HEAD Graphene XT Extreme Pro Tennis Racquet Review
For more advanced players who want a frame with the power and spin to push opponents around on court, Head is now offering the new Graphene XT Extreme Pro. Building on the specs of previous Pro versions, this new model incorporates a 30% stronger version of Graphene, allowing Head to move more weight to the handle and tip. The result is a maneuverable frame with bruising power and massive spin. I took the new Extreme Pro on court recently and here is a look at how it measures up.
The Extreme Pro hits an incredibly heavy ball. The stiff 24/26/23mm beam provides a tremendous amount of energy return when the ball exits the string bed. Off either side, I found it very easy to generate high power. At times the power level was almost too high and I had to shorten up my swing in order to rein it in and keep my shots in the court. Players with a longer swing will definitely want to use a more control oriented string to help manage the power. Weighing 11.7oz strung, the increased mass of the Pro provides excellent weight of shot while still providing easy access to spin with the round shape and 16x19 pattern. I also enjoyed the head light balance as it allowed me to bring the racquet head through contact quickly even with the increased weight. The maneuverability also helps on defense as I could generate solid pace when stretched and extend points more easily The added weight also provides very solid stability against big hitters and I found the racquet did an excellent job of redirecting pace.
Volleys & serves
The XT Extreme Pro proved to be a very nimble performer at net. The added weight doesn’t impact maneuverability thanks to the head light balance. I found the racquet quick to position during quick exchanges. The power level of the frame made it easy to finish off high volleys aggressively. The head shape created a lot of real estate, which helped convert some stretch and defensive volleys. The stiff feel made drop and touch volleys a bit more challenging to execute reliably. More aggressive net play definitely reaps bigger rewards when playing this racquet.
The Pro was the best serving frame out of the updated Extreme line. I found excellent access to power. While the added weight led to a heavier ball, the head light balance still made it easy to accelerate through contact to generate pace. Flat serves powered through the court and I also found solid directional control to move them around the box. While this frame does not have quite same spin production as the 16x16 MPA version, there is still plenty to keep opponents guessing. The high racquet head speed and widely spaced 16x19 pattern gave me plenty of spin for high bouncing kick serves. I also had great success with slicing the serve out wide so I could attack the first ball.
As with most modern frames, the Extreme Pro has a stiffer construction and response. The firm feel offers a crisp connection on contact. I didn’t find the feel to be harsh but I could feel the stiffness of the frame on contact. The added mass seemed to help absorb shock as I found the Pro more comfortable than the lighter MPA version. Players with more sensitive arms should be deliberate in their string choices in an effort to increase the comfort. Off the ground I found the response great for full cuts at the ball. The feel was bit more lacking when I tried to execute more feel oriented shots. I was able to make adjustments and bit successful but it would be easier if the frame were a tad more flexible.
Advanced players have a strong weapon with the new Graphene XT Extreme Pro. The racquet offers incredible power on ground strokes while providing excellent spin access and stability. The headlight balance keeps the racquet maneuverable and easy to swing, allowing players to ratchet up the racquet head speed for attacking tennis. While it may have a bit less feel than more flexible options, it provides solid feedback and response from all areas of the court. Versatile players who want to finish points on their terms should strongly consider using the new Head Graphene XT Extreme Pro.
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.