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Buying Guide

Racquet Buying Guide

Tennis racquets are not one-size-fits-all; finding the right one involves considering various factors that cater to your unique playing style, skill level, and preferences. The perfect racquet can significantly enhance your performance on the court. In this comprehensive buying guide, we'll delve into the key aspects to consider when selecting a tennis racquet to ensure you make an informed and satisfying purchase.

Introduction : Understanding Your Needs

Before diving into specific features, it's crucial to assess your own playing style and skill level. Are you a beginner still refining your strokes, an intermediate player seeking consistency, or an advanced competitor looking for a racquet that complements your strengths? Identifying your playing level provides a solid foundation for making the right choices in terms of racquet specifications.

1. Player Skill Level

Your skill level is a fundamental factor influencing your racquet choice.

Beginner Level
Beginners often benefit from larger, more forgiving racquet heads that provide a larger sweet spot and extra power.
Intermediate Level
Intermediate players may seek a balance between power and control.
Advanced Level
Advanced players typically prefer racquets that offer precision and control for their refined techniques.

2. Head Size

Larger Heads
(Over 105 square inches)
Ideal for beginners and aged players as they offer a larger sweet spot, more power and are forgiving on off-center hits, providing consistency to novice players.
Mid-Size Heads
(97-105 square inches)
Suitable for intermediate players as they offer balanced power and control.
Smaller Heads
(Below 97 square inches)
Favored by advanced players for enhanced control and feel. Requires more precise shot-making but delivers greater accuracy.

3. Weight

Lightweight
(Under 280 grams)
Maneuverable and suitable for beginners and players with slower swings. Offers easy handling, making it conducive for learning proper strokes.
Medium Weight
(280-300 grams)
Strikes a balance between power and control. Suitable for intermediate players looking to refine their skills.
Heavyweight
(Over 300 grams):
Provides more control and demands greater physical strength. Ideal for advanced players seeking maximum control and stability.

4. Balance

Head-Light Balances
Maneuverable and suitable for players who prefer more control. Enhances racquet stability for precise shots.
Even Balance
Offers a balanced feel between power and control. Suitable for a wide range of playing styles.
Head-Heavy Balance
Generates more power and is suitable for players with faster swings. Provides additional momentum for aggressive shots.

5. Length

Adult Racquets

Standard Length (27 inches)
The most common length suitable for all types of players. Provides a good balance of power and control.
Extended Length (Over 27 inches)
Offers additional reach and power. Suitable for advanced players seeking an extra edge.

Junior Racquets

26 inches
Suitable for juniors of age 10-11 years and height 55 inches or taller
25 inches
Suitable for juniors of age 9-10 years and height 50-54 inches
23 inches
Suitable for juniors of age 7-8 years and height 45-49 inches
21 inches
Suitable for juniors of age 5-6 years and height 41-44 inches
19 inches
Suitable for juniors of age 4 years or below and height 40 inches or shorter

6. Stiffness

Low Stiffness (50-64 RA)
Provides more comfort and feel. Suitable for players prone to arm discomfort or tennis elbow.
Medium Stiffness (65-69 RA)
Offers a balanced combination of power and control. Suitable for a wide range of players.
High Stiffness (70+ RA)
Provides more power and stability. Suited for players with a faster, aggressive swing.

7. Beam Thickness

Thicker Beam (23-26 mm)
Provides more power due to increased stiffness. Ideal for players seeking a power-oriented game.
Thinner Beam (20-22 mm)
Offers better control and feel. Suitable for players who prioritize precision over power.

8. String Pattern

Open String Pattern
Generates more spin and power. Suitable for players who rely on topspin shots. The most common open string patterns are 16x18 and 16x19.
Dense String Pattern
Offers enhanced control and precision. Preferred by players with a flatter, more aggressive playing style. The most common dense string pattern is 18x20.

9. Grip Size

Choosing the right grip size is crucial for your game and to prevent injuries. Adult racquets come in the following grip sizes

  • L1 – 4 1/8 inches
  • L2 – 4 1/4 inches
  • L3 – 4 3/8 inches
  • L4 – 4 1/2 inches
  • L5 – 4 5/8 inches

Grip size L3 (4 3/8) will suit most Indian players with a standard palm size. If you have a smaller palm size than normal then choose grip L2 (4 1/4), whereas if you have a bigger palm size choose L4 (4 1/2). Juniors who are transitioning from a junior to an adult racquet usually start with either a grip L1 or L2.

10. Material

Graphite and Composite Materials
Lightweight and durable, ideal for advanced players. Offers excellent maneuverability and power.
Aluminum and Titanium
Heavier but provides additional power.

Strings Buying Guide

When it comes to maximizing your performance on the tennis court, the importance of selecting the right tennis strings cannot be overstated. Strings play a pivotal role in determining your playability, control, power, and comfort. With a myriad of options available, understanding the key factors will help you make an informed decision. In this detailed buying guide, we'll explore the intricacies of tennis strings to ensure that you choose strings that complement your playing style and enhance your overall experience.

1. String Type

Material Characteristics Ideal For
Synthetic Gut Engineered with synthetic materials.
  • Balanced playability and durability.
Beginner and Junior players looking for a cost-effective option.
Polyester Made from polyester fibers.
  • Excellent control and durability.
  • Particularly favored by players with fast, aggressive swings.
  • Offers a firmer feel compared to other materials.
Most popular string type. Preferred by players who generate their own power and are looking for control, spin and durability.
Multifilament Consists of numerous individual fibers bundled together.
  • Mimics the feel of natural gut.
  • Provides comfort and power.
  • Offers a softer response to impact.
Players seeking a balance between feel, power, and arm comfort.
Natural Gut Derived from cow intestine fibers.
  • Unmatched feel and power.
  • Exceptional playability.
  • Offers superior comfort.
Players seeking the ultimate in performance, comfort, and willing to invest in premium strings.

2. Hybrid Strings

Hybrid string setup is a practice that involves using two different types of strings in the main (vertical) and cross (horizontal) sections of the tennis racquet's string bed. This approach allows players to enjoy the benefits of two distinct string types, creating a customized setup that caters to specific playing preferences. For example, combining a durable polyester string in the mains with a softer multifilament or natural gut in the crosses can provide a blend of control, spin, and comfort.

3. Gauge (Thickness)

The gauge or thickness of tennis strings plays a crucial role in determining the feel, power, Spin and durability.

15-16 Gauge (Thicker Strings)
Offers more durability and control but reduced playability and feel compared to thinner gauges.
17-18 Gauge (Thinner Strings)
Offers enhanced playability, power, and feel but lesser durability compared to thicker gauges.

Note: Lower gauges are denoted by larger numbers (e.g., 17-gauge is thinner than 16-gauge).

4. Tension

Higher Tension (Above 52 lbs)
  • Provides more control and precision.
  • Reduces power but enhances accuracy.
Lower Tension (Below 52 lbs)
  • Offers more power and spin.
  • Enhances comfort and is forgiving on the arm.

Note: The above tension reference is for Polyester strings. Synthetic, Multifilament & Natural Guts are usually strung 10% higher than Polyester.

Shoes Buying Guide

Choosing the right pair of tennis shoes is a pivotal decision for any tennis player. Tennis is a sport that demands dynamic movement, sudden stops, and swift direction changes, and having the proper footwear can significantly impact your performance and prevent injuries. In this comprehensive buying guide, we'll delve into the intricacies of tennis shoes, helping you navigate through the myriad options available and make an informed choice that suits your playing style, court surface, and individual preferences.

1. Categories of Tennis Shoes

With few exceptions, most of the shoes fall into the below category that players often explore when in search for a new pair.

It's important to mention that most tennis shoes are designed to meet the basic needs of our sport. However, some shoes focus on specific features that players often want.

Lightweight

With the evolution of tennis, characterized by increased speed and physicality, players are now more inclined towards gaining any advantage that aids swift movement on the court. This trend has given rise to the popularity of lightweight tennis shoes, pushing the boundaries of shoe technology.

A lighter shoe imparts a sense of speed, while a heavier one might feel a bit sluggish. Shoe manufacturers consistently navigate to find right balance between weight, stability, and durability. Striking an appealing equilibrium requires careful trade-offs. Removing material from a shoe lightens it, but this often comes at the expense of stability or durability.

Here are examples of renowned lightweight tennis shoes:

Asics Solution Speed FF
Babolat Jet Mach II
Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro
Stability

Ensuring stability is a key consideration in the design of tennis shoes, irrespective of the court surface. While all tennis shoes aim to provide some degree of stability, certain models excel in this regard. Key components contributing to a shoe's stability include:

  • Midfoot shank to prevent twisting
  • Heel counter for firmness at the heel
  • Heel collar for secure foot placement
  • Lacing system ensuring a snug fit and minimizing slipping
  • Upper materials that wrap around the top of the foot

Despite advancements in design, it's important to highlight that lightweight tennis shoes generally do not match the stability offered by their heavier counterparts. Achieving stability involves a strategic use of additional materials rather than solely relying on weight.

Examples of tennis shoes renowned for their stability include:

Nike Air Zoom Vapor Cage
Asics Court FF
Adidas SoleCourt Boost
Durability

Concerns about durability often arise, especially for players involved in hard court games, where the abrasive surface can affect the lifespan of shoes. The outsole, constantly in contact with the court, is a primary area of focus. Additionally, wear and tear on the toe and upper parts may necessitate additional protection.

Here are examples of tennis shoes recognized for their excellent durability:

Asics Gel Resolution
Babolat Propulse Fury
Nike React Vapor NXT

For players who have encountered durability issues with previous shoes, it is recommended to identify specific areas of concern. This awareness aids in choosing shoes that provide optimized protection in those vulnerable regions, contributing to prolonged durability.

2. Court Surface Considerations

Considerations
Clay Courts
  • Look for tennis shoes with a herringbone or omni-directional tread pattern for optimal grip on clay.
  • Consider shoes with uppers that prevent clay particles from entering, keeping your feet comfortable.
Hard Courts
  • Prioritize cushioning and shock absorption to reduce the impact on your joints. Durable outsoles with a modified herringbone pattern provide traction and stability on hard surfaces.
Grass Courts
  • Opt for tennis shoes with nubs or small studs that offer traction on grass.
  • Shoes with reinforced upper materials provide support on uneven grass surfaces.
All Court
  • In today's tennis landscape, the majority of players often find themselves on hard courts, occasionally venturing onto clay or grass surfaces.

Thankfully, tennis shoe manufacturers are well aware of this trend. They prioritize the design of their footwear with a focus on hard court performance while ensuring suitability for occasional play on clay or grass.

For instance, a prevalent design characteristic in all-court tennis shoes is the incorporation of a herringbone-style tread. While it may not match the performance of an authentic herringbone tread on clay, it proves to be a reliable choice.

Even if your tennis shoes don't explicitly state being "all-court", it's generally safe to assume that a pair designed for hard courts will deliver satisfactory performance on other surfaces as well.

3. Playing Style and Preferences

Baseline Players
A baseline player mainly plays along the back-line of the court. Look for shoes with durable outsoles and lateral support for sideway movements on the court.
Serve and Volley Players
A serve-and-volley player frequently charges the net. Prioritize lightweight and responsive shoes for quick transitions to the net. Consider shoes with reinforced toe areas for frequent toe-dragging during serve and volley play.

4. Maintenance and Care Tips

  • Rotate between multiple pairs of tennis shoes to extend their lifespan.
  • Clean shoes regularly and follow manufacturer guidelines for washing and maintenance.

Balls Buying Guide

In the dynamic world of tennis, where every serve, rally, and volley counts, the choice of tennis balls is a crucial factor that can significantly influence your game. The right tennis balls not only impact the quality of your play but also contribute to the overall experience on the court. From casual matches with friends to competitive tournaments, selecting the appropriate tennis balls tailored to your playing style and the court surface is essential.

In this comprehensive buying guide, we will delve into the nuances of tennis balls, exploring different types, characteristics, and considerations that will help you to make an informed decision.

1. Types of Tennis Balls

a. Pressurized Tennis Balls
Pressurized tennis balls are the standard choice for most players. Filled with compressed air, they offer a consistent bounce and are commonly used in competitive play.
b. Pressureless Tennis Balls
Pressureless tennis balls do not have an internal pressurized core. Instead, they maintain their bounce through solid rubber construction. These balls are ideal for practice sessions, drills and are known for their longevity.
c. Kids Tennis Balls
Kids tennis balls are instrumental in creating a graduated learning curve, allowing junior players to adapt their skills seamlessly as they progress through different stages of proficiency. These balls are color-coded to indicate their level of compression and bounce.
Red Dot Balls
(75% Less Compression)
Designed for young players of age 6-8 years, these balls have 75% lesser speed and bounce than the regular balls, making it easier to learn and control. They are also 15% larger than the standard ball size.
Orange Dot Balls
(50% Less Compression)
Suited for young players of age 8-10 years, these balls offer 50% lesser speed and bounce than the regular balls, allowing for improved skill development and stroke consistency.
Green Dot Balls
(25% Less Compression)
Designed for kids of age 10-12 years, these balls are the last step of Kids balls before moving to the regular balls. They offer 25% lesser speed and bounce, making them ideal for competitive play.

2. Court Surfaces

Considerations
Hard Court Tennis Balls Designed for durability and resilience, hard court tennis balls have extra duty felt to withstand the abrasive surface of hard courts. They offer enhanced durability, consistent bounce and are widely used on concrete or asphalt courts.
Clay Court Tennis Balls Clay court tennis balls typically have a softer felt and a slower pace. They are well-suited for the unique characteristics of clay courts, offering better control and spin.
Grass Court Tennis Balls Grass court tennis balls are designed for optimal performance on grass surfaces. They have a finer felt, providing a smoother glide and suitable bounce on grass courts.
All Court Tennis Balls With the evolution of tennis and the prevalence of all-court play, many tennis balls are now designed to perform well across various court surfaces. These balls strike a balance, offering durability for hard courts, control for clay courts, and adaptability for grass courts. They provide a versatile option for players who frequent different court types, ensuring consistent performance regardless of the playing surface.

3. Professional vs Championship Balls

Ultimately, understanding the nuances between professional and championship tennis balls allows you to make an informed decision that aligns with your playing style and budgetary considerations.

Professional balls are made from quality rubber & felt and offer players a superior feel on the court, delivering heightened responsiveness. However, they tend to be pricier, making them the preferred choice for professional tournaments and competitive play.

On the other hand, championship tennis balls strike a balance between affordability and durability. These balls maintain a commendable level of quality while being more budget-friendly. They are an excellent choice for practice sessions or club matches, providing players with reliable performance without the premium price tag.

4. Balls used at Grand Slams

Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open

Recognized tennis ball brands often adhere to quality standards. Explore options from reputable brands known for producing reliable and consistent tennis balls.

Bags Buying Guide

A tennis kitbag is more than a mere accessory; it's an integral part of your tennis journey. From storing your racquets and gear to becoming a statement of your identity on the court, the right kitbag enhances both practicality and style. Whether you're a weekend warrior, a club enthusiast, or a professional player, the functionality and design of your kitbag play a crucial role in ensuring you arrive at the court well-prepared and in style. In this comprehensive buying guide, we'll delve into the intricacies of tennis kitbags, helping you make an informed choice that aligns with your specific needs, preferences, and playing habits.

1. Size and Capacity

Backpack
Tennis Backpacks are compact and convenient, designed for players who prefer a lightweight and hands-free carrying option. These bags typically have one or two compartments, providing enough space for essentials like a couple of racquets, tennis shoes, and smaller accessories. Ideal for casual players or those who commute to the court, tennis backpacks offer ease of movement and versatility.
Duffle Bag
Duffle bags provide a great way to carry extra gear, although they aren't designed for racquets. If you need additional space for gear beyond racquets, a duffle bag is an excellent option.
3 Racquet Bag
A 3 Racquet Bag is a compact choice for occasional players and beginners with one or two racquets. These bags usually feature one or two compartments, providing enough space to accommodate a change of clothes and accessories.
6 Racquet Bag
A 6 Racquet Bag is convenient choice for intermediate players who carry backup racquets and additional tennis gear. With one compartment for 2-3 racquets and an adjacent compartment for shoes, clothes, snacks, and other items, the 6 racquet bag offers organized storage for players taking their game to the next level.
9 Racquet Bag
A 9 Racquet Bag is tailored for more advanced players. It features three pockets capable of holding up to nine racquets. One compartment typically includes ThermoGuard insulation to protect racquets from extreme temperatures. The other two pockets and exterior accessory compartments accommodate everything from extra shoes to sweaty clothes.
12 Racquet Bag
A 12 Racquet Bag is designed for tournament players and is the largest of racquet bags. With one compartment capable of holding 3-4 tennis racquets and often equipped with ThermoGuard, it's ideal for tournament travel. The 12 racquet bag features additional perks such as backpack straps, shoe compartments, and multiple-accessory pockets, making it perfect for a long day on the courts.
15 Racquet Bag
The 15-pack bag combines the features of a 12-pack with slightly more space in its three main compartments. Some versions even come with golf bag-style, stand-up legs, adding convenience to its top-of-the-line features. If you're seeking the utmost in space and functionality, the 15 racquet bag is sure to meet your needs.

2. Compartments and Organization

Main Compartment
  • Spacious enough to house your racquets, clothing, and larger items.
Accessory Pockets
  • Small pockets for storing essentials like dampeners, grips, and personal items.
  • Keep valuables secure and easily accessible.
Shoe Compartment
  • Ventilated sections to keep your tennis shoes separate from other gear.
  • Prevents odors and keeps your bag organized.
Isolated Wet/Dry Compartments
  • Ideal for storing sweaty or wet clothes separately.
  • Maintains the freshness of your gear.
Thermal Compartment
  • Serves as a specialized storage area for tennis racquets and is designed to regulate temperature, maintain string tension, extend string longevity, and protect racquets from environmental factors.

Overgrip Buying Guide

Choosing the right tennis overgrip is an essential aspect of optimizing your grip on the racquet, enhancing comfort, and improving overall performance on the court. In this comprehensive buying guide, we'll explore the key factors to consider when selecting a tennis overgrip, helping you make an informed decision.

1. What is an Overgrip?

A tennis overgrip is a thin wrap that is applied over the existing grip of a tennis racquet. It is recommended to always use an overgrip. Overgrips are used for several reasons:

Enhanced Grip : Provides an extra layer for improved hold and control.

Moisture Absorption : Helps manage sweat, preventing slippage.

Customization : Allows players to adjust grip thickness based on personal preference.

Extended Grip Lifespan : Protects the original grip from wear and tear, extending its lifespan.

2. Overgrips vs Replacement grips

A replacement grip is a thick & durable covering for a racquet's handle, offering players a comfortable surface to hold during play.

In contrast, an overgrip is a thinner and less durable wrap applied atop the replacement grip, and changed more frequently.

Additionally, overgrips provide the flexibility to make minor adjustments to the racquet handle's size. When faced with the dilemma of falling between grip sizes, it is recommended to choose the smaller size because you can build up the grip using an overgrip.

3. Thickness

Overgrips come in various thicknesses, and most of them range between 0.4 mm to 0.6 mm thick. Consider the following factors when choosing thickness:

Thicker overgrips offer more cushioning, and are suitable for players who prefer a softer feel. Additionally thick overgrips can be advantageous for players looking to gradually increase the grip size of their racquet.

Thin overgrips offer a close-to-racquet feel, providing players with enhanced control and manoeuvrability. Ideal for those prioritizing precision and responsiveness over cushioning, thin overgrips excel in moisture management, efficiently absorbing sweat to maintain a secure hold on the racquet.

4. Types of Overgrips:

Enhanced Grip
These grips are engineered to absorb moisture and maintain a dry feel. They are ideal for hot or humid conditions and for players who sweat excessively.
Tacky Overgrips
These grips offer a sticky or tacky feel for enhanced grip. They are ideal of dry or cold weather conditions and for players who want an ultra-grippy surface.
Perforated Overgrips
These grips feature tiny perforations or small holes strategically placed on the surface. These micro-perforations serve a dual purpose, enhancing moisture absorption and providing a unique texture for an improved grip. The design allows for efficient ventilation, keeping the grip dry even in high-sweat conditions. Perforated overgrips are favored by players who seek enhanced moisture management without compromising on the tactile feel and control during their game.