Posted on February 15 2021
Head have long been at the forefront of racket technology. Their rackets are used widely both at club level and by professional players, including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Ashleigh Barty. Here at All Things Tennis, we cast an expert eye over three of the most popular Head ranges: the Extreme, the Instinct, and the Prestige. We name-check some of the pros using these rackets, and you can find the latest offers for all of the ranges on the All Things Tennis website.
The Head Graphene 360+ Extreme Lite
Used by exciting Italian world number 10 Matteo Berrettini, the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme series is a popular racket amongst professional players. Benefitting from the Graphene 360+ technology, implemented by Head in 2013, the Extreme range is ideal for advanced players who hit with heavy spin on groundstrokes and are looking to dominate on serve. The Extreme series complements Berrettini’s game perfectly, providing the power and spin control necessary for the Italian’s huge topspin forehand and heavy serve.
The Extreme Pro, the model used by Berrettini in addition to Richard Gasquet and Svetlana Kuznetsova, is the heaviest racket in the range at 315g. The Extreme Tour, weighing 305g with a smaller head size of 98 square inches, is also effective in creating spin and control, while still providing a good amount of power. Both these rackets are better suited to advanced players who can handle the heavier weight.
For juniors and beginners, the Team and Lite model of the Extreme racket are more suitable. These rackets are lighter than the Pro and Tour with a larger head size, allowing for more feel and control and lowering the chance of injury.
Richard Gasquet. Image courtesy of Tennishead.
Endorsed by former star players Tomas Berdych and Maria Sharapova, the Head Instinct range is all about power. As both Berdych and Sharapova’s use of the Instinct during their careers suggests, this is a racket designed for maximum power and big hitting. With a specially designed larger sweetspot, the Instinct enables effortless power and is ideal for advanced players looking to hit flat, heavy shots.
Both Berdych and Sharapova minimized the spin on their groundstrokes, instead hitting through the ball with extreme aggression and looking to finish points quickly. The Instinct, with its high comfort rating and light weight, allows for this type of tennis and will reward the advanced player with good technique and clean timing.
At 300g, the Instinct MP is the heaviest racket in the range and the model used by Berdych and Sharapova. For the intermediate player still looking to generate power, the Instinct S is a more manoeuvrable racket at a lighter 285g. For younger players and beginners, the Instinct Lite offers a good blend of control and power, weighing just 270g with an increased 107 square inch head size. For the ultimate combination of power and feel, try the Instinct Team. At 260g, the Team is the lightest option in the Instinct range and is ideal for beginners and juniors looking to get easy power while not losing control.
The Head Instinct MP
With former greats Marat Safin and Gustavo Kuerten amongst its users, the Head Prestige is a classic racket that is still highly popular among professional players. Currently endorsed by former US Open champion Marin Cilic, as well as entertaining Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas and tour stalwart Gilles Simon, the Prestige is still one of the world’s leading rackets. The Prestige is one of the most versatile rackets on the market, demonstrating its easy power in Marin Cilic’s aggressive game, touch and feel in Cuevas’s all-court style, and precision and accuracy in Gilles Simon’s consistent baseline play.
Designed to create maximum control and comfort, the Prestige is more of a precision racket than the powerful Extreme and Instinct ranges. At 320g, the Prestige MP is the heaviest racket in the range and the model used by Cilic. This is for the experienced player who has good technique and an ability to use controlled aggression. The Prestige Mid, also 320g, allows for more spin with a small 93 inch head size, and again is ideal for experienced players looking for maximum control. For the advanced player looking for slightly more flexibility, the 315g Prestige Pro is a good option, with a smaller 95 square inch head frame allowing for more precision.
At 305g, the Prestige Tour is a better option for juniors and beginners/intermediate players. The Tour has great flexibility and control, and is easier to generate spin than the Pro, MP and Mid models. Finally, the Prestige S is the lightest racket in the range at 295g, offering great manoeuvrability and retaining the excellent precision characteristic of the Prestige series.
Marin Cilic. Image courtesy of Tennishead.
In conclusion, there is a racket for any level of player amongst the Extreme, Instinct and Prestige Head ranges. Head remains one of the world's leading brands of racket for a reason, with its diversity ranging from power to feel. Whether you are a professional player or just starting out, All Things Tennis has a Head racket that is perfect for you!