HEAD Graphene Extreme MP Tennis Racquet Review
The Head Graphene Extreme MP takes the company’s most versatile racquet in their “modern” style line and adds in the use of the world’s lightest and strongest material. The use of Graphene allows Head to move weight in the frame to both the tip and the handle, providing a boost to both maneuverability and power. At 11.2oz (strung), an 8-point head light balance, stiffness of 70RA and a 318 swing weight, the racquet is an excellent option for intermediate to advanced players seeking a fast frame with both spin and power.
The Graphene Extreme MP is impressively quick through contact on ground strokes. The frame generates exceptional racquet head speed, providing excellent access to spin off either side. The 24/26/23mm beam and stiffer layup provide plenty of power through contact. I found it easy to add extra net clearance on my ground strokes, effectively re-setting points where I was playing defense back to neutral. Spin production is high with the 16x19 pattern and large sweet spot of the 100 square inch head. It was a little more difficult to flatten shots out and finish points than with the Extreme’s heavier variant. The slightly reduced mass provides excellent ball speed but with a slight reduction in the heaviness of the shot when compared to the Pro model. The racquet excels at using spin to push opponents out of position and make errors.
Volleys & serves
Variety is the spice of life when it comes to serving with the Graphene Extreme MP. The lighter weight and head light balance provide lots of acceleration at the top of the service motion. This makes it easy to use a variety of spins to move the ball around the box. I found excellent pace on flatter serves and the racquet exhibited excellent directional control and accuracy as well. Kick serves had excellent height and movement but I did miss the extra weight when looking for serves to really go into my opponents heavily.
Volleying with the Graphene Extreme MP is still excellent for a modern, baseline-oriented frame. The head light balance makes it quick to maneuver on reflex volleys and feedback on contact is solid. I found it necessary to be more aggressive with volleys as the lower mass made balls float a little if I didn’t attack them enough. Touch shots took a little bit of time to dial in but the stable feel on contact allowed me to find my range on angle and drop volleys.
The cosmetic on the racquet is still a head turner, with a combination of neon yellow and navy blue. The racquet’s look was clean although I wasn’t quite sold on all the “Spinforcer” and “Maximum Rotation” phrases printed on the hoop. The string bed felt a little thin and inconsistent outside the sweet spot but the bulk of that could be fixed with the addition of a little lead tape in the right locations. Feel and comfort were very solid and rank up toward the top out of any stiffer, thicker beamed frames I have tested recently.
The addition of Graphene gives the already excellent Extreme line a noticeable boost in power and spin. The Graphene Extreme MP produces tremendous racquet head speed, providing loads of spin and pace on the ball. Its solid feel and excellent maneuverability make it a strong all-court weapon that can be adapted to a variety of play styles and ability levels.
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.