When looking for a racquet as an intermediate player, there are dozens of brands and dozens more models within each brand. You don’t have to demo dozens of racquets though. We’ve researched the best brands so you can find the perfect intermediate racquets no matter what type of game you have.
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.
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 10 Ounces
10.1 - 11.2 Ounces
Over 10.5 Ounces
$75 - $200
$120 - $250
Power vs Control
Decide which of these best describes you to see what type of racquet you need.
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.
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.
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 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 things like power vs control, mobility, and swing length are more important for you.
You’ll also want to think about your goals. Do you want to be the player who goes to clinic twice a week to stay in shape and socialize? Or do you want to be the player who plays competitively in leagues and tournaments around town?
Answer these important questions for yourself to decide what you need in a racquet.
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.
For a short or slower swing, you may still need extra power from your racquet. In this case you can look at the 104-110 square inch racquets.
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 100 to 104 square inches, and 10.1 to 10.5 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 10.1 ounces.
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. Racquet heads under 104 sq. inches are more mobile, and help with controlling and placing your volleys.
Max Mirnyi returns serve in a US Open doubles match. In doubles, you need a more versatile racquet for quick movement at the net.
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 (our top 4 racquets below).
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.
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.
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 ($$$) being the highest.
USTA Rating represents the range of USTA players that could potentially play with that racquet based on our research. Some racquets are good for all skill levels while others are for more specific types of players.
This is our pick the the best overall racquet in tennis. It provides an unmatched combination of power and control. It’s a great option for any level player, so if you’re transitioning from beginner to intermediate, or even intermediate to advance, this is an excellent choice.
The 100 square inch frame is a perfect size for intermediate players. The wide frame gives it extra power, and the string pattern allows for extra comfort and spin. This racquet has everything you want for hitting groundstrokes from the baseline at any level. The Pure Drive a little heavier than some beginner racquets but it should be fine for most physically fit adults. If this is a concern, look for the Pure Drive Lite, Babolat’s lightweight model in the series.
Price | $$$
USTA Rating | Any skill level
This is Babolat’s 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.
Price | $$$
USTA Rating | Any skill level
Prince is one of the most trusted brands in tennis, and their Textreme Warrior racquet provides everything you need in an intermediate racquet. A wide range of skill levels can able to adapt and improve their game with the Textreme Warrior.
Also, it’s a more reasonable price than the Babolat choices above, especially for non-competitive players. This makes it our pick for the best overall racquet for this skill level.
Its string bed of 100 sq. inches makes it ideal for intermediate players transitioning to advanced, and low level intermediates trying to improve their spin and control. The advanced technology prince has put into this racquet, along with the frame design allow you to get extra power on groundstrokes and serve. The 16x19 string pattern will help you hit better topspin and slice or kick serves. The racquet is also only 11.14 ounces and which allows for more mobility in doubles.
This racquet makes an excellent choice for almost any skill level. It is a versatile racquet excelling with a superb combination of spin and feel.
Price | $$
USTA Rating | 2.5 to 5.5
For a more budget friendly option to Babolat’s Pure Drive, we recommend this alternative. Head’s Instinct series is one of the most popular in the tennis world, and the YouTek Graphene MP is a great option for players at most levels.
The 100 square inch frame makes it easy to control shots from the baseline. In combination with the open string bed, the Graphene technology helps with feel and comfort. Also, the large frame, with a weight of 11.1 ounces, provides extra power for players who are just past the beginner stage.
This racquet is great for most intermediate players. Mishits can feel out of control with this racquet. 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 | 3.5 to 5.5
This racquet is our top beginner racquet, but it can also be a good intermediate racquet for certain players.
It has a very lightweight frame making it great for smaller adults or teens. The large frame gives this racquet tons of power to counter the light weight. Along with the giant sweet spot, the unique string pattern gives the TI S6 great feel for groundstrokes from the baseline.
This racquet is not a racquet for advanced players. It’s bulky size make it difficult to maneuver in a fast paced match, and the size doesn’t allow for the control needed in a racquet for advanced players. However, if you typically play slower balls in singles matches from the baseline, this can be a great option for you.
Price | $
USTA Rating | Up to 3.5
Head’s Radical series is one of the most popular among recreational tennis players. This particular racquet is one of their best in the series. It’s a cheap option for intermediate players, and great for those player who have good hand-eye coordination and want more control.
The frame is smaller than most intermediate racquets at 98 square inches, giving it great mobility for singles and doubles. The tight 18x20 string bed adds even more control to the racquet so you can place your groundstrokes and volleys with pinpoint accuracy. The MicroGel technology add comfort and feel for mishits, but the racquet does have a smaller sweet spot than our other intermediate options, so this isn’t ideal if you’re not playing consistently.
This racquet is certainly a great value if you plan to remain a recreational player, however for players who want to become more competitive, it’s not as great a fit.
Price | $
USTA Rating | Up to 4.5
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 overall intermediate racquet on the market is Prince’s Textreme Warrior 100.
It works great for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players, so you won’t have to switch racquets as you improve your game. Prince has also priced it a lower than the other top intermediate options from Babolat. This racquet provides mobility for doubles, and a combination of power, feel, and spin for groundstrokes in singles.