Advanced Intermediate Racquets (NTRP 3.5-5.0) Mid Plus (95-100 sq. in.)
Some recommended models (see also Miningco list.)
[Ratings as of Oct. 2002]
|Mfg. ||Model ||List $ ||Rank (1) ||Score (2) ||Pwr ||Ctrl||Wght||Swing |
|Wilson ||Hyper Pro Staff Surge 5.1 ||$169 ||55|| || ||
|Wilson ||Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 ||$199 ||57 ||78 ||68 ||79
||347||327||10pts HL||68|| |
|Wilson ||Triad Hammer 5.0 * ||$219 ||167 || || ||
|Prince ||Triple Threat Attitude ||$200 ||48||69||69 ||66
|Prince ||More Precision * ||$170 || || ||
|Volkl ||Quantum V1 * ||$190 ||67 ||
|Head ||i.Tour ||$150 || ||75 ||63 ||78
||312 ||301 ||4pts HL||67||3.5-4.5|
|Head ||i.Prestige MP ||$225 ||40 ||76 ||66 ||81
||343 ||324 ||6pts HL||63|
|Head ||i.S2 ||$200 ||59 ||
||289 ||290 ||1pt HL||70||3.0-5.0|
|Head ||i.Extreme ||$140 ||99 ||
||295 ||310 ||2pt HL||70||3.5-5.0|
|Head ||Ti.Fire Tour Edition ||$90 || || || ||
||295 ||303 ||4pt HL||65||4.0-5.5|
|Head ||Ti.Heat ||$100 || || || ||
||266 || ||4pt HL||4.0-5.5|
|Head ||Ti.S2 ||$90 || || || ||
||266 ||308 ||8pt HH||68|
|Head ||i.Speed ||$180 ||101 ||
||272 ||306 ||4pt HH||3.0-5.0|
|PowerAngle ||Power 102 ||$200 ||
||264 || ||4pt HH|
|Median || ||$175 ||
|Hi || ||$225 ||
|Low || ||$90 ||
|Advanced Player Racquets|
|Prince ||Graphite Classic Oversize ||$109 ||1|| ||
|Head ||i.Prestige Mid || ||3 || || ||
||343 ||320 ||5pts HL||60||5.0+|
|Wilson ||Hyper Pro Staff Zone 7.1 ||$159 ||13 || || ||
||326 ||314 ||7pts HL||4.0-5.5|
|Beginner - Low Intermediate Racquets|
|Wilson ||Triad Hammer 2.0 Oversize ||$320 || ||
|Head ||i.S9 Oversize ||$240 ||41 || || ||
||275 ||331 ||2pts HH||1.0-3.0||Head ||i.S16 CS Oversize * ||$325 || || || ||
||266 ||291 ||even||1.0-3.0
||Prince ||More Dominant Oversize ||$290 ||106 || || ||
||260 ||320 ||3pts. HH||75||1.0-3.5
* Tennis Magazine Editors Choice (2001 or 2002)
(1) Expert Rank (low=good) at RacquetResearch Quality Index
(2) Score=Overall Rating, Pwr & Ctrl are from Tennis Warehouse Reviews High=Good
Advanced Intermediate Racquet Weights
Strings add 0.5-0.8 oz.
Swing Weight - The lower the number, the greater the maneuverability.
Higher numbers give more power. It is the Second Moment or inertia.
Swingweight is dependent on several factors, including racquet weight,
length, balance, head size.
|Strung Weight (Sampras 14 oz., Agassi 13.2)
|oz. ||9.5 ||10 ||10.5 ||11 ||11.5 ||12 ||12.5||13
|gm. ||269 ||283||298 ||312 ||326 ||340 ||354||369
|Number of |
|3 ||4 ||2 ||2 ||1 ||2 ||
(3) Balance point distance from center of racquet: pt=1/8" HH-Head Heavy, HL-Head Light.
(Sampras even weight, Agassi 5/8 HL)
(4) Stiffness numbers - High numbers ≥ 70 are stiff (more power) and
low numbers are more flexible (more control).
Range is 52-80, Median 68
Stiffness is determined with the Babolat Racquet Diagnostic Center (RDC) machine,
which measures deflection under a 25 kilogram load.
(5) Recommended ability - NTRP National Tennis Rating Program
1.0-1.5 Beginner 5.0-5.5 Advanced
2.0-2.5 Advanced Beginner 6.0 Club Pro
3.0-3.5 Intermediate 7.0 Touring Pro
4.0-4.5 Advanced Intermediate
* Midsize - 85 - 90 square inches
* Midplus - 92 - 103
* Oversize - 104 - 116
* Super OS - 117 - 135
Wilson Stiffness, Flexibility & Swing Index (si)
|Extremely Firm ||Very Firm ||Firm ||Medium Flex ||High Flex
|2.0 - 3.5 ||3.6 - 4.4 ||4.5 - 5.5 ||5.6 - 6.9 ||7.0 - 8.0
PowerAngle Racquets are strung diagonally. The demos they had at the 2002 US Open felt good.
Stiffness - Power
Players with slow-to-moderate swing speeds and short, compact strokes (50% of players) need a stiffer, more powerful racquet to generate appropriate power (longer racquets and larger head sizes help).
Most top and professional players (15%) have very long and fast swings. Therefore, they typically use medium to higher flex racquets with smaller head sizes
(mid - midplus), because their racquet speed generates additional power.
35% of players fall in the middle.
Tips on Selecting a Racquet at TennisAndMore.com
The Design Aspects of Tennis Rackets
"High flex numbers mean stiff frames. A stiff frame would have the effect of flattening the ball more (if used with tight strings and a small head), thus making topspin easier to impart, and it would allow the strings to do their job better because the frame would not be deformed so much on impact. The downside of stiff frames is that they do a poor job of damping frame vibration, and therefore may be a risk factor for tennis elbow in racquets having high Shock."
In Introduction to Racquet Science at RacquetResearch, Wilmot H. McCutchen says:
"Proponents of stiff materials make the claim that their racquets are "powerful" because the stiff frame recovers in time to catapult the ball forward. Where is the experimental confirmation of this claim? I have seen none.
And, in any case, the strings are the major component in racquet bounce. Maybe the advantage of the stiff frame is that it does not flex as much initially, thus requiring the strings to stretch more on impact.
Don Hightower, Tennis Warehouse Technical Director says,
"The ball remains on the strings for 3-5 milliseconds, much shorter than it takes a frame to recover. "
Within the recommended tension range, lower tensions offer more power and less impact on the arm, and higher tensions offer more control and better spin.
See String Tension Article
Weight and Balance
How Is Power & Stability Maintained in a Lightweight Racket?
With today's rackets getting lighter and lighter, it has become more important that the mass, or weight, is retained in the head. A super lightweight racket with mass in the head provides great maneuverability with the added benefits of superior stability and enhanced power return.
A lightweight racket with minimal mass in the head can provide great maneuverability, but could cause twisting upon impact, resulting in less stability and less power.
Tennis Warehouse Selecting the Right Racquet offers the following:
These two characteristics most influence how a racquet feels when you pick it up and when you swing it on the tennis court. Some basic concepts - a heavy racquet is more powerful, more stable and transmits less shock than a lighter racquet (all other things being equal). A lighter racquet is more maneuverable and thus, a player is able to swing it faster. If this is true, won’t a lighter racquet that is swung fast generate the same power as a heavier racquet that’s swung more slowly? This question has been hotly debated ever since Wilson introduced their Hammer racquets back in 1990. Until then, racquet weights averaged 12-13 ounces and were balanced head-light (or handle-heavy). Wilson’s Hammer “technology” reduced overall racquet weight ( 10-11 ounces) but distributed more mass in the head, resulting in a head-heavy balance. The idea was to improve maneuverability without sacrificing power by keeping weight in the racquet’s hitting zone. Since then, racquet weights have steadily dropped and now we have sub-8 ounce offerings from Gamma, Head and Prince. Is lighter better? Not necessarily. Well then, which racquet weight is best for you? What about racquet balance? Is head-light, head-heavy or even balance best? In order to answer this question, you need a point of reference. How heavy is your current racquet? Is it head-light or head-heavy? How much? If you don’t know, you can e-mail us at email@example.com and we’ll send you the manufacturer’s specifications, if available.
Next, do you want a lighter, heavier or similarly weighted racquet? Head-light, head-heavy or evenly balanced? Chances are you don’t know what you want until you play with a racquet. If this isn’t feasible, here are some guidelines on the advantages and disadvantages of different weights and balances.
Heavier, head-light racquets- preferred by most professional players, these racquets are often referred to as being “traditionally weighted and balanced” racquets. They typically weigh 11-13 ounces and are balanced 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches head-light in order to retain maneuverability. In most cases, these racquets are also referred to as “player’s” racquets because they are generally more control-oriented and designed for players who provide their own power.
Lightweight, head-heavy racquets - several years ago, Wilson discovered it was possible to make a racquet more maneuverable without reducing weight in the head. By removing weight in the handle, the racquet was lighter overall, while still retaining mass in the upper hoop, where ball contact occurs. This was the concept behind their Hammer and Sledge Hammer designs. Several other racquet manufacturers have subsequently introduced lightweight, head-heavy (and evenly balanced) racqauets. The advantages of this racquet type are increased maneuverability without sacrificing power, especially on groundstrokes. The disadvantages are less clear - some “experts” argue that reducing weight increases the amount of shock transferred to the wrist, elbow and shoulder. Some players who have switched from traditionally weighted and balanced racquets to lightweight, head-heavy models claim the racquets don’t feel “solid”. Clearly, you can’t get something for nothing. Reducing racquet weight will alter its feel - for better or for worse. Keep in mind, you can always add weight to a racquet if it’s too light. Reducing racquet weight, however, is almost impossible.
Weight and balance can be changed by adding lead tape. However 4x4" strips only add 0.08 oz.
Tips on Selecting a Racquet
Equipment Tips by Jamie Selman
Customizing your Tennis Racquet
Tennis Links at tennis4all.com
last updated 29 Oct 2002