Oversize vs Midplus Tennis Racquet, which one is right for me?
So far in this series of articles, we have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of the two sizes of racquet that are most popular among both advanced and club players: oversize and midplus.
In this article we will summarise some of the key points from the other posts, and make a direct comparison to consider why you might prefer your tennis racquet oversize vs midplus.
What Is An Oversize Tennis Racquet?
Maybe it will not be quite as big as the one in the picture, but the head of an oversize racquet will typically measure 106-135 square inches, or 685-870 square centimetres. As the name suggests, oversize racquets are the largest racquets currently available in terms of head size.
What Is A Midplus Tennis Racquet?
A midplus racquet will feature a head size of 98-105 square inches, or 630-680 square centimetres. It will be larger than a midsize racquet, but smaller than an oversized one.
Oversize vs Midplus Tennis Racquet – The Differences
The table below shows the differences between the two categories at a glance. We talk about the various characteristics in more detail below.
|Head size||106-135 square inches||98-105 square inches|
|Type of Players||Beginners, Older||Any level|
Are Oversized Tennis Racquets Legal?
Any racquet that is currently being sold new is likely to conform with the rules of the game. The maximum dimensions allowed for the playing surface are 15.5 inches in length and 11.5 inches in width.
The absolute maximum head size is therefore around 178 square inches, although this would no doubt be somewhat lacking in playability!
The largest rackets on the market tend to have a head size of 135-137 square inches, which will feel pretty big, but is perfectly legal.
One racquet which did fall foul of the regulations was the Head Ti S7, which had a playing area which was longer than that allowed by the rules. These racquets are still available second-hand: if you are tempted to buy one, remember that you will not be allowed to use it in competition.
Should I Use An Oversize Tennis Racquet?
This depends very much on what you want from your racquet. An oversize racquet will typically offer plenty of power, due to the combination of longer strings and the trampoline effect, along with a large sweetspot due to the sheer size of the racquet. Oversize racquets are generally fairly light with a moderately thick beam to enhance power and stability.
On the downside, all of that extra power comes at the expense of control. Not only that, but a larger racquet is going to be more difficult to manoeuvre quickly, which may be a particular drawback if you like to play at the net.
So, the answer to the question is: if you prioritise power and forgiveness of off-centre strikes over control and manoeuvrability, yes, you should use an oversize racquet.
Who Should Use A Midplus Racquet?
A midplus racquet brings many of the advantages of an oversize racquet with less extreme disadvantages. In comparison to a midsize racquet, it offers more power and more forgiveness. The extra head size will reduce control to some degree, as well as manoeuvrability, but the effect will be much less marked than for an oversize racquet.
The benefits of a well-designed midplus racquet can be significant: at the smaller end of the range it will be manoeuvrable and precise enough for the most advanced players, while offering a useful boost in power and sweetspot size. Any competent club player or advanced tournament competitor should certainly consider a midplus frame.
Is A Bigger Head Better For A Tennis Racquet?
As discussed above, larger racquet heads bring distinct benefits as well as drawbacks. If a larger head was unequivocally superior, all of the pros would be using 150 square-inch frames. The fact that they tend to use midplus racquets indicates that they are trying to get as much benefit as possible from increased head size without losing too much control and manoeuvrability.
A bigger head will be beneficial for players who struggle to generate power, and who want as much help as they can get from their racquet frame.
Older players and beginners will therefore tend to favour oversize racquets.
Nonetheless, although it is not fashionable for them to do so today, advanced players can use oversize racquets: Andre Agassi, for example, used a 107 square-inch Head Radical to great effect.
Oversize vs Midplus Tennis Racquet Summary
In this post, we have looked at why you might prefer your oversize vs midplus tennis racquet.
– Oversize racquets can legally have a head of 158 square inches, although anything over 137 is very rare.
– Midplus racquets range from 98-105 square inches.
– Oversize racquets bring extra power and an enhanced sweetspot, which can be particularly helpful for older players and beginners.
– Oversize racquets are not great for control or manoeuvrability.
– Midplus racquets bring some of the benefits of oversize frames with more modest drawbacks, and they are extremely popular with advanced players and good club players.
Do you prefer oversize or midplus racquets? Let us know why.
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