The best tennis racket isn’t necessarily the most expensive one. As we all know, tennis is an individual sport which means that a universal formula for success does not exist. Every individual is different, and just because a certain part of tennis equipment such as a tennis racket suits one player, it doesn’t translate into the racket suiting another player the same way.
There are numerous factors to take into account when choosing any part of tennis equipment. The choice of which tennis shoes fit you best and which you feel most comfortable in is a tough decision, let alone choosing the right racket. We’ll clear it up for you.
A tennis racket is the key factor to any player’s game. A perfect tennis racket enables the player to achieve their full potential, and this doesn’t apply to professionals only. With a little bit of research, players of all ages can find the right racket for themselves. However, if you think that just because a racket is a perfect fit for you on paper, you’d be surprised how often it doesn’t suit you as much as you think it would.
Your tennis racket can have an immense impact on many aspects of your game. It can influence your performance and skill development on the court. The right racket can also prevent tennis injuries such as a tennis elbow, which is quite common amongst players who’ve been playing for a long time, but can also affect beginner tennis players. New players take into account things like grip size, head size, comfort, and weight when buying their first racket. I remember when Bjorn Borg made a comeback out of retirement in 1991 and used a wooden racket. It is fair to say it didn’t go too well against the power of the more advanced rackets. Björn Borg’s 1991 Comeback to Tennis | by Tom Brogan | Medium
But it is much more complex than that. Advanced players pay attention not only to the aforementioned stuff but also to swing weight, maneuverability, the size of the sweet spot, string pattern and so much more when they’re looking for the best tennis racket. So, you’ve probably figured by now that choosing the best rackets isn’t all that easy. You might even doubt that you’d be able to select a racket that suits your type of play style. But do not worry, we’re here to help.
Steps to Follow When Choosing a Tennis Racket
1. Be realistic with your skill level ( This will help you forget about those super-advanced rackets with very small head sizes and with way too much weight on them).
2. Ask someone for a piece of advice (Preferably a local coach, as they’ll be able to at least guide you to your final choice/s).
3. Set your priorities and stick to them (Whether it’s comfort, maneuverability, power, control, etc.).
4. Find a couple of the best options that you believe would suit you the best (Always try to narrow down your search to two or three different rackets).
5. Where possible, play-test your choices and decide which one is best for you (If possible, you should always try out the racket you’re looking to buy).
The Best Tennis Rackets Under $100 – Our Top Picks
If you’re looking for the best tennis racket under 100$, chances are you’re most likely a beginner. It makes perfect sense not to spend a lot of money on an expensive racket before stepping foot onto the tennis court. Some people starting out can feel pressured into buying the most expensive gear in the hopes that it’ll give them an advantage over others, which most certainly isn’t the case.
After you’ve played for a little longer and are starting to be more familiar with the game, you’ll probably look into more expensive ones, but for now, you should focus on these racquets that we’re going to review. If this isn’t the case for you, and you’ve got a tight budget, don’t worry. As the saying goes: “All the gear and no idea.”. So trust me, you’ll do just fine with the following rackets against someone with the most expensive gear. Without further ado, let’s get straight into our selection of the best tennis rackets under 100$.
The Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Stretch OS is a very interesting racket. Before we dive into its characteristics, let us first break down its name. “Hyper” refers to the hyper carbon frame construction. Hyper Carbon is a racket technology that Wilson implemented into this racket to improve both its power and stability when hitting the tennis ball. “Hammer” indicates that it is a part of the Wilson Hammer Technology which features a specific weight distribution in the head of the racket making it head-heavy which subsequently makes it feel hammer-like. “Stretch” refers to the extended length of 27.5 inches, when compared to the most common length of most rackets which is 27 inches. And last but not least, “OS” stands for the oversized head that this racket features.
Now that we’ve got that out the way, let’s see why this racket is such a great option for a lot of players. When you combine the stretched design, a larger head size of 110 square inches, a larger sweet spot than most common rackets, and its light weight of 255 g, it becomes quite clear why so many beginners and recreational players find it a great racket.
I’ve personally tried the Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Stretch OS, and it impressed me. Even though I’ve played professionally throughout my junior career, and being used to more advanced rackets, I’ve found this racket to be quite efficient from the baseline and on the net. The extended length provided more leverage which in turn created more power on my shots from the baseline, whilst still being reasonably precise. Although it’s on the lighter side of tennis rackets, which is an amazing racket feature for people looking for comfort, I’ve found it to be quite stable and maneuverable on the net due to its large sweet spot and larger head size. Even though this racket isn’t meant for a higher skill level, I could clearly see why beginner and even intermediate players tend to buy it. It is an excellent pick in this price range.
Another great choice in the category of player rackets with oversized frames is the Head Titanium Ti.S6. Made with the same idea as the Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Stretch OS, with the key features being an oversized head, lightweight, elongated design, and an open string pattern. This racket by the famous American-Austrian company HEAD is aimed at casual players, mostly beginner and intermediate skill level who are looking for a well-rounded quality player’s racket.
This oversized racket features a 115 sq inch head size with an open string pattern, allowing for more spin potential and more power. The large head size also enables for a large sweet spot, meaning that the racket is very forgiving even if you don’t hit the ball perfectly. It features a head-heavy weight distribution similar to that of the Wilson Hyper Hammer, with the addition of extra weight into the head of the racket for more power. The weight rounds up to 252 g when strung, but it’s still of a much lighter weight than most rackets are this price range.
I’ve only played with this racket a few times, I do remember my coach using it when I was younger. I remember him saying something along the lines of: “This is the perfect tennis racket, light, large head, lots of power and you just can’t miss the ball”. And that is what this racket is truly about, providing players who are still developing their game with a very arm-friendly and forgiving racket with high levels of power. If I were a beginner looking for my first racket I’d definitely consider the Head Ti S 6 as a viable option.
Also, it is a good balance of how much you pay for what you get.
The world-renowned tennis brand Babolat is endorsed by none other than one of the greatest tennis players of all time Rafael Nadal. Then it must be great, you might think to yourself, and you’d be absolutely right. The Babolat Boost S is a racket series aimed at beginners, rising juniors, and recreational players. This racket features a slightly bigger head size of 102 square inches, a standard length of 27 inches, and a strung weight of 295 g. It is an incredible intermediate-level racket for a versatile style of play.
The Babolat Boost S is a “fun” racket to wield around and play with due to it having a slightly smaller head size when compared to the Head Ti S and the Wilson Hyper Hammer. Also, when compared to those two it isn’t as light, thus players that are just starting their tennis journey might find it a little difficult to maneuver. When it comes to hitting the ball, the Babolat Boost S does it in an amazing fashion with lots of topspin and decent control. However, some players have found that it doesn’t have much power and that stability tends to be an issue against heavy hitters. But, all in all, Babolat Boost S is definitely the best in his class, when compared to other Babolat rackets such as Babolat Boost Drive and Babolat Boost Aero.
I’ve never personally tested the Babolat Boost S series, but I’ve played with the Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 and was blown away by how great that racket was. It was a very stiff racket, yet with a great feel, and an extremely powerful shot with enough precision to easily perform great shots from all over the court. With that in mind, I believe that the Boost S gives players the ability to do the same, as it is made with that exact idea in mind. If you’re looking for a good tennis racket that is very versatile, you might want to consider the Boost S.
Head Radical series was a lot more popular a few years back when Andy Murray was a serious threat to the “Big 3″. But he wasn’t the only reason that Head Radical was so popular. The Radical series was, just like the Speed series, simply a line of amazingly built rackets that players liked and enjoyed using. Again, just like the Speed, the Radical was an excellent all-rounded tennis racket that offered less acceleration, but more control and stability than the Speed.
The Head Graphene XT Radical S features a 102 square inch head, with a length of 27 inches and a weight of 295 g. This is by far the best racket for junior players out of the ones listed here because it provides superb control and an excellent feel.
Once again, very similar to Head Speed and Novak Djokovic, when you think of Andy Murray, you probably think of an all-rounded player with lots of control and just terrific defensive abilities. That is the first thing that comes to my mind, at least. It’s almost as if the racket sort defines the player, or does the player define the racket? What do you think?
I’ve tested the Radical series and played with it for a while, and it has great control and precision. The only reason I switched is due to my playing style which didn’t match the racket. I’ve always had an aggressive baseliner game style. Due to this, I need a racket that has lots of power and pop on my shots, whilst maintaining decent levels of control when I’m unable to create points myself. So, I’ve been paying lots of attention to this when opting for a new tennis racket and I would advise you to do the same.
Head Speed series, endorsed by statistically the greatest tennis player of all time, Novak Djokovic is definitely one of the best and most famous racket series out there. Why would Djokovic use it if it weren’t, right? Technically yes, but the Speed rackets come in a lot of different sizes and different weights. There is no denying how good the series is, but let’s get to the Head Graphene XT Speed MP in particular. It features a head size of 100 sq inches, a standard length of 27 inches and it is the heaviest racket on this list at 315 g.
This racket is definitely not made for beginners, but rather for intermediate and even advanced players who are looking to propel their game forward. Due to a 16×19 string pattern, it can achieve great amounts of topspin with amazing precision. In addition to it, the speed by which this racket accelerates is just superb, thus the name.
When you think of Novak Djokovic, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Without a doubt, the most well-rounded player to ever touch the game. Every aspect of the game you could think of, he’s got it. That pretty much sums up the Head Graphene XT Speed MP with the only downside being that for some people it might be a little stiff at times, and tends to lack the comfort some other competitor rackets have. Head Speed MP and the Radical S share the spot for the greatest quality racket out of all these that we’ve mentioned so far, but the Speed MP would definitely be my top pick if I were looking for the best tennis racket under 100$.
So, what is a perfect tennis racket? The easiest way of putting it is that the perfect tennis racket is the racket that is right for you. You have to define what you value most in a tennis racket and then try to find it. It all depends on your age, skill level, and physical capabilities. It could be an old racket or a new one, doesn’t matter, all that matters is how it fits you and how comfortable you are with it. When I started playing my father cut down an adult racket to make it shorter and re-gripped it ( I am not joking).
Above are the key factors in choosing the best tennis racket, whether you’re a beginner player or an advanced player. The rackets on our list are all high quality for the price and we’ve also not just chosen the newest rackets either. The Head Tsi 6 is an older racket but it still packs a punch in today’s market.
To conclude, these are our top picks for the best tennis rackets under 100$, choose a couple of them, try them, and ultimately decide which one is the right one for you.