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The Best Tennis Racquet for Senior Players

What type of tennis racquet is best for older tennis players?

Tennis is a sport enjoyed by all ages, and the beauty of the game is that there’s always something to improve on no matter what your level or age bracket. The dynamic range of movement required helps your joints work through a range of motions, and covering the court is also a good form of cardio so as a form of exercise when you’re over 50 it’s ideal.

Local tennis clubs offer senior leagues so you can play with people of a similar age and ability and I’ve played against players who are well into their 70’s who still hit multiple times a week. 

However, not all racquets suit the senior game, and that heavy stick you have been using since your twenties might be negatively impacting your game. But what type of racquet is best for an older player? Are there any specific models designed for seniors? Or can they use any racquet? 

Recently I received the following question via email asking just that and I’ve decided to republish it here along with my answer.

I have just read your article about choosing a tennis racquet. I would just love your advice, please.

I want to buy a new racquet for my 76-year-old husband.

He only started playing tennis when he gave up cricket, 45ish but just loves his tennis, plays doubles on average, three times a week For the last few years he has been playing with a Wilson Hyper Hammer 7.3, given to me 17 years ago, and occasionally with a Head Liquid Metal Radical, sweet style rating L4, if that means anything to you.

He’s 6’2″ is fit and slimmish, had a hip replacement 18 months ago but that is now no problem. He does complain about his shoulders a bit – too much bowling or golf – but essentially he is strong and active and I see no reason why he shouldn’t have five or even ten more years of tennis in him.

So I’d love to give him a racquet that would be fun for him and perhaps also give him an edge through newer technology/design. Any advice or suggestions?

The Problem With Trying To Find a Racquet Suited To The Senior Game


The problem most older players run into when trying to find a racquet is that there are no manufacturers out there who are designing or marketing racquets purely for older players.

Despite the fact millions of players north of 60 play weekly across the globe, it’s still a niche market within a niche market.

So without having the luxury of being able to pick from a select bunch of frames designed for the senior player, you’re forced to either learn more about the physics involved with a racquet or just take a punt on a frame you like the look of and hope for the best.

If that sounds like you, then below are some tips on what sort of racquets you should be looking for.

What To Avoid and What To Look For in a Racquet?


For an older player, I’d recommend staying away from racquets that either fall into the very heavy or ultra-lightweight category. For too light, for a male that would be anything under 280g unstrung and for a female 270g. For too heavy, anything above 350g for a male or 340g for a female.

The general rules I use when it comes to racquets are as follows:

  • Lighter racquets are more prone to twisting on off-centre impacts than heavier racquets. So if you play singles and face younger guys, a frame that’s too lightweight is going to mean you get pushed around too easily.
  • Lighter racquets are more manoeuvrable and are easier to swing.
  • Lighter racquets tend to be stiffer which means more shock is transferred to the joints so they’re less arm friendly. 
  • Heavier racquets, in general, are harder to swing and will cause you to fatigue quicker.
  • Heavier racquets mean more mass so more power, all other things being equal.
  • Heavier frames tend to be more flexible and absorb more of the vibrations from off centre hits.

I know a lot of male players only use heavier sticks because that’s all they’re used to and it’s a real man’s racquet. So my limit of 350g will seem far too low to a lot of people. But strangely they don’t look as enamoured with their 14 oz beast of a frame when players with lighter racquets are blowing them off the court 😆

With those things in mind, the goal is to find the heaviest racquet you can handle properly, for the type of tennis you play and for the duration you are on the court.

How do you know a racquet is too heavy? If in match play, when you are on the run and are consistently late on the ball then your racquet is probably too heavy or has too high a swing weight.

Or if you feel tired after swinging the racquet during a hitting session, or after serving for a couple of sets – it’s too heavy.

How do you know a racquet is too light? This is harder to spot, but if you feel like you have a lack of stability and are struggling to against players who hit a heavier ball, then the racquet is too light.

Another sign a racquet is too light is when it causes elbow or shoulder issues due to being too easy to swing. A racquet can become almost too playable and your technique will suffer.

Consider The Type of Tennis You Are Playing


If you’re playing singles against younger players that like to hit the cover off the ball, then using a lighter racquet that’s designed for manoeuvrability and easy swings—not stability will cause you to struggle and get overpowered.

For recreational doubles, you can usually get away with a slightly lighter, larger head size, ‘power’ orientated racquet. They lose stability but because the doubles game isn’t really about power, the added manoeuvrability and swing speed works well up at the net.

What Specification Should An Older Player Go For?

I recommend finding a racquet that falls into the following specification:

For a male:

  • 100 sq inch to 110 sq inch head size
  • 290g – 330g unstrung
  • 4 – 10 points Headlight

For a female:

  • 105 sq inch to 120 sq inch head size
  • 280g – 320g unstrung
  • 3 – 8 points headlight

The reason I recommend headlight is because they’re more forgiving on the arm than head heavy racquets. Headlight has more weight in the handle and therefore absorbs more shock.

With headlight, you do have to work a harder to put pace on the ball. But that is a worthwhile trade-off for injury prevention.

Swingweight Makes a Big Difference


So far I’ve only talked about the static weight, but another thing to consider is the swing weight. You might find a racquet that is heavier than I recommend, but due to its headlight properties, it can be easier to swing than a lighter frame that is head heavy.  That’s why you should always try to demo a racquet before you part with your cash.

Try To Demo If You Can


While this post will give you some idea of what to look for, ultimately a player does need to experiment and find out what works for them the best, not just go off what  I or somebody else says.

Ideally, you should always demo a racquet before buying one. If you want me to recommend some demo programs for your location then drop me a comment below or contact me and I can point you in the right direction.

Shoulder and Arm Friendly Racquets

arm friendly

In the question I received via email, shoulder pain was mentioned. The general consensus here is that lighter racquets pass more of the shock of impact on to the user, which isn’t good for the shoulder or elbow. Whereas a heavier and more flexible frame does more to absorb the shock.

If you have a slow swing and think lighter is the way to go, it’s worth taking into account that a light racquet might be too easy to handle and cause arm problems. 

There is, of course, a point where heavy becomes “too heavy” so like I mentioned goal is to find the heaviest racquet you can handle properly, for the type of tennis you play and for the duration of your hit.

Needless to say, your personal experience may be the opposite, but in general, a heavier frame is easier on the arm. 

Strings Change Playability A Lot


A huge factor in playability and arm friendliness is the type of string you use. If you’re a senior player with more classic type strokes looking to preserve your arm, then I would avoid any string made from polyester.

Instead, a softer multifilament string would be the way to go. Natural gut is the best choice and although it’s expensive, it does hold it’s tension better than any other type of string and will last a long time when looked after. 

The other choice I would recommend would be Ashaway MonoGut ZX. But again, if you have the chance, then play around with different strings and tensions. 

Recommended Racquets


So what racquet is the best for an older player? Can I recommend any specific frames? Not without knowing more specifics about your game and your current racquet, but I can point you in the direction of some brands that are highly regarded and ones I’ve seen a lot of older players using.

The problem with recommending specific frames as cure-alls is that no two players are alike. To give any racquet the ‘best’ title is somewhat misleading as what works for one player might not work for someone else.

A classic example of this was at my tennis club where one player swore by a Prince racquet that had alleviated his tennis elbow. Another player was having similar problems with elbow pain and went out and bought the same racquet.

What happened? Well, you can probably guess, it made his elbow worse. Most recommendations are made on purely anecdotal evidence. You’ll find some older players that swear by certain frames like the Babolat Pure Drive which has a notorious reputation amongst players for causing shoulder pain, yet for others, it’s made their game pain free!

So what brand and frames should you be looking at? My first recommendation is to take a look at frames in the ProKennex range of racquets. 


ProKennex are not massively well known on the ATP or WTA Tours with Andreas Seppi one of their only sponsored players. But they are highly regarded for producing some of the most comfortable and forgiving frames on the market.

Browse ProKennex Range

I’ve hit with the ProKennex Ki Q+ 5 Pro and it’s one that is very popular with older players and if you read through some of the reviews on Tennis Warehouse it’s used extensively by a lot of senior players.


Another brand with a solid reputation in this area is the German brand, Volkl. Volkl is one of the more popular brands for senior players because a lot of their designs are orientated around combatting tennis elbow.

The V Sense range is one to look into with the Volkl V-Sense 3 proving popular amongst a lot of older doubles players.

In doubles, you rarely face someone who hits a heavy ball and can push you around the court so the blend of power and comfort in the V-Sense lineup works well for a lot of players.

Browse Volkl Range

The final recommendation isn’t a brand, but a specific frame, the Head Radical Oversize.  It packs a 107 sq. in and comes in at 320g but has a manageable swing weight and has a low-ish stiffness rating of 64.

The final thing to remember is that everybody reacts differently to equipment so what feels terrible to some could feel quite comfortable to others. So like I have mentioned several times, do demo racquets and play around with different configurations to see what works.

If you are a senior who is a step slower and feel like you need more power or something arm friendly etc, tell me what racquet you are using, and what you want to change in the comments below and I will let you know if I can come up with any frame suggestions.


Editor of Perfect Tennis and a big fan of Roger Federer, I've spent countless hours watching and analysing his matches. Alongside playing the sport, I also enjoy writing about the tour, rackets, strings, and the technicalities of the game. Whether it's breaking down the latest tournament results or discussing the latest gear innovations, I'm always eager to share my insights with fellow tennis enthusiasts.

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    1. bonjour
      le cordage est presque aussi voir plus important que la raquette, je viens de découvrir la marque L-TEC avec le cordage PARADOX et le 4ST, en le cordant en hybride et sans mettre d’antivibrateur je n’est pas mal au bras, c’est incroyable, il est trés agréable pour le bras et vous pouvez frapper comme vous le souhaitez, il faut le tendre dans les basses tensions, vers17, 18,19 kilos

      1. I am an 53 year old Asian woman with 4’11 tall and 100pounds. I have been playing tennis for 20 years. My racket now is head Tis6. I am playing best at the net but a love playing at the baseline. I love to hit forehand strong and deep. But it is not easy and I feel no power at all. I was thinking maybe I don’t use a properly racket. I ‘ve read your article and I love it. Can you give me some recommendation that what kind of the racquet is bad for me. Thank you very much in advance.
        Thu Johnson

      2. Hi,

        Thanks for the comment.

        The Ti.S6 is a power-orientated racquet and one of the easiest racquets to play with as it’s so light and manoeuvrable. So if you are struggling to hit with that I am not sure what to suggest…

        I am not a fan of it as it’s head heavy and super light but at 4ft 11″ and 100lbs I don’t think it’s a bad racquet as your choices are a bit limited.

        Have you tried stringing it with natural gut at lower tensions? This should give you more power.

        The only other recommendation I could make would be to demo a Volk oversize frame… maybe a Volkl V-Feel 2.

  1. This is totally different article and useful for the ones needed…good to know as I don’t have much clue about these…. p

  2. With steam coming out of my ears, I have to say something. Roger Federer was too old or too expensive for the slave labour company, NIKE. BUT, they have rehired Michael Vick, the f…ing dog abuser!!! WTF. Old news but resurfaced again.

  3. Great article, Jonathan. Senior years just around the corner? I met a woman who is 82 yo and plays 2 -3 times a week. The more you keep moving the more you can. And she hates Serena, lol.
    When I used to golf, clubs are the same. The driving range/ pro shop had clubs to try out before purchase. You could go hit some balls at the range or in the indoor setup. I don’t know anywhere around here that is set up for that with tennis rackets. But such a good idea. Perhaps with tennis becoming more popular in this neck of the woods, there will be more shops focused on tennis.

    1. Thanks.

      Yeah I wouldn’t have written if I hadn’t received the question, not something I thought much about before that.

      Demoing is quite common in the UK and US. Most big tennis specific stores have programmes. Canada has Merchants of Tennis who have one.

    2. You can rent rackets at the Miraflores Municipal tennis courts in Lima, Peru at only 10 Soles (about $3) an hour. Is that too far away for you (haahaha)?

  4. OK, so I’m 51 and this article is for me! Hummm… here’s my contribution:
    -Starting with injuries, which is something one should put on the top of their list, I will go against the stream and say that I never found the Pure Drive that uncomfortable at the extent of causing pain, even with polyester (I had one strung with Volkl Cyclone at 23 kgf and just did not like the plastic feel and the muted whack on impact).
    I think most of the discomfort comes from stressing the arm, wrist and hand too much by *trying* to whack the ball over and over as hard as you can. If you play relaxed (it’s not something that just comes around when you summon it…) it’s not likely you’ll injure yourself.
    -Weight: starting from the last paragraph, I have also a 6.1 95 that weighs 355 g, all included (strings, overgrip and dampener). Yes, it feels more comfortable on impact. And yes, it does not feel as heavy as the number show… but after about one hour hitting, I feel a little sourness on the shoulder because it’s… objectively heavier and a little less powerful, but that is something that a little extra muscle workout wouldn’t sort out. With the PD (and the likes) I get nothing of that simply because I can just sit down, swing it lazily and get the job done… Not good for refining the technique!!
    But I will say this: when I was a skinny 17 year old kid I used to whack balls all afternoon with a 90″ 360 g aluminum racquet and no pain whatsoever.
    Personally I would not recommend very big head sizes simply because I tend to feel a bit lost in the huge area without a clue whether I hit the ball on the center or not, and for me the feel is all important.
    A softer frame might also be the way to go, to so wrap it up, I would say that for an older folk, 100 square inch head (really, 110 is too big), up to 330 g strung, stiffness max 65 and even a soft polyester might not be that bad (string it low, 21-23 kgf). Or a nice multifilament.

    1. Nice. Cheers for sharing your thoughts. Which racquet are you using most often?

      I like the larger head sizes as they handle off centre hits better…

      1. My most beloved racquet is by far a Dunlop M5.0, slightly weighed in the handle to make it closer to the Pure Drive (2 of these in the bag, too) but with a vastly better feel. My 17 son bugs me all the time because I like to try different racquets, which does nothing for my improvement. Hahaha! He embraced the Wilson 6.1 and never looked back.
        So, yes, I’m a tweener guy. (But that 6.1… what a feel, stability and, dare I say, honesty…)

  5. I’m just 70 and I started to play being 50. A bit late (I mean, I lost a lot years of joy).
    My experience with rackets is maybe typical some way. Never any parameter but grip size in mind. Always incidental choices. My first was Rossignol cannot-recall-which-one. It seemed not optimal for first tennis lessons, but hey … this was incident. I got heavy fatigue on wrist and elbow and even needed some rehab, but probably due to me automatically trying to replicate table tennis hitting technique ;).

    Next was Wilson Hyper Hammer – chosen by my instructor. I was satisfied with the racket, my technique was slowly improving and I think, I could play any racket then.

    Next one (after first 5 years) was Dunlop M-Fil 3-HUNDRED. The racket seemed to be too difficult for me, so I was switching all the time over more more than 10 years between Wilson and Dunlop. After some time I decided to stick with Dunlop and started to experiment with strings. I found optimal for me some hybrid strings (Kirschbaum xxx) strung with 23-25 kg.

    I have 2x M-Fil still as replacement and I feel, I could use them still with comfort.

    Then I had some series of overstress (wrist and elbow) and at the end (5 years ago) a knee twist.

    This was the reason for extreme experiments – extreme light Head racket (don’t recall the model, it was misunderstanding) and Wilson K-factor with 118 inch head (!!!) – another failure. I gave away both rackets after very short time and went back to Dunlop.

    4-5 (not sure) years ago I switched to Baboiat Pure Strike 98″, 330 g unstrung with hybrid strings (Natural Gut and Polyester, both from Head) (you will know, why just this racket ;)). Since then I’m playing the same racket not changing anything and I’m quite comfortable with it. I think, I found just an optimal mix from my technique, the racket and it’s parameters. No injury, fatigue or overload since 5 years 🙂

    I think, everyone will have his/her individual story. I have a lot of playing friends in different ages and nobody uses the same racket. Also nobody knows probably, why just THIS 😉 At least I know, why just this frame – never had courage to try Pro Staff 🙁 but who knows? When Fed is 70 and still playing, maybe I will try, hahaha … (would need learn first to hit Fed-like slices and never use another shot).

    1. Cool. The Thiem racquet. I like that frame. What does Thiem string with?

      I use Ashaway but tried all sorts, I think I’ve had Big Banger in for about 6 months now.

      1. Thiem uses Babolat hybrid stringing, consisting from Babolat RPM Blast Rough and Babolat VS Touch (must try this season) after my current blast 😉 Big Banger was a kind of trendy last year, wasn’t it? I have tried it but was not happy with it. Ashaway? Never heard of this brand 🙁

        Ah, there was a short time, I started to play new partner, who used double-strung Blackburne. I was curious to see how it plays, have bought the racket and “reselled” to the new partner after 2-3 months, during which I could not find out, how to play topspin with it. My partner did play everything with a kind of self-made slice 😉

        And – just realized there is some numerical relation between me (as tennis player and fan) and my two heroes – Fed and Dominic.

        About 20 years ago Fed started his pro career, I started my “almost-pro” career and Thiem started to hit the yellow ball with his father 😉

        Do you play Babolat Pure Strike regularly or you swittch between many rackets, depending on opponent or so? Ever played Fed’s racket?

      2. Actually, I meant I have had RPM Blast in for about 6 months. Not big banger, mixed up the two. I string them myself so have tried all sorts.

        Ashaway Monogut is a great string.

        I don’t use a Pure Strike. I have a frame made by Zus Tennis which is the best racquet nobody has heard of 😆 . Very good quality frame, overkill tbh for the frequency and level that I play. I have a matching pair and those are the only racquets I own now.

        I used to have a K Factor 90 racquet which Fed used. Was great to play with in the strike zone but a bit too heavy and unforgiving when on the stretch. Then I had a Pro Staff 95.

        If I was going to get a new racquet from the main brands, I’d go with Yonex every time. Their quality is way above Wilson IMO.

      3. ZUS, Ashaway – you seem to use only the gear nobody heard of 😉 Maybe Federer’s secret brands and only you know??? 😉

      4. Haha yes all the secret brands. Ashway is common in the US. Less so in Europe.

        Tomic used Zus racquets briefly when Head dropped him.

  6. Yes, it’s a bit light and that’s why I put a little lead inside the handle. It’s at 315g fully equipped now but I’m feeling the need to go heavier and that’s why I venture with the more and more often. A similar one is the Dunlop M2.0 which I also play with occasionally although the power is not quite on par with the Wilson. I guess the tweeners will take a holiday until my youngsters grow up…

  7. Someone using still at times wooden frames?

    I have Dunlop Maxply (Laver) and Slazenger Victory (Rosewall) with original natural strings.

    Cannot play full strength and every shots but very, very nice feeling 🙂

      1. You mean in the before-alu-or-graphit era?

        I have still fun to use them but I need then the opponent to play also a wooden racket. I would lose the racket or wrist+elbow or both when playing this one against somebode hitting heavy topspins 😉

      2. Jonathan, your article was 100% on in my opinion. I switched to Pro Kennex with a hybrid spring set up and play 3-4 times per week. I am 62 yrs old and have had multiple shoulder and elbow surgeries. Pro Kennex has allowed me to play tennis again. When I get the rackets strung at Tennis Express all the staff rave about Pro Kennex but no one buys them. The Q5 5 + models are perfect and I highly recommend all try. Saved may arm !!

      3. Cool cheers for the comment.

        Yeah some of the lesser-known brands are very good. Their quality control is often higher as they’re not mass producing and spend more on manufacturing than marketing…

  8. Hey, has anyone watched Dustin Brown winning Sofia Antipolis Challenger? What a thrill. He seems to be in good physical form and completely kamikaze as usual! You never know what he’s going to do next…

    1. No Federer no tennis for a lot of people 😆

      I tweeted the compilation video earlier, some awesome shots and droppers. Pretty big title for him to win, he beat some decent clay courters en route too. I thought Krajinovic would be far too solid but Dreddy came up with the goods.

      I’m guessing this Mourtogalou tournament has aspirations to get bigger.

      1. That’s a similar level to most other small Challengers? Anywhere from like 5k to 20k when I usually look…

        I dunno what the plan is, just figured with Nice now defunct and Mouratogalou putting his name and academy to it then the plan would be to grow it.

      2. “No Federer no tennis” – precisely!
        Though yeah, thanks for the Dreddy kamikaze video, it was a great fun. I could have easily gone to watch because I know Sophia Antipolis very well (I used to live 10 mins drive away).

  9. How come did I miss this post?
    Great tip for geriatrics, yey! But question is ‘Can I still play?’ I got Writer’s Wrist (or Cramp), Tennis Elbow and bad back.

    1. My doctor banned me from impact sports years ago because of my bad knee 🙁 So my only racquet is I think a Slazenger I bought back when I was at uni in France a few decades ago – I can’t even access it at the moment! And like PRF I think grip size was the major consideration back then!

    2. Sometimes keeping moving is the best thing even if you have a few niggles. Although guess it depends on how bad the pain is, my Mum has a bad knee and no chance she could do any sort of sports now.

      I think there is some pretty good evidence to say that impact can actually be good for joints though? For example, running on concrete is touted as bad for the knees, but it’s actually good. So best to keep using it before you lose it seems the logical thing…

  10. Hi Jonathan,
    I find your articles are great, and so are the discussions they generate.
    As you and your readers are so knowledgable, allow me to ask what you know about Yonex rackets.

    I have read one or two other articles of yours where you discuss Federer’s equipment. Actually,
    I do not have an RF97 Autograph, but almot snatched one up when a local sports store was having a
    goind out of business clearance sale. I hesitated a day ot two, and they were all gone. But at 63, I was playing
    with Wilson Pro Staffs long before anyone ever heard of Federer.

    I still go to the Sampras 88 Pro Staff a lot, but my main racket is a Volkl (similar to the C-10 – midsize)
    whih is a decent weight already, although I added a little lead tape to the head.

    So I am interested in the greater control with the smaller face rackets, and have enjoyed the plow through
    of heavier rackets – as well as the inertia that makes it possible to bounce back strong young players’ power
    shots – or at least not get pushed around by them as much. Yes, it takes more strength to generate racket head speed, which is why I usually use the Volkl. I actually practice with the Pro Staff against a wall for strength training, and early
    preparation habits, and use the Volkl on court. Another benefit is the control of both of these smaller faced rackets-
    especially if they are strung tightly. I hit better controlled volleys and drop shots, and am less likely to hit long, than with
    any 110 inch racket I ever tried. In fact most of the people I playwith who use large frames have been more likely to miss the
    baseline by feet instead of inches, it seems. Maybe just coincidence, and it is more just a reflection of their ability,
    but it is what I often observe.
    Anyway… the questions…
    1) I am interested in what tensions you have seen Federer experiment with, that you might be aware of, and what he uses these days? (And I know a 97 is quite diferent from an 88 sq inch frame, so it may not translate to my frame – but I am
    still curious, and might yet demo that racket, and pick one up used, if I like it).
    2) I am thinking of comparing some rackets to my Volkl. Maybe I’ll switch. I see many top players hit with Yonex rackets,
    and like the smaller frame I see on some of them. I also remember their pitch from decades ago – that the more squared
    (less true oval) shape lends to it having a larger sweet spot. Are they forgiving with off-center hits, I wonder? Fellow Swiss
    countryman is just one of many using them to great success, with a single handed backhand (as have I). Even at Wimbledon this year I see on the men’s and women’s matches – Yonex rackets being swung; but I know nothing about the models.

    I have tried some Head Radical – didn’t much care for it. A Babolat Aero was OK, but liked one better that had lead tape added (though I did get a Pure Drive Lite for my son when he was about 10 yrs old). Note, too, that I know I am not Sampras, and am an older player, at this point. I have been experimenting with stringing my rackets looser for a little additional power – at the cost of some control. It’s all a balancing act in the end, no?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback you choose to provide.

    1. Hi,

      Cheers for the comment.

      1. Federer tensions – he rarely experiments with tensions, according to his stringer Ron Yu he’s usually around 27kgs in the mains and 25.5kgs in the crosses. Will usually have a couple of rackets done at slightly looser or tighter as well in his batch of 8 for a match but he’s always in that 25-27kg range with subtle adjustments for the conditions.

      2. I like Yonex a lot, purely because their quality control is very good. Wilson’s is poor for example and you get frames that weigh way differently to quotes specs. DR98 my favourite that I have played with.

      And ye, a balancing act is a good way of looking at it, like I wrote in the post the goal is to find the heaviest racquet you can handle properly, for the type of tennis you play and for the duration you are on the court

  11. Hi, I played tennis 15 years ago and just took it up again. I’m 62. I am focused on improving but for now, I really need to improve the speed and control of my hitting. I haven’t felt any pain yet, thankfully, but assume I should think of an arm – friendly racket. Two rackets are suggested to me – the triad xp3 and the clash 108. Do you have an opinion on these? Thanks!

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the comment. I’ve never used either of those racquets but they’re certainly marketed to be arm friendly as they’re both pretty flexible. Personally, I don’t really like head heavy racquets for arm friendliness or control but it depends on your game style and strokes. Are you mainly playing doubles or singles? Can you demo them?

      Maybe take a look at the Volkl and ProKennex lines? Another I think could work is a Pure Drive 110. If you’re a player who needs power and has compact swings then strings will make the biggest difference I think. If you put in a natural gut in the mains with a multifilament or high-quality synthetic gut in the crosses, it should give you the sort of outcome you are looking for.

  12. Great post! I am in search of a new racket. I was using the radical and the pure storm. I had knee replacement and mostly play doubles. I am rated 4.o and am trying to get back my strokes. Any recommendations would be helpful. I have tried serval wilson rackets because that is what my club has to offer. Thinking about branching out to Yonnex.

    1. The ones you were using are pretty much ‘players’ frames. I guess you are wanting something a bit more manoeuvrable? It’s hard to recommend specific racquets without knowing much about your game though. What did you like and not like about the Wilson ones you have tried?

  13. Whoever contacted me regarding advice on a Wilson Ultra 100 and Dunlop Srixon Revo, you put your email address into the contact form wrongly. so I can’t reply. If you see this comment, send me the correct one and I will reply. Also – to make any sort of recommendation I’d need to know what you liked and didn’t like about the Wilson and Dunlop you demoed? And the racquet you are using now + why you want to change.

  14. I am 54 years old with a sharp volley game both on forehand and backhand.I have a decent overhead. I need a racquet with a good volley punch but not too heavy.
    Any suggestions? Currently on a Wilson racquet 100 inches at 325 gm unstrung. Like it but find it heavy now

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the message.

      Yeah, that is fairly weighty. As for recommendations, all I’d do is pick some frames in line with the other specs you want that are 290-310g unstrung and demo them. Which Wilson model are you using? Are you wanting to stick with them?

      I am always bit reluctant to give specific model recommendations. But guess you are wanting something stable up at the net… Prince Phantom Pro 100 and Babolat Pure Strike 98 are ones that spring to mind. Wilson Blade another option if you like them.

      Few others:

      Yonex EZONE 100+ or the 98.
      Volkl V-Sense V1 Pro (320g unstrung)
      Prince Textreme Tour 100T
      ProKennex Ki 10
      Head Graphene Extreme MP

  15. Playing with Pure Aero with hybrid strings – multi-filament and a soft poly at 52lbs. Getting shoulder pain. Also sweet spot seems to be pretty small although the reviews say different. I’m about a 3.0 – 3.5 player. Just started playing 4 years ago. 59 years old. My buddy (who is a little older and plays similarly) are looking to test some new sticks. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Tricky to say what the shoulder pain could be, could be technique, strings or the racquet itself. I would guess the racquet as the Pure Aero is known to be quite jarring.

      Have a look at the ProKennex line of racquets, I mentioned them in this post… ProKennex Ki Q+ 5 Pro. They are under rated and very arm friendly.

  16. Hi Jonathan, thanks for the article. I’m 63, been playing for about 30 years now. I play doubles mostly, with younger and better players in the local club. I’m currently using a Wilson RF97LS. I play quite well on ground strokes with long swings and at the net on set-up as well as put-away volleys. No arm pain or injury in years. What I struggle with most are getting (1) power on serves, (2) depth and bite on backhand slice and (3) consistency on overheads. I tried Head TiS6, found better feel on serves and overheads, but my hands tired easily even though the racquet was much lighter. Can you recommend a frame that’s more forgiving, provides a larger sweet spot, and will help me improve my serve speed, overhead consistency, dependable backhand slice and crispness of volleys? (We don’t have racquet demo facility here in Chennai, India, and we usually try out somebody else’s racquet at the club!)

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the comment.

      To be honest I’m not sure a new racquet is necessarily going to help with depth on backhand slice or consistency on overheads. They are generally more technique based rather than the racquet.

      Have you considered adding some weight to the RF97LS and seeing if that puts some more pop on your serve? That may also help for the slice…

  17. I am a 62 year old woman playing 4.0 singles and doubles. For years I have played with an old Prince EXO3 Blue racquet and never had any arm problems. I recently fell in love with the Wilson Ultra 105S and bought it. After just a few weeks of playing with it my wrist is hurting a lot. Any ideas or suggestions?

    1. Hi,

      Hm tricky to say. The Ultra 105S is said to be a fairly comfort orienated frame…

      Is it strung with same string as you used in the Price Exo 3? If so what?

      Exo 3 will have been heavier but also more flexible in terms of the RA rating based on the specs… generally speaking it’s said a stiffer frame will transmit more impact shock to the wrist, elbow and shoulder so it could be that…

  18. Hi,
    I am 70 years old. And play with a prince Speed port 03 red racket My strong is a kipper 17 gauge. I just started playing again after a year and a half absence. My strength and stamina are reduced from what I remember. So I’m looking for a racket and string and string tension recommendation. I am a strong 3.0 Player and hit a flat ball. I don’t seem to have much power with my Prince racket anymore. Plus the fact they are about 10 years old. I would appreciate any recommendations you can give to me. Thank you

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      To be honest it’s difficult to just pull a few recommendations on not much info, and you might find your strength / stamina is back to what you remember after a few weeks of regular play. How long have you been back playing? If it’s just a handful of hitting sessions, maybe give it a few more weeks to see where you game and level is at before chopping and changing.

      What type of Klipper string is it? Synthetic gut? Freshly strung?

      If you want more power then you can string looser, use a more power orientated string (gut or synthetic gut) or get a slightly heavier racquet that you can still handle comfortably (and swing just as fast as the speed port) without getting tired.

      If the latter, then the Pro Kennex ones I mentioned in this post are a good frame for a senior player. The best thing would be to demo a handful of racquets (perhaps choose one a few grams heavier, one similar to the Speed Port, and maybe one lighter) and see if any take your fancy. Few tips here:

  19. Since they first came out in the 1980’s I’ve been using the original Wilson Profile 2.7 110. I string it with mono between 60-65 lbs. I have a hard time finding replacements in good condition. I like its heft. I have tried newer rackets but they all seem to light for me. I am a 75 yr old 4.0 rated player and only play doubles.

    What is a modern make and model that is similar?

    1. Hi,

      Cool racquet.

      Tbh I think you will be hard-pressed to find a modern oversized racquet that plays like that, they are fairly unique. I’ve never hit with one either to really know what compares.

      Pure Drive 110 maybe. But you will need to add lead to it otherwise it will feel like a toy compared to the Profile.

      From reading some forums, some has switched to the Head Titanium Ti S6 but that is much lighter, so again will need lead tape adding…



    1. Writing in all caps just makes me think this is a low IQ individual and lowers the motivation to reply with anything useful. Please write properly in lower case and split the sentences up.

      I have some recommendations in the post that could work. But need some more info, how much does Dunlop Aerogel 4D braided racquet weigh? What are you stringing it with and what don’t you like about the racquet?

    1. That one is marketed as a comfortable frame to play with. But hard to say if it’s elbow friendly as I mention in the post. What works for one player will not work for another…

      The frame you have currently is also an arm friendly, comfortable, forgiving frame if we go by how it was marketed plus the weight and the stiffness. 102sq” and 61RA. Should play quite plush and flexy?

      Have you tried any softer strings in your current racquet? I would go that route first… if that doesn’t work then time to demo something different. Try that and report back.

      1. Thanks Jonathan! I have switched from Head Hawk poly to Babolat Touch VS Natural Gut. The poly feel was incredible. But unfortunately could be the culprit. I play with gut for first time today. It supposed to be the most durable. My elbow MRI yesterday showed no major damage, just bad tendinitis. The doctor description was that I had an “unremarkable “ elbow. Thank you for your unselfish blog. It’s a huge resource. Regards, Hugh Papy

      2. Cheers.

        If you thought the feel from a poly string was incredible, then I think you are going to be impressed with the natural gut! It offers way more feel than a poly…

        You can also test out the natural gut in the mains, with the poly you were using in the crosses (or the reverse). Here is a guide on that –

        Other things to consider will be string savers which boost the life on the gut strings so less restrings required.

  21. After a 25 year hiatus I am back helping to coach high school tennis. I was loaned a Wilson Hyper pro staff surge Hyper Carbon 5.1. Best racquet I ever used. I live in a small town with the nearest place to actually touch and handle a racquet is 35 miles away. The other issue is a bad shoulder. I am reluctant to spend a couple hundred dollars on something that I may not be able to do long term. Any suggestions on used racquets that would have similar characteristics. Like the loaner but these are pretty outdated and somewhat hard to find. Really appreciate the article. The technology has really changed since the 70’s!

    1. Cheers.

      Most coaches I know tend to roll with something lighter, arm friendly and manoeuvrable as they are often doing a lot of feed-based stuff. But I guess it depends on what you are doing? Are you mainly feeding balls in etc. or going toe to toe with the players you are coaching?

      It is hard for me to come up with used racquets as I don’t know what options you have to choose from? But on similar specs to the Wilson, I would probably look into something from ProKennex or Volkl. The ProStaff 97L is another. But finding used, I am not sure…

      Can you use a demo program that ships the racquets to you?

      1. Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately our season got canceled and we are all stuck inside our homes! I will check out your advice above when we get back to some semblance of normalcy! Will also check out demo programs in the future. For the weeks I was coaching I really enjoyed it and plan on continuing playing in the future. Thanks again for the column and advice!

      2. Oops! I was feeding balls to players as well as just hitting with them. I suspect we would have actually played in practice as the first matches approached but I guess we won’t know for sure this season!

  22. I am female age 60 3.5 level and play with a Head Ti.S6. I am having constant tennis elbow issues. I also feel like I do not have much power at all in my game but I am quite tall and fit. I am called “steady Eddie” but I have a difficult time hitting hard shots to close the point. Please advise!

    1. A lot of older 3.5 NTRP players use the Head Ti.S6 as it is one of the lightest racquets around, but that is why you will struggle for power. It’s very easy to swing but you need to swing it superfast to generate any pace. Like most racquets, it will work well for some players but not others. Sounds like you are the latter.

      This could also be the reason for the elbow pain (I can’t say for certain as tennis elbow is very individual and there are many players who will have been told to use a Ti.S6 to prevent tennis elbow and it will have worked for them.) But my personal opinion is that a light and also head heavy frame puts more torque on the joints. And if you are trying to hit big, you will not produce full, good biomechanical strokes with a racquet like this. What is it strung with? This will also play a part in comfort and power….

      It is hard to give specific recommendations on so little info though and not knowing your game or what string you are using. The racquet you have currently is also longer than most standard frames which is another thing to consider for a new racquet.

      Are you able to demo any racquets? That would be ideal so you can test some out. I think you should go a little heavier, and either headlight or even balance. Prince Textreme Premier 105 is one that springs to mind or something from Pro Kennex.

      If you follow up with more info I might be able to add some more.

  23. Hi Jonathan,
    I’m a 68 yr old female who uses a Wilson Five Blx 103. While I love the racket, the 4 1/4 grip size becomes 4 3/8 – 4 1/2 after a new grip replacement. I have tried different grips with different grip sizes but nothing seems to work. I think with age, perhaps my hand size has shrunk as now it measures a 4. With that being said, which replacement racket should I consider that would have a smaller grip? I have never had any pain playing with my Wilson Five BLX 103. Thank you!

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I guess you should demo the Wilson Triad XP5 with a smaller grip which is the updated version of the Five 103 you are using…

  24. Thanks for a great post. I am 50 years old and haven’t played tennis since I was in college. I used to play a lot as a kid. Looking to get back into it but need a racket. My last racket was a Dunlop Max 200G strung at like 65lbs. I used to swing hard. Now, I don’t expect to do that often. Leisure player. In your post, you mentioned Pro_Kennex. I once used a Kennex Black Ace and loved it. Any recs?

  25. I would love your recommendation for a new racquet. I have been using the Wilson Triad (113 head, 6 pt. hh)for the last couple of years, but find that although I love the power, it is not maneuverable at the net and my wrist sometimes aches. I am a healthy, fairly athletic (runner) 67 yr. old female, but small in stature (not quite 5’4″ and 120 lbs), so struggle with generating depth and pace on my balls. I have played doubles for almost 10 years now, but still enjoy drilling with a singles partner. I have had a history of shoulder issues in the past, which may be due to overuse. I’m at the 3.5 level and play 5-6 days a week: doubles, clinics, singles drilling. I recently used a 107 Babolat Pure Drive from a friend, and I loved the feel of the racquet, but have had a little shoulder discomfort, which may be due to to the poly strings. I have played tennis on and off for 30 years, but only seriously the last 10 years. I’ve always used an oversize head – started with 110, then down to 105, 104, 103, back up to 113. At this point in my life, I probably don’t want to go for a smaller head. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi,

      All larger head sizes are going to be harder to manoeuvre at the net unfortunately as that’s the trade-off…

      But maybe try demo the 107 Babolat Pure Drive with a softer string?

      I would also recommend Pro Kennex: ProKennex Ki Q+ 15 or the ProKennex Ki Q+ 30.

      Hopefully, you can demo them…

      1. Hi Jonathan,
        I am 57 and had always played with ‘ control’ rackets approx. 97-100 sqin head, 335-340g strung weight, 325g swingweight and 4-7 pts headlight. Previous rackets were Yonex Vcore Pro 320 HD & Tecnifibre TF40 305(weighted up with leather grip on handle). I recently developed tennis and golfer’s elbow due to(I believe) playing with heavy wet balls – With recent lockdowns, indoor tennis is no longer allowed and it is quite wet here in Ireland in the winter. I tried playing with multi filament strings strung at lower tensions to ease the pain but it did not get any better. So I started experimenting with ultra flexible frames like the Wilson Clash and Pro Kennex range. I am now well settled in playing with the Pro Kennex Black Ace 315(no modifications) strung at 45 lbs tension (Head Lynx Tour). Tennis elbow has more or less disappeared and I am playing as well as ever. The quality of the Pro Kennex frames is as good as the Yonex rackets that I had and am very pleased. Great article and I agree with everything you say – and encourage everyone to experiment with lower string tensions too if using polyester strings

  26. I haven’t played in over 20 years, I am recently retired and plan on starting again. I have Prince Pro Graphite’s that I used to string at 70 lbs.

    My game was kick serves, net play with lots of touch. I do like having some power from the baseline. I’d like to try to reuse my Prince racquets, but would like any suggestions on string types/tension.


  27. hi, my brother is 60 years old. he used to play well, now after reading your article he put himself again and already bought a racquet. you r article is really informative and helpful Thank you

  28. Hi Jonathan, thank you for your great post. I’,m 44 years old 2.5-3.0 recreational male player. I play both single and double weekly. As a beginner, I like to stay at the base line to improve my forehand and one-hand backhand. Currently I am using Babolat Pure Drive Lite 2015 (unstrung weight of 270 gr) with mains of Head Velocity MLT 17 (54 lbs) and crosses of Babolat Spiraltek SG 17 (52 lbs). Recently, I have felt a bit of elbow soreness – not sure due to wrong stroke or strings. Moreover, I don’t like Head Velocity MLT because after several strokes, it looks like spaghetti. Before I was playing with full stringbed of Babolat Spiraltek SG 17 (54 and 52 lbs). Should I change to Babolat Pure Aero Lite or try different strings combo like Babolat RPM blast and Xcel?

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Ok, it is difficult to say as I’d say you have quite a good ‘comfort’ type setup, a stiffer frame offset by a comfortable stringbed. Combine that with the fact there are so many potential causes – strings, racquet, grip size, technique, how tight you grip the racquet, etc then very hard to for me to diagnose.

      How long have you had the strings in? MLT can go dead quite quick which makes it less arm friendly.

      But if it’s a fairly fresh string job, then the process of elimination the only real way to find out. A few options you can try independent of each other:

      Put on an overgrip to thicken up the grip size
      Reduce the tension of your current setup and see if that helps
      Swap at the MLT with something even softer like Babolat Xcel
      Try a natural gut in the mains with MLT in the crosses as a non-poly hybrid

      And if the elbow issues persist, you could demo a softer racquet and get it strung with your MLT/Spiraltek. I don’t think a softer racquet will necessarily help but that’s what a lot of people recommend so it must work for some people.

      Then if no equipment changes help, probably time to try some of the aids like the Victory Bands etc but I don’t have much experience with them.

      Finally, I wouldn’t recommend RPM Blast if you have arm issues.

  29. I have been using MLT for about 25 hours (12 weeks of approximately 2 hrs/week). I can see the coating has been washed out and some notches. I plan to change new string, Head FXP power 17g and see how it goes. BTW, currently my PD Lite is headlight, will a head heavy racket ease elbow soreness?

      1. What tension should I use with Head FXP Power 17g strings? How does this string compare to Babolat Xcel?

  30. Greetings from Portugal
    Hi Jonathan
    I really like your website.
    I’m 53 years old, 4.0 player and I play with Babolat Pure Strike Tour 18×20, first generation. Lots of people saying this racquet is a piece of crap, but I really like it. I also have a Wilson nPro Open which I use sometimes to play doubles. I’m thinking to move to something a bit more arm friendly. My options are: Prokennex Ki Q+ Tour Pro (16×19 315g), they only have L2 and L4 to sell; Prokennex Ki Q+ Tour Pro (18×20 325g) and Yonex VcorePro HD (18×20 320g) (I don’t like the price).
    My grip size is somewhere between L3 and L4. My Wilson is L3 with an overgrip and my Babolat is L2 with two overgrips. I would go for the first option but I’m afraid L2 would be too small and L4 too large. I never played with a Prokennex before. Is the grip size/shape similar to Wilson? Any thoughts about these racquets? I live in a small town in Portugal, so I can’t demo any of these racquets.
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Is the Pure Strike Tour giving you arm problems?

      Those two Pro Kennex racquets are solid frames, and definitely arm friendly.

      As for which is better for you, if you hit flatter and like some weight then the 325g one with 18 x 20. This is also closer to your Pure Strike in terms of specs. If you want more spin and a bit more ease of use, then the 16 x 19 model.

      The grip shape on PK frames is pretty similar to Wilson’s. You can always build up the L2 with overgrips, and it’s also possible to get the grip redone, either by a customiser to remould it or using a shrink sleeve yourself…

      Shame you can’t demo though, I just looked at Tennis Warehouse demo program and they don’t seem to have Portugal on their list, weird.

      1. Thanks Jonathan
        The Babolat is starting to be a little uncomfortable for me.
        Once I´ve decided what to buy, I will share my thoughts.
        Best regards

      2. Thanks, looking forward to reading how you get on, it’s not often people let me know what they did after leaving a comment asking about something so I rarely learn what racquet players picked, whether all it needed was a string change etc.

        I assume they must have fixed it otherwise they’d be back telling me my advice made their elbow or level worse 😁

    2. Hi
      i am a senior player like yourself. I would suggest Projennex ki q tour pro 325. L4 and if too big replae grip with skin feel grip to reduce sie.
      i have used all the racquets you mentioned inluding yonex hd 18×20. I found the Prokennex more stable with better plow. Reason being the yonex Ra is too low @ 59.
      Hope this helps .

      1. Thanks for the tip.

        I would recommend getting a smaller grip it’s easier to make a grip bigger than smaller. So get L3, and move to L4 if too small…

  31. Hi there! I’m a 58 year old male, roughly 4.0 player – mainly doubles but now getting into a singles league. Currently playing with an old Head Metallix 2, which I still love for the control and spin. Now I feel a need a new racket that will give me a bit more power, esp against younger, harder hitting players. But I don’t want to sacrifice much on spin/control, which is my game. Hopefully I find something that’s easy on arm/shoulder too. I favor Head bc I really liked my current one , but would consider other brands. Head Speed or Extreme? Radical? Would appreciate any/all suggestions. Thank you!

    1. Hi,

      Ok, so the Metallix 2 is 102 sq”, head-heavy and quite light. It’s also extended right and not just 27 inches?

      I would say this is a pretty good racquet for someone at 58 to use assuming the head heaviness isn’t causing any arm problems…

      So based on that as for where you go next, that is tricky. More power/stability against bigger hitters requires more weight so you’d need to figure out if a heavier frame will suit your game.

      Can you demo racquets? A few I can think of that would be worth testing:

      Prince Ripstick 280
      Yonex EZONE 105
      Pure Drive or Pure Drive Lite
      ProKennex Ki 5
      Clash 100 Pro
      Head Graphene 360+ Extreme Lite
      Head Graphene 360+ Speed Lite

      Most of those listed also have a slightly heavier version in their range too, so maybe it’s worth demoing one of the heavier models to see if you like it as that will mean more power, but will be harder to play with.

      1. Thanks so much… this is super helpful! I’ll see if I can demo some of the rackets you recommended.

  32. Hi Jonathan,

    After playing with Babolat Pure Drive 2015 (270gr, 16×19, 69 RA) with multi string for 9 months, I have started feeling elbow pain since 2-3 months ago. I am a mid 40s beginner who play 2 hours/week mostly double. Since my PDL just cracked, I plan to find an arm-friendly racket. I can’t do any demo as tennis is not a popular sport in my country. Talking about ProKennex racket, I can only find PK Ki5 (312 gr, 100″ 62RA), Ki8 (280gr, 108″, 16×19, 70 RA), Ki15 (260gr, 105″, 16×19, 70 RA), Q5 (295gr, 100″, 16×20, 66 RA). I like Ki5 but don’t like its weight. Weight of either Ki8 or Ki5 is good, but afraid its 70 RA. The Q5 seems to be in the middle of them, but the used one costs 3x of them (new one) :(. Will Ki8 or Ki15 with 70 RA stiffer than my PDL ? Any experience and advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I can’t be certain, but I think the Ki8 will be good for your arm. Pro Kennex frames dispel the theory that stiffer frames = bad for the arm, as most of their racquets are high on the RA scale. Those micro bearings seem to really take away the shock, so I would ignore the RA ratings.

      You could also just test a slightly heavier racquet and see if that helps? 270g is quite light.

      If you do buy the Pro Kennex, let me know how it goes…

  33. I am 78yo tennis doubles player. 3.5 level. I currently alternate between Prokennex ki q tour pro 325
    And Yonex v core pro HD . Interested in your opinion as to which frame may be m ore appropiate for flatter hitter. I personnally find the PK to be more solid feeling but the yonex easier to swing.
    Y other frames in my bag are PK 5 g and 7g,also great frames. Pk5 g easiest to use weighted up to 360 g 10 pts H/L SW 340.

  34. Hello Jonathan,
    I’m a relatively new 52 year old player that joined my local club last year after last playing at school with a wooden racquet! I swapped the cheap beginner racquet for a Head Extreme MP (300g, 100 sq. in.) late last year, partly due to liking the striking colour scheme, and mostly because it was half price. Although my current racket was a huge improvement for volleys, as it no longer seems to twist out of the way, I find it feels remote and unfeeling at the netand for drop shots, and I’m wondering if this might be affecting my groundstrokes. I recall having a much better idea what the ball was doing when it left the racquet in the old days, but now I feel like I’m guessing and hoping, which leads to me hitting flat at half pace a lot of the time to play safe.

    I’ve been active all my life, so am fit, agile, and physically strong, but am wary of my wrist, which has slightly limited mobility after surgery over a decade ago. It hasn’t caused any issues yet though. My main issues are consistency due to trying too hard and hitting out or into the net.

    I play mixed with my wife socially at a low standard, but am going to open nights at the club to play, where almost everyone is better, and would like to improve to a level where I can at least make more of a match occasionally.

    Most advice points beginners at more powerful racquets, but I think this is the last thing I need. Have you any pointers as to where to look? Thank you,


      1. Hi,
        The racquet came factory strung, so I don’t know for sure, but it looks like Head Lynx. Recommended tension for the racquet is 52-62lbs, so it’s anyones guess what they went for.
        Maybe a re-string with a known quantity would be a good place to start?

  35. Hi, Thanks for this amazing article. I performed tennis 7 years in the past and simply took it up again. I am targeted on enhancing however for now, I actually need to enhance the rate and manage of my hitting. I haven’t felt any ache yet, thankfully, however anticipate I must think about an arm – pleasant racket. Two rackets are cautioned to me – the triad xp3 and the conflict 108. Do you’ve got got an opinion on these? Thanks!

  36. Hi Jonathan

    I am 50 yrs old and a UTR 7. I have lost a step or two and I have some shoulder and elbow issues. I use a Wilson Blade SW104 v7. I string with Diadem Solstice at 53lbs. I feel like I have lost the pop on my shots and definitely accuracy on my serves. Any suggestions?


    1. Hi,

      Which Solstice are you using? Solstice Pro or Power?

      I would first try a different string setup to see if that helps. String something like Tecnifibre Triax or Isospeed Professional Natural at 48lbs. Will give you more power.

      The SW104 has a pretty high swing weight though, so maybe a racket that’s more head light will help. I’d give something like the ProKennex Ki Q+ 15 a demo. Thicker beam, lighter, lower swingweight, bigger head size, arm friendly.

  37. Just revived my tennis game after 37 years. I’m using an old racquet that was bought for my son when he was about 12. A Pro Kennex Power Ace 85. It’s a old racquet that’s been hanging in the garage. I’m 67 now, but in pretty good shape after a long career in football coaching. I’m hoping to return to playing tennis someone close to the game I once had, good, solid, and competitive. But, I need a decent racquet that will help mine game. Not as quick as I was in my twenties obviously and was more a power player who had good court coverage. I need something to help my game. Any ideas?

  38. Hi! Amazing article!
    I am 40 years old male player, i play competitive tennis as a teeneager. Ntrp 4.5 i think, with long swing, 2 hand backhand, and a game based on
    Powerful groundstrokes mostly from forehand, a big serve, and i like to go to the net to close points but not that often.
    The problem, in my 28 or 30 years i returned to play tennis with a pure drive, strung with 24-25 kgs of rpm blast (i cant play with anything not polyester 😬), for an stupid mustake I tried luxilon alupower and my elbow problems began.
    The solution was to switch again to rpm and my coach suggested my flex racquets. I tested a couple of ra 60 rackets but not able to get used to the sensation on bending of the racket when being playing agaim hard hitters and inmediatly response when defending that pure drive gave me. So, i switch to sometjing in the middle, speed mp. To be honest, the pain disapeared but i think i play a little better wit PD.

    For diferent reasons i stop playing for a couple of years and 3 years ago I returned to tennis, with a speed mp 360+, but it feels bad in my backhamd. I dont know if the swinghweght or something but my technique suffees a lot, and my backhand began to be a weakness, makung my not confident on it, and slicing a lot.

    Sorry for the lomg story, but I switch in a training to a radical 360mp and instantly my backhamd returns, the problem….a little pain in the elbow, i felt disconected with the ball, less capable of finest touchs, but with big groundstrokes.
    What do tou recommend me!!? Change sport? Lol.
    Im thinking maybe 98 is too little for me, maybe try new speed model. Aboyt other brands, tried yonex but cant get used to the shape.
    Thank you

      1. Hi! Always with rpm blast, i forgot to tell you, i am using the radical for a couple of months, and i cant get used to them. I feel disconected with the ball, i lost sensitivity,
        Thinking in the new speed (less SW and ra) but I dont know, or the boom new model.

      2. What is stopping you going back to the Pure Drive? I think low RA rackets paired with stiff poly at high tensions are bad news for the arm.

        I would probably try a Pure Drive but with a softer poly strung around 20kg. Something like MSV Swift, or Kirschbaum Flash Orange, or Weiss Cannon Red Ghost.

  39. Hello I’m 75years old and still play good social tennis 3 times a week at a good level the problem I have osteoarthritis in my knee so my movement is restricted I’m playing with prince tour 100 but I’m feeling my rackets are not compensating for my slight lack of movement plus the only sports shop which you can play test are gone and there’s nobody within quite a few miles from where I live. HELP PLEASE.

    1. Hi,

      I think you would benefit from a slightly larger head size and extended-length racket. It will increase your reach and margin.

      Something like the ProKennex Ki Q+ 15 or the ProKennex Ki 15 (300g) 2022 would be two suggestions.

      Both those are about 325 kgcm2 swing weights though (which is similar to your Prince Tour 100), maybe you want to go lower, in which case the Blade 104 V8 is worth a shout.

      Which country are you in?

  40. Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you for such a great article. A lot of intelligence went into this.

    For someone playing with a Dunlop Aerogel 4D 300 racket and its predecessors the last 19 years (took 5 years off), is there an equivalent brand I can switch to? I use Head MLT 16 string, 55lb tension. I enjoy the control, the feel the racket gives me, not over concerned about power, as am about finesse/placement.

    I am having troubke finding this racket and believe now is the time to switch to a more available racket. I see you have many good things to say about Yonex. Is there a Yonex racket similar to this Dunlop model?

    Thank you!

  41. Hello, I have been reading avidly all your comments and those of the readers…. I am a 58 YO , 5.10 220 lbs, I re-started playing tennis only in November. because of a lucky set up with work and life, I am playing daily a couple of hours with coaches or my kids. I started with a baboblaat 107 2022, about 285 unstrung and 27.25 inches. I wanted to move to a smaller head size to get better control on the ball (my one handed back hand suffers when I am slightly late it’s really harder to put the ball back in the court). however, for a stupid mistake, I bought a zone 100+ in lieu of the regular 100. so now I am left with this over powerful racket that is good and all, but, like I said, I find it too powerful. It killed the whole purpose of moving to a smaller head size racket…. Now I am thinking of a radical MP 2021. What do you think? or score 2022 (very expensive). note also that here in Kenya the only strings I find are polyester very thick strings that last for ever. Frankly, I had pain in my shoulder only for 3 or 4 days in the past and nothing after that. I wonder if I can get your advice! and greetings from Kenya.

    1. Hi,

      A smaller head size won’t necessarily stop you from being late on your backhand. However, it might help as it can be quicker through the air.

      How are you finding the Ezone 100+ on that shot? This racket has a high swingweight (336 kgcm2).

      I am guessing demoing is out of the question in Kenya? I’d recommend the Artengo TR960 Control Tour which you should be able to get from Decathlon as they have stores there?

      1. THanks for the reply!! you are right that there is decathlon here, we also have a Head retailer. however, they only sell racquets for children or much cheaper models, nothing state of the art.

        The ezone 100+ is a great racket, but it’s heavier, hard to handle for someone who, like me, is at the 3.5 level. I shoot that ball too many times out. I have a one-handed back hand and if i am a bit late on the ball, swinging the ezone 100 is quite difficult.

        Demoing is out of the question here, but i tried a very old radical xt MP which is also a 98 inch oval, and i loved it….

        I feel really bad that i bought this ezone 100+ because the racket seems absolutely superb, but just not good for me at my level.

        I ordered the radical MP 2021 model in france and a friend will bring it to me….can’t wait…

        As far as strings, here we have only polyester, they are extremely durable strings, i haven’t seen them break yet after months of daily play.

        Woulld you want to advise me what tension i should use for polyester strings, quite thick , i think 1.30 or more.

        Thanks again! and cheers from Nairobi.

      2. Would Decathlon order you the TR960? You cannot beat that racket for $100.

        I think the Radical MP will also be hard to play with for a 3.5; it has a 326 swingweight, which is still pretty high, IMO. See how it goes.

        1.30mm poly, I doubt you will ever break this outside snapping it on a sharp grommet or something, but it will go dead after a good few hours of play. If you have played daily for months, it will be dead. You should restring that every couple of months.

        I would string it low, like 44 lbs.

        But I’d ask your friend to bring you a reel of strings from France – Gosen OG Sheep Micro. Or MSV Multi Q10 – you can get a reel for 120 euros which will do about 18 re-strings.

      3. Jonathan, you suggested multifilament: isn’t multifilament flimsy? i break it so quickly. last time it lasted like 5 plays….

        Regarding tension, you suggested soft. Thanks for that, you mean soft tension for the head radical MP 2021 that i am getting, correct?

        Thanks again!

      4. Ah, where abouts on the string bed are you breaking the multi? They aren’t flimsy but they aren’t as durable as a poly of course.

        If you are snapping a multi in 5 hours then yes you would be best sticking with polyester.

        Soft poly as in a polyester string with soft properties like MSV Swift. Strung at a low tension in the forties for your Radical MP.

  42. Hi i am a 55 female club player who recently started playing again after 35 years and after 6 months of using a heavy and stiff racket got tennis and now golfers elbow. Had no idea about those things until now. I hit the ball quite hard and flat and i am struggling to find a racket that plays well and doesnt make my arm sore after an hour or so. I liked playing with babolat pure drive lite (but too stiff and/or heavy), same goes for yonex ezone 100L and Prince legacy 105 & 110 which someone suggested after watching me play, but soon felt heavy and since reading the specs i am not surprised. Have been told to not go lighter (not sure why) and most rackets are stiffer than they recommend as being arm friendly 62 or under. The Clash 100L i tried had so called soft poly strings and hated it, plus the heavy handle wasnt good for my wrist and forearm. Cant get prokennex or volkl here so suggestions on specs and rackets would be appreciated, of you have any ideas. Should i try clash UL with multi or syn gut, or yonex ezone 100UL? Not sure if weight, swing weight or stiffness is the problem.

    1. Hi,

      What string and tension were you using in the Babolat Pure Drive Lite? Did that cause arm issues?

      And the same question for the EZONE 100L?


      1. HI – it was a demo racket and they couldnt tell me what it was strung at or the strings, but yes it did. The ezone 100l has synthetic gut in and is better than the few I have tried, but my arms starts hurting after an hour or so as it gets tired. I don’t know the tension. Demoing rackets is a bit of a lottery, but I knew straight away that the Clash had the wrong strings in – babolat soft poly

      2. Yeah, that is the problem with demos. It’s best to get them restrung with your string of choice. Switching rackets often, all with different strings, can also cause arm issues.

        Do you know the grip size of the demos?

        I think the Pure Drive Lite could work, it is not too heavy at 285g strung. But it needs the right string setup. I would string it with a soft poly string like MSV Swift at 42 lbs. I think a stiff racket, with a comfortable poly at low tension, provides a very arm-friendly setup, contrary to what most people think. The idea low RA = comfort is not correct.

        Where are you from if ProKennex is unavailable?

  43. Isn’t the Pure Drive lite notorious for tennis elbow though? Everyone warned me off it and as the demo hurt my arm, much as I liked playing with it, I thought the stiffness must be too much for it – hadn’t thought about the strings when I had that one as it was the first demo I tried and liked. It’s so confusing when there isn’t a consensus re the best stiffness and weight for arm comfort! I am in the UK and didn’t think Pro kennex were available, but having just googled, maybe they are : ) Grip size 2 is my size, with an overgrip (tho the demos have been just grip 2 which doesn’t help). Which pro kennex would you recommend then if I can get one? Noone has demos of it, so would be a leap in the dark though.

    1. Yup, but this is just an anecdote that has spread. In my experience – stiffer rackets, with softer poly strings at low tensions, are some of the most elbow friendly around.

      But of course, everyone is different, so I’m not saying this is a guaranteed arm-friendly setup for you. There is no exact science to it.

      But I would redemo the Pure Drive Lite but get it strung with a soft poly like MSV Swift at 42lbs. And use an overgrip like you normally do. Using the wrong size grip can also cause arm issues, so this is important.

      My pick for Pro Kennex would be the ProKennex Ki Q+15 Light. The worst case would be eBay resale to offset the loss if you dislike it.

      1. Looks like pro kennex are not available here, so would multi or syn gut work at lower tensions in the Bab Pure Drive Lite do you think? Have been scared off polystrings of any kind by everyone, (my shoulder is weak following op which doesn’t help with my arm / elbow issue I guess)

  44. jonathan, i just wish to leave some feedback since i changed my racket from a superpowerful yonex ezone 100+ to a much much softer head radical MP 2021. I have bought natural gut strings (super expensive! nearly more than the racket itself) at a 22KG. The racket is now my best guess for serve: i finally get to serve inside that box at least one of the two attempts, but i did lose some power, yes, i need to put more effort in my arm to move that ball across. But i feel that if i hit the ball at the correct timing, then i don’t need to put that extra effort. Also, at the net it’s for me hard to not put the ball always in that damn net… i love attacking, but it’s always very discomforting that i put the ball in that net. thank you for your attention and best regards.

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