Posted on November 15 2021
As the top eight WTA players gather in Guadalajara for the season finale, we’re taking a look at what rackets they’re using and how these sticks help them get the most out of their game.
Aryna Sabalenka + Paula Badosa (Wilson Blade 98 v8 16x19)
Top seed Aryna Sabalenka is perhaps the most powerful player on the WTA tour, when she’s on her game she can hit through anyone. Aryna’s aggressive, relentless baseline hitting requires a racket that can help reign in her raw power. Perhaps taking inspiration from fellow hard hitter Serena Williams, Sabalenka uses the Wilson Blade 98 v8 (16x19).
Paula Badosa’s aggressive baseline game also benefits from the great feel you get from the Blade. Paula is on a winning streaking having recently won the biggest title of her career in Indian Wells. The Blade is hugely popular on the WTA tour and allows players to take large, fast swings at the ball without fear of overhitting.
Barbora Krejcikova (Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP)
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova has had an astonishing 2021. In 2020, Krejcikova was ranked outside the top 100 in singles, now she’s 3 in the world. Barbora is a doubles specialist first and the majority of her success prior to 2021 had come on the doubles court, and her singles game reflects that. Krejcikova uses the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP to maximise her racket head speed and touch at the net. The Extreme MP is a versatile racket that allows you to generate power and spin from the baseline and still be precise with your volleys at the net, perfect for Krejcikova’s all court game.
Karolina Pliskova + Garbine Muguruza (Babolat Pure Drive 2021)
Big serving Karolina Pliskova has continued her consistent form into 2021, reaching the Wimbledon final on her way. Pliskova uses the Babolat Pure Drive 2021, a popular racket amongst both professionals and amateurs alike. The Pure Drive makes Karolina’s game immensely powerful and rewards her big hitting style of play.
Garbine Muguruza has won two grand slam titles playing with her Babolat Pure Drive and similarly to Pliskova is able to hit through many players with her raw power. Touch and feel aren’t really a prominent feature of either player’s game, but the Pure Drive 2021 does provide enhanced stability that helps players hit big from the baseline without becoming inconsistent.
Maria Sakkari (Wilson Ultra 100)
Greek sensation Maria Sakkari is a dynamic player who often outlasts her opponents with her incredible physicality and fitness. Her Wilson Ultra 100 gives her access to massive amounts of power and spin, it’s a stiff frame that’s similar to the Pure Drive in many ways.
Anett Kontaveit (Babolat Pure Strike 100)
Kontaveit’s season has taken off in the past few months, winning title after title and securing her place in the top 8 for the first time in her career. Kontaveit uses the Babolat Pure Strike 100 which provides a lovely mix of control and spin.
She’s been able to outmanoeuvre her opponents from the baseline with extremely aggressive precision hitting which is made all the more effective with the help of the Pure Strike 100. Anett is able to generate large amounts of spin due to the rackets slightly lighter weight, giving her more margin for error from the baseline.
Iga Swiatek (Tecnifibre T-Rebound 298 Iga)
After her breakout season in 2020, Iga Swiatek has followed up that success with more consistent results including a masters 1000 title in Rome. Earlier this year, Tecnifibre announced the T-Rebound Iga which was created in partnership with Swiatek to suit her game style. It’s a relatively light racket with arm friendly technology that allows Iga to consistently hurt opponents with her heavy top spin shots.
Written by Aron Dochard