Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big tennis racket test 2021. Here we present all the tennis rackets we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best tennis racket for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy a tennis racket.




Summary

  • Choose the racket that best suits you and your preferred playing style. The price of a tennis racket depends on your needs and the intensity of your training.
  • On average, children's tennis rackets cost 20 to 50 euros, beginners' rackets 30 to 120 euros and high-quality tournament rackets more than 120 euros.
  • A light racket is good for beginners, a heavy racket can give experienced players a higher stroke speed.

The Best tennis rackets: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a tennis racket

Which tennis racket is the right one for me?

The question of the right or optimal tennis racket cannot be answered universally. The problem is that everyone has to answer this question for themselves, including you. It depends on your ability, your swing style, your technique, your power, your hitting accuracy and your acceleration. These factors can be used to sort out certain groups of tennis rackets. To narrow down your choice for the right tennis racket, you should look at the skill factor. Are you still a beginner or already experienced on the tennis court? Do you practice sporadically every few weeks or regularly and intensively? As a beginner, you should choose a light but robust tennis racket that can forgive a mistake or two. For example, rackets made of aluminium or carbon are a good choice. If you consider yourself an experienced tennis player, you should choose a tennis racket for advanced players. These are usually a little heavier, have a thinner frame width and are equipped with special technologies to improve your game. These rackets are also usually strung a little harder. It is important to know that left-handed and right-handed players have different tennis racket needs.

What kind of tennis racket do I need?

Tennis rackets for beginners

If you practice irregularly, are still unsure of your game and have problems hitting the ball in the sweet spot (optimal hitting zone on the hitting surface), you should go for a lighter beginner model. A good tennis racket for beginners is lightweight to allow for easy turns and comfortable handling. The stringing should not be too hard or too soft: too hard a stringing will cost you a lot of power when hitting the ball, too soft a stringing will lead to unpleasant vibrations in the hitting arm. Read more about this in the buying criteria.

  • Racket surface: Larger than 645 cm²
  • Weight: 240-280 grams
  • Tennis string: 24-26 kilograms string stiffness
  • Grip strength: L2 or L3
  • Price: 80 to 140 euros

Tennis rackets for advanced players

Do you practice regularly, are you accurate and already feel at home on the court? Then you should choose a racket with more power and precision. Tennis rackets for professionals are heavier than those for beginners to allow sufficient hitting speed. The head size of the racket is smaller, which gives you better manoeuvrability, precision and higher speeds. A not insignificant role is played by the balance, which depends on your favoured playing style: If you prefer to play at the net, you should choose a hand-heavy balance. However, if you prefer to play on the baseline, you will be happy with a head-heavy balance.

Which tennis rackets do the pros play?

Everyone finds it interesting and helpful to know what tennis rackets the pros play with. Even though most tennis pros play with customised rackets. Tennis rackets from HEAD, Wilson and Babolat are particularly popular among tennis stars. The German tennis star Alexander Zverev and the Spanish tennis idol Rafael Nadal used a racket from the manufacturer Babolat. Tennis icons such as Steffi Graf and Roger Federer, as well as Serena Williams and the best German tennis player Angelique Kerber, have played and continue to play a racquet made by Wilson. Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova also use rackets from HEAD.

One of the world's best tennis players, Rafael Nadal, plays with rackets made by Babolat. (Photo source: moerschy / pixabay.com)

How much does a tennis racket cost?

That depends on the requirements: Children's tennis rackets cost an average of 20 to 50 €, for robust beginners' rackets you can buy for 30 to 120 €. For a good tournament racket that can meet all demands, you should budget more than 100 €. For that, you get a stable racket that can improve your game by using the latest technologies.

In a large price study, we examined a total of 105 products from the tennis racket category to give you an overview. You can view the results here in our graph. Find out in our guide whether a product in the higher or lower price range is suitable for you. (Source: own illustration)

What should be considered when choosing the stringing hardness of the racket?

Choosing the right stringing is important because it is crucial for ball control and power transmission. For example, an extremely hard stringing can enable high ball control, but at the same time there is less power transfer to the ball. If you are a recreational player, you should prefer a soft stringing, because it allows you to take advantage of the "trampoline effect" in the sweet spot (the optimal hitting zone on the clubface). The soft stringing generates a lot of power without hitting too hard. Of course, the precision suffers a bit, but it should not have a big influence on the game. In terms of numbers, strings with a stringing of 22-24 kilograms are recommended. However, if you are a player who has been playing tennis for a long time, you can play with harder strings without any problems. In this case, 24-26 kilograms is recommended. The harder strings give you more control over the balls. Especially for players who like to go to the net, harder strings are an advantage. Nevertheless, it has to be said that the string does not contribute much to winning. The player himself has the most influence. The tennis racket for recreational players only supports you in this respect.

What does a tennis racket string cost?

Everybody who plays tennis in his spare time knows the problem that after a certain time the strings have to be stretched or replaced. The cost of stringing a tennis racket can vary. The price for stringing a tennis racket varies between 30 and 60 euros. Ultimately, the cost depends on the choice of strings. Most sports shops offer stringing as a service, so there are no additional costs.

When to restring tennis rackets?

A rule of thumb is that you should change the strings as often as you play with the tennis racket per week per half season. Of course, the length of play and the style of play can influence the wear of the strings. A player who plays a lot of topspins will have more wear on tennis racket strings than someone who plays a lot of straight balls.

The racket loses up to 20% of its string weight during storage.

Normally, you should have the racket restrung at the beginning of each summer and indoor round. If a racket has not been played for a longer period of time, the stringing hardness decreases considerably within half a year due to climatic influences. Therefore, you should also have these rackets restrung.

Decision: What types of tennis rackets are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two types of tennis rackets:

  • Head-heavy tennis rackets
  • Grip-heavy tennis rackets

Due to their texture and balance, the bounce of the balls and the feel of the racket are different. Therefore, there are advantages and disadvantages with each of these racket types. Depending on the type of player and preference, there are advantages and disadvantages for these tennis rackets. The following section briefly explains the differences between each type so that you can decide for yourself which tennis racket is right for you. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of these types are explained in more detail and clearly compared for you. The weight of the tennis racket should not go unmentioned here. Depending on your preference and experience, either a head-heavy or a grip-heavy racket is more suitable for you. The total weight also plays an essential role. Heavy rackets are preferred by experienced players who have a long hitting motion and pull the racket all the way through. Lighter rackets are more likely to be used by beginners, as they do not yet have the necessary power to hit through properly.

How does a top-heavy tennis racket work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A head-heavy tennis racket is especially recommended for topspin players who have a short swing when hitting. The increased weight at the head of the racket strengthens the player's own stroke and thus delivers higher impulses. Controlled topspins can be played very well with this racket.

Advantages
  • For topspin players
  • High impulse
Disadvantages
  • Low precision
  • Low control

[/procon] In tennis jargon, balance is the centre of gravity of the racket. The distance between the end of the grip and the centre of gravity is measured. From this point, both racket parts have the same weight. A top-heavy racket usually has a balance of 330 millimetres upwards. Usually, top-heavy rackets are very light, which makes tennis easier not only for children, but also for seniors and recreational players. However, the protection of the arms and joints comes at the cost of reduced control with the racket. In addition, the precision with such a racket is not as high.

How does a grip-heavy tennis racket work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A grip-heavy racket is best suited for so-called clay court diggers, who return their serve with a middle grip, and players who often play and volley at the net line. Players who have a high technical and physical performance like to use this type of racket because of its high control. A grip-heavy racket usually has a balance of up to 320 millimetres. The head area is therefore quite light in proportion, which means that the ball is not accelerated as much during the stroke. Especially for advanced or professional players, this type of racket is best suited.

Advantages
  • For clay court chasers
  • High control
Disadvantages
  • Better suited for net play

[/procon] Despite the high control that can be achieved with such a racket, this racket is best suited for playing close to the net. However, the quick agility and reaction to unexpected counter attacks makes this racket a very popular tool in modern and competitive tennis. However, the high slam motion is best used by a player who has had many years of experience on the court. With good technique, however, tennis players can handle a grip-heavy racket better. However, a high level of athletic stamina is required, especially for long strokes.

Factors you should consider when choosing a tennis racket:

type factors to consider when choosing a tennis racket
the hitting accuracy inaccurate, adequate, precise
the physical condition athletic, normal, weak
the stroke speed slow, medium, fast
the stroke type dynamic, mixed, static
the drill type spin, lift, drive
the game tactics baseline play, all-rounder, server and volley

Which tennis racket for children?

Finding the right racket for children is not easy at all. Due to the continuous development of new technologies and an enormous choice of tennis rackets, choosing the optimal racket for a child's playing style becomes an ordeal. To make the choice easier, here's what you need to know about children's rackets:

  • Children's rackets are suitable for children up to the age of 13
  • The frame and shape of tennis rackets for children are adapted to children's sizes

In the following table you will find information on how to choose the appropriate length of racket for children:

height length of racket
up to 100 cm 485 mm
101-114 cm 540 mm
115-127 cm 580 mm
128-142 cm 640 mm
from 143 cm 660 mm

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and rate tennis rackets

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate tennis rackets. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain product is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Racket head size
  • Frame length
  • Frame height
  • Racket weight
  • Balance point
  • Racket length and grip thickness

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Racket head size

The club head size is the size of the club surface. This is usually given in cm² or in inch². One inch² = 6.45 cm². The hardness of a ball is directly related to the racket head size. The larger the head size of the racket, the more power it generates, but the less control you have over the racket If you are a beginner, it is best to choose a racket with a large hitting surface, as the optimal hitting zone is larger and you will have less problems hitting the ball. If you are an experienced player, you can be even more precise and faster with a smaller racket head or smaller hitting surface.

Frame length

The frame length describes the complete length of the tennis racket. The standard length of a tennis racket is between 68.5 and 69 cm. Longer tennis rackets have a larger hitting head and are also called stretch tennis rackets. The advantage of long racquets is the longer reach and greater hitting power, but again the loss of stroke control.

Frame height

The thickness and height of the frame of a tennis racket is called frame height. The racquet's hitting power is influenced by the thickness of the racquet's frame. The material of the tennis racket also plays an important role in impact hardness and comfort. The thinner the racket, the heavier it is and gives more stroke control. With a thinner racket you have to assume that the racket generates less impact power.

  • 17,0 – 20,9 mm – tennis rackets with a lot of control
  • 21,0 – 22,9 mm – tennis racket with average control
  • 23,0 – 24,9 mm – allround tennis racket
  • 25.0 – 26.9 mm – allround tennis racket
  • 27.0 – 28.9 mm – tennis rackets with average power
  • more than 29.0 cm – tennis racket with a lot of power

Racket weight

The weight of tennis rackets is given in grams. The rule is that the heavier a tennis racket, the better the control with the racket. The lighter the racket, the greater the power. Overview of the weight of tennis rackets:

  • more than 320 g - very heavy tennis racket
  • 300 - 319 g - heavy tennis racket
  • 280 - 299 g - average weight of tennis rackets
  • 260 - 279 g - reasonably light tennis racket
  • 240 - 259 g - light tennis racket
  • 220 - 239 g - very light tennis racket
  • less than 220 g - super light tennis racket

Balance point

The balance point of a tennis racket is the point at which the racket is balanced. The balance point is measured in centimetres. With an average tennis racket length of 68 cm, if the balance point is below 33 cm, the racket is said to have a grip. If the balance point is above 34 cm, the tennis racket is said to be top-heavy. Tennis players who prefer to play on the baseline should choose a racket with a head-heavy balance. A racket with a hand-heavy balance is for players who like to play at the net.

Racket length and grip strength

Children's tennis rackets are usually slightly shorter than regular or tournament rackets. As far as grip strength is concerned, women usually have size L1 to L3 and men L4 to L5/ L6. According to ITF standards, rackets must not be longer than 73.7 cm. On average, the popular models are 67 to 69 cm long.

Handle thickness circumference (inch) circumference (mm)
L1 4 1/8 105
L2 4 1/4 108
L3 4 3/8 111
L4 4 1/2 114
L5 4 5/8 118
L6 4 3/4 121
L7 4 7/8 124
L8 5 127

Interesting facts about tennis rackets

When was the tennis racket invented?

The first tennis racket was invented at the end of the 15th century. It was made of solid wood and covered with parchment. At the end of the 16th century, rackets were strung with gut string instead of parchment. The gut string also gave rise to the term "stringing".

Did you know that the colours of the racket are prescribed on both sides? From 1 January 1984, every player had to use different coloured rubbers at all international events, although the colours themselves were not initially prescribed. To put an end to all interpretation disputes, the rule was then rewritten in 1985 so that from 1 July 1986 only bright red and black were allowed as rubber colours at international events.

Why do you need a damper on a tennis racket?

The damper is attached to the tennis racket as a vibration damper. The dampener reduces the vibrations of the tennis strings. The reduction of the vibrations relieves the arm. So if you have typical tennis elbow, you should get a damper for your tennis racket.

The small damper reduces the vibrations of the tennis racket. (Image source: gefun / pixabay.com)

Where to put old tennis rackets?

Once you have decided to buy a new tennis racket, the question arises, where to put the old tennis rackets? There are a few other options besides disposing of them. Neighbours or children in the family might enjoy the discarded racket and also discover their passion for tennis. In addition, tennis clubs usually need old but still usable rackets for tennis practice sessions.

Photo credit: Moises Alex / unsplash.com

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