If you provide your own power on the tennis court, you need an ultra-precise racquet to help you maintain consistency and control. These frames are often on the heftier side in terms of weight, and most utilize a dense 18×20 string pattern for more directional control. Here are some of the top control racquets on the market right now.
Wilson Blade 98 v7 18×20
The Blade has become a surgical scalpel for an endless list of top level professionals and collegiate All-Americans. The flat 20.6 millimeter beam, 98 square inch head, and 18×20 string pattern help create one of the most consistent control racquets around. Wilson made the Blade more stable and comfortable with the advent of FeelFlex technology. For folks that are particular about their frames, Wilson reduced the spec variance on the v7 Blades for more consistency frame to frame. The 18×20 string pattern offers increased control over the 16×19 version, but is a little less spin friendly. Another nice feature of the Blade is the relatively low 305 gram unstrung weight, which allows for players to customize their frames with weighted tape.
Yonex VCORE Pro 97HD
Yonex took a demanding frame, the VCORE Pro 97 and threw an 18×20 string pattern on it. This frame is for players with finely tuned mechanics who can generate near world-class racquet head speed. The 320g unstrung weight offers tons of stability against bigger hitters, but the old school balance of 7pts head light keeps it practical to whip around the court. Yonex added VDM (Vibration Dampening Mesh) inside the handle of the HD to filter out vibrations without losing a feel for the ball. Flatter ball strikers will love the consistency of the sweet spot and serve and volley players will appreciate the predictable flex on finesse shots. If you are a frequent string breaker that hits a lot of topspin, you will love the dense pattern because it will increase the string life.
Babolat Pure Strike 3rd Gen 18×20
Dominic Thiem produces some of the fastest forehands and backhands in the world. The Pure Strike 3rd Gen 18×20 is his racquet of choice, and it possesses a little bit more power than the previous racquets on this list. Similar to the Blade, the Strike is 305 grams unstrung, and it is an easy frame to customize for advanced players. The 98 square inch head and slightly varied 21-23-21 beam create a precision tool for an explosive baseliner. Babolat’s sharp control cosmetic is one of the best looking frames to come along in a while.
HEAD Graphene 360+ Prestige MP
The name “Prestige” has been synonymous with control since the late 1980s. With this new MP, the vibrant red has returned (even the head guard is red!). Compared with previous Prestige MPs, the 2020 version jumps from a 95 square inch head to a 98 square inch head. By expanding the head size, the 18×20 string pattern is spaced out more so it is easier to generate spin. This Prestige MP has a wonderfully soft flex, thanks to Graphene 360+ technology, and it is loaded with control. The 20 millimeter beam cuts through the air with ease, and the 320 gram unstrung weight has enough heft to compete with the biggest hitters. While slightly easier to use than previous versions, this one is a perfect control frame for 2020 tennis.
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph
Roger Federer updated his racquet a few seasons ago in an effort to help his backhand. A common misconception is that the RF97 is an easy racquet to play. The frame has a 340 gram unstrung weight, and a swing weight north of 330. It is a lot of racquet to swing for hours on end, but for advanced players, it is the ultimate tool for precision and stability. The RF97 is the most headlight racquet on our list, and that helps turn it into an all court weapon. The 16×19 string pattern on the 97 square inch head creates a strong blend of control and power, while the old school flat beam knifes through the air with ease.
Dunlop CX 200 Tour 18×20
Ninety-five square inch racquets are less common these days, but the Dunlop CX 200 Tour makes a great exception. Dunlop updated their comfort inducing Sonic Core Technology with a material called Infinergy. The material improves the CX 200 Tour’s dampening, while maintaining the solid flex and feel of the previous generation. Dunlop spaced out the cross strings in the upper hoop to make the frame more friendly for topspin lovers. The 20.5 millimeter beam rewards big hitters with consistent feedback which is further enhanced by the high-quality leather grip.
Tecnifibre TF40 305
Rounding out our list of control frames is the TF40 305 from Tecnifibre. The TF40 is a softer feeling model than the popular T-Fight models. The ball seems to stay on the string bed longer due to the XTC material embedded throughout the frame, and the string pattern is further enhanced by a special grommet system that reduces shock at contact. The 18×20 string pattern and slim 21.7 millimeter beam offer sublime control in an extremely comfortable frame. The TF40 is surprisingly powerful for a control oriented model, and at only 305 grams unstrung it is an easy racquet to further customize for elite tournament play.
There are so many racquet options available at Tennis Express for all levels and ages. Make sure to check back for updates and articles about new product releases.