No doubt you’ve stumbled upon this article in the hopes of working out what tennis racket brand best suits you because you don’t want to waste your hard-earned money on something that doesn’t feel right. Maybe you’ve played for a few years and are looking to mix-up your game a bit.
Maybe you’re looking to get back into the sport after 2020 ruined all hopes of getting out on the court. Or maybe this is a first time venture and you’re looking for a racket to join you on your long journey to become a tennis professional. All are entirely possible and I wish you luck in whichever category you fall into.
But the problem is, you don’t know who you can trust to give you a breakdown of racket manufacturers so you can decide for yourself which is best.
Worry no more.
We’re here to help.
Sit back and read on as we take a deep-dive in-depth look at 9 of the most well-known racket manufacturers in the world and let’s see if we can work out which of them – if any! – deserve the lucrative and much sought after title of the best tennis racket brand.
Best Tennis Racket Brands
Ah, Wilson! Arguably the most well-known tennis racket manufacturer, the Chicago based sporting firm began operations way back in 1913 but didn’t actually start producing tennis equipment until World War II.
Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength, producing balls, shoes, wristbands, and – most importantly – rackets.
The brand has remained relevant by backing some of the biggest modern-day professional players. Serena Williams and Roger Federer – arguably the greatest players the game has ever seen – have repped Wilson rackets for just about their entire careers and as a result, have partnered with the company directly to have specific custom-made rackets created just for them!
If only we could all have that luxury! Alas, let’s take a look at these two rackets.
Wilson Blade SW104 Counterveil
Serena’s weapon of choice comes with the control and precision needed for her all-power game and should hopefully help her get that allusive 24th grand slam title. The heavy, thick frame suits her, although may prove difficult for club-level or beginners. Previous rackets in the Blade range should prove to be more pleasant hunting grounds for us mere-mortals.
Wilson Pro Staff RF97
Federer has trusted his game with the Pro Staff line of rackets for years now and 20 slam titles demonstrate that he made a good decision in doing so. However, he has gone through many different models, and – more specifically – the frame head-size has increased majorly. This should help club-level players to get more power on their shots although beginners may want to go for a lighter model.
Wilson pride themselves in consistently providing all-round rackets that can be picked up and played with by as many people as possible and their stature as a leading Best tennis racket brand doesn’t look threatened anytime soon.
Pierre Babolat’s place in tennis history cannot be understated. The Frenchman’s company will forever be known as the first ones to produce racket strings made from natural gut all the way back in 1875… Babolat is OLD!
The company would focus primarily on strings for over a century. Finally, in 1994, they would finally branch out into more general equipment areas. Nowadays, Babolat can count on the King of Clay Rafael Nadal and current Australian Open champion Sophia Kenin to represent their brand out on the professional circuit.
Babolat Pure Aero Original
A man of immense habit and obsessive routine, Nadal has used the same model of Babolat racket since way back in 2005! There’s been a few tweaks here and there in terms of weight, paintjobs and general customisation but deep down, this racket has a long life-span! It’s a solid racket for club-level and beginners, sporting a large unique frame shape that make it easy to swing through the air. Controlled spin is ingrained in the heart of this racket.
Babolat Pure Drive
This model has been used by numerous pros throughout the years. The one that Kenin uses has a fancy American flag paintjob but sports similar stats as the Aero Pro. It does have a somewhat more “typical” frame and head size, offering a slightly more classic experience than the Aero. However, the Pure Drive should still prove to be a good choice for beginners looking for a trustworthy first racket that prioritizes ease-of-use above all else!
Babolat has been around forever and so it’s no surprise that their relatively recent entry into racket manufacturing has been so seamless. In recent years, they’ve worn their gritty pro top-spin racket company label with pride and it continues to set them apart from their competitors.
This Austrian sport manufacturing company has been making waves in the racket world for a while now. Having originally been set up in 1950, it took them over 10 years to actively start producing tennis equipment but when they did, they quickly made their presence felt.
Head is known as the company that first suggested the idea that rackets could perhaps be made out of aluminum. Without them, we could possibly maybe perhaps STILL be using wooden rackets! Today, the company sponsors many of the world’s best professionals, including current men’s world number 1 Novak Djokovic and current women’s world number 1 Ashleigh Barty!
Head Speed Pro
Djokovic has won numerous titles in the last few years using a variation of this model of racket. His current version suits his fast, quick-fire baseline based game, providing him with consistency that he needs. It doesn’t offer a great deal of power and so beginners should look at a loose set of strings on the frame if they desperately want the same racket as the best player on the planet.
Barty doesn’t produce a lot of power herself and so the racket she endorses does the job for her with a very large frame offering plenty of string space to strike from. This racket may comes with solid consistency, meaning that beginners and club-level players should fancy their chances in lengthy rallies. A good choice for the all-round player.
Head has gone from strength to strength in recent years and seem keen to continue to pick up as many professional players as possible. Expect to see them around for a long time yet, producing solid defensive consistency with their rackets.
Yonex have been a mainstay within the racket manufacturing world for a good few years now. Based in Tokyo, Japan, Yonex began its tennis racket manufacturing sector in 1971, after noticing that the same techniques that it had been using to produce badminton rackets could also be applied to tennis rackets.
From there, the sky was the limit and they currently find themselves sponsoring some of the best professional players in the forms of three time grand slam champions Stan Wawrinka and Naomi Osaka!
Yonex VCORE 95
Stan the Man’s racket is a monster! Like, HEAVY heavy! This of course suits his power baseline game, providing him with enough spin to control his weighty swings. Lighter models do exist and should appeal more to club-level players but those looking at starting their tennis journeys should possibly look elsewhere until they find themselves rallying consistently.
Yonex EZONE 98
Osaka has plenty of natural power similar to Stan but her racket offers comfort and stability over the VCORE’s brute force. Sporting a unique isometric head shape and mesh dampener technology in the handle, this racket is set up for easy use for players familiar with power hitting but looking to improve their touch game.
Watching Yonex expand further into the racket marketplace in recent years has been pleasing to see. Their rackets appear to favour primarily intermediate to professional level players and it’ll be intriguing to see if they decide to stick with this strategy or mix it up at all.
Despite not having a massive amount of professional players using their products currently, Prince is actually the leading racket manufacturer in the world!
Founded in 1970, the company created the world’s first tennis ball machine and in doing so, helped change the face of modern practice sessions.
The US company now specializes in producing slightly larger headframes, helping their products stand out to beginners and intermediate level players. Pro players that use Prince rackets include the American number 1 John Isner and former world number 1 Jelena Janković.
Prince Textreme Warrior 100
Isner needs no help with his serve but the Warrior 100 does come packed with more power than many of its predecessors. Its smooth surface was specifically built to help with easy swings and avoid stiff hits. As a result, it should prove to be a good racket for beginners and intermediate level players.
Prince Red LS 105
This racket provided Janković with the power and precision that she desired for the last few years of her playing career (although she hasn’t actually technically retired yet!) and this is shown predominantly in the extended sweet spot for more accurate hitting.
It’s also notable that this is a small racket in terms of general Prince frames, providing intermediate players who have perhaps grown up with larger frames an opportunity to switch it up slightly.
Prince have created a niche for themselves that they seem happy to keep within the confines of. A family friendly, all-round manufacturer, focusing mainly on beginners and intermediate level players.
The first British company on this list, Dunlop is perhaps best known for dragging their feet when the time came to change from wooden rackets to aluminum, believing that wood would remain the chief material in the long term.
However, they’ve since made up for their slow progress by providing more rackets for grand slam champions than any other racket manufacturer! Two current British players that represent their home brand are 7 time doubles slam champion Jamie Murray and current British number 1 Heather Watson.
Dunlop CX Series
This is a relatively new series of rackets from Dunlop and is a clear effort from them to attract a more varied audience with an imbedded vibration dampener in the core of the racket frame and an increased sweet-spot size appealing to all levels of player. Both Heather and Jamie use a version of this series, offering slightly different specs but generally the same all-round consistency.
Dunlop seem very keen to work on incorporating new technology into the rackets they’re producing which is good to see. They have a brand ambassador in former pro doubles player Colin Fleming and are pushing their all-round appeal. Their rackets should suit beginners to intermediate players.
This German based company isn’t a particularly well-known force in tennis circles but they could have been, having once sponsored one of the all-time greats in Boris Becker! This manufacturer has been around since 1923 and do currently have a handful of professionals on the tours who use their products such as 2020 US doubles champion, Laura Siegemund!
Volkl Organix 6 Super G Racket
This racket aims to lessen the impact of vibrations on the elbow of the player using it, hereby helping to avoid long-term injury. This may well impact the amount of control and feel that players get on the ball but generally, this should be a brilliant racket both for beginners and anyone suffering from joint pain!
Volkl clearly aren’t in the racket manufacturing business with the aim of producing world-beating rackets but instead, to offer an alternative and for that reason, they stand out.
A relatively recent addition to the manufacturing business, this French company only decided to begin producing rackets in 2004! Having been around since 1979, they had a lot of experience to fall back on and the results speak for themselves already!
They may have only produced three range of rackets so far but Tecnifibre can already count world number 4 Daniil Medvedev and 2020 Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek amongst their representatives on the professional circuit!
This racket suits Medvedev’s oddly bizarre gamestyle brilliantly, helping him wear down his opposition with grinding baseline pace. Aggressive players will find the stability that this racket offers fantastic for their games and offers some extra spin through the string patterns.
Tenifibre look to be expanding with the recent reveal of its sponsorship deal with Swiatek. Currently, the company had yet yet sign a women’s player before 2021 but with Iga, they can further market their products to the wider masses.
This move would suggest that the company hope to release more products in the future and in doing so, hopefully produce more rackets for a wider array of skillsets and hopefully go on to solidify themselves as one of the top tennis brands in the very near future.
The second British company on this list, Slazenger used to be a dominant force in the production of wooden tennis rackets, somewhat similar to Dunlop. Created back in 1881, Slazenger has the distinction of being the oldest brand on this list.
They also have the oldest sporting contract with a tournament, having provided balls for Wimbledon since 1902! Slazenger seem keen to market their rackets towards families and beginners. They pride themselves nowadays on their affordability and durability, rather than any hope of conquering the professional market again.
The majority of their ten or so rackets on their website are below 50 pounds and should provide a generally fun level of secure play for anyone not looking to take the sport too seriously.
Phew! That was a LOT!
Who takes the title of the Best Tennis Brand!?!
Nobody. Not really.
Let me explain.
The brands I’ve explained up above provide rackets for their core markets and are all at different stages of their production journeys. Some (such as Slazenger and Dunlop) look to be going in different directions currently, whereas others (Wilson, Head and Babolat) are enjoying dominance in the industry.
Everything comes in phases though and with the rise of Tecnifibre in the last decade or so, we could well see further competition and that can only be a good thing for the standard of products these companies produce in future as they attempt to lure us in with their fancy new tech.
We can only sit back, enjoy and select what best suits us for our own personal games.
I hope this piece was able to help you come to your final decision!