HEAD Graphene Extreme Lite Tennis Racquet Review
Transitioning juniors and developing adult players are prime candidates for the new Head Graphene Extreme Lite. By using one of the world’s lightest and strongest materials in the construction, Head is able to redistribute weight to the tip end and handle of the frame. The result is an increase in power and maneuverability, making this spin friendly frame an even more potent weapon on the court.
Players of all variety will find the Graphene Extreme Lite a snap to accelerate through contact on ground strokes. With a 9.9oz (strung) weight, the racquet generates impressive racquet head spin. I found plenty of spin on tap from either wing and could increase my net clearance at will. This made it easy to give opponents a variety of different looks and an ever-changing strike zone. The rounder, 100 square inch head provides a generous sweet spot and has solid feel on contact. Against bigger hitters, stability will become an issue. The low weight is compensated for with a head heavy balance point but I did still see some stability issues trying to deflect bigger shots. I also had difficulty hitting a heavy enough ball to put my opponent on their heels like I could with the MP and Pro versions. In the end, juniors and developing players should find the racquet capable against on level opponents and could always modify the frame for added stability and plow through.
Volleys & serves
On serve the Graphene Extreme Lite is incredibly fast and maneuvers well on a variety of spin serves. It gets through the top of the service motion so quick that I found it easy to generate high spin and movement. On flatter serves, I relied more on the frame’s solid level of directional accuracy. I was able to place serves very well which compensated for the lighter weight’s decrease in shot pace and weight. While strong players wouldn’t over power opponents on serve, they should be able to keep them guessing with variety. Juniors and developing players will find ample spin and match up well with all but the most aggressive returners.
The Graphene Extreme Lite is an extremely fast and maneuverable weapon at net. Its low weight makes it easy to turn around in quick exchanges. I found it best to attack volleys and really put my weight into the shot as the decreased weight of the frame led to many volleys floating if I wasn’t aggressive enough. Touch shots and feel were excellent. This model actually has a softer flex (62RA) than the other models in the line. This gives the racquet excellent ball pocketing and feel. I was much quicker to adapt to angle and drop volleys with this one.
The other strong selling point of the Graphene Extreme Lite has to be its softer stiffness rating. It plays with a softer feel than the other versions in the line. This makes it a strong candidate for players who want good feel and solid comfort in a frame still capable of high power and spin .
Juniors especially should gravitate to this frame with its eye catching color combo. It looks as aggressive as it plays. The rounder head shape provides plenty of forgiveness and helps keep a few more balls in play when stretched out.
The Graphene Extreme Lite is a very adaptable racquet. The addition of Graphene in the construction has given it excellent maneuverability without sacrificing power production. Rising juniors playing from the baseline should seriously consider this racquet and so should developing adults. It has the power and spin to boost their game and enough room in the specs to allow for customization as the player gets stronger.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.