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Your tennis racquet must fit your tennis game. Whether you play singles and hit heavy groundstrokes from the baseline or play doubles and like to serve and volley, finding the best tennis racquet for control affords you a formidable weapon in your tennis arsenal.
Professional players use racquets with more control since they naturally generate power.
The pros generally use very heavier racquets that produce control. They produce their power with their racquet head speed because they‘re swinging so hard!
The average first-serve speed for a professional male player on the pro tour is 115- 120 miles per hour. Professional women on the tour serve at 98-105 miles per hour.
Rafael Nadal’s average forehand speed is 77 miles per hour, while Roger Federer’s is an average of 75 miles per hour!
Inside the racquet (Strings)
After you have chosen the best tennis racquet for control, the strings will need to be strung tighter when control is your goal. For instance, string tension at 65 lbs gives you more control than 58 lbs.
Polyester strings are a popular choice because they are stiffer so they give you more control.
Advanced player’s racquets have smaller racquet heads so they must be strung with a denser racquet pattern.
Choosing a racquet: Consider your skill level
Advanced Skill Level Tennis Players
Advanced players play regularly. They can control shots with placement, spin, and power.
They serve with spin and power and they have a 4.0 or higher rating on the USTA (United States Tennis Association) scale.
As a general rule, advanced racquets are smaller than beginners or intermediate racquets, giving them better control for a fast-paced tennis game.
For instance, a beginner racquet head size will be 107 sq inches to 115 sq inches for less control.
An intermediate racquet head size will be 100-110 sq inches for balanced control, and an advanced racquet head size will be 95-100 sq inches for the most control.
Racquet heads under100 inches will have more control to place volleys. Those who play doubles at an advanced level spend a lot of time at the net – where you have less time to react.
Consider your style of play
For players with faster and longer swings, you will generate plenty of power because the racquet head will have more speed when you make contact.
This player can use a smaller frame that will provide extra control and accuracy with your shots.
Most advanced players swing harder than the average- thus needing more control with their racquet. The power is already there – so control in the racquet is important.
If you swing faster to generate lots of spin similar to Rafael Nadal, you will choose a larger racquet. Nadal hits with a tremendous amount of spin – an average of 3,200 revolutions of spin per minute on his forehand.
When your groundstrokes are swinging low to high you are creating spin but not necessarily as much power. For players with slower or shorter groundstrokes, choose a more powerful racquet.
Advanced players don’t rely primarily on spin as some intermediate players do, therefore they will want to find a good tennis racquet for control.
Intermediate skill level tennis players
An intermediate player has achieved stroke dependability and directional control on moderate shots but still lacks depth and variety.
Your court coverage is improved and you will exhibit more aggressive netplay. On the USTA scale, an intermediate player is listed as a 3.5.
Moving to intermediate/advanced means you have dependable strokes, including directional control and depth- on both forehand and backhand sides.
You can use lobs, overheads, approach shots, and volleys with some success. You may be starting to master the use of power and spins – though you still tend to over-hit difficult shots.
On the USTA scale, an intermediate-advanced player is listed as a 4.0.
For control, your racquet as an intermediate or intermediate-advanced player will need to be flexible (not stiff), weigh less than that of advanced players and be strung looser.
Best Tennis Racquet for Control
There are a number of racquet options that can work well for control. It’s important to always consult an industry professional before using any new product for your game.
The following racquets may prove a good choice for improving your control.
Wilson Pro Staff 97 CV (Countervail)
With the new Countervail technology, this racquet is suited for experienced players who are capable of handling the hefty 12.5 ounces (strung) of braided graphite.
Heavier racquet means more control. With exceptional performance and feel, this racquet will also improve maneuverability.
Other features for the Wilson Pro Staff 97 CV include:
- Sleek new Pro Staff cosmetics
- First racquet in Wilson’s new “Attack Player” segment
- Roger Federer has partnered with Wilson for this redesign
- Newly introduced in 2018
- An iconic franchise is known for superior performance in tennis racquets
- This racquet is made for classic control
- In the words of Roger Federer, “the tuxedo racquet has found its shirt”
- If your opponent is hitting groundstrokes at a tremendous pace, this is the racquet you need for control. The Wilson Pro Staff 97 CV will allow you to match the pace ball for ball with ease.
- A heavy racquet that promotes a lot of spin and control, durable
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product could potentially work for your game.
Babolat Pure Strike (16×19) Tennis Racquet
With this racquet, Babalot updates the new Pure Strike 16 x 19 with new dampening technology while keeping the playability of the previous generation.
For a cutting edge feel, the control frame technology has unrivaled control.
A slightly higher swing weight, this racquet has a little more stability and power while still offering the fast, aggressive, mindless precision (control ) on full cuts (swings).
View at Amazon for more information on how this racquet might work for your game.
Features to consider for the Babalot Pure Strike 16×19 3rd Gen:
- New to this frame is the C2 Pure Feel, a material technology that combines cortex with a uniquely flexible rubber at 3/9 o’clock.
- From the baseline, the Babalot Pure Strike feels solid and surgical.
- When driving the ball through the court, the control of the racquet makes for stability against high levels of pace.
- The best of both world’s – at the net as well as the baseline, the racquet comes around with decent speed but also is stable and versatile enough for finishing points with a bang!
- One of the most user-friendly racquets in the Babalot line up.
- Recommended tension range 50-59 pounds – optimum 54 pounds.
HEAD Graphene 360 Speed X S Tennis Racquet
For the rising intermediate player who wants a more user-friendly entry into the high-level control racquet – this one is great for scrambling on the defense.
For its weight class (10.7 ounces strung) it is highly maneuverable.
At the net, this racquet’s quick handling will not only help you on reaction volleys, but you’ll also find it easier to spring into action when opportunity knocks.
The lighter weight makes it easy to take bigger cuts (swings) when swinging for power and control.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this racquet might work for you.
Consider the features of the Head Graphene 360Speed X S:
- Swing Speed –medium to fast
- Stroke Style-medium to full
- Power level-low to medium
- Recommended tension range 48 to 57 pounds – optimum 53 pounds.
- Endorsed by Novak Djokovic and Sasha Zverev.
Improve your game with a new racquet
Many tennis coaches begin their sessions by making their students catch and hit tennis balls without the use of a racquet.
This drill, while forcing you to get into the perfect position to hit a shot, can show you just how important your racquet is.
You can also clean up your diet, train with better players, play more tournaments, focus on footwork, and practice, practice, practice!
But we all know tennis is a mental game, and sometimes you can get into a rut.
What a better way to get out of it than to do some research, figure out what works for your game, and buy a new racquet!
A great racquet is a long-term investment – and can put you on the path to turning your game around.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @JanPietruszka