Best Tennis Racquet for Intermediate Players

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When looking for a racquet as an intermediate player, there are dozens of brands and dozens more models within each brand. You can easily waste money by demoing dozens of racquets.

We’ve researched all the best tennis brands so you can find the best tennis racquet for intermediate players no matter what type of game you have. Below, you'll learn how to choose a racquet that fits your game. Then, you'll see the top 7 intermediate level racquets on the market today!

Here are the top 7 racquets for intermediate tennis players. We reviewed each one in more detail below.

Our pick for the best overall intermediate racquet is the new Clash 100 made by Wilson.

How to Choose a Tennis Racquet for Intermediate Players

We have a complete tennis racquet buyer’s guide, so if you’re transitioning into tennis, or just haven’t learned much about racquets before we recommend starting there.

Quick Summary of the Guide: Bigger racquets are for beginner players and provide more power. Advanced racquets are smaller, but typically a little bit heavier. Smaller racquet also help more with control, but they do have a smaller sweet spot for the player to make contact with the ball.

Are You Ready for an Intermediate Racquet?

Decide which of these best describes you to see what type of racquet you need.

Beginner Tennis Players

I’m new to tennis, and have played only a few times. I’m thinking about getting more serious and am looking for a racquet to practice more. I might start taking lessons too.

If this is you, see our picks for top rated beginner racquets here.

Intermediate Level Players

I used to play recreationally, but it’s been a long time, OR I started playing in the last 12-24 months and want to take my game to the next level. I can hit the ball over the net consistently but can’t always control where it goes in the court. I mostly just try to get it back. I prefer hitting from one side to the other (usually forehand). My groundstrokes and serve don’t have a lot of power or spin.

If this is you, you're in the right place!

Advanced Level Players

I play regularly and control shots with placement, power, and spin. I also serve with power and spin. This would be 4.0 and higher on the USTA scale.

If this describes you, then check out our top 6 racquets for advanced tennis players.

Tennis Racquet Specification Chart

This table provides a good general guideline to follow. There is more that goes into making a racquet than just these metrics, however if you don’t want to spend hours reading about things like swing weight and balance these are the most important.

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

If you’re still reading, then you’ve decided you’re in the right place 🙂

Intermediate players have more to consider when choosing a racquet than beginner players. You’re starting to become a better player, and there are more factors to consider.

  • What type of swing do you have?
  • Do you need help with power or control?
  • Do you play doubles or singles? Are you a baseline or net player.
  • How often do you play? Do you want to improve fast?

Answer these important questions below for yourself to decide what you need in your tennis racquet.

What Type of Swing do You Have?

If you’re developing a faster, longer swing, then you may start to look at a smaller tennis racquet (under 105 square inches). Faster swings typically mean you don’t need as much help with power so a more controlled racquet will be a better fit. The best control racquets below are the Wilson Clash 100 and the Babolat Pure Strike.

For a short or slower swing, you may still need extra power from your racquet. In this case, you can look at the 100-110 square inch racquets. Power comes from larger frames, so choose a racquet with a thicker frame like the Babolat Pure Drive or Head 360 Extreme MP below.

Do You Need Help With Power or Control?

When you’re an intermediate player, you’re starting to place your shots better on the court. You’ve also developed a swing that consistently generates power from the baseline to get the ball back over the net, deep into the court. You’ll also want to consider the weight and size of the racquet when deciding what you’re looking for.

Racquets with big frames and large surface area will have more power in general. Smaller frames will have more control.

Most physically fit adults with an intermediate skill level and good coordination can choose a racquet between 98 to 104 square inches, and 11 to 11.5 ounces. This will provide a good combination of power and control as you develop your swing.

For smaller women or teens who aren’t as physically strong as most adults, a heavy racquet can lead to tennis elbow and other injuries. In this case, compromise with a bigger racquet head (over 105 square inches), and choose something under 10.5 ounces. The Prince Textreme Warrior 100T below is the best option for this.

Do You Play Singles, Doubles, or Both?

Some racquets are better for singles than doubles, depending on what type of game you have. For players who prefer to stay on the baseline and hit groundstrokes, you may be able to use a racquet that has less mobility with a bigger sweet spot and extra power.

Doubles players, especially those who like to get to the net, need a racquet that has good versatility. As you start playing more competitively, the pace of the ball will get faster, so a bulky racquet will hurt your ability to react. The best tennis racquets for doubles are under 104 sq. inches, making them more mobile, and help with controlling and placing your volleys.

Max Myrni returning in a doubles match

Max Mirnyi returns serve in a US Open doubles match. In doubles, you need a more versatile racquet for quick movement at the net.

How Often Do You Play Tennis? Do You Want to Become an Advanced Player?

You’ll need a different racquet depending on where you’re trying to go. If you plan to start taking tennis more seriously, playing leagues and tournaments, then you’ll need to buy a racquet that allows you to improve to a more advanced skill level. Any of the choices below except the Prince racquet will help you do that. You may also consider purchasing a ball machine to save on lessons.

If, however, you just want to hit recreationally for fun and to stay in shape, then you can work with a smaller budget and buy a racquet that isn’t quite as advanced.

Top 7 Intermediate Tennis Racquet Reviews

Next we’ll dive into the specifics of each racquet, reviewing what makes each one a good choice for specific types of intermediate level tennis players.

Note:
At the bottom of each review below you will see Price and USTA Rating.
Price is on a scale from 1 to 3, with 3 ($$$) being the highest.
USTA Rating represents the range of USTA players that could potentially play with that racquet based on our research. Some racquets are good for all skill levels while others are for more specific types of players.

#1 - Wilson Clash 100

Wilson is a leading manufacturer of all things tennis, and their racquets are among the best in the industry. Their new Clash series came out in 2019, and the Clash 100 has quickly become one of the best-selling intermediate level tennis racquets on the market.

Their new technology is what separates this racquet from Wilson racquets of the past. It brings feel, control, and mobility to a whole new level. Singles players will have no trouble controlling the ball and moving your opponent around. You'll find the comfort level on your groundstrokes is as good as it gets. For doubles players, it is easy to maneuver with great feel for your volleys.

At a weight of only 11 ounces, this racquet is easy to swing as well. The 16x19 string pattern will allow you to develop topspin on your groundstrokes. The 100 inch frame has a large sweet spot with control and comfort that is unmatched among other racquets.

This isn't the most powerful racquet because of the focus on frame flexibility, but it's the best option for adults who can generate their own power.

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | 2.5 to 4.5

  • Easy maneuver with excellent control
  • The best feel & comfort among all racquets
  • Very easy to swing
  • Great for adults who have fast swings
  • Expensive for people who don't play often

#2 - Babolat Pure Drive 2018

This is our pick the the best overall racquet in tennis. The 2018 Pure Drive provides an unmatched combination of spin and control, making it one of the best tennis racquets for doubles or singles. If you’re transitioning from beginner to intermediate, or even intermediate to advance, this is an excellent choice.

The 100 square inch frame is a perfect size for intermediate players. The wide frame gives it extra power, and the string pattern allows for extra comfort and spin. This racquet has everything you want for hitting groundstrokes from the baseline at any level. The Pure Drive a little heavier than some beginner racquets but it should be fine for most physically fit adults. If this is a concern, look for the Pure Drive Lite, Babolat’s lightweight model in the series.

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | Any skill level

  • Great for any level
  • Fantastic balance of power and control
  • Excellent spin for players learning topspin
  • Great feel and big sweet spot
  • Good control, but not the best option

#3 - Head Graphene 360 Extreme MP

For a more budget friendly option to the Babolat Pure Drive, we recommend this alternative. Head’s Graphene 360 series is one of the most popular in the tennis world today, and the Extreme MP is a great option for players at most levels.

The 100 square inch frame combined with the 16x19 string pattern makes it easy to control shots from the baseline with topspin. The Graphene technology helps with feel and comfort. Also, the large frame, with a weight of 11.2 ounces, provides extra power for players who are just past the beginner stage.

This racquet is great for most intermediate players who need extra spin and power. It is not the ideal racquet for beginners who don’t make contact with the center of the racquet consistently, or a serve and volley player.

Price | $
USTA Rating | 3.0 to 5.0

  • Good power on groundstrokes
  • Excellent topspin and feel in the sweet spot
  • Great stability & maneuverability
  • Relatively inexpensive for an intermediate racquet
  • Not as forgiving outside the sweet spot as other intermediate choices
  • Not great for control

#4 - Head Graphene 360 Instinct MP

This is the best intermediate racquet for players who like to hit deep groundstrokes and control the point from the baseline. It's also the racquet used by Maria Sharapova.

The 100 square inch frame gives it an excellent sweet spot. Combined with the light weight this racquet has good maneuverability if you play from the baseline or at the net. However it excels for singles players looking to grind from deep in the court. You'll be able to control the point and go for the lines better than most other racquets this size.

This tennis racquet is not a great racquet for doubles players who like to come to the net because it lacks some stability. But for most skill levels it's a great pick.

Price | $$
USTA Rating | 3.0 and higher

  • Great spin & control for groundstrokes
  • Narrow frame creates excellent maneuverability
  • Relatively inexpensive for serious tennis players
  • Not great for fast paced doubles at the net
  • Not great stability or control on volleys

#5 - Babolat Pure Strike 100

The Pure Strike tennis racquet offers the most control of the 3 Babolat racquets reviewed here. This is a version of the racquet used by Dominic Thiem.

However, the Pure Strike 100 is perfect for intermediate players because of it's 100 square inch head size. Players will be able to get a great feel and control for their shots from the baseline and the net. You won't be able to create as much spin as the other Babolat racquets on our list, but you'll feel like you can place the ball anywhere on the tennis court.

This is a great option for doubles players and single players seeking a perfect blend of power, feel, and control

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | 2.5 to 5.0

  • Good power from the baseline
  • Great feel and control at the net
  • Big sweet spot
  • Good for almost any skill level
  • Not cost effective for people who don't play regularly

#6 - Prince Textreme Warrior 100T

Prince is one of the most trusted brands in tennis, and their Textreme Warrior racquet provides everything you need in an intermediate racquet.

A wide range of skill levels can adapt and improve their game with the Textreme Warrior. Also, it’s a more reasonable price than the Babolat choices above, especially for non-competitive players.

Its string bed of 100 sq. inches makes it ideal racquet for low level intermediates trying to improve their spin and control. The advanced technology prince has put into this racquet, along with the frame design allow you to get extra power on groundstrokes and serve. The 16x18 string pattern will help you hit better topspin and slice or kick serves.

The racquet is also only 10.3 ounces making it the lightest weight racquet on our list. This is great for juniors or adults who aren't as physically strong. It also allows for more mobility in doubles.

Price | $
USTA Rating | 2.5 to 4.0

  • Good control & spin for groundstrokes & serve
  • Great feel & easy to swing
  • Very lightweight with great maneuverability
  • Good for beginner to intermediate skill levels
  • Not great for high level intermediate to advanced players

#7 - Babolat Pure Aero 2019

Babolat released the 2019 version of the most powerful racquet in their popular "pure series". It also is the top rated racquet for spin on the market. If you have a fast, big swing and like to hit a lot of topspin from the baseline, this racquet is for you.

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 help 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.

For intermediate player, this is a great option if you’re playing singles and want to develop your ability to control your shots and the point with topspin. This racquet isn’t ideal for fast paced doubles or player seeking more control. Check out the Pure Aero Lite if you want a racquet that is even easier to swing.

See our full Babolat Pure Aero Review here.

Price | $$$
USTA Rating | Any skill level

  • Best racquet for power & spin
  • Heavy groundstrokes & powerful serve
  • Large sweet spot gives it good feel
  • Good for all skill levels
  • Not great for control
  • Not ideal for doubles players

Conclusion: Our Pick for Best Intermediate Level Racquet

Intermediate tennis players have literally hundreds of racquets to choose from. Depending on your playing style and goals, you will need a specific racquet.

However, our choice for the best tennis racquet for intermediate players on the market is the Wilson Clash 100. The best option for people on a budget is the Head Graphene Extreme MP.

The Clash 100 works great for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players, so you won’t have to switch racquets as you improve your game. Wilson has made the perfect "players racquet" with the best control, comfort, and feel. This racquet provides mobility for doubles, and a combination of feel, and spin for groundstrokes in singles.