Posted on March 30 2022
18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz has been making waves on the ATP Tour in 2022, he’s notched up wins against some of the best in the world including Tsitispas, Berrettini and Monfils. Being a young phenom from Spain with a relentless mindset and explosive game, comparisons to Nadal have consistently been made ever since Alcaraz burst onto the scene. One may point out that they even use the same racket, but this is not the case.
Alcaraz uses the Babolat Pure Aero VS, a modified version of Nadal’s Babolat Pure Aero Rafa that enhances control and feel. Just as the Pure Aero’s ferocious spin abilities compliment Nadal’s high percentage game style, the Pure Aero VS allows Alcaraz’s to utilise his variety to bamboozle his opponents.
The Aero VS has been specifically designed for players who use lots of topspin but still want touch and feel in a racket. Compared to the Pure Aero, the Aero VS has a smaller head size of 98 square inches, a denser 16x20 string pattern, a thinner beam and weighs five grams more.
Alcaraz uses heavy, aggressive topspin in his groundstrokes and on serve that often leaves his opponent struggling for court position. He also possesses one of the best drop shots in the game with many players ending up completely flat footed as he disguises them so well. When players do retrieve the Alcaraz drop shot, he often loops an Andy Murray-like lob right over their heads to win the rally. This combination of attacking from the back of the court and finishing off points with touch is exactly the type of game style that the Aero VS is designed to aid.
Alcaraz strings his Aero VS with Babolat RPM Blast which further enhances the spin and control of the racket. Owner of All Things Tennis Ross has some thoughts on how club players should string this racket:
‘I really like this racket strung with a hybrid. It’s relatively stiff but when you string it with a hybrid it gives it even more feel and you’re still getting a lot of spin’.
While we can’t all play like Alcaraz, the Pure Aero VS does give you a lot to work with. It’s one of the more versatile players rackets on the market and it’s a great option for club players and competitors alike.
Watch our review of the Pure Aero VS: