Jannik Sinner, the Italian rising tennis sensation, only turned professional in 2018, but he's already made a big impression on tour, winning the Next Gen Finals and making the final at the Miami Open in 2021.
The man from San Candido is sponsored by Head, who are based just across the border in Austria, and he endorses the Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP racquet.
But is that the racquet he actually uses to generate one of the heaviest topspin backhands on tour, or is there more than meets the eye? Let's take a look.
What Racquet Does Jannik Sinner Actually Use?
Jannik Sinner is one of a long list of players, including Bianca Andreescu and Coco Gauff, that endorse the Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP Racket.
However, like most players, Sinner uses a Pro Stock racquet that carries the latest paint job of a different model, which is the TGT 301.4.
The TGT 301.4 is the mould used for the now unavailable retail Head Graphene Touch Speed MP, which was on the market around 2016.
What Specification is Sinner's Racquet?
Sinner's frame is slightly customised from the original retail model, and you can see his specs below thanks to dr325i, aka the Pro Stock Guru on the Tennis Warehouse Forums.
|Head Size||100 in²|
|Unstrung Weight||307 g|
|Strung Weight||325 g|
|Strung Balance||33.3cm (3 pts HL)|
|Swing Weight||340 kg.cm2 (strung)|
|String Pattern||16 x 19|
|Grip Style||Hydrosorb Pro|
Sinner's specs are not too dissimilar to the stock frame, and the Head pro room have applied some silicone and lead to his frame to beef up the specs ever so slightly.
In terms of the racquet compared to other pros, it's a fairly light static weight and low-ish swing weight, but despite his slight build, he can generate good pace thanks to long levers and quick racquet head speed.
Why Does Sinner Use This Racquet?
With some players, it's quite easy to look at the specs, and they instantly jump off the page as being tailored to their game.
For example, Novak Djokovic's high static weight keeps his frame stable on the defence and allows him to hit through the ball in his fairly flat style of hitting. Not many players could wield that racquet successfully.
However, with Sinner, there are no real outlier specs in his frame, and most club players could pick up the racquet Sinner uses and play with it without too many problems.
The reason this specific setup works for him is that he has an ultra-clean technique, slim build and long levers, so a racquet with this static and swing weight lets him swing fast and allows his technique to generate the pace he's famed for.
There's just a tad of assistance in the racquet with some lead tape (countered with silicone in the handle) to provide a bit more stability against big hitters. Still, other than that, it's just a solid retail frame that was fairly underrated when it was on general sale.
Finally, it will be interesting to see if he puts on some muscle in the next few years and what changes he makes to the weight, if any. Given the level of power he can generate now, this could be a scary proposition assuming he can swing a heavier frame just as quickly.
What String Setup?
Sinner plays with a full bed of Head Hawk Touch, and at last years US Open, he was stringing it at 28kgs or 61lbs.
This is a fairly high tension to be using a stiff polyester string and will provide a very board like feel to most players.
It will potentially lead to arm problems, too, unless you have a clean technique and play often enough to become accustomed to that sort of feel.
For most players, I would recommend using a softer string instead but by all means, give it a go if you want to experiment with a polyester at relatively high tension.
Why does this setup work for the Italian? Sinner hits with heavy spin the backhand, and having the string at this tension allows players to really take big swings at the ball while still having control due to the reduction in power from the stringbed.
It also gives players the ability to impart a lot of RPM's on the ball; while the snapback in the strings helps produce topspin, there is no bigger spin generator than your technique, and a player like Sinner knows he can take full-blooded swipes at the ball but still find the court when he steps on the court with this setup.
Can You Buy Jannik Sinner's Racquet?
If you're purely a fan of the cosmetics of Sinner's racquet, then you can pick up the Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP Racket at any of the big tennis retailers.
However, to actually pick up his exact frame, you'll need to find a Head Graphene Touch Speed MP from 2016.
Although these racquets are no longer produced or sold because they're not long since discontinued, you can still find them as ‘new old stock' or lightly used via eBay.
|Head Graphene Touch Speed MP Retail Specs||Sinner's Actual Specs|
|Head Size||100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.||100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.|
|Length||27in / 68.58cm||27in / 68.58cm|
|Balance||33.02cm (4 pts HL)||33.3cm (3 pts HL)|
|Beam Width||22mm / 22mm / 22mm /||22mm / 22mm / 22mm /|
|Composition||Graphite/Graphene Touch||Graphite/Graphene Touch|
|Grip Type||Hydrosorb Pro||Hydrosorb Pro|
|String Pattern||16 Mains / 19 Crosses||16 Mains / 19 Crosses|
As you can see from the comparison table, there isn't too much customisation work to get the specs aligned.
What do you think of Sinner's specs? Let me know in the comments.