Through extensive testing and my personal years of experience on the tennis courts, my favorite tennis racquet (so far!) is the Babolat Pure Strike. You’ll find yourself smashing power shots from the baseline and winning points with aggressive volleys at the net while wielding this racquet.
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Best Tennis Racquets in 2020
The most popular racquet that Babolat sells, the Babolat Pure Strike took the tennis world by storm when it was first released. First and foremost a player’s racquet, the Pure Strike is perfect for players who like powerful serves and deep baseline shots.
The newest versions of the Pure Strike incorporate a hybrid frame combining square and elliptical sections. This gives players a better “ball feel” giving them more control over where the tennis ball goes and how much spin to apply.
The Babolat Pure Strike tennis racquet feels good at every point on the court. From the baseline, the Pure Strike responds to shots with unbelievable power and control.
At the net, the Pure Strike frame lives up to its name by allowing players to punch through volleys and win rallies at the net. On the serve, the mass and power of the Pure Strike lead to a little extra oomph and speed to each serve you hit.
Simply put, the Babolat Pure Strike is the most fun racquet I’ve ever played with. It’s a true players racquet – designed for aggressive and dominant play.
While other tennis racquets on this list may have better control or better power, the Pure Strike features the best mix of power and control.
Every player can instantly pick up the Babolat Pure Strike and enjoy playing with this racquet.
The famous tennis racquet wielded by Serena Williams in Grand Slams across the world, the Wilson Blade Countervail is the “American muscle car” of tennis racquets. This tennis racquet is built for players who love to dominate their opponents with consistent, deep, power shots.
On the court, the Wilson Blade Countervail excels. From the baseline, players can blast groundstrokes while still easily controlling shot placement and accuracy. Up at the net, the true weight of the Countervail comes into play, allowing players to easily control and hit volleys.
In past years, the Wilson Countervail has been (fairly) criticized with players saying that off-center hits were especially unforgiving and jarring to the arm.
However, Wilson’s engineers redesigned the frame and stringbed in 2018 to provide a more muted stringbed which lessened vibrations and impacts to the arm.
As somebody who has tried the Countervail both before and after the redesign, the difference is night and day. Since then, players have universally cried their support for this tennis racquet.
Overall, the Wilson Blade Countervail is “made for walloping” and if you’re an aggressive player who loves to hit power shots then this is the best tennis racquet for power for you.
In the past, complaints have been made of the Wilson Blade series that off-center hits were especially unforgiving and jarring to the arm. In the Countervail series, Wilson has taken this to heart and provided a more muted stringbed lessening vibrations.
Surprised to see a Yonex tennis racquet on this list?
While a lesser-known brand name than the powerhouses Wilson and Head, Yonex has made a name for itself with the Yonex Ezone series.
As a series, the Yonex Ezones are known for being best-in-class in terms of control and arm feel. I have consistently remarked at just how comfortable Yonex tennis racquets are.
In fact, the Yonex Ezone 100 is so comfortable, I recommended it as my top choice for tennis racquets for tennis elbow.
In a striking blue and black pattern, the Yonex Ezone 100 blends power and control excellently in its frame and stringing pattern. It weighs in at a light 10.5 oz when strung resulting in a light and fast tennis racquet that is also stable at the net.
Yonex researchers pored over research detailing where modern tennis players hit the tennis ball (hint: it’s a little higher than where players in the past have) and specifically designed the Ezone 100 to cater to modern players.
Yonex also incorporated additional shock damping technology resulting in a reduction of 50% in vibrations as compared to traditional frames.
Balanced at 6 points head light, the Yonex Ezone 100 is built for players who like to have control and feel over the tennis ball.
This Yonex racquet is perfect as one of the best tennis racquets for control.
If you’re looking for a slightly less aggressive option than the Babolat Pure Strike or Countervail, and prefer finesse instead of simply blasting power shots, get your hands on this tennis racquet today.
You’ll be astounded at just how comfortable this racquet feels and how capable it is on the court.
With an updated color scheme and slight redesign compared to previous versions of the Babolat Pure Drive, this racquet doesn’t just look amazing, it feels amazing on the tennis court.
The name Pure Drive is perfectly suited to this tennis racquet. Similar to the Pure Strike and Countervail, the Pure Drive is built for power and lots of it.
From the baseline, the Babolat Pure Drive provides pop and additional power to any tennis ball you hit.
While the Pure Drive is not typically known for it’s spin (the Pure Aero is best known for that), Babolat has attempted to work on that in more recent versions.
In the latest version of the Babolat Pure Drive, players can use both power and spin to devastating effect.
Compared to other racquets on this list such as the Pure Strike and Yonex Ezone 100, the Pure Drive provides more of a muted feel to players.
In a direct comparison to the Babolat Pure Strike, the Pure Drive is friendlier to beginner to intermediate players.
Whereas the Pure Strike requires some time to get used to it, you’ll be slamming shots with the Pure Drive within 10 minutes of picking it up
If you’re the type of tennis player who loves to slam baseline shots and keep your opponent backed up though, the Pure Drive is the perfect mix of comfort and power that will allow you to win tennis matches.
I would recommend the Pure Drive to any beginner or intermediate tennis players. Advanced tennis players, go for the Babolat Pure Strike.
One of Head’s most popular series, everybody from beginners to pros can play with Head Radical tennis racquets. The best among them though is the Head Graphene XT Radical.
Featuring a mix of control and power, any player can easily pick up this frame and outmaneuver their opponent. The Head Graphene XT Radical is built for control and finesse instead of straight power.
Instead of other racquets such as the Wilson Blade Countervail and the Babolat Pure Drive which focus purely on power, the Head Graphene XT Radical primarily focuses on providing players with a feel for the ball and control over shot placement.
Featuring a classic 16 x 19 string pattern, the Graphene XT Radical provides plenty of spin for aggressive players. At the net, this racquet features an easily maneuverable and lightweight frame that makes getting in the right position for each volley easy.
If you’re a tennis player who prefers shot placement over straight power, you’ll enjoy the Head Graphene XT Radical.
For its mix of power, control, and accessibility to players from each skill level, the Head Graphene XT Radical makes its way onto this list.
How I Selected The Best Tennis Racquets of 2020
When you’re searching for a great tennis racquet for you, it can be hard to determine exactly what to look for. To form the list above, I looked at three main factors:
Now it is easy to find a tennis racquet that is very powerful or very arm friendly (feels good on the court). But what is hard to find is a tennis racquet that excels at each of these 3 characteristics at the same time. All of the racquets on our best tennis racquets list excel in each of these categories.
I’ll go a little deeper into why I chose these 3 main categories.
Power is necessary for tennis to determine how far the ball goes. The more power a racquet has, the harder you can hit. In tennis racquets, there is a delicate balance between power and control.
Too much power and every shot will go out of bounds. Too little power and while you’ll be able to easily control the ball, your opponent will hit winners on you all day.
The best racquets feature a mix of power and control. In some cases, such as the Wilson Blade Countervail above, the balance is tilted towards power.
In others like the Yonex Ezone 100 and the Head Graphene XT Radical, the balance is more aimed at control.
However, every racquet on our list features excellent power from the baseline, at net, and on your serve.
I love judging racquets on control because it is essential to my tennis game. If you can’t place the ball accurately, whether you’re hitting a simple cross-court shot or trying to pass somebody at net down the line, you won’t win matches.
You can hit the ball as hard as you want but without accuracy, you’ll constantly run into unforced errors, the bane of any tennis professional’s existence.
Control commonly comes down to the design and damping of the racquet. As described above, some racquets have a muted feel to the string bed.
While this dampens the vibrations to the arm, this also results in less control over where the ball goes.
The best tennis racquets for control often give you a feel for where the ball is going to go as you make contact with the tennis ball. While this does result in more vibrations hitting your arm, the instant feedback can be great for your tennis game.
Another aspect of control is the capability to apply spin. Of the tennis racquets on this list, the Babolat Pure Strike features the best mix of power, control, and spin.
The ability to apply spin mostly comes down to the string pattern, string bed, and the frame design of the racquet.
Last but certainly not least, the feel of a tennis racquet is essential to how you play with it on the court. Most tennis professionals recommend trying out a new tennis racquet before buying it for exactly this reason.
No matter the technical specs, if the racquet doesn’t feel right to you then it won’t be a good fit.
This is more of a qualitative measure as compared to the other metrics used to generate this list. In this case, I’ve played with each of these racquets on this list before and talked to numerous other players who have played with these racquets.
What I specifically looked for was simple. How did I feel after 1 hour, 3 hours, and 2 consecutive days of playing some intense tennis matches?
A lot of arm feel comes down to the weight of the racquet and the vibrations as you strike a tennis ball with it.
Of course, your ability to handle a tennis racquet may be different than mine meaning that you’ll need a lighter or heavier tennis racquet than the ones that I’ve recommended here.
After extensive testing, I’ve found that all of the racquets on this list were comfortable, easy to use w/ minimal training, and friendly to all skill levels – albeit some more than others.
Effect of Skill Level
By evaluating control, power, and arm feel, I came up with this list of the best tennis racquets. Now, it’s important to realize that there really is no best tennis racquet for everybody.
Tennis racquets are NOT one-size-fits-all!
Depending on your skill level, player personality, and own physique, the best tennis racquet for you may not be even on this list. I tried to pick tennis racquets that would accommodate the widest range of players but I may have missed a few.
For beginners just looking to pick up a tennis racquet and start playing, I would suggest you check out my post on the best beginner tennis racquets. Many of the racquets on this list may be too much (or too expensive) than you really need.
For intermediate players, you really want to look for a tennis racquet that will accentuate the best parts of your playing style and help you grow to the next level. For that, you need to figure out your playing style – a topic that my post on Intermediate Tennis Racquets touches on better.
For advanced tennis players sitting at the top of your game, this list of the best tennis racquets is probably most applicable to you. You could pick up any of the racquets on this list and start dominating your opponents. At this level though, you need to play to your strengths.
At this level of gameplay, you should also consider investing in a tennis ball machine that is best suited for you to fully optimize your practice sessions.
Ask yourself, what are your highest percentage shots? Where are you losing points? What’re the strongest parts of your game? To help you choose a racquet, I wrote a post just for advanced tennis players trying to find a tennis racquet: Advanced Tennis Racquets.