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Friday, September 06, 2013 Racquet Review of the Week - HEAD Youtek Graphene Instinct MP

maria sharapova

The HEAD Youtek Graphene Instinct MP, used by the very talented Maria Sharapova, tips the scales 11.2oz and balances out at 12 7/8” from the handle, or 5 points head light. A well-designed 16x19 string pattern should provide consistent feel and good spin potential. In short, it’s a classic tweener.

From the Baseline

The first thing I felt while hitting groundstrokes with the Graphene Instinct MP was how light it “swings”. Lightning-fast through the air, I was able to effortlessly apply massive topspin to all my groundies, and never felt late hitting any shot. Power production was lower than I anticipated, but could be easily aided with a small addition of weight tape. You can hit the ball deep with a lot of spin and a high margin of error over the net with the light frame and nice, open string bed.

maria sharapova forehand

Maria Sharapova serving

Net Play & Serving

The Instinct’s lightness through the air also aids in quick net exchanges, allowing it to be brought into position quickly during even the fastest doubles rallies. The extra handle weighting makes it stable enough to resist “kicking back” in the hands on hard-hit passing shots. Swinging volleys – a modern game must – are excellent with the Instinct, its low weight and fast frame making the shot a snap. A head light frame is normally a server’s friend, and the Graphene Instinct is just that. Swinging quickly and easily overhead, its open string bed allows big, breaking slice and kick serves. Hard, flat serves would do better with a little more weight but, again, that’s an easy fix. Overheads are much the same, as the fast-swinging Instinct frame makes quick work of just about all lobs, even those that get just a little bit behind you.


In stock form, the Head Graphene Instinct MP is a lightning-fast spin machine for baseline players of all levels, and a fast net racquet for intermediate to advanced doubles players. Easy to swing and comfortable, it should aid the game of just about anyone who picks it up. If you have a big game and need a heavier stick, the Instinct is a snap to customize.

maria sharapova head instinct mp


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