Best Tennis Racquets For 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

NEED A NEW TENNIS RACQUET, BUT DON’T KNOW WHICH TO GET? CHECK OUT MY TOP TENNIS RACQUET PICKS, AND I WILL TELL YOU EXACTLY WHICH ONES YOU SHOULD BE CONSIDERING.

This list of the best tennis racquets is for you when:

  • you’re in need of a new tennis racquet and want to make sure it's the right one for you,
  • you want to change racquet spec, but you don’t know what to change,
  • you have a racquet in mind but want someone with expert knowledge to provide a “second opinion.”

…or when you just don’t know what the best tennis racquets are right now.

You'll have probably stumbled across a few tennis racquet reviews already, but in a lot of cases, they're put together by people who rarely they play the game. That's why I decided to create this list of the best tennis racquets available right now. I'll only recommend racquets that I've played with and test personally.

What Does This List Cover?

This list is what I think are the best tennis racquets for 2018 it doesn't matter what level you play at; there will be a racquet in this list for you. However, if you're looking for something more specific make sure you check out my other guides:

And if you are completely unsure about how to choose a tennis racquet then make sure you read this guide, it breaks down what the specs mean and disspells some of the stuff peddled by the manufacturers.

The Best Tennis Racquets For 2018

Here's what I consider to be the best tennis racquets on the market in 2018. I've summarised them in the table below and each one is reviewed more in depth below.

Racquet Headsize  Weight String Pattern
Yonex EZONE DR 98
(My top pick)
98 sq. in. 310g 16 x 19 Check Price
Wilson Blade 98
16 x 19 Countervail
98 sq. in. 304g 16 x 19 Check Price
Babolat Pure Strike
16 x 19
98 sq. in. 305g 18 x 19 Check Price

Why The Wilson RF 97 Autograph Isn't On My List?

Lots of people are wondering that why I didn’t include the latest Wilson RF 97 Autograph racquet in my Top 10 list? Well, the answer is simple.

  • This racquet is extremely expensive.
  • For most players, this racquet is too heavy and will hinder stroke development and their overall game
  • It doesn't offer better playability compared to some of the other Wilson models currently on the market.

Currently, there are very few players who can take advantage of RF 97. It's a great racquet, but you will be paying for something that makes you play worse. That to me is a waste of money!

So get one of the lighter models if that's the design you want. Trust me when I say you might feel like Federer when you step onto the court, but 5 minutes into the match when you're making unforced errors galore it soon wears off 🙂

1. The Yonex DR 98 – The Best Tennis Racquet to Buy in 2018

ezone-98-dr-tennis-racquet

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One of my all time favourite racquets was the Yonex EZONE Ai 98 so when I demoed the EZONE DR 98 I was full of expectation. And guess what? It didn't disappoint. This racquet is my favourite racquet of 2017 and suits lots of different game styles. It blends power, control, spin, and manoeuvrability all into one. Yonex quality control is one of the best and in this latest model they've done a very good job at improving feel and stability up at the net while keeping the excellent playability and performance from the AI line.

Yonex Ezone Dr 98 Specification

Head Size 98 sq. in.
Length 27in
Unstrung Weight 310g
Balance 12.7in / 32.26cm / 6 pts HL
Swingweight 324
Stiffness 62
Beam Width 23mm / 24mm / 19.5mm
Composition HM Graphite,Nanometric DR, Quake Shut Gel
Power Level Low-Medium
Stroke Style Medium-Full
Swing Speed Fast
Grip Type Yonex Synthetic
String Pattern 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
String Tension 45-60 pounds
Pros

  • Great blend of power and precision
  • Yonex offer good quality control on all their racquets
  • Feels very stable at the net
  • Perfect racquet for the modern tennis player
Cons

I can't think of a single one here so all I can say is:

  • Not the cheapest
In my opinion, the EZONE DR 98 is a racquet that all intermediate and experienced players should be looking into getting. If you want a blend of modern power and forgiveness with traditional precision and feel, then this racquet is for you.

2. The Wilson Blade 98 16 x 19 Countervail

Wilson Blade 98 Countervail

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This the 2017 version of the Wilson Blade 98 16 x 19 and it comes with Countervail technology. That's just gimmicky marketing talk but it doesn't stop the Blade 98 being one of my favourite racquets. Before we get onto the nuts and bolts of this frame, the design of the Blade is top notch and it comes with a sleek finish so in terms of looks it's my favourite racquet design of 2017. But how does it play?

The biggest plus of the Blade is comfort. My biggest complaint of the original blade was that it was quite tough on the arm and you felt the shocks on off centre hits. Wilson have sorted that though and the Blade 98 countervail has a more muted and dampened stringbed. But that doesn't stop the racquet from providing a good level of feel. Not quite as good as the Yonex Ezone DR 98 in my opinion but with the Blade 98 you'll get a very smooth feeling on your groundstrokes and the 16 x 19 string pattern provides plenty of controllable power. Up at the net the 304g weight provides nice control and you'll be able to finish points with punchy volleys.

Wilson Blade 98 16 x 19 Countervail Specifications

Head Size 98 sq. in.
Length 27in
Strung Weight 11.3oz
Balance 13.1in / 33.27cm / 3 pts HL
Swingweight 326
Stiffness 66
Beam Width 21mm / 21mm / 21mm
Composition Braided Graphite & Basalt
Power Level Low-Medium
Stroke Style Full
Swing Speed Fast
Racquet Colors Black / Green
Grip Type Wilson Sublime
String Pattern 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
String Tension 50-60 pounds
Pros

  • Smooth feeling and controllable power
  • Very stable at net
  • Good plough through on groundstrokes
Cons

  • Not the best racquet if you struggle to generate your own power on serve
There's also an 18 x 20 version of this racquet, but I would recommend the 16 x 19 string pattern for virtually all players – you'll get more access to power and spin. If you're an intermediate or advanced player then the Blade 98 16 x 19 Countervail ticks a lot of boxes.

3. The Babolat Pure Strike 16 x 19 – Best Racquet for Intermediate Players

Babolat Pure Strike 16x19 (Project One7)

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If you're a member of a tennis club then you'll no doubt have seen a good chunk of players using Babolat racquets. There's good reason for that because they make extremely playable frames that suit a lot of different game styles. My favourite racquet from the French firm is the Pure Strike 16×19.

With the Pure Strike Babolat have produced a top quality modern player’s racquet. Compared with earlier models (I played with a Roddick Pure Drive for a while) it is a softer, more controlled racquet that offers outstanding feel, quick handling around the net and off the ground it feels like you have the ball on a piece of string.

It packs a square & elliptical Hybrid Frame Construction and comes with according to Babolat ‘FSI Power' technology. Now we know that's just marketing bullshit. But it does seem to translate to more spin thanks to wider spacing between the upper crosses. On the court, these features amount to a firm response that is both lively and precise. I also like how Babolat have thickened up the beam for added stability, and you'll have no troubles generating plenty power & spin from this frame. It's also a brings some nice easy power on serve, so it is ideal if you want some extra pop on your first serve.

Babolat Pure Strike 16 x 19 Specifications

Head Size 98 sq. in.
Length 27in
Strung Weight 305g
Balance 13in / 33.02cm / 4 pts HL
Swingweight 323
Stiffness 67
Beam Width 21.3mm / 23.3mm / 21.3mm /
Composition Graphite
Power Level Low-Medium
Stroke Style Medium-Full
Swing Speed Medium-Fast
Racquet Colors White w/Orange & Anthracite
Grip Type Babolat Skin Feel
String Pattern 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
String Tension 50-59 pounds
Pros

  • Extremely playable racquet
  • Easy to swing
  • Offers plenty power from the back of the court
Cons

There's nothing to dislike about the Pure Strike 16 x 19.

The Babolat Pure Strike has easy racquet head acceleration and ticks all the right boxes for advanced and intermediate players. It's the perfect racquet for any player who wants a zippy, great feeling player’s racquet that offers a nice blend of power, control and spin.

Got a question about a racquet? Contact me here.

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