by Will Boucek

November 15, 2021   

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Tennis racquet technology is changing fast, making it hard to keep up with what racquets might best fit your tennis game. We’ve researched all the major racquet brands to find the top 6 tennis racquets for advanced skill level players.

Whether you play singles and hit heavy groundstrokes from the baseline, or play doubles and like to serve and volley, below you will find the best tennis racquet for you.


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Before we get into the reviews, here is the list of the 6 best tennis racquets.

Babolat Pure Drive 2021

Our pick for the top tennis racquet for advanced skill-level players is Babolat’s Pure Drive.

Read Our Babolat Pure Drive Review


How to Choose a Tennis Racquet for Advanced Players

At the end of this guide, you should have a better understanding of how to choose a tennis racquet that is right for an advanced level player. Before we show you the specific racquets, let’s make sure you’re in the right place.

How Do I know if I’m Ready for an Advanced Tennis Racquet?

Below is our description for an advanced player. If this sounds like you, then you will be able to find the perfect racquet below!

Advanced players play regularly. They control shots with placement, spin, and power. They also serve with spin and power. This would be 4.0 rating or higher on the USTA scale.

If you feel like you need a beginner or intermediate racquet, see our reviews on those racquets below.

Professional tennis player Steve Johnson serves at the Geneva Open
Professional players, like Steve Johnson, use racquets with more control since they can naturally generate power.

Tennis Racquet Specification Chart

This chart below should give you an idea of what type of racquet you should look for based on your skill level.

A general rule is that advanced racquets are smaller than beginner racquets, giving them better control for a more fast paced tennis game.


Beginner Players Only
Intermediate
& Some Beginner
Advanced
& Some Intermediate 
Racquet Size
(sq. inches)

107 – 115

100 – 110

95 – 100

Racquet Length
(inches)

At least 27.5

27 – 28

27 – 27.5

Racquet Weight
(strung)

Under 11 Ounces

10.1 – 11.5 Ounces

Over 11 Ounces

Price

Under $150

$100 & up

$150 & up

Power vs Control

More Power

Balanced Racquet

More Control

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine the type of racquet you might need.

What Type of Swing Do You Have?

There are different types of swings in tennis. It’s important to know which swing type you have when choosing a tennis racquet.

  • Short swing path: Some high-level players have more compact strokes that are fast and efficient. This type of stroke usually has a very short take back and quick acceleration of the racquet head.
  • Long swing path: Other players have longer swing paths. Long swing paths are generally slower and take more time to complete the stroke. They may use a loop on their forehand or backhand like Daniil Medvedev.

Of course, some players have a swing path in the middle, or may use both. In general though, you probably have one type that you’re more comfortable with.

For players with shorter swings who accelerate through the ball quickly, you’ll generate plenty of power because the racquet head will have more speed when you make contact. Players like this typically hit a flat ball with less topspin. This means you can use a smaller frame that will provide extra control and accuracy on your shots. The best option below will be the Wilson Pro Staff.

However, if your swing path is longer and you generate lots of spin similar to Rafael Nadal, then you can choose a larger racquet. In this case, your groundstrokes are swinging low to high, creating spin but not necessarily as much power since you’re not hitting through the ball as much. Nadal’s Pure Aero is reviewed below.

Do You Hit More Topspin or Flat Groundstrokes?

If you like to hit more topspin, then you should look for a racquet that accentuates this strength. Tennis racquets with more open string patterns grab the ball more and will help you create spin. This means the strings will be more spread apart. Also, there are different types of strings that you can use to create even more spin on your shots.

For players who have flatter groundstrokes, we recommend a tighter string pattern with a smaller racquet head. Anything between 95 and 98 square inches will be a good fit for advanced players who don’t rely primarily on spin. This will help you control your shots because the extra string density will control the ball better.

Do You Play at the Net or From the Baseline? Are you a Singles or Doubles Player?

Some racquets are better for groundstrokes than volleys, so you should consider what you’ll be doing more of. If you like to play from the baseline and hit groundstrokes, then you may be able to use a racquet that sacrifices some versatility for a bigger sweet spot with more spin and power.

For doubles players who spend more time at the net, you will need a racquet that has good mobility. Especially if you’re playing at a USTA level of 4.0 or higher. The game is faster in doubles at this level so you have less time to react. Racquet heads under 100 inches will not only have more versatility, but also more control to place your volleys.


Reviews of the 6 Best Tennis Racquets for Advanced Players

Here are the reviews for our top six picks for advanced level tennis players.

#1 – Babolat Pure Drive

We consider this to be the best overall racquet on the market. It is widely used by beginners and advanced players, especially those seeking more power, spin and feel on their groundstrokes. This racquet is used by many pros including Andy Roddick when he played on tour.

The 100 square inch frame is larger than many advanced racquets on the market, giving it better power. This makes it a great option for any skill level. The wide frame and 16×19 string pattern give it the best power and control combination in tennis. This is the perfect racquet for hitting controlled, powerful groundstrokes from the baseline. This racquet makes creating topspin easy as well. If you play doubles, you will have plenty of mobility for volleys, as it is still relatively lightweight at only 11.2oz strung.

This 2021 version of the Pure Drive includes new technology that improves the comfort level. When compared to other Babolat racquet reviews, the Pure Drive is their most powerful tennis racquet. It doesn’t have as much control as other racquets on the market. However, there’s no racquet with more control that doesn’t sacrifice power.

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | Any skill level

Pros and Cons

  • Great for all skill levels
  • Perfect balance of power & control for groundstrokes
  • Excellent spin due to the open string pattern
  • Great feel with a big sweet spot
  • Solid but not the best option for control

#2 – Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro

This is our only Head racquet on this list for advanced players, but it’s a good one. The Graphene 360+ Speed Pro is a player’s racquet, ideal for people looking for something balanced.

The 18×20 string pattern will give you great control of your shots. Since the head size is 100 square inches, you will be able to generate good power and spin from your groundstrokes as well. High level intermediate and advanced singles players will love this racquet used by Novak Djokovic.

Head came out with a new edition for 2020. It’s almost identical to the previous version with a different paint job.

Read our Head Speed Pro review.

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | 4.0 & up

Pros and Cons

  • Great combination of control & power
  • Good spin & feel
  • Balanced racquet
  • Easy to handle in singles & doubles
  • Other racquets offer more power
  • Not great for beginners or doubles only players

#3 – Wilson Blade 98 v7

This is a version of Serena Williams’ racquet. Wilson made this racquet for players who want control and comfort. This is their 7th version of the Blade and it is the best yet.

This racquet is a balanced all around tennis racquet. The new FlexFeel technology in this version brings it’s feel and touch to a whole new level. This makes it a great racquet for both volleys and groundstrokes. The 11.3 ounce weight makes it good for intermediate to advanced players. The open string pattern (16×19) will help you generate spin on groundstrokes from the baseline. The Blade’s stable frame gives you a very comfortable feeling on contact as well.

If you seek more control, feel, and touch, but don’t need as much help with power, this racquet is a great option. For players looking for more power, check out the Blade 102 (Serena’s racquet).

Read our Wilson Blade review.

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | 4.0 & up

Pros and Cons

  • Great for control & comfort
  • Good touch & feel for volleys
  • Generous sweet spot for players who can’t play every single day
  • Does not generate a lot of power
  • Not for beginners or low level intermediate players

#4 – Yonex VCore Pro 97

Yonex has been one of the fastest growing brands of tennis racquets over the last decade. Today, pro players like Stan Wawrinka, Naomi Osaka, and Denis Shapovalov use Yonex.

The VCore Pro 97 is one of their most popular racquets. Its frame size of 97 sq. inches makes this a player’s racquet. Similar to all Yonex racquets, the unique head shape adds a different feel and comfort level than most tennis racquets. The racquet has excellent control and is relatively lightweight at 11.5 oz. This makes it great for tennis players on the singles and doubles court. The 16×19 string pattern allows you to generate plenty of spin on groundstrokes and serves.

This racquet is an excellent choice for high level intermediate to advanced players. Players who can generate power and want more control, comfort, and feel will love this racquet.

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | 4.0 & up

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent control & feel on groundstrokes
  • Great touch & comfort on volleys
  • Easy spin on groundstrokes & serve
  • Lightweight & easy to swing
  • Good for players who create their own power
  • Not great for power

#5 – Babolat Pure Aero Plus

Made popular by Rafael Nadal, the Babolat Pure Aero has become one of the best selling tennis racquets in the world. It is for big swingers who want to control the point from the baseline with more spin and power.

The Pure Aero Plus has an extra 0.5 inch in length, giving you more leverage and power. The frame is 100 square inches for a bigger hitting area and is also built with aerodynamic technology to cut through the air. This all helps you generate more racquet head speed, and therefore spin on the ball. The recommended string tension is in the low 50’s so you can create tons of power on your serve too.

This racquet is great for baseline players who use spin to control the ball with groundstrokes or hit powerful serves for aces. We don’t recommend this racquet for net players or players who need help with control.

Read our Babolat Pure Aero review.

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | Any skill level

Pros and Cons

  • Best racquet for power & spin on both groundstrokes & serves
  • Good feel & comfort with a large sweet spot
  • Extra .5 inch creates even more power
  • Good for all skill levels
  • Not great for control

#6 – Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13

If you play a lot of tennis and are able to generate your own power, this might be the racquet for you. Some of the best players in the world use this racquet to control the point from anywhere on the court. In fact, Roger Federer uses a heavier version of this same racquet.

The smaller frame and surface area (97 sq. inches) give it a smaller area to make contact. But if you play a lot and can hit this sweet spot consistently, the string pattern (16×19) gives it great feel and spin. The frame is designed for optimal touch and control. Also, the racquet’s 11.7 ounce weight allows for you to generate enough power for strong, skilled players.

This racquet is great for advanced players who play a lot of tennis and want precise control. You will find it has great mobility and all around use for singles and doubles. It is, however, the least powerful racquet on our list.

Read our Wilson Pro Staff review.

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | 4.0 and higher only

Pros and Cons

  • Best for control on groundstrokes & volleys
  • Great touch on volleys & drop shots
  • Excellent spin & comfort
  • Very precise when you hit the sweet spot
  • Mobility is good at the net
  • Small sweet spot – mishits can be inaccurate for inconsistent players
  • Not great for power

Conclusion: Our Pick for Best Advanced Tennis Racquet

All the racquets above are great options, and you’ll need a specific racquet depending on the type of tennis you play. However, the best all around option is the Babolat Pure Drive. The company also makes other great tennis gear to pair with this racquet.

Although the Pure Drive is known for power, spin, and feel, it does have great control for fast paced tennis and lightweight mobility even for doubles, making it the best tennis racquet overall. Any type of player would find it to be an excellent option for their game.

Will Boucek

About the author

Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played and coached tennis for over two decades. Will is a strategy analyst for ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He also tests the latest tennis racquets, shoes, & other gear from Wilson, Babolat, Head, Prince, and other tennis brands. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments.

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