What is the best tennis racquet for seniors like you?
There are many articles on this website focusing on the technique, tactics, psychology and physical conditioning you need to succeed in seniors tennis. If you get all of these aspects right, there is yet another important factor which will affect how well you play: the racquet.
Technology has moved on a great deal in the last few decades, and modern racquets can offer more power, superior feel, and better comfort than older models. In this article, I will look at the racquets which are likely to suit different types of player, in order to determine the best tennis racquet for senior players of different ages and genders.
Best Tennis Racquet For Men Over 40
As discussed in other articles, a player in his early 40s need not have lost much of his speed or power. There are several players still competing at the very top of the game who are aged 40 or older- even Roger Federer is only a couple of months away from his 40th birthday at the time of writing. This means that the racquet you choose in this age category can be almost entirely determined by your style of play. Some examples are set out below.
Players who are new to the game will not be able to generate a great deal of racquet head speed, and will benefit from having a manoeuvrable racquet with a large sweet spot, in order that it is forgiving of off-centre strikes. Some experts recommend the Head Titanium Ti.S5 Comfort Zone for beginners.
It has an oversize, 107 square inch head with a large sweet spot. The racquet has good vibration dampening, which will protect the arm, and is fairly powerful, thus suiting players with low to moderate swing speeds. It is also 0.75 inches longer than standard, resulting in a little extra power when serving.
If you have been playing a little longer, and can develop a little more swing speed, you will want a racquet that suits an intermediate player. You will now have your own distinct playing style. If you want the most power and spin, the Babolat Pure Drive is a good option.
Weighing in at a relatively sturdy 318g, with a 100 square inch head, it is a fairly stiff racquet aimed at players who want to dominate from the baseline with aggressive shots. The strings are slightly more widely spaced, with more room to move around than in many other frames, in order to allow a high level of spin to be developed.
Intermediate Player’s Racquet
Intermediate players looking for feel and control should consider the Wilson Blade 98.
As its name suggests the Blade has a 98 square inch head, and it weighs 323g. It offers sufficient power to players with a relatively fast swing speed, but the main focus is on feedback to the player. It is a development of a well-established frame, offering traditional feel allied to a modern capacity to generate spin and power.
Club players who have had arm issues will want a racquet that offers excellent vibration absorption, whilst still retaining modern performance characteristics. The Yonex EZONE 98 could be just what they need.
Weighing 320g, and with a 98 square inch head, it claims to offer precision and spin allied to excellent feel. There are two specific features which help to protect the player’s arm.
Firstly, the racquet features wider string spacing towards the edges to reduce shock from off-centre hits.
Secondly, Yonex have installed a vibration dampening mesh in the handle.
Advanced Player’s Racquet
If you are an advanced player, aiming to play at a good standard, your racquet requirements will be similar to those of intermediate players, except you will be more focused on the high performance aspects of the frames and stringing patterns.
An advanced player seeking to maximise power and spin should consider the Babolat Pure Drive Tour.
This is a little heavier than other Pure Drive Racquets at 335g, with the usual 100 square inch head. The racquet is designed to offer a solid feel, with its relatively stiff frame providing plenty of power. Aggressive players who like to apply a lot of spin should find this racket ideal.
Big hitters who require good control and feel might want to look at the Prince Phantom 93P racquet with an 18×20 string pattern.
This is a relatively heavy racket weighing 346g, with a head size of just 93 square inches. It offers a solid, stable feel, and will suit physically strong players who have no problem developing racquet head speed. The 18×20 stringing pattern aids control, and will reduce string breakage rates for powerful hitters.
Advanced players who have had arm issues should consider the Head 360+ Prestige Midplus.
With a weight of 337g, and a head size of 98 square inches, this racquet offers stability and control with enough flexibility to protect your arm. It will suit players who produce enough racquet head speed to develop their own power without too much help from the racquet, but value precision and feel.
Best Tennis Racquet For Men Over 50 Years Old
In this age category, your strength and capacity to develop racquet head speed will be diminishing, and you may be a little more prone to arm and shoulder injuries.
The type of very stiff tour racquet you might have used a few years ago is unlikely to be suitable any more, but you will still want something which offers some power and spin, allied to feel and control. Your exact preference will depend upon the level at which you are playing and the kind of opposition you are facing.
If you face big hitters, especially in singles, you will need a racquet which offers stability and feel: anything too light will make it harder for you to control the ball. On the other hand, if you play a lot of doubles you will probably require a light and manoeuvrable frame which favours rapid adjustments and sharp net play.
A couple of manufacturers are well known for producing rackets which provide high levels of comfort and feel, and which are therefore very popular among older players who are concerned about arm injuries. Most prominent among these is ProKennex.
Interestingly, their racquets’ ability to protect against tennis elbow is one of the very first things mentioned on the homepage of their website, in stark contrast to the pseudo-science and name-dropping you will find on many others. If you are an advanced player who would like a quality racquet which will provide stability and protect your arm, you will want to look at the ProKennex Ki Q+ 5 Pro.
This frame weighs 310g, although similar models weighing slightly more or less are available. It has a 100 square inch head, and an unusual 16×20 stringing pattern offering the potential for power and control. The racquet is more flexible than many, contributing towards its comfortable feel.
Another brand offering racquets which are not too hard on the arm is Volkl. A good example is the Volkl V Sense V1 MP.
This is a lighter racquet than the ProKennex, weighing in at 286g with a 102 square inch head, providing manoeuvrability in conjunction with a sizeable sweet spot. Volkl have built in effective vibration-absorbing technology which will protect your arm, making this a good choice for keen senior doubles players.
Best Tennis Racquets For Men Over 60
As you age further, you will be losing more power, so it is more likely that you will want a racquet which offers a large head and boosts the velocity of your shots, whilst retaining manoeuvrability to help your doubles play.
A good example of the type of racquet which older players might want to consider is the Wilson Clash 108.
Weighing in at a modest 295 grams, with a 108 square inch head featuring a large sweet spot, the racket offers good feel and control due to its flexible frame. Its lightweight contributes to excellent manoeuvrability, and its slightly longer length (27.25 inches) will give a little extra power on serve.
The Yonex EZONE 105 is even lighter than the Wilson Clash at 275 grams.
It has a 105 square inch head, and has the same vibration absorbing features as the EZONE 98 described above, making it easy on the arm. The EZONE 105 is easy to manoeuvre and has a large sweet spot.
If neither of the above racquets appeal, a further option would be to seek out larger headed versions of the ProKennex and Volkl racquets described in the previous section, as these are very comfortable to use, if possibly slightly heavier.
Best Tennis Racquets For Senior Women
Similar considerations apply to female players as for men, but there are a few important differences.
Firstly, women are on average smaller and less strong, meaning that it can be harder for them to develop high levels of racquet head speed and spin, and secondly there tends to be less volleying on average in all forms of women’s tennis. As with men, racquet requirements will vary by age.
Best Tennis Racquet For Women Over 40
As for male players, females over 40 should not have suffered any substantial physical deterioration, so their racquet needs can primarily be judged according to their playing level and style.
An interesting option for a female beginner is the Tecnifibre T-Rebound Tempo.
This racquet is available in a distinctly lightweight 270 gram version, and very unusually, measures only 26.6 inches long. It has a 100 square inch head, giving it a fairly substantial sweet spot, and is exceptionally manoeuvrable. It offers reasonable levels of power and spin, but its main strength is the ease with which it can be wielded, allowing beginners to feel comfortable when learning new techniques.
Intermediate Player’s Racquet
Players looking for a solid level of power and spin, allied to excellent control and feel, could do a lot worse than choosing the Babolat Pure Strike 100.
The racquet weighs 315 grams, with a 100 square inch head, and measures the standard 27 inches in length. Reviewers often remark on the control offered by this frame along with its capacity for imparting spin, making it perfect for intermediate players who are gradually moving up to a higher standard.
The Dunlop FX 500 is another excellent choice for intermediate players who want to develop plenty of power and spin.
Weighing 318 grams, with a 100 square inch head, reviewers also noted its manoeuvrability. It would certainly be worth trying out as a comparison to the Babolat options.
Advanced Player’s Racquet
For big hitters, there are many excellent tour-style racquets available. Babolat racquets are particularly popular among female players due to their combination of high performance, light weight and control.
Many advanced female players use the Babolat Pure Drive.
It features a 100 square inch head and weighs 318 grams. It is a relatively stiff racquet which offers plenty of power and spin, whilst also providing reasonable control and manoeuvrability. It lends itself well to the aggressive game style which a lot of women like to play.
An alternative for the aggressive baseliner is the Wilson SW102, autographed by Serena Williams.
As might be expected, this racket does not compromise on power, but is designed to offer a good level of control too. It weighs 306 grams and features a 102 square inch head. Notably it is 28 inches long, which should offer a little extra power on serve. An 18×19 string pattern will contribute towards improved control and reduced string breakage.
For players who are a little more control-oriented, and value manoeuvrability, the Head Graphene 360+ Instinct MP is worth considering.
Weighing 318 grams strung, and with a 100 square inch head, this racquet is designed to encourage the development of racquet head speed. Head’s vibration absorption technology means that it is not too hard on your arm.
Best Tennis Racquet For Women Over 50 Years Old
Similar considerations apply to women and men in this age group. The arm and shoulder will need more protection, meaning that the stiffest, lightest racquets are no longer suitable. Looking at the offerings of ProKennex and Volkl would certainly be worthwhile. The Volkl V Sense V1 MP described earlier is both light and arm-friendly, and could be an excellent choice.
Alternatively, the ProKennex Ki Q+5 Light weighs in at 280 grams, and has both the comfort and precision that women in this age group are likely to favour.
Best Tennis Racquets For Women Over 60
In this age category, strength will be diminishing, so a powerful racquet with a large head which is not too hard on the arm will be optimal. The racquets suggested for the males in this age group would all be worth considering. The most appropriate might be the Yonex EZONE 105, due to its light weight and vibration absorbing technology.
This also offers a reasonable level of power, a sizeable sweet spot and good manoeuvrability.
Best Advice on Tennis Racquet for Seniors
A player’s racquet needs vary according to their game style and physical capabilities. Some racquets offer more power and spin, and others provide better comfort and feel. Nonetheless, the only way you can determine the best racquet for you is to try out some of the options.
Many websites and shops offer demo services, whereby you can try out racquets for a small fee before making your final choice.
Ultimately it is your personal preference which matters most: if you like the feel of a racquet you will probably play well with it. Hopefully this article has provided you with some good options to try out.
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