Every tennis player has different strengths and weaknesses when they take the court. Some people are consistent players who lack power. Others play with a lot of power but struggle to keep the ball in play. A term we hear all the time when racquets are discussed is “control”. Generally speaking, control racquets don’t provide much power, and they don’t “help” players with spin or depth. They offer a very consistent low-powered response at contact and this provides advanced players the pinpoint precision they need to succeed. If you are shopping for a control frame, you probably create your own power and spin with your advanced technique, and you need something to push you over the finish line against tougher competition.
Most control-centric racquets have a thin flat beam design and the head size will range from 95-100 square inches. Overall, control racquets are the heaviest category weighing between 10.8 and 11.6 ounces (unstrung). Many of these models have dense 18×20 string patterns, which will reduce string movement and reduce power and spin. Now, let’s jump into some of the best tennis racquets for control on the market today.
Wilson Pro Staff 97 v14
The Pro Staff name has given control to the world’s best tennis players since 1983. With version 14, the frame gets a new Paradigm Bending technology, which optimizes the bending profile between the shaft and hoop. The technology recreates the classic flex and feel of the Pro Staffs of old. Wilson’s Braid FORTYFIVE° construction creates idea ball pocketing for high-level precision and accuracy.
The 97 offers a slim 21.5 mm flat beam design, a 97 square inch head, and an 11.1 ounce unstrung weight. Though the racquet is on the heavier side, it is several points headlight to make it easier to swing at faster speeds.
HEAD Gravity Pro 2023
The HEAD Gravity Pro is endorsed on tour by Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev. The two players have huge baseline games, and they swing this rock-solid and weighty racquet with ease. The Gravity Pro features a special head design that widens the sweet spot above the center of the hoop where most shots are played. An Auxetic construction creates ideal feedback at contact to help shots hit their target.
This model has a 100 square-inch head, a dense 18×20 string pattern, and a sturdy 11.1-ounce unstrung weight. The 20-millimeter beam is one of the thinnest on the market and it rewards powerful players with predictable ball fight and control. With its softer flex, this model adds a more comfortable feel to one of the most control-oriented frames out there.
Yonex VCORE PRO 97H
The VCORE PRO 97H is the most stable racquet in their catalog due to its massive 11.6-ounce unstrung weight. While not the easiest racquet to swing, the VCORE PRO 97H delivers one of the most sturdy responses of any racquet available. It’s designed for advanced players who create their own power and spin with solid stroke mechanics and good timing. This version got a slightly thicker beam that gives a little more free power, and an open 16×19 string pattern for more ball bite. For comfort, the VCORE PRO racquets have Vibration Dampening Mesh inside the handle. The technology reduces unwanted vibration for a refined feel.
HEAD Prestige Pro 2021
Since its inception in 1987, the Prestige remains one of the best tennis racquets for control on the market. It features some classic characteristics including a thin 20 mm box beam, a dense 18×20 string pattern, and an elongated shaft for classic flex and feel. At 11.3 ounces unstrung, the Prestige Pro is not easily pushed around. Throw in an old-school soft flex and classic head-light balance and you have one of the most precise racquets on the market. While this model features a larger head size and is easier to play with than the original Prestige, the Prestige Pro 2021 is still very much for experienced players who can create their own power.
For Those on a Budget
Babolat Pure Strike 3rd Gen 18/20
The Babolat Pure Strike 18/20 is a very lovely control racquet from Babolat. Using the hybrid frame construction, the Pure Strike blends the control elements of a box beam design, with a more powerful and responsive elliptical shape. While not overly heavy, the Pure Strike 18/20 boasts a high swing weight to generate greater stability at contact. The 18 by 20 string pattern improves string durability and adds extra precision to faster swings. While not as comfortable and flexible as some of the other racquets on this list, the Pure Strike offers a good feel for the ball thanks to C² PURE FEEL, a cutting-edge vibration filtration lay-up system that provides a pure feel on every shot. Thanks to the latest price drop, this model is now a bargain under $200 for the first time.
That sums up our list of best tennis racquets for control. Stay updated on our latest content by following the Tennis Express blog and other media.