Pro RacquetsTennis Racquets

Stefanos Tsitsipas’s Racquet

What tennis racquet does the Greek use? Does it take Herculian effort to swing?

Born to a former professional player mother and a full-time tennis coach father, it was somewhat inevitable that Stefanos Tstisipas would find his way onto the professional tennis circuit.

The Greek won his first ATP match in late 2017 and has ascended the rankings ever since, but what racquet does he use that has so far helped him collect five career titles and three Grand Slam semi-final appearances? Let' take a look.

What Racquet Does Tsitsipas Use?

tsitsipas wilson blade

Tsitsipas is sponsored by Wilson and endorses their Blade 98 V7 18 x 20 racquet, and that is the racquet he actually uses in a customised form.

The Blade 98 is the racquet he's used for all of his professional career and a large portion of his junior days.

Whereas the likes of Djokovic, Murray and Medvedev use completely different racquets to the ones they endorse, Stefanos bucks the trend, albeit by using an earlier version of the Blade 98 from 2013.

The 2013 model was the BLX Blade with Amplifeel technology. I remember demoing it when it first came out, and while never my favourite line of racquets, the Blade 98 lets you hit a heavy ball on groundstrokes, thanks to the high degree of plough-through and mass-based power. 

What Specification is Tsitsipas's Racquet?

tsitsipas blade

The Blade 98 Tsitsipas is using is not too dissimilar to the retail version of the frame when it was available, and thanks to Impacting Tennis, we know he's added ~10g of silicon into the handle, taking the unstrung weight up to 319g.

There is no sign of lead tape in the hoop, and you can see  his full racquet specs below:

Head Size 98 in²
Length 27 in
Unstrung Weight 319 g
Strung Weight 337 g
Unstrung Balance 32.0 cm (~ 7pts HL)
Swing Weight ~340 kg.cm2 (strung)
String Pattern 18 x 20
Dampener No
Grip Style Wilson Sublime + Wilson Pro Overgrip
Grip Size L3 / 4 3/8″
Stiffness 65

Why Does Tsitsipas Use the Blade 98 BLX 2013?

tsitsipas blade

The Blade 98 is a players frame and is best suited to those who want plenty of control due to the denser 18 x 20 string pattern.

Compared to frames like the Pure Aero, the Blade isn't geared for massive topspin, and Tsitsipas isn't that type of player. He's an aggressive ball striker that looks to get forward wherever possible.

The Greek has a quite conservative forehand grip and hits with just about the average rate of spin you'll find on the ATP Tour, and the Blade 98 suits that playing style.

Interestingly on the backhand, there aren't too many one-handers that hit with more spin than him, and the low-ish swing weight (by ATP standards) will allow him to get around the ball more in this regard which helps impart those RPM's.

The 2013 model is one of the stiffer Blade racquets produced, so it has more power and stability than some of the newer models, and when Tsitsipas cranks up that forehand, the ball stays hit.

What String Setup Does Tsitsipas Use?

tsitsipas strings

Tstistipas uses a full bed of Luxilon 4G 1.25mm, with both the mains and crosses strung at 26kg. However, this will probably vary throughout the year depending on altitude, conditions etc. It's a two-piece string job with four tie-off knots, as most pros favour.

Luxilon 4G is a lower-powered polyester string designed for control. It's not the most spin-friendly in Luxilon's lineup but still offers plenty of spin potential and is suited to advanced players who need a poly to ensure they can still find the court when taking full swings at the ball.

For most players, a full bed of 4G won't suit them, but this is a good string choice to use in a hybrid setup alongside a natural gut in the mains.

Can You Buy Tsitsipas's Racquet?

blade pro

To get hold of the racquet, Tsitsipas uses you have a few options. If you're not bothered about playing with the latest cosmetics, then finding a Blade 98 BLX from 2013 that's still in good condition will get you his actual racquet which you can then customise to match his specs. 

The 2013 model was an all-black affair and I've included an image of it below to help you track one down on eBay etc. Just be aware there was a 103 sq” model too.

blade blx 2013

The next option would be to buy the latest Wilson Blade 98 V7 18 x 20. This is the latest version and slightly different in construction to the BLX model from 2013, making it lower on the stiffness (RA) scale, but it's not a million miles away from the original.

The final choice would be to pick up the Wilson Blade 98 Pro 18 x 20. Recently Wilson has made some of their pro stock racquets available for retail, and the Blade 98 Pro is based on the H22 mould from Wilson. It can be purchased exclusively from the Wilson Pro Labs series section of their website.

The Blade 98 Pro is a real players racquet, and you'll be getting a stiff frame with a low-ish static weight allowing for customisation. You will also be getting the glossy cosmetics that the Pro's use as they look better on the TV.

Which should you go for? All down to personal choice, I think if it's purely looking for a similar frame to copy your favourite player, get the current Wilson Blade 98 V7 18 x 20.

What do you think of Tsitsipas's racquet specs? Are you surprised he uses a full bed of Poly and not a hybrid? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

Related Articles

10 Comments

  1. BTW @jonathan
    You asked once about Thiem’s physical issues in Australia. Now his father explained, but I’m not sure, if it’s all the truth. Thiem should have had foot issues since Vienna 2020, but this is actually a long-term issue, coming from sliding on hard courts, so it’s actually nothing serious but occasionally it hurts more.
    Ma comment to this is, he probably should learn, how to be effective runner on hard without so much sliding (if I’m not wrong, Fed is almost not sliding on hard=), but maybe not so easy for the running technique he developed over years for clay.
    Still he can play big even when it hurts (example – Agut match in Doha), but probably not many matches in a row.
    Thiem never tells (like Fed) about such issues, so maybe only Stober knows.
    But my theory is, he had bad off-season preparation, because of sitting in Austria all the time, without Massú. Conflict with Bresnik, seemingly somehow solved first after coming back from Dubai. And now he is in love, so … love is worth wore than success. Since Dubai actually no signs of him getting back to practice. While others on the fight for points, money and titles, he simply does life ??? But of course he comes back on clay. Not sure if he plays Monte Carlo, but for sure Belgrade instead of Barcelona.

    1. Ah ok, so just the foot. I thought it was maybe leg or something.

      Fed has never been a slider on hard courts, but the new breed of players all do it. I guess because whatever analysis they do suggests it’s more effective?

      And of course, Djoker being the best lateral mover ever in the sport doing it will mean people copy it.

      Prime Fed though was so quick, not so much straight-line speed, but that ability to move out of the corners explosively with no need to slide.

      Will be hard for Thiem to move away from what he’s always done. Just like it would be hard for Fed to slide on hard courts.

      1. Fed has very specific footwork (another inborn thing i guess? I wrote 2-3 years ago an article comparing Fed’s footwork with Tarahumara runners. They have it inborn too.
        Why should be the most popular heel-striking be more effective? Is Fed’s movement on hard not effective? (rethoric question)
        I did hope some years ago, Thiem would learn Federer’s footwork, but it was probably too late or nobody in the team shared this idea. Well, Thiem’s movement is efficient, but on cost of minor injuries, which will sum up one day to something more serious. Heel-striking and sliding on hard is responsible for blisters, ankle and metatarsus injuries and probably more..
        Fed trying to slide on hard would be absurd, when he has a far better footwork. But it would make sense to learn Fed-like motion (if I’m not wrong, only Tiafoe does this and it’s probably also inborn) and use it instead of sliding on hard. It’s for sure easier for someone with Fed’s footwork to slide on clay.

      2. So Thiem not playing Mickey Carlo.

        I think Fed was the best mover in terms of being able to transition through the court, setup forehands, but in terms of side to side, Djoker is the best ever at that, covers so much court, hitting on full stretch.

        And because the game has become more lateral, that’s what people will learn / copy.

  2. I’m not surprised by Stef’s frame choice. Even if one-hander, he is not a copy of Fed or Thiem. One-hander does not mean the same for so many (and still coming up) most classic players. Actually I think, double-hander could be better choice for Stef, given his physicality and temper. I think, he needs a bit more tolerant racket than Fed or Thiem, while not being the highest class clean ball striker. Don’t know, where he will go with the time with his technique, but he will certainly not go to take lessens from Bresnik 😉 Either too late or not fitting his personality. If I understand his game correctly, his highest priority is to be effective, not to be perfect.
    Fed has some inborn instinct (making for 90% of his perfection, I guess) making his game very individual, in the sense, you can hardly tell, what kind of shot he had just hit. It’s so often unexpected (maybe even for him), so it’s quite impossible to learn it directly by trying to copy his technique. Thiem has another talent – he must perfect every new shot on practice court before he uses it in matches (that’s why his game at the net had such a long way). Stef is effect-oriented, playing what is just needed to be played, sometimes with no-technique 😉 Maybe this is the reason he has chosen just this frame and setup. And he is a bit taller than most of one-handers.

    1. You should have compared Thiem’s specs with Tstisipas before writing this 😁

      They have very similar specs, and the Blade and Pure Strike are almost identical racquets.

      1. Well, this is surprising 🙂 Thank you for teaching. Maybe all rackets are more similar to each other, than we could think?

      2. Many racquets are very similar especially when they are in the same category and have similar specs without any customisation.

        For example, the Blade and Pure Strike are very similar. Both thin, boxy thin beams. Control racquets.

        The Vcore and the Pure Aero are very similar, designed to cut through the air for spin.

        If they were completely blacked out, I doubt many players would be able to tell the difference between two competing racquets of near-identical specs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button