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One very important skill in learning tennis is the development of spin.
Whether it’s topspin on your groundstrokes, backspin for drop shots, or slice/kick on the serve. It is one of the most important aspects of tennis!
It can take players months and sometimes years to develop this skill. It helps if you can find the best tennis racquet for spin.
What is topspin?
The second most major winning player Rafael Nadal is known for his spin game.
Nadal’s ball is clearing the net by 4-5 feet, but his shots are diving down into the court. This is because of topspin.
Topspin allows the ball to curve and dives down into the court and to then bounce up high.
Topspin is when the ball is spinning end over end. In this direction, there’s more friction on the top of the ball than there is on the bottom of the ball.
The felt on the ball catches that friction and makes the ball dive down into the court.
Nadal uses a lighter racquet. If the racquet is lighter, you can accelerate and brush up faster. This an important factor when choosing a good racquet to help with topspin.
How is topspin created?
A horizontal swing is a swing with a straight-through motion. Juan Martin Del Potro’s swing is an example of a horizontal swing.
It’s not perfectly straight but it has a very low trajectory during the course of his swing.
A vertical swing path is a swing that comes from low to high at a very rapid pace. Rafael Nadal has a vertical swing.
You can create topspin with either stroke, but which one is best for creating topspin?
The overall pathway of the racquet is most important in creating topspin.
If you’re hitting a flat forehand, you want your racquet to drop slightly below contact, come up to contact just a little, and then continue forward.
Often the direction of the ball will greatly be determined by what you’re doing before and after contact.
Therefore, to get the topspin you want, drop your racquet beneath contact before you hit the ball.
Next, bring it up to contact using your arm from the shoulder up. Meet contact, and then continue going upwards to the finish of your swing.
The more vertical the swing, the more potential you have for topspin.
Once you’ve mastered this, you’ll want to create huge amounts of topspin, at the next level.
This can be accomplished by using the mechanics the pros use: huge amounts of vertical acceleration and rotation of the shoulder and forearm.
Once you’ve found a good racquet, hold the racquet in a normal forehand grip, and put your arm straight out in front of you. This may not be the position you hit your forehand from.
This is a demonstration to get a feel for this movement. Keep your arm straight and rotate the racquet around back and forth in a half-circle.
Rotate the forearm and shoulder (not the hand or wrist) as a whole rotating in one direction and then the other. This is a great way to practice your topspin forehand.
How not to generate topspin
The actual time that the ball makes contact with the racquet (the contact point) is between two and four-thousandths of a second!
We don’t physically have control of doing anything in that amount of time!
If you look at a player like Roger Federer, you see that nine times out of ten his racquet is perpendicular to the court when he hits a forehand. It is not shifted at all.
Sometimes when it looks as though it is shifted, we see a certain turning over of the racquet. But if we look closer, it’s because the ball has been mishit.
If you look closely at a professional hitting with what looks to be a turned over racquet, the ball is actually off-center.
If you don’t make clean contact with the ball, then the racquet shifts around in your hand.
If you watch the pros they go from their initial set up position to loading, to rotating back in one direction to lay the racquet back.
Frequently, you’ll see the tip of the racquet pointing down towards the court.
Next, you’ll see them hold that position and release the racquet upwards into the point of contact.
The overall pathway of the racquet is most important but if you add these tips to the best tennis racquet made for spin, your topspin game will be maximized!
Take a quick look at this video on how to hit topspin.
Why use topspin?
Topspin allows the player to hit the ball extremely hard and still get the ball in.
If you hit your forehand flat the margin for error for the ball to go out is much greater.
There is also a higher percentage of unforced errors when hitting the ball flat with no spin.
Best Tennis Racquet for Spin
Several racquets will assist in creating spin. Most of them fall into the intermediate/advanced category.
Always check with an industry professional before using any new product with your game.
The following racquets may work well for your topspin game.
HEAD Graphene 360 Speed MP LITE Tennis Racquet
The Speed MP Lite is the lighter version of the Speed MP. This racquet is easy to handle and maneuver when attempting to generate massive spin.
Just like the Speed MP, the new graphene 360 provides greater stability and optimized energy transfer for more power, thus more ball speed.
You’ll find it easier to maximize stroke speed in the service of spin.
At the net, the quick handling and near even balance help keep the racquet steady when redirecting higher levels of pace and spin.
In addition to the fast and whippy feel, the combination of spin, power, and precision makes for effective serving.
The graphene360 technology is located in the frame at 3, 9 and 12 o’clock which adds more power and more control while increasing stability.
Graphene material is still present in the throat of the racquet and enables counterweight balance for increased stability.
With a thicker beam width and wider spacing of the string pattern, you can create a massive amount of spin!
Also boasting a huge spin window, this racquet moves through the air very fast thanks to relatively low swing weight.
You can reign in a lot of your natural power and play awesome offensive by hitting a lot of spin from the baseline!
View at Amazon for more information on how this racquet may work for use with topspin.
Here are a few key specs from the manufacturer:
- The 16/19 string pattern adds the right amount of spin
- Endorsed by Novak Djokovic and Sasha Zverev.
- Grip size-4 ¼
- Weight -300G
- Tension –recommended tension range 52-58 pounds-optimum 53 pounds
- Head size-100 sq in
- Stiffness- 63
- Power level-low to medium
- Racquet colors- Black/White
Prince Tour 100T ESP Tennis Racquet (4-1/8)
The tour 100T is ideal for intermediate players who want a fast and spin-friendly racquet with controllable power.
Prince adds Textreme to the shaft, a light yet ultra-strong material that increases stability without compromising maneuverability.
From the baseline, this racquet plays fast and lively, with very easy access to spin.
Although it lacks the plow-through of a heavy player’s racquet, it offers an impressive level of stability in its weight class.
At the net, the 100T moves into position very quickly and performs greater on fast exchanges.
The speedy feel comes in handy on service returns where the racquet comes around fast and delivers an accurate ball.
View at Amazon for more information on how this racquet may work for you.
Here are a few key specs from the manufacturer:
- Just under 11 ounces
- With its relatively low flex-point (62 RA), the 100T delivers an arm-friendly ride while still managing to maintain a crisp and modern feel.
- Headsize-100 sq inches
- Length- 27 inches
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com