Tennis rackets always get the seal of approval from big-name professionals like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. While this is sometimes simply done to sell products to the masses, the actual rackets that these pros use on the court are the ones that you should be paying attention to if you’re looking for your next racket.
Is it REALLY Their Racket of Choice?
There are so many times when tennis pros announce that they use a certain racket, but what they use on the court and what’s available for public purchase can sometimes differ. For example, companies may enhance a tennis pro’s racket to make it stiffer or more durable, since it’ll be used frequently on a competitive level. That means that when you go to the store or shop online to buy the Babolat racket that Rafael Nadal uses on the court, you might not get the same one that he swings despite his name being attached to it on an advertising level.
However, if you do your research, you can see that there are mainstream rackets that are used by the professionals. For example, Rodger Federer used a Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph racket at Wimbledon. This garnered a lot of attention which prompted the company’s global product director, John Lyons, to announce that this is more than a signature racket with his name on it; this is the actual racket that he plays with. While this is to elicit confidence in the public who may be looking to buy the racket, it’s also a message to other equipment companies that put disclaimers on their products about differences in the public model from the professional model. Federer backed him up by verifying that he does use the racket without any modifications.
Babolat was actually sued by a disgruntled customer who bought a specific racket because they assumed “racket of choice” meant that the professional that was named actually used the racket when it turned out they didn’t. The lawsuit was settled despite Babolat’s claim that it wasn’t faulty advertising but was a standard marketing claim based on a sponsorship. This has led companies to put disclaimers on their products in an attempt not to deceive the public. More so, companies have moved away from modifying rackets for professionals in order to ensure that the rackets available for the public are the same ones used by professional players. To prevent yourself from wasting money, however, be sure to look for those remarks when shopping for your next racket just in case.
The Rackets the Top Professionals Use
If you’re in the market for a new tennis racket or are just curious about what equipment the big stars are using, here are the lists of the top 10 men and women in 2018 and what they use on the court.
ATP Top 10, 2018
- Rafael Nadal: Babolat Pure Aero PLAY
- Novak Djokovic: Head Graphene Touch Speed Pro
- Roger Federer: Wilson ProStaff RF 97 Autograph (Black & White)
- Juan Martin Del Potro: Wilson Burn FST 95
- Alexander Zverev: Head Graphene Touch Speed MP
- Marin Cilic: Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid
- Dominic Thiem: Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 (Project One7)
- Kevin Anderson: Dunlop Srixon Revo CX 2.0 Tour 18×20
- Grigor Dimitrov: Wilson Pro Staff 97
- John Isner: Prince Textreme Warrior 100
WTA Top 10, 2018
- Simona Halep: Wilson Burn 100
- Caroline Wozniacki: Babolat Pure Aero Play
- Angelique Kerber: Yonex VCore SV 100
- Naomi Osaka: Yonex EZONE 98
- Karolina Pliskova: Babolat Pure Drive
- Elina Svitolina: Wilson Burn 100
- Petra Kvitova: Wilson Pro Staff 97
- Sloane Stephens: Head Graphene XT Radical Pro
- Julia Georges: Babolat Pure Drive 2012
- Kiki Bertens: Wilson Blade 98 (18×20) Countervail
While the famous sisters didn’t make the WTA’s Top 10 ranking, Serena and Venus Williams are two of the biggest names in Women’s tennis and shouldn’t be left off of this list. Both sisters use the Wilson Blade 104 when on the court.
Most Used Tennis Racket Brand
In the ATP’s ranking of the 10 best male tennis players, it seems that Wilson and Head are used the most with Babolat right behind them in popularity. When you look at the ATP’s 2017 list of the top 100 male players, this breakdown still held true. Based on that list, 29 players use Wilson rackets, 28 players use Head rackets, and 22 players use Babolat rackets. Considering that these are three of the biggest brands in tennis equipment, it isn’t that big of a surprise.
When it comes to the female players, Wilson and Babolat are the most used rackets in the top 10 list with Wilson being used more than Babolat. When you look at the complete Top 100 list from 2017, this is reversed with 38 players on the list using Babolat rackets and 32 using Wilson rackets. Yonex comes in at a distant third with 12 players using those rackets.
Most Successful Tennis Racket Brands
Sometimes, tennis players like to buy a brand that has been used to win tournaments most often. If you’d like to do this, you have to look at the rackets that recent tournament winners used on the tennis court.
Based on the 2017 tournaments, Wilson and Babolat were used by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, respectively, making them the most successful racket brands in the ATP. There is something to be noted here, however. Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were both injured and could’ve easily taken the tournaments themselves which would’ve made Head rackets more successful than Wilson and Babolat so it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Just like the ATP, Babolat and Wilson are the most successful rackets in the WTA with Wilson recording more tournament wins overall. When looking at the 2017 tournaments, Wilson recorded 24 wins with Babolat at 19. All other brands are far behind these two behemoths.
Whether you’re in the market for a new tennis racket and are looking for the best of the best or you’re just curious about the equipment your favorite tennis players use, you have all of the information you need. If you are using this to shop for a new racket, be sure to read the product description thoroughly and look for any disclaimers or notes regarding player endorsements. Keep your own needs and preferences in mind, too; at the end of the day just because your favorite professional uses a racket, it doesn’t mean that it’ll work for you and your game.