Head is bringing a new force to the court for 2019 with the introduction of the all new Head Gravity line of frames. With Alexander Zverev being at the forefront, Gravity poised to make a splash on professional and rec courts alike. The Gravity MP sports the latest Graphene 360+ technology from Head for improved power and stability. It utilizes a thinner beam for optimum control and a 100-inch head size for a large sweet spot (or “Massive Sweetspot to Dominate the Game” if you’ve seen the prototypes). Head also uses a 16 x 20 string pattern in the Gravity MP to increase control while retaining access to spin. Here’ a look at how this all new offering from Head measured up in my on-court time with it.
The Gravity MP offered an interesting dynamic off the ground. The 100 inch head was somewhat rounded (more like the original IG Speed) and it played with a large sweet spot. The 22 mm beam didn’t pack a ton of free power, but I still found it effective at creating depth from either wing. The racquet responded well to acceleration and I was able to confidently take big cuts at the ball and produce depth without hitting long. The fast feel and forgiving head size also made this racquet excel when stretched out for defensive shots. At 10.4 oz unstrung, I was looking for little more mass to get a heavier feeling ball. The racquet tried to counter the reduced weight by shifting more of it to the head. This proved effective at helping the racquet punch above its weight class from the back of the court. Directional accuracy and control were excellent. The thin beam and 16 x 20 pattern worked in tandem to let me move the ball around the court and hit to aggressive targets. Spin production was also impressive on the Gravity MP. The 16 x 20 pattern provided excellent grip while producing enough string movement to snap the ball back down into the court. I especially enjoyed the easy spin on my backhand as I was able to find more margin on that side than usual. The reduced mass of the frame created a few problems with flutter on off center shots and when defending against heavy hit balls. It was above average in stability for its weight but seemed like it would really come to life with a bit of customization work for advanced players.
The all court sensibilities of the Gravity MP started to shine when I transitioned to net. The racquet was very maneuverable and easy to position during rapid exchanges at the net. The controlled power level made it easy to attack volleys. I found it easy to drive the ball through the court, especially on anything left high for me. The Gravity’s accuracy held true on volleys as well. I was able to carve angles and shift the ball into challenging places. Stability was solid overall, but I still felt the frame could use a bit more overall mass in order to better absorb heavy hit shots. The lower RA rating gave the racquet nice flex and feel for delicate volleys. This was easily the best touch volleying frame from Head in recent memory as a result.
Serving with the Gravity MP showed off its control-oriented nature. I was able to ramp up the racquet head speed for big first serves with minimal risk of overhitting. It moved quickly through the top of the zone and applied great pace to my first serve. The ball speed was good, but it seemed to lack the court penetration needed for a lot of free points. I felt a bit more mass was needed to really get the weight of shot I was looking for on my serve. I’d experiment with some added weight or see how the Pro version measured up if I was using the Gravity full time. Second serves were strong thanks to the racquet’s easy spin production. I was able to get great height and movement on kick serves with the ball jumping out of returner’s strike zones quickly. My slice serve into the ad court was also effective but likely would have been even more dangerous if the frame had a bit more mass to drive the ball down.
Feel & Comfort
The feel of the Gravity MP was unlike anything else in Head’s current lineup of frames. The reduced stiffness provided a flexible feel with more ball pocketing on contact. The application of Graphene 360 also seemed different as the frame felt more connected to the ball on contact than other recent Head frames I’ve tested. The racquet played with a more “raw”, stripped down feel to it overall, something higher level players are likely to appreciate the most. The lower stiffness aided in the racquet’s overall comfort as well. I played it without issue, although I felt the upper hoop was where it felt the rawest and might be slightly less forgiving with a firm string setup. Anything contacted in the sweet spot was smooth and clean feeling. Arm sensitive players should be fine, but could also vary their tension and string setup to ensure maximum comfort.
Players who have been clamoring for Head to build a more classic frame with some modern sensibilities have gotten their wish with the new Gravity series. It blends easily controlled power, outstanding spin production and easy maneuverability. The frame also offers a more flexible response and better responsiveness on volleys and touch shots while leaving ample room for serious players to customize. The new Head Gravity MP is a great match for players who want a smooth swinging control frame that can still dictate play from a variety of court positions.
About the Author: Matt Locke formerly served for 3 years as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho. He is a PTR certified coach and is an active USTA 4.5+ League and Tournament player. He loves Nadal’s determination, but secretly wishes he had Federer’s effortless style.