The Best Tennis Rackets for Every Skill Level

man using a barbell


We can thank monks with hand injuries for the invention of tennis rackets. In the 11th or 12th century, monks developed a game similar to tennis, but they used their hands instead of rackets. This caused bruising, sprains, and other injuries to their hands. Eventually, the monks created paddles to help them hit the ball over a rudimentary net.

Tennis rackets have certainly had a glow up over the past 10 centuries; however, our modern metal rackets didn’t become popular until 1967, when tennis great Jimmy Connors started using a metal Wilson. There are now a wide variety of tennis rackets, and in this review, we will discuss the best tennis rackets for seven skill levels.

Why Trust Us?

ACTIVE.com’s editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

The Best Tennis Rackets - Our Top Picks

By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Sponsorships and affiliate commissions help support our research so we can help you find the best products. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Best Overall Tennis Racket - Wilson Clash 100 Tennis Racquet

Best Overall Tennis Racket - Wilson Clash 100 Tennis Racquet

SPECS

  • Weight: 10.3 oz. (unstrung)
  • Head size: 100 sq. in.
  • Length: 27"
  • String pattern: 16x19
Check Price

Wilson has been making a racket in the tennis world for decades, and, if the Wilson Clash 100 is any indication, they don’t plan on resting on their laurels. This racket provides an incredible combination of power, control, and flexibility. Wilson uses FreeFlex technology so that the Clash 100 can bend horizontally and vertically, which will help you to hit more accurately.

This comfortable and durable racket will also help you generate stable power. And the 16x19 string pattern that stretches across the 100-square-inch head will allow you to hone your topspin skills. While the Clash 100 is not the heaviest racket you can find, weighing in at a little less than 11 ounces, it is still stout enough to provide some real oomph while being light enough to not fatigue your arms.

What We Like

  • Excellent Control
  • Flexible
  • Great for most skill levels
  • Comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey
  • Doesn’t generate a lot of power
  • Not the most stable

BUY: Wilson Clash 100 Racquet

Best Tennis Rackets for Beginners - Head Titanium Ti.S6

Best Tennis Rackets for Beginners - Head Titanium Ti.S6

SPECS

  • Weight: 10.06 oz.
  • Head size: 115 sq. in.
  • Length: 27.75"
  • String pattern: 16x19

Check Price

If you’ve just started stepping on the court, we definitely recommend the Head Titanium Ti.S6. It is slightly longer than most rackets, coming in at 27.27 inches. Although that is less than an inch longer than a standard racket, the extra length can help you with contact as you are learning. Another component that will be welcomed by newbies is the oversized head. It is 115 square inches, making it one of the biggest rackets on the market. This can be very helpful for beginners as it will help them make more consistent contact with the ball.

Despite the extra length and large head size, the Ti.S6 is still relatively lightweight. A lighter racket helps beginners use their tennis muscles while generating power. Additionally, it is great for beginners because it is inexpensive, and you may not want to break the bank on a racket before you decide if tennis is the right pastime for you.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Oversized head
  • Slightly longer than most rackets

What We Don’t Like

  • Vibration
  • Cumbersome to maneuver
  • Generates power

BUY: Head Titanium Ti.S6

Best Tennis Racket for Intermediate Players - Wilson Blade 98 V8

Best Tennis Racket for Intermediate Players - Wilson Blade 98 V8

SPECS

  • Weight: 11.03 oz.
  • Head size: 98 sq. in.
  • Length: 27"
  • String pattern: 16x19

Check Price

When Serena Williams is a developmental advisor of a tennis racket, you can feel certain that you are going to get a quality racket. The Wilson Blade 98 V8 offers exceptional control and provides great spin. It is a terrific racket for intermediate-level players because it can still help you generate enough power while also providing control.

The Wilson Blade 98 is a very comfortable stick that provides outstanding ball feedback as well. By fusing the butt cap directly to the handle, Wilson made the Blade 98 very stable. As for aesthetics, I’m a big fan of the Chameleon Pain which subtly changes colors depending on the light and angle. If you’ve upped your game and are looking for a racket that will provide precision, speed, spin, and power, our Best Tennis Racket for Intermediate Players is the one for you.

What We Like

  • Combines comfort and control
  • Great spin
  • Easy to swing
  • Flexible frame
  • May help with tennis elbow

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t generate a lot of power
  • Muted feel

BUY: Wilson Blade 98 V8

Best Tennis Racket for Advanced Players - Babolat 2021 Pure Drive

Best Tennis Racket for Advanced Players - Babolat 2021 Pure Drive

SPECS

  • Weight: 11.2 oz.
  • Head size: 100 sq. in.
  • Length: 27"
  • String pattern: 16x19

Check Price

If you desire to play like the pros, you’ll want to get the racket that many of them use—the Babolat 2021 Pure Drive. It’s one of the most popular rackets among professional players because it combines an explosive amount of power and speed.

The Pure Drive is heavy. You want to make sure that you have enough control to handle it. It has a big sweet spot, and Babolat utilized a new technology that helps your level of connection by managing the vibrations. Babolat is known for rackets with a lot of spin. This is due to its large head size combined with a 16x19 string pattern. The strings create friction with the tennis ball, which helps you generate more spin than denser string patterns.

What We Like

  • Explosive power
  • Provides excellent spin
  • Exceptional for serving

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be hard to control

BUY: Babolat 2021 Pure Drive

Best Tennis Rackets for Women - Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP Tennis Racquet

Best Tennis Rackets for Women - Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP Tennis Racquet

SPECS

  • Weight: 10.6 oz. (unstrung)
  • Head size: 100 sq. in.
  • Length: 27"
  • String pattern: 16x19

Check Price

Head revamped the Graphene 360+ Speed MP, and this new iteration provides an excellent amount of power, stability, feel, and spin. These attributes are among the main reasons that this racket is considered one of the most well-balanced designs.

For women looking for a comfortable grip and a racket that doesn’t hinder driving through the ball, you’ll love the feel of the Graphene 360+ Speed MP. If you excel at big, controlled swings, you’ll definitely want to try out this racket.

What We Like

  • Stability
  • Power
  • Spin

What We Don’t Like

  • Big hitters may seek more plow through

BUY: Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP Tennis Racquet

Best Tennis Rackets for Men - Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph

Best Tennis Rackets for Men - Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph

SPECS

  • Weight: 11.64 oz.
  • Head size: 97 sq. in.
  • Length: 27"
  • String pattern: 16x19

Check Price

Does the Wilson Pro Staff Autograph seem familiar? That’s because you’ve seen a few decent tennis players use it. Various versions of this stick have been preferred by tennis champions such as Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, and Steffi Graff.

With that kind of star power, you’re going to need a good bit of strength and experience to successfully use this racket. However, if you’re an advanced player, this hefty racket can elevate your groundstroke game. Additionally, it has fantastic plow-through and a consistent pace.

What We Like

  • Excellent control
  • Ample power
  • Very stable

What We Don’t Like

  • Hard to maneuver
  • Weight leads to muscle fatigue

BUY: Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph

Best Budget Tennis Racket - Senston 27 Inch Professional Tennis Racquet

Best Budget Tennis Racket - Senston 27 Inch Professional Tennis Racquet

SPECS

  • Weight: 9 oz.
  • Head size: 96-100 sq. in.
  • Length: 27"
  • String pattern: 16x19

Check Price

Tennis rackets can be expensive, but that doesn’t have to be a prohibitive factor. The Senston Professional Tennis Racket is an excellent cost-effective choice. Stetson’s one-piece molded technology makes for a durable racket that combines good acceleration and significant stroke control.

This racket is offered in an array of colors, and it comes with a protective carrying case. If you’re just starting out and don’t want to break the bank, try out this inexpensive option.

What We Like

  • Quality racket for the price;
  • Includes a carrying case
  • Good stroke control

What We Don’t Like

  • Some reports of grip unraveling
  • Packaging may say badminton (instead of tennis) racket

BUY: Senston 27 Inch Professional Tennis Racquet

Read Next: Give Your Feet Some Love With the Best Shoes for Tennis

What to Look for in a Tennis Racket

The two most important features to consider when buying a tennis racket are head size and weight. Both are largely dependent on your skill and comfort level. You’ll also want to note the length, the string pattern, and the grip size.

Head Size and Weight

The area of the racket where the strings are located is referred to as the head size. If you are a novice tennis player, you will most likely want to use a lightweight racket with a larger head size. That will make it easier for you to make contact with the ball, and it will provide additional power. The lighter weight will also help your muscles get used to rallying without the racket fatiguing your arm.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the game and the feel of the racket, you can move on to a racket with a little more heft. As you level up in tennis, the muscles you use will get stronger, which will allow you to move on to a heavier racket. With more weight, you’ll have more control of your power.

Tennis aces usually opt for midsize rackets as they provide a trifecta of benefits: feel, control, and precision. This type of racket enables you to feel more connected to the ball.

Length

The vast majority of tennis rackets are 27 inches long. The oversized rackets often used by those new to the sport can be 28-29 inches long. The longer of those measurements is the maximum length allowed in tournaments. The length of the racket affects your power output and how easily it is to reach for the ball.

String Pattern

Tennis racket string patterns are the numbers of main and cross strings in the racket head. Some of the most common string patterns are 16x19, 18x19, and 18x20. Higher string patterns are often referred to as being tight, and this helps players with control and feel. If you have an open string pattern, it means that your strings are spaced out a little more to help provide more power and spin.

Grip Size

Tennis can be taxing on your grip. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you choose the grip size that best fits your hand. Tennis rackets are typically offered in five sizes starting at 4 1/8 and going up by an eighth to 4 5/8, and these are often numbered 1-5. Most players will opt for a 3 (4 3/8).

FAQs About Tennis Rackets


Is it better to have a light or heavy racket?

The weight that you’ll want for a tennis racket depends on your skill level and the amount of muscles you have built up. With a lightweight racket, you will need to generate more power, but it is more maneuverable and you can swing it faster. A heavy racket generates more power and stability. It also transmits less shock and doesn’t fatigue

How long do tennis rackets last?

A tennis racket’s lifespan is determined by the amount of times that it is used. Advanced players who play and practice frequently and hit the ball with a lot of power can expect it to last about a year. For beginners and intermediate players, rackets can last up to a decade or longer if they are properly taken care of.

How much should I spend on a tennis racket?

Tennis rackets can be costly; however, if you are just starting out or don’t have the budget for a high-end stick, there are plenty of budget-friendly tennis rackets. Although pricier rackets provide durability and performance benefits, they aren’t necessary to have fun and become a quality player.

Do heavier rackets give more power?

A heavier tennis racket generates more power. It also generally provides less vibration and has a larger sweet spot.

Discuss This Article