Posted on July 05 2021
After a sensational first week, we’re taking a look at the rackets that players are having success with this year at SW19.
What does it take to succeed on grass? What does it take to succeed at Wimbledon? These are the questions every professional tennis player is desperate to know the answers to. Except for Nick Kyrgios of course, he seems perfectly content being a ‘part time tennis player’ and more power to him I say. But for the rest of the field, mastering grass court tennis is extremely challenging and something only a few manage to do. With the field set for Wimbledon’s last ever ‘Manic Monday’, we’re going to analyse the rackets of some of the players left in the draw and see if there’s a common thread.
Often the kind of frame that's ideal for grass court tennis is on the traditional end of the tennis racket spectrum, since tennis used to be played predominantly on grass way back when. The rackets that have historically done well at the championships have been less forgiving, thinner beamed and more control oriented than the frames you see at the business end of Roland Garros.
Teen sensation Emma Raducanu has been using the Wilson Blade in her incredible run to the second week of Wimbledon. This racket is designed for control and spin with FeelFlex technology which allows you to feel more connected to the ball on impact. This aspect of the racket has been on full display when Raducanu’s hit acute topspin angles, outfoxing her opponents at SW19. It’s also worth noting that the Wilson Blade 98 is used by none other than 7-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, if that doesn’t prove the Blade’s effectiveness on grass then I don’t know what will.
You’ll see a lot of the Wilson Blade if you tune in to watch Manic Monday today, five of the 32 players left in the men’s and women’s draws use it to great effect on the grass.
You can’t ignore a frame that’s won 5 Wimbledon titles when talking about rackets suited to grass court tennis. Although it could be argued that Djokovic is so good that he could win Wimbledon playing with a spork, his racket does have some of the hallmarks of a great grass court tennis racket.
The Speed Pro is all about control. With a dense 18x20 string pattern, thin beam and enhanced flex, the Speed Pro allows you to take large, fast swings at the ball without the fear of overhitting. Djokovic’s incredible, inch perfect consistency has allowed him to grind down 8-time champion Roger Federer on three occasions at SW19. The Speed Pro also provides great feel at the net which allows Novak to finish off points quicker when he so chooses. Coco Gauff also uses the MP version of the Head Speed and you can catch her in action on Manic Monday too.
I’ve play tested this racket quite extensively and it’s safe to say I’m a huge fan. With its massive sweetspot and incredible feel, I can see why this racket would suit the grass. Ash Barty has won Roland Garros with the Gravity MP but she claims her favourite surface is grass and it’s hard to argue with her. She’s carved her way through the draw in the first week of Wimbledon 2021 and looks to be extremely comfortable on the lawns of SW19.
Denis Shapovalov’s racket of choice stands out amongst the other frames on this list but it allows Denis to play a different style of aggressive tennis on the grass that is serving him rather well. After all, he took out two-time champion Andy Murray in emphatic style on Friday night and that has to count for something.
The V Core 98 is loaded with power, but the 95 square inch head size allows Shapovalov to control that power and attack with precision. Rather than carving up the court with angles and touch, Denis is able to hit through the fast courts of Wimbledon with ease. He is helped, in no small part, by his incredibly quick arm of course. But this racket will offer you ample power to hit through the court, providing you have the technique to control it.
The 2021 update of the V Core range saw improvements to its stability and feel which further enhance this powerful yet versatile racket.
5. Nothing to see here
The Wilson Pro Staff is, of course, one of Wimbledon's most successful rackets ever. However, we don't sell it here at All Things Tennis... so as far as I'm concerned it doesn't exist.
(Note - we now sell this racket... so buy it)
So, look no further than these four rackets if you’ve joined your local grass court tennis club this summer. I can’t guarantee any Wimbledon titles, but this list is a decent place to start…
Written by Aron Dochard