The tennis racquet spectrum

These days, it's thankfully easy to look up specs for individual mainstream racquets. One good resource is Tennis Warehouse (RF 97 example), who also offer their Racquet Finder to find racquets within custom ranges.

However, I haven't found a nice overview showing the current spectrum of what you can buy, so I took a first pass at creating one. The below charts are derived from roughly 250 frames that have been on the market over the last couple of years. The list is not comprehensive, but the decent sample size should give us a good idea of how the world of tennis racquets looks like.

Weight & balance (mm)

Graph of tennis racquet weight and balance correlatation

This scatter plot nicely shows the correlation between weight and balance. Generally, the lighter a racquet, the more head-heavily balanced, and the heavier, the more head-light. The general correlation here is that for every increase of 10 grams, the balance point moves down by about 5 mm.

On the heavy, more head-light end we find some classic-spec frames, such as the Wilson SixOne 95 or Roger's RF 97. Fully loaded, the stock RF 97 can come in over 360 grams. The lightest racquet I found on the market is the Donnay Superlite 114 at 238g, which is the outlier in the bottom left. So the spread here is about 120g, or a possible weight increase of up to ~50%.

In regards to balance, the most head light racquets are classic player's sticks like Pete's Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 85, the Völkl Power Bridge 10 Mid, and the Vantage BC20, all balanced at around 310mm. At the other end of the spectrum we mostly find game improvement / comfort racquets, such as the Head Titanium Ti.S5 Comfort Zone or Wilson Hyper Hammers, balanced at and even above 385mm. So we're seeing more than a 75mm range, or about 10% of total racquet length.

In the chart, we find the biggest cluster at around 325g and 325mm - probably a proven combo for players who have developed sound technique, and would like a versatile racquet allowing them to hit any shot in their repertoire. Good examples here are the Wilson Burn 95 FST, the Head Prestige Pro, or the Yonex Ezone Ai 98.

There's also a bit of a cluster around 280g and 350mm, where we find racquets such as the Dunlop Biomimetic S 3.0 Lite, the Head Graphene XT Speed REV PRO, and the Wilson Burn 100 ULS. Easy-playing racquets that should help develop more fluid swings and/or get the ball into the court.

Again, the biggest takeaway here is the correlation between weight and balance. The combination of the 2 lead to swing weight:

Swing weight (kg cm²)

Swing weight distribution of tennis racquets on the market

The max value at 412 is the Gamma RZR Bubba. If you look again at the weight / balance scatter plot above, you'll find it out on its own at roughly 300g and 390 mm. This combo leads to the highest swingweight of any mainstream racquet I found.

Min: 282 - Völkl Team Speed Orange, 283g and ~334mm.

Average: 317 (e.g. Babolat Pure Drive, Dunlop Biomimetic F5.0 Tour, Prince Textreme Tour 100T)

Median: 316 (e.g. Yonex Vcore Tour 97 310g, Wilson Steam 105S)

Note: You can even go deeper here by looking at twist weight and recoil weight. Those measures are harder to get and may be more interesting for high end players who also care about optimizing their racquets.

Length (inches)

Length distribution of tennis racquets on the market

The standard length of 27 inches / 68.58cm is still the most popular, represented in ~3/4 of the racquets on the market.

The 27.0 - 27.5 range is somewhat popular too, mostly for game improvement racquets. Examples for 27.5 are the Babolat Pure Drive 110, or the Wilson Blade 104 that could be interesting for two-handers.

Notables in terms of length are the Head Graphene XT Instinct Rev Pro that is a bit shorter at 26.8 inches / 68.07cm, and at the other end again the Gamma RZR Bubba @ 29 inches.

Head size (in²)

Head size distribution of tennis racquets on the market

Max: 137 - again the huge Gamma RZR Bubba.

Min: 85 - that's the Wilson Pro Staff 85 you can still buy today. Followed by more recent frames such as the Yonex VCORE Tour F 93 (=> 93 in²) or the Head Graphene XT Prestige Rev Pro (also 93).

Average: 101 (e.g. Völkl V1 Classic, Donnay Pro One 102, Head Graphene Radical S).

Median: 100, such as the Babolat Pure Drive, Dunlop Biomimetic M 4.0, Head Graphene XT Speed MP A, Wilson Juice 100 / 100 S, Pacific X Fast Pro, the Prince 100 racquets, and many others. Probably the "sweet spot" in terms of head size these days.

Stiffness / flex (RDC)

Flex / stiffness distribution of tennis racquets on the market

Max: 75, e.g. the Asics racquets, such as the 109 or the Head Titanium Ti.S6. The Wilson Juice 100S is up there too, at 74.

Min: 45. Vantage frames come in pretty soft below or around 50. Some of the softer mainstream frames are the Head MicroGEL Radicals (~56), the Donnay Pro One GT 18x20 (57), the Babolat Pure Control 95 (58), or the Wilson Blade 104 at 59.

Related note: Wilson Triad racquets feature gel inserts between the head and handle, resulting in a very low stiffness measures (around 17).

Average: 66 (e.g. Wilson Six One 97 and 97S, Yonex VCORE Tour F 97 (290g), Head Graphene XT Instinct MP.

Median: 67 (e.g. Babolat Pure Strike 16x19 (Project One7), Volkl Super G V1 Midplus, Prince Textreme Warrior 107).

Other racquet properties

... to think of are frame width, string pattern, grommets, and price. So some quick thoughts for now:

Width: 22mm beam width seems is pretty standard these days. More classic frames can be as thin as 18mm (e.g. the Pro Staff 95S or Roger's "old" Tour 90). Donnay made a comeback a few years ago with frames that were 15mm thin in some places. The Asics 125 or the Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Stretch OS come in at 28mm, and the Prince Textreme Premier 120 marks the high end at 30mm.

String pattern: Recently, more open patterns have emerged to promote spin generation - if you see a 16x16 combo, or even less strings in any direction, you've probably found one. Classic patterns like 16x18, 16x19, or 18x20 are probably still the most prominent. PowerAngle racquets are somewhat interesting in this context, since they're strung diagonally.

Grommets: Over the years, many manufacturers have played around with grommets too, mostly aiming to increase the sweet spot. This has been done e.g. by trying to reduce friction, giving the string more room to move, or inserting some elastic material. In the last racquet generation, Wilson drilled the holes parallel into the frame, which seems to have worked well for the SixOne 95 that I had played for a while.

Price: New top brand racquets usually cost around $200, last gen racquets tend to be reduced to around $100, and current discounted or 2nd tier brand racquets are around $150.

So there you go, for now. Maybe this can help you find the right racquet, save some money by buying a previous generation, and push the industry to innovate beyond the usual variables...

Happy to rework or tweak this based on feedback and interest. Cheers!