Posted on April 22 2021
Clay court tennis is a uniquely challenging version of our sport. However, you can improve you’re clay court game massively just by picking a suitable racket. Here at All Things Tennis, we’re breaking down our picks for the top five clay court rackets you can buy in 2021.
Red clay courts are becoming increasingly popular in the UK due to their relatively low maintenance combined with their low impact on joints. If you find yourself struggling on the surface and are in need of a new racket, or Nadal has inspired you to seek out your local clay court tennis club, we have just the list for you. Our resident coach, racket expert and owner Ross Batton has picked out his favourite clay court rackets from our extensive selection. Here are his top 5 picks.
1. Babolat Pure Aero
Endorsed by the greatest clay court player that ever lived, the Babolat Pure Aero mustn’t be far from your thoughts when choosing a racket. Especially if you’re looking to dominate on the red dirt. This frame allows you to easily create extremely heavy topspin that you can use to grind down your opponent on a high bouncing clay court.
This racket comes in at 300g to allow you good manoeuvrability whilst retaining enough weight to provide you with ample power. This model of the Pure Aero features the Cortex Pure Feel dampening system which will give you a friendlier, plusher feel when connecting with the ball. The 100 square-inch head size combined with the 16x19 string pattern gives this racket a sweet combination of spin and control whilst still remaining a slightly more forgiving frame.
2. Head Graphene 360+ Extreme Tour
All of the rackets in the Head Extreme range are specifically designed to maximise spin potential. Unlike the Pure Aero, the Extreme Tour is tailored to a more control-oriented game. The Extreme Tour has a thin beam which allows for more control and feel, but the specially designed spin grommets give the strings more impact on the ball. So, the Extreme Tour is perfect for the clay court player that utilises variety and explosive power. Just take a look at Roger Federer playing on clay if you need to see this game style in action.
The 305g weight allows you to hit a heavy ball and the 98 square inch head size further improves the rackets control. If you’ve got a habit of spraying the ball long when you take to a clay court, give this racket a demo and see what you think.
3. Yonex V Core 98 305g (2021)
It’s important to hit a heavy, penetrating ball on a high bouncing clay court. If you don’t hit with enough pace, the ball will sit up for your opponent to attack. The Yonex V Core 98 is one of the most powerful advanced rackets on the market. The 2021 model is a great improvement on the previous version, with a slightly thinner beam and vibration dampening mesh impeded into the handle which helps reduce the stiffness of the frame. With the 2021 version of this racket, you’ll be able to hit through any opponent more consistently and with more ease.
The V Core comes in at 305g and has a head size of 98 square inches. With improved comfort and easy power, this racket is perfect for the player needing a huge injection of pace into their game.
The Babolat Pure Aero VS is essentially a more control-oriented version of the Pure Aero. It has a smaller head size of 98 square inches, a thinner beam and weighs a slightly heavier 305g. It also has a 16x20 string pattern which further improves the control of the frame whilst still providing the heavy top spin needed to dominate on the clay. If you can generate huge power naturally with your body, give this racket a demo. It will help hone your game to suit a high bouncing clay court where spin is rewarded, and power is essential.
The Dunlop SX 300 is ideal for the intermediate to advanced player looking to take their clay court game to the next level. This frame provides a well-balanced combination of power and spin whilst remaining easy to use. The SX 300 is extremely aerodynamic and allows you to take large, fast swings at the ball with precision. With a friendly 100 square inch head size and 300g weight, this racket is perfect if you’re beginning to play on clay for the first time this spring.
There you have it! Our picks for the top 5 clay court rackets you can buy in 2021.
Note: when considering your string options, it’s a good idea to use spin friendly strings when playing on clay. A few of our favourites include the Babolat RPM Blast, Solinco Tour Bite and Solinco Hyper G.
Written by Aron Dochard