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Tennis Racquet Technology: How The Big 4 Differ

Seen as though there's still a few days before Roger takes to the court in Hamburg and inspired by a comment from Alvi I thought I'd do something a little different and blog about the equipment, particularly the racquets, that the top 4 guys use.

A lot of talk recently from both fans and pundits has been about Roger's racquet only been a 90sq” head and many think he should move up to a bigger frame to handle the modern game. A lot think he's living in the past and he's let technology pass him by somewhat which in turn has cost him matches against guys like Nadal, Murray and Djokovic who are using the latest advancements to improve their game.

I'm personally slowly coming round to the idea of Roger trying out a 95sq” racquet and seeing what happens as I think he should at least try it. I don't think it's imperative however but just something that might be worth a shout, afterall he's willing to make big changes to his schedule to try get back into form so surely testing a new racquet wouldn't be a bad call? I mean look at Verdasco who moved to Babolat racquet just a month ago and made his first Quarter Final at Wimbledon losing in 5 sets to Murray, a match he arguably should have won.

Anyway, let's look at what the top guys use and how it aids their game. And yes, I am aware Roger is currently outside the Top 4 but nobody is interested in what racquet Ferrer uses πŸ˜‰

N.B. The racquets + specification listed are all manufacture standard, it goes without saying that each player will have a bespoke setup in terms of grip size and slightly differing weights to what is available in the shops. However I believe Head, Wilson and Crapolat all try to make them as close as possible to what their sponsored players are using.

Roger Federer

I'll start with Roger's racquet and he's pretty much used the same style frame the majority of his career, I blogged about the various paint jobs he's undergone here but he's used a Wilson 90 square inch racquet for every single one of his 17 slams.

The Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90 Specification:

Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90
  • Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90
  • Head Size: 90 sq”
  • Length: 27in / 68.58cm
  • Strung Weight: 12.6oz / 357.2g
  • Balance: 8 pts HL
  • Swingweight: 327
  • Stiffness: 65
  • Beam Width: 17.5mm / 17.5mm / 17.5mm
  • Composition: Basalt
  • Power Level: Low
  • Stroke Style: Full
  • Swing Speed: Fast
  • Racquet Colors: White/Red/Gold/Black
  • Grip Type: Wilson Leather
  • String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
  • Mains skip: 7H 9H 7T 9T
  • One Piece
  • No Shared Holes
  • String Tension: 50-60 pounds

So the racquet of choice for the GOAT, it's the heaviest out of the ones used by the big 4, at just over 12 ounces, it has the thinnest beam, the sharpest edges and the smallest head – making it extremely tough to use.

Speak to any stringer, racquet retailer who has been in the game for a long time or a professional and they'll likely tell you that not many top players could use this racquet to good effect and if a Djokovic, Murray or Nadal tried to use it their level of play would drop off a cliff.

Why is it so difficult to use? Simply because it's a very retro type design that's more at akin to a wooden racquet than a modern one. When you consider that some players are using 105 sq” and nobody else in the top 250 uses a racquet like Federer's then that is a good indicator that it's not easy to play with.

I actually own the racquet Federer used from 2008 to the end of 2009 – the K Factor and I can confirm that it's by far one of the hardest racquets to play with that you will encounter – it's heavy, has a very small head size and is just very unforgiving. I know some people say they can use a racquet like this easily, but sadly they are lying as even a naturally talented player who plays at a good level will find it very tricky.

If you come up against a consistent baseliner then the small head size of this racquet can definitely be a hindrance as it gives you nothing, every shot you play has to be nigh on perfect which would mean you'd be in the top 10 if that were possible ;). So whilst I enjoy playing with this racquet as you do feel like the ball is on a piece of string it, it does have the tendency to let errors creep into your game.

You either have to have a real Roger Federer fetish or really good skills

So are there any advantages to this racquet? Of course, Roger maybe stubborn but he's not stupid enough to play with a racquet that has no benefits compared with the others. The benefit of a racquet like this is the feel and power you are able to generate. When you hit a shot cleanly from the sweetspot on something like this you get a real sense of where the ball is going.

It's not flimsy like a Nadal type racquet so you instantly feel more in control of the ball and able to guide it into the corners either from the back of the court of when at the net taking a volley.

If you watch the video below, you'll see the strengths of this type of racquet as the two touch volleys Roger hits need an awful lot of feel and control to make them:

The trade off I mentioned above is that there is very little margin for error – hit a perfect shot the Wilson Pro Staff 90 is very rewarding, mis time one or hit a little off centre and you're going to be on the back foot for the majority of rallies.

How does Roger string his racquet? Roger uses a Wilson 16 gauge gut main string and a Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough cross string, the natural gut provides feel and the polyester strings give durability.

Most players usually use gut in the crosses and poly in the mains but Roger went for a different approach to give more feel as durability isn't really a factor when you have an unlimited supply of racquets.

As for string tension Federer favors a tension of 49.5 pounds in the main and 46.2 in the crosses which is the loosest of the big 4. However he regularly changes according to conditions and the court surface. Unlike Nadal who plays with a consistent tension no matter what the surface. He also uses string savers in and around the sweet spot and I think he is maybe alone in that regard, this increases tensions of the racquet and gives that added level of durability considering he has gut on his mains.

Novak Djokovic

The racquet of choice for Djokovic is the Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro, he won his first slam in 2008 using a Wilson but changed soon after to Head due to both sponsorship and struggling with his game.

Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro Specification:

Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro
  • Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro
  • Head Size: 100 sq”
  • Length: 27in / 68.58cm
  • Strung Weight: 11.7oz / 331.69g
  • Balance: 6 pts HL
  • Swingweight: 328
  • Stiffness: 68
  • Beam Width: 22.5mm / 22.5mm / 21.5mm
  • Composition: Graphene
  • Power Level: Low
  • Stroke Style: Full
  • Swing Speed: Fast
  • Racquet Colors: Black/ White
  • Grip Type: Hydrosorb Pro
  • String Pattern: 18 Mains / 20 Crosses
  • Mains skip: None
  • Two Pieces
  • Shared Holes: 8T 9T 8H 9H
  • String Tension: 48-57 pounds

Djokovic's racquet is what you'd describe as somewhere in the middle when it comes to modern day racquets, it's not as modern or as lightweight or Nadal's to suit the top spin game but it isn't anywhere near as small or as unforgiving as Federer's Pro Staff. It's a fairly sizeable 100sq inch head size which gives plenty of margin for error and suits his offensive return game and allows him to get a good weight of shot on the ball at full stretch.

What are the benefits of this racquet? The racquet Djokovic uses has the densest string pattern compared to the other 3 racquets which suit his counterpunching, flatter-hitting style. Basically the denser the string pattern, the less spin you can generate so Djokovic has a perfect compromise really which allows him to still generate some spin just not in the league of Nadal.

But that's because he doesn't need to, Djokovic's strengths are leaning in on the backhand to hit flat and deep, that allows him to dictate from the baseline which is why he's beating Nadal on all 4 surfaces in recent meetings.

He too like Roger strings with natural gut and Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power Rough however at a much higher tension at around 59lbs on the mains and 56lbs on the crosses.

I've not had the fortune of playing with this racquet but purely by design it's much more forgiving than Roger's Pro Staff and gives a player a lot more margin for error which is suited to Djokovic's style of play as he takes risks on returns and relies on his court coverage to stay in a lot of the points.

Were he to try using a smaller frame like the Pro Staff we'd definitely see a lot more mishits from him and shanks when he's not quite in the right position to play the shot.

Really there are no disadvantages to using a racquet like this, ok he doesn't quite have the feel that a Pro Staff gives, evident by his terrible volleying and overheads, but the racquet probably wins him more points via its forgiving nature than he loses courtesy of the lack of feel.

Rafael Nadal

So the racquet choice of Rafael Nadal, the Babolat AeroPro Drive, naturally it's my least favourite racquet of the 4 as, probably due to it being used by Dull but there's something about the design that makes this almost toy like πŸ˜€

Babolat AeroPro Drive Specification:

Babolat AeroPro Drive
  • Babolat AeroPro Drive
  • Head Size: 100 sq”
  • Length: 27in / 68.58cm
  • Strung Weight: 11.3oz / 320.35g
  • Balance: 4 pts HL
  • Swingweight: 316
  • Stiffness: 69
  • Beam Width: 23mm / 26mm / 24mm
  • Composition: Graphite/ Tungsten
  • Power Level: Medium
  • Stroke Style: Full
  • Swing Speed: Fast
  • Racquet Colors: Black/ Yellow/ White
  • Grip Type: Syntec
  • String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
  • Mains skip: 8T 8H
  • Two Pieces
  • No Shared Holes
  • String Tension: 55-65 pounds

This racquet is the polar opposite to Roger's – it has a massive head size, it's very light and has a much more tubular design than the flat beam of the Pro Staff. This mean it's perfectly suited to Nadal's game as it has the aerodynamics to swing through the air easily with his whipping forehand motion.

As this is at the other end of the spectrum to Roger's racquet there is of course a trade off for Nadal too – what he gains in power and spin, he loses in terms of feel and touch. Which you can easily see if Nadal has to volley, whilst he's not a poor volleyer, you get the impression he's never entirely confident of where the ball is going once he's made contact with it.

However, it's not really a trade off for him personally, he very rarely finishes points at the net, so volleying isn't really a concern to him or a factor in his choice of racquet – as long as he makes the volley that's usually good enough.

How does Nadal generate so much spin? Like Roger, Nadal also strings with an open 16 x 19 string pattern which is again to aid him impart spin on the ball, he however uses a pure synthetic string setup at 55 pounds on both his mains and crosses which allows him to hit an average forehand with 3200 rotations per minute (rpm) and it's not unknown for him to hit with a crazy 4900 rpm. Federer average at 2700rpm. Slight difference πŸ˜€

Unlike Roger, he also never changes his string tension to suit conditions, surfaces or his opponent which I guess that is linked to his superstitious type personality. Of course his technique on the forehand is very much orientated towards generating spin so that fused with equipment that's completely geared towards to it too is a dangerous combination.

Andy Murray

The racquet I'm looking at ast is that of newly crowned Wimlbedon Champion, Andy Murray. Like Djokovic he uses a Head racquet but his is somewhere in between both Federer's and Nadal's racquet.

Head YOUTEK IG Radical Pro Specification:

Head YOUTEK IG Radical Pro
  • Head YOUTEK IG Radical Pro
  • Head Size: 98 sq”
  • Length: 27in / 68.58cm
  • Strung Weight: 11.4oz / 323.18g
  • Balance: 3 pts HL
  • Swingweight: 330
  • Stiffness: 62
  • Beam Width: 22mm / 22mm / 22mm
  • Composition: d3o / Innegra / Graphite
  • Power Level: Low-Medium
  • Stroke Style: Full
  • Swing Speed: Fast
  • Racquet Colors: Orange / Brown
  • Grip Type: Synthetic Leather
  • String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
  • Mains skip: 8H, 8T
  • One Piece
  • No Shared Holes
  • String Tension: 48-57 pounds

Murray's racquet doesn't really offer anything unique when compared to the other three, it's almost a cross between them all. At 98 square inches it's the second smallest and he strings with the same pattern as both Nadal & Federer.

Why does this racquet suit the Murray game? It's the kind of racquet that allows him to get good depth on his groundstrokes without having to take huge cuts at the ball which is beneficial for his counter punching style play but also allows him to hit with spin and play aggressively when he needs to. Like I said it's like a cross between all 3 racquets, and that's quite a good description of Murray's game, he has great defense similar to Nadal, a good 2 handed backhand like Djokovic and is pretty confident at the net like Roger.

As is the same with Djokovic and Federer, Murray uses gut on his mains and ALU power on his crosses which is designed to give a player more feel. He strings at 56lbs but will vary depending on conditions.

Key Points

  • Roger uses the smallest racquet on tour
  • He also strings at the lowest tension of the top 4 to offset the loss off power caused by the frame he uses
  • Federer's racquet has the thinnest beam and is the most “traditional” compared to the others making it harder to play with
  • Nadal strings at 55 lbs on both crosses and mains whatever the court surface or conditions
  • Djokovic has the densest string pattern to suit his flat hitting style
  • Federer, Murray and Djokovic all use a gut and synthetic set up on their strings, Nadal uses full poly

I'm by no means an expert on tennis racquets, technology or how the setup aids each player so I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on why the players choose the racquets they do, which would you most like to play with and whether or not you think Fed should change his racquet for a bigger frame?

PS. If Wilson or any racquet sellers want to send me a racquet to demo, then I'll gladly take a Pro Staff Six.One 95 πŸ˜›

About Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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60 comments

  1. The suspense is killing me. WHAT RACQUET DOES FERRER USE? TELL ME NOW!! :p

  2. I think it’s worth it for Fed to give the Pro Staff a go. The racquet is similar to the one he is using now and having an extra 5 inches wouldn’t hurt.

  3. Great Post Jonathan!

    And always happy to contribute ideas in any way possible. This is somewhat exactly what i needed to analyse the Big 4’s game in terms of equipment. Federer, undoubtedly, has the most difficult sword to play with among all the above mentioned player, but i think his game suits it. i now see the difference between djoke’s and murray’s racket, and no wonder murray was able to whip djokovic both the times they met on grass (if my memory serves right). Nadal’s racket, i agree, it is almost toy like. but as much as i despise it, can’t argue with the results he had. and gun to my head, i kinda like the paint job on the frame (but federer’s is my favourite!).

    I use an old racket myself, a 92 sq dunlop mcenroe mid. i have a single hander and can assure you, it is almost impossible to hit a double-handed backhand properly using such a small head size.

    Thanks again for posting this Jonathan. Allez! πŸ˜€

  4. Let’s forget whatever gear, surface size, orange sole. Looking back a year ago, Roger was at peak again and now …. sigh.
    what the major change he needs most is grow his hair back.
    Remember the champion look vs 2nd rounder look , you can tell.
    Anyway, Im still using Roger’s nCode with 95sq , this is the one in his glory days.

  5. Sid TheCookieThief

    [ He also uses string savers in and around the sweet spot and I think he is maybe alone in that regard, this is another aid for spin and gives that added level of durability considering he has gut on his mains]

    I thought string savers actually reduced the spin imparted and their main purpose was to prevent string abrasion and hence increase their life. I might be wrong though.

    • Yeah string savers are meant to stop strings moving about and breaking, but Fed has a weird setup on his, he has them right on the sweetspot – http://i.imgur.com/R82f6RN.jpg 10 in total.

      Worded badly by me in the post, I thought it would be used to try and get some more bite on the ball. Maybe it’s more to do with the maintaining tension for as long as possible, can’t be anything to do with string life as he changes racquets too often.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        True, that in case of Roger, it’s not for string life. Definitely not for spin though. Because he uses such low tension, the strings will move a lot and the string saver will help him keep them in place. That way, the shots remain consistent. You must have noticed how often Roger adjusts his strings compared to other players. It’s really frequent. He is a neurotic when it comes to that.

        And yes, if the strings don’t move around a lot, it will maintain string form and hence, tension.

      • Strings need to move in order to produce spin. Thats why they all use poly/gut set up. Gut slides quite well on polys. String tension maintenance is not an issue with 6+ frames available per match, switching them every 7 games along with the balls…

        Feds string adjusting is more neurotic than practical. Like Nadals rituals…

  6. So what racket do you guys use when/ if you play? Mine’s a Dunlop aerogel 400 tour. Great stick πŸ˜›

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      Wilson Pro Staff 90. Ever heard of it? πŸ™‚

    • K Factor 90, but I’m close to buying a new one. Going up to 95!

      • Yeah, have a friend who had the K factor, if you hit it clean it’s a dream, but if you don’t…. no comment πŸ˜€

        Sid: Wilson? Who’s that?! Never heard of that guy…

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        And hitting clean would depend on how you’re feeling physically on a particular day. If I am struggling physically, whatever the reason may be, I simply cannot play with it. It’s pathetic.

        But why do I still use that racquet? Refer to that quote in Jonathan’s post πŸ™‚

      • I have the 95. A lot easier to play with than the 90 for sure, and the amazing control is still there. I can send you mine if you want πŸ˜€

  7. I make a post about technology and then Roger shows up with a new racquet –

    https://www.perfect-tennis.com/is-roger-federer-testing-a-new-racquet/

    Typical πŸ™‚

  8. An excellent post Jonathan, very clear, well-explained. Thanks.

    Now I am more impressed by the fact that Fed has been the top of the sport so long with his ‘the smallest, heaviest, hardest racket to play with on tour’…..the GOAT. Almost feel like Dull and co. are cheating…haha

    No idea whether he should change the racket or not, but cannot help wondering how much he could improve his game with the new technology? If something isn’t working then trying something else or new is always worth. The sooner, the better for him.

    If only he could read this blog πŸ˜‰

    • Haha just replied to your comment above and then seen the last sentence of this one πŸ˜‰

      Yeah, I dunno if he should change either, but I guess it’s worth a shout just to see. Definitely can’t hurt that’s for sure.

      Jonathan

  9. What a fun article. You’re spot on about Novak’s volleys and his smashes. They’re quite terrible. Reminiscent of women’s matches.

    Loved the ‘slight difference’ between Roger and Rafa’s RPM stats.

    We should even look at an article comparing the top 4’s grip styles, backswings and follow throughs. Although we know who’s winning that competition…

    • Cheers man.

      Yeah Djoker made some joke volleys / overheads in the Wimbledon final.

      Could do something about technique, Fed has the most conservative grip style going on both sides, very simple approach, slightly modified eastern grip. Kinda why is has the most versatile forehand in the history of the game.

      If you wanna see a mental grip check out Andreev’s. That is extreme.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Andreev? Full western, right? Like Djokovic and Nadal?

        Does anybody know what grip Pete Sampras used/uses for his backhand? I don’t think it’s a eastern backhand grip. Anyone knows exactly?

      • Yeah like Dulls. Just looks even more extreme. Follow through is probably what makes it look so strange though.

  10. I can’t understand the “trash” talk I hear about the pro staff 90. Used to play Babolat Pure Drive but when I got (by accident) my hands on the PS90, I couldn’t put it down since (and that’s about year and a half ago. Yes, you need to eyeball the ball, no way around that. I call it my tutor. When ever I forget about my technique, it reminds me immediately. At one time when I only had one, my strings broke and I had to fall back to the Pure Drive. An lo and behold, I was actually playing well, for 40 minutes after which my technique deteriorated at a noticeable rate because of the power in that racquet. Well back to the PS90, it was coming back. Sure, it needs a full swing but also, it is the only racquet that I can hit my single backhand with and it’s such a joy when when you make them.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      [When ever I forget about my technique, it reminds me immediately]

      Absolutely true! I use it because I know that if I’m not feeling well, and not moving well, I will be punished. It makes me play better, never mind the losses. Someday, everything will fall in place πŸ™‚

      I used the 95 for a while, and felt super human. I beat a far superior power hitter with a Blade 98 which is the same racquet he uses. And this one time, I used the Babolat 100 vs a pusher who used the same raquet. He had no idea what hit him and looked really frustrated πŸ™‚

      But, I love the Pro Staff 90.

      • Happy to see I’m not alone. I’m really not playing to win or loose. I just love the beauty of this game, and the motion. If I make one backhand drive in a match, full stretch, fully relaxed, I’m happy for a week. No other racquet makes me feel that way. Right now, I’m away from home but there is a very nice wall that is my partner. It’s still pure joy.

      • “Absolutely true! I use it because I know that if I’m not feeling well, and not moving well, I will be punished.”

        Is that why Roger’s been losing more matches than usual, maybe?

        Anyway, Jonathan, didn’t Roger say recently that he’d tried a 95″ but hadn’t as yet got on with it well enough?

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Alison, a friend once called me a masochist for using that racquet. Perhaps Roger and I have that in common? πŸ™‚

      • He did Alison, I think it was a while back he said that actually, just said he never has enough time to really get used to anything new but wouldn’t rule it out. Maybe now is the time…

  11. I loved the breakdown of each racquet, and the comparisons with the others. I have always played with the pro staff as well, with the 90 Sq Inch heads, throughout high school, college and league play. Just this past week, i started looking into the BLX line of racquets that Wilson came out with late last year, and ended up trying their 95 Sq Inch pro staff. I have to say it much less unforgiving. Even the extra 5 Sq Inch allowed for more power with a larger sweet spot. What was also interesting is that the balance was not very different from the 90 Sq Inch head. I was scared that the larger head would throw off the balance, thus my swing, and my game. But that was not the case at all!
    Haha I find it ironic that just as I was trying something very different from what I normally use, Federer announces a radical change as well. But what surprised me the most was that rather than going with the 95 Sq Inch head, he has apparently been trying out the 98 Square inch head. Although I have not tried the 98 Sq Inch head, I think it might be safe to assume that the balance on that racquet would be very different from that of a 90 Sq Inch racquet. Although knowing Wilson, I am sure the weight and the balance will be adjusted correctly to Federer’s unique needs and his game.
    A very interesting article, thanks for sharing Jonathan πŸ™‚ Now I am just very excited to see how Federer’s game will evolve as his weapon of choice goes through a much needed change!

  12. This is an excellent article! I’m not one for technology usually but it’s interesting to see the extent to which racquet density, string tension and frame can all affect performance – not something I usually think about! It just highlights the exceptional talent of Fed – how he is able to use the smallest racquet on tour and still win all his Grand Slams, especially when you consider the small margin for error! It’s interesting that this subject doesn’t receive as much attention; people forget that players use different types of equipment to maximise their performance. In Formula One, for instance, equipment rather than drivers ie cars dominates the conversation. I guess in the world of tennis. people inherently award more credit to the person wielding the racquet. But I’m not sure if the praise is as deserved given just how modern the technology is now.

    • Sid TheCookieThief

      [I guess in the world of tennis. people inherently award more credit to the person wielding the racquet]
      Well, anybody can buy the racquets being used by say, Nadal, or Djokovic, or Murray. You can. I can. πŸ™‚

      Having said that, I’ll agree with you about Roger Federer and say that he is a genius of the highest order considering he used the toughest stick on the professional circuit and won 17 slams. Nadal would win zero slams with that racquet.

  13. The big do not use any of the racquets that they publicly support:
    – Fed uses the K90 like you, with some lead
    – Rafa has a non cortex one with same lead a fed
    -djoko uses a flexi old radical 95sq2
    – murray uses a flexi prestige 95sq2 also
    last both use a lot of lead and therefore about ame equipment

    Still the headize of fed i the smallest but all other 3 have a defensive game for which their racquet is more suited

    conclusion: dont believe/write baed on marketing. Cheers

    • Djoker using a 95sq” is way off, it’s 100sq”

      Murray – 98sq”

      Nadal – 100sq”

      Fed – 90sq”

      As for lead, there’s no way you’re ever going to know that unless you have all 4 racquets side by side, which is highly unlikely unless you are stringing them one after the other. So as I pointed out in the beginning of the post we have no real firm idea of the nuances in each players racquet, what tension they string at, how much lead they are using. Just have to use the limited information we have.

      • To pull an older article, it’s fairly common knowledge that pros do not use off the shelf racquets. They are painted to look like them for marketing purposes. Most are using a frame similar to what they used playing juniors. Pros don’t like to change frames often.

        There are collectors who own all 4 of the real frames of these 4 players and have published evidence and analysis on tennis forums.

        -Nadals racquet is an off the shelf older version of the racquet he endorses, with a higher swingweight because he adds lead to the head
        -Federers racquet is similar to the one he endorses, but the pattern is drilled differently, and he also adds lead under the bumper guard in the head.
        -Djokovic’s raquet is an old radical mold with a ton of lead added…the racquet he endorses is somewhat similar but it’s no the same frame
        -Murrays frame is Head pro-stock and is quite different from what he endorses, also quite heavy with lead added.
        This information is easily available for those who search for it.

      • Sorry but while I appreciate your article and you’ve obviously gone to a lot of effort, both Baranger and Jackrabbit are correct. Well obviously the marketed racquets are similar to play styles, but that’s just it; marketing.

        Nadal definitely uses the old non cortex Aero pro Drive, Djokovic uses an old radical, either flexi or microgel mould. Murray uses a Head Pro Stock, Pt57a if I remember correctly. Obviously they are using lead tape, I could link you to pictures of them holding racquets with lead taped on but I’m sure you can just google it. Fact is, the specs/racquets pro’s use are wildly different from the specs they endorse.

        I don’t think you needed to be rude in your response to Baranger. He made a perfectly legitimate and valid point.

      • @Tom – As I stated numerous times in the comments – unless you have all 4 racquets side by side then you have no idea about the exact specs.

        I’m of the opinion that the ones on the shelves and are quite similar in spec to the ones they actually play with. I don’t think they are going to be exact replicas but without doing a side by side comparison nobody will know.

        People are quick to say oh this is wrong, Djokovic uses this and Nadal used that. But nobody, including yourself, seems to come armed with any conclusive evidence other than opinion πŸ˜†

        Why don’t you show me some side by side comparisons of an off the shelf one and one used by a pro and then we can see the difference for real?

        Then instead of it being “fairly common knowledge” it will be fact for all to see.

  14. Excellent article – insightful points that brought out characteristics of each racquet. I’m in the market for a new stick and was leaning towards Wilson. Now I think I’m gonna go with either Head or Babolat. Thx

  15. wake up johnathon. Marcus bagdhatis used a plain blue racquet at one stage because he didn’t have a sponsor. It coulda been anything… Like you say to other people who have a go at your opinion.. Its only your opinion. Sponsors have the final say in whatever you do once you sign with them.
    Wake up

  16. Im curently testing the head pro radical graphene 98 now and it seems greatly ridgid and wierd at first but after finding its zone it might look like the best stick i have ever used. Has anyone used this and what do they think? Should i buy it?

  17. Really poor article. As has been said in the comments above, what’s the point in comparing the rackets that the manufacturers are promoting when the pro’s don’t use them? There’s plenty of memorabilia of sets of the big 4’s actual rackets, Novak’s is no where near 100. Wake up Jonathan.

  18. Your comment about the 90 sq in head size: “I know some people say they can use a racquet like this easily, but sadly they are lying as even a naturally talented player who plays at a good level will find it very tricky.” is bullshit. I use an old 85 as an intermediate player and it is far more rewarding than any big a** 110 sq in racquet. I used to play cricket with a friggin’ stump as a kid and a much thinner cricket bat than most tennis racquets. 85 sq in is decent enough surface area for me.

    • Reading it back, it’s not phrased that well from me, as yes you can play with it no problem, I think the point I was trying to make is that as soon you’re at a disadvantage when compared to a larger head size.

      There is a reason nobody on the tour uses a racquet this size, there is nobody playing with 85 sq” on tour and since Federer switched there is nobody even playing with a 90 sq”. So think about that…

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