As in any sport, players are going to have some ongoing, core tennis questions. We’re going to answer those questions and then we’ll offer some immediate solutions so you can get on the court and play right away.
These answers and suggestions are also great for intermediate and advanced players who are looking for a leg up over their competition. Keep in mind, your opponent is also going to be looking for a way to gain the advantage, so bookmark the Tennis Express blog to keep tips and technical advice at your fingertips.
Top tennis questions #1: What are the best tennis shoes?
This is BY FAR the number one question asked on our site and across the big search engines. It’s also a very difficult question to answer, given the large number of brands out there.
Luckily, we have a team of play-testers who hit the courts almost every day to test all of the offerings from every brand. After testing the products, they’ll give you their reviews and honest opinions about how those products perform on the court.
Types of tennis shoes
In our experience, there really isn’t one answer to what the best tennis shoe is. However, we can help you to decide what the best type of tennis shoe for you is.
Here, Brett Snyder, our leading Shoe Specialist, tells us about the primary types of tennis shoes.
“There are three types of shoes. You have your durability shoes, your lightweight shoes, and there’s a third category that we call our value shoes.
A durability shoe would be a heavier shoe with a very durable sole. A lot of times it’ll have a 6-month sole warranty. So if you wear through the sole within 6 months, the manufacturer will replace it.
Lightweight shoes are a little bit more like a running shoe. They have a lot of mesh, they’re very lightweight, not quite as durable, and not quite as much support as a durability shoe. But some people like to play in a lighter-weight shoe, especially if you’re an explosive mover and rely on your speed to get to the ball.
And a value shoe can be one or the other, one of those two types, it’s just a shoe, maybe a Nike seasonal shoe, that we’ve marked down. It might be a durability shoe or a lightweight shoe. It’s really based on price.”
Brett goes into further detail about choosing the best tennis shoe for you here. You’ll learn more about tennis shoe types, tennis shoes for different court surfaces, and the factors to consider before making your final decision.
What shoes do tennis pros wear?
This is another great question that we’re asked frequently.
Just like you, pros choose their shoes based on their personal preferences, their needs, and the types of courts they’ll be playing on. Many of them work closely with particular brands to develop shoes that perfectly compliment their game.
What are the coolest tennis shoes?
OK! Now, this is one we can definitely answer. Below, we’ve listed a few shoes that will not only make you look good on (or off) the court but will possibly help you to improve your game.
Nike tennis shoes
Right now, one of the coolest tennis shoes available is the Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4. This is a great, men’s and women’s durable shoe that comes with a 6-month outsole warranty. This new version saves weight by incorporating durable rubber and KurimⓇ material where they’re needed most.
This one is built to last so you can play hard on the court while maintaining traction, stability, and response.
If you’re looking for an awesome lightweight Nike shoe, try the Air Zoom Vapor X. These tennis shoes come in men’s and women’s styles and have just been updated to add better shoe response and ankle support.
Adidas tennis shoes
You want cool? How about The SoleCourt Boost tennis shoes from adidas are another great option. If they’re good enough for Dominic Thiem to wear when he won the 2020 U.S. Open, then they MUST be good, right?
For more of the coolest tennis shoes available, click here.
Top tennis questions #2: Best tennis racket?
The second most popular search on our site is for rackets. Once again, we’ll turn to one of our experts, Chris, who gives us this to consider:
“Choosing the correct racquet can be a roadblock for adults and children alike, especially if you’re a beginner…
…You can certainly follow the advice of a pro or friend, but that should come after a few months of lessons and some time to get to know your game.”
How do I choose a tennis racket?
There are many aspects to consider when choosing a tennis racket, from your playing ability to your playing style. You may even take into account the size of your palm when choosing.
Taking the time to carefully research and test the rackets that you’re interested in will ultimately increase your playing ability and keep you from getting injuries.
Below is a chart that outlines everything you should take into account when choosing a tennis racket. You can also use it to ask the right questions when you’re at a tennis shop.
If you’d like to have a general idea of what to look for or ask about when you’re in front of a racket expert, try these rackets.
What are the best tennis rackets for beginners?
Our racket expert, Sam, recommends these two rackets for those who are just getting into tennis.
Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S
Beginners will enjoy the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S because it has a large head and a spacious sweet spot which helps with spin and vibration. It’s constructed with Graphene 360+ which helps to provide greater stability and energy return. It’s also a lighter and more powerful option between oversize frames and smaller rackets.
Babolat 2020 Boost S
Unlike more advanced rackets, this racket comes prestrung and is a fantastic value from one of the best racket brands in the market. The Babolat 2020 Boost S is light, at only 10.5 oz with strings, and has a large 102 sq/inch hitting surface which makes it easy when first learning to return your opponent’s shots.
What is the best tennis racket for intermediate players?
Sam recommends these tennis rackets for intermediate players.
Wilson Clash 100
The Wilson Clash 100 is a flexible racket that maintains a powerful and controllable feel during use. It introduces the revolutionary FreeFlex technology that makes it the world’s first racket that’s designed and engineered to bend with any swing style. This makes it a perfect fit for the modern tennis swing.
Dunlop SX 300
Focus on power, comfort, and spin with the Dunlop SX 300. Dunlop’s SPIN BOOST tennis racket grommets actually allow the main strings to slide 46% more than normal, meaning players have greater control and spin potential, even when missing the sweet spot. This racket is more forgiving for accomplished players and great if you like to hit with heavy spin and need an extra boost of power.
What are the best rackets for advanced players?
Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13
This racket is based on Federer’s all-black version. With Wilson’s Braid 45 technology, you’ll feel more connected to the ball. The Double Braid fibers are aligned at a 45° angle for an enhanced pocketing feel and incredible stability. The ergonomically shaped end cap provides more comfort during a longer match, especially if you grasp lower on the grip.
Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP
Our second tennis racket for advanced players comes from Head. The Graphene 360+ Prestige MP has a “true,” 98 sq/in head size and a slimmed-down, 20 mm flat beam that’s incorporated with Graphene 360+ Sprialfiber tech. The Spiralfibers stretch at contact allowing a soft, controlled flex. This racket is a perfect fit for any advanced player who places emphasis on control.
Top tennis questions #3: What equipment do tennis players need?
So, you’ve got the shoes, you’ve got a racket, and you’re ready to hit the court, right? Before you do, you may want to make sure you have these last few pieces of tennis equipment and gear handy.
The best tennis balls
Have you ever thought about how many tennis balls are used during a match? We have. And we’re frequently asked, “What are the best balls for tennis?”
The answer to that is going to be determined by your skill level, age, court surface, amount of play, and a few other important factors.
To best help you decide which ball to use, here are a few quick tips.
Is there a difference between tennis balls?
Yes. There is a difference. Chris Virk-Brown, another of our play-testers, explains it in “Every Different Type of Tennis Ball” from the Tennis Express blog.
“Most of the balls feel and certainly look the same, and luckily, they all share the same tennis ball smell. Despite their similarities, they have subtle yet serious differences that could really change your game.
First of all, there are three main Classes of Tennis Balls: Professional, Championship, and Practice balls. All three serve their purpose, and by no means should you just buy based on price.”
You’ll decide which is appropriate based on your needs, type of match, and the surface you’re playing on.
Click here to read more, with some recommendations from Chris to get you started.
The best tennis string
Once you’ve decided on a new racket, we’ll ask you one more question, “How would you like your new tennis racket strung?”
It’s important to choose the best string and tension for your game style, so here’s the Tennis Express Gear Guide about “How to Choose the Right Tennis Strings” detailing the four basic categories of strings, as well as some key terms to remember.
As you read it, keep in mind that there is no substitute for experience, so be prepared to try a few different strings and tensions before finding your best fit.
If you’re an intermediate player and above, you may already have an idea of what type(s) of strings you prefer. For more information and an in-depth review of tennis strings, Sam has a short blog, the “2020 New Tennis String Guide” that answers the following (among other questions):
- What strings do pro tennis players use?
- What is the most durable tennis string?
- What are the best tennis strings for spin?
You’ll also find his recommendations for each type of string in that blog.
The best tennis grips
There’s one last, important piece of gear you’ll need handy: tennis grips.
Because there are so many options, finding the best overgrip isn’t always easy. For a detailed answer, skim through “9 Best Tennis Overgrips.” There, you’ll find answers to questions like, “What’s the difference between grip and overgrip,” and, “What is the best replacement grip?”
You’ll also find some handy videos and reviews.
To get you started, try these:
- Tourna MegaTac Overgrip
- Wilson Pro Overgrip
- Yonex Super Grap
- Babolat VS Original
- Tourna Grip XL OVERGRIP
Top tennis questions #4: How do you stay focused during a tennis match?
Just like other sports, you’ll play your best tennis matches when you’re focused and ready. Figuring out how to increase your concentration, how to stay motivated, and how to properly prepare for a tennis match, is going to take time and practice.
Our play-tester, Tracy, quotes Nadal in her “Staying Focused During Tennis – 10 Ways to Dismiss Distractions” blog:
Tracy also recommends this:
“Several years ago, I read “The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey. It was a fantastic reminder that the next point is always more important than the last. The book also suggested what you preach is what you practice, in other words, tell yourself you’re going to hit a great forehand, then watch the ball come off your racquet with purpose and power.
Top tennis questions #5: How can I stay in shape for tennis?
Ultimately, the best way to stay in great tennis shape is simple: PLAY TENNIS!
Play as much and as often as you can, as long as you don’t overdo it. You don’t want to pick up injuries or ailments.
How do you train for tennis?
Training means putting in the hard work. You’ll thank yourself when you’re not gasping for air during a match. And remember, it’s always easier to stay in shape once you’re there than it is to get back into shape after taking time off.
What are the best exercises for tennis players?
You can start off right by forming a great routine, beginning with stretching.
If you’d like to know what muscles you should train for tennis, check out this video.
The video is geared towards new moms who are getting back into shape, but the exercises work for everyone.
You’ll want a mix of low-impact exercises and traditional strength training to make sure that you increase both your strength and flexibility. You’ll also want to focus on your nutrition, which is typically an underestimated point of many workout plans.
Whether you’re just beginning, or getting back into the game after a break, you’ll find that tennis is always going to be a good form of exercise.
Top tennis questions #6: Is tennis safe?
Like all sports, tennis can put some stress on your body and its joints.
You may experience everything from falls and slips to muscle tears and strains. Most of us are also familiar with the common injury called tennis elbow. This is simply the overuse of the elbow, specifically the forearm extensor muscles.
If you are asking if tennis is safe to play during Coronavirus, then the answer is YES!
In fact, tennis is the safest sport from the coronavirus. That’s not just our opinion, it’s actually recommended by many doctors because of its relative safety and built-in social distancing.
Find more answers to the top tennis questions on our blog.