. The bone of contention here is that if the grip is too small then the wrist and elbow is subjected to more pressure to keep the racket in place. So despite comfort, there is a technical side to grip selection at all.
This video will help you measure your own grip size and you can make the choice accordingly that whether the racquet you are considering is available in that grip size or not
Length Of the Tennis Racquet/Racket
If you are above the age of juniors then the most optimal range for tennis rackets is going to be around 27 inches and the most extreme will be 27.5 inches at most because this is the range that most manufacturers and most players deem the most optimal for play. There can be variances or anomalies like with any sport but this is the average around the world and players usually deviate from this range.
There are certain limitations as well as advantages of having a longer racket. One of them is reach, longer the racket greater is the reach and hence greater leverage to generate more force in your shots. This creates a problem in the maneuverability of the racket and is thus harder to play at the net.
Open string pattern (16×19) generates more power in the shots as the ball digs deeper in the strings and thus generates an extra edge in terms of force. The string gap is much larger whereas the string pattern (18×20) provides more control in the shots.
Keep that in mind choosing your racket/racquet. If you are a topspin player then going with a 16×19 string pattern racquet should serve you well otherwise if you are a control oriented or an all around player then go for a 18×20 string pattern. So, the next time you see a change in string patterns you’ll know that it isn’t just there for aesthetics.
See my comparison of Babolat Pure Strike 18×20 and the Pure Strike 16×19 to get a better understand of what I am trying explain here.
A heavy racket weighs more than 11 ounces (312 grams)
Midweight rackets weigh between 9.8 and 10.9 ounces (278 to 309 grams)
Superlight rackets weigh between 9 and 9.4 ounces (255 to 266 grams).
A heavier Racket might produce a lot of power in your shots but consequently adds to the fatigue factor especially the Forehand. The rule stated works oppositely for lighter Rackets so it basically comes down to preference. If you are an intermediate player I would recommend sticking to the light to mid weighted rackets as that seems to be a great sweet spot for me as well as other intermediates that I have met.