EXCLUSIVE – How to pick the perfect tennis racket to add to your Christmas list

Kevin Palmer
Rafael Nadal

The top professionals in the game get advice from all the experts when they select the perfect tennis racket, but how can we make the right choice as amateur players?

It is a question plenty will be pondering as the look at the long lists of rackets available and try to work out which one is the best fit.

While it may be tempting to buy the tennis lover in your house a racket that may be used by their favourite player, the notion that they will become Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem in an instant can be banished right now.

Yet selecting the right frame, the suitable weight and the appropriate grip size are all important decisions as they can ultimately affect the way you play on the court.

Nadal and Thiem have won Grand Slam events in 2020 using Babolat rackets, so the company’s Global Marketing Manager, Olivier Carlier is the ideal experts to speak to as we got the inside track on the best way to pick a racket.

Oliver outlined his blueprint on the best way to select a tennis racket:

To select the right racket from our range, the club player can first consider the frequency of play. Does She/he play?

– One to several times a year

– One to several times a month

– One to several times a week

Secondly, it is important to consider her/his motivations. Does she/he play?

– To compete and win

– To surpass herself/himself, physical challenge

– To share fun moments with friends

Finally, the player will find a selection of specific rackets according to the main benefit sought:

– Power

– Spin

– Control

– Comfort

They will then be able to fine-tune their selection with a secondary benefit:

– Forgiveness

– Manoeuvrability

– Precision

– Extra power

https://twitter.com/babolat/status/1321108715034951680?s=20

We also asked Oliver about string choice, with the variety of options available offering different qualities relevant to your playing style and also helping to prevent injuries.

“If the player is looking for control, then he can increase the tension of the string. Conversely, lowering the string tension will increase power,” he told us.

“With Babolat inventing the tennis string and being a partner of the biggest tournaments on the Tour, we have some interesting statistics. Thus, to date, tensions vary between 13 kg (29 lbs) and 35 kg (77 lbs) on the Tour, with an average of 23 kg (51lbs)

“However, before the question of tension, the player must also consider the nature of the string.  For comfort and power, the natural gut or multifilament strings should be preferred. For resistance and control, polyester or co-polyester monofilaments are recommended.

“Finally, it is also important to consider the string gauge (diameter). The thinner the gauge, the more elastic and therefore, powerful, the string will be. The thicker the gauge, the more firm the string will be, providing control and of course, durability.

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