Head went all in on Alexander Zverev and their new Gravity frame line in 2019. The Gravity S is designed for developing players and uses the latest Graphene 360 technology from Head for improved power and stability. The frame also uses Spiralfibers at 5 and 7 o’clock for improved flex and responsiveness. The S variant uses a thicker 24 mm beam and larger 104-inch head size to maximize power and forgiveness Head also uses a 16 x 20 string pattern in the Gravity S to maintain control while promoting access to spin. Here’s a look at how this larger, more forgiving Gravity racquet measured up in on court testing.
The Gravity S had the same rounded head shape that the other Gravity frames possess. This led to it having a very large sweet spot, especially with its increased 104-inch head size. The 24 mm beam packed plenty of punch from both sides and I found it easy to generate speed and depth. It had a bit more juice than the standard MP or Pro, so I had to dial in the power before feeling fully confident in controlling the power on big cuts. With a strung weight of 10.7 oz, I was looking for little more mass to get a heavier, more penetrating ball. The frame had a bit more weight in the head to try and put more mass behind the ball, but it was just lacking a bit in groundstroke authority compared to the heavier versions. Directional accuracy and control were solid. Once I had the depth control dialed in, I felt confident that I could hit to aggressive targets and started playing shots closer and closer to the lines. I was impressed with the spin generated by the Gravity S. The 16 x 20 pattern provided excellent grip and the easy racquet head speed gave me plenty of air under the ball. My backhand had plenty of lift and I enjoyed having some extra safety on that wing. The lower mass of the frame produced some struggles with twisting on defense against hard hit balls. It was above average in stability for its weight and would be fine in intermediate play, but advanced players would likely want more stability in the hoop for trading bigger groundstrokes effectively.
Volleys & Serves
At net, the Gravity S was a fast and capable performer. Its easy to access power made quick work of anything left up for me to pick out of the air. I had to stay aggressive on volleys as the power level floated anything I took too casual of an approach to. The light, fast build of the Gravity S made it easy to position at net and ensure I kept the ball in front of me during exchanges. For me, the larger head size was less precise than the MP and Pro models. I felt I needed to pick a bit bigger targets on volleys in order to make sure I didn’t miss. The soft flex provided great feel for executing touch and drop volleys. If I picked a big enough target, I could reliably feather balls over with excellent touch.
On serve, I found myself working to exploit the speedy nature of the Gravity S. It accelerated easily through the top of my motion, so I was able to add plenty of pace to my first serve. Even though it wasn’t the heaviest feeling serve given the reduced mass, I still found enough ball speed to snag quick points off my first serve here and there. Despite its increased head size and beam width, I felt it had solid accuracy on serve. I was able to locate the ball to different areas of the box and vary locations consistently. I especially enjoyed the fact that on the deuce side I could both go down the T and go out wide. Second serves were mostly focused on kick serves. The 16 x 20 pattern and plentiful head speed gave my kick serve great bounce height and action off the court. The reduced frame weight reduced my slice serve’s ability to carve low and wide, so I mostly settled into a rhythm of using the kick serve to move opponents over, giving myself a return that was easier to deal with.
The feel of the entire Gravity line was different from the last iteration of Graphene Touch frames. The lower stiffness produced more ball pocketing and a more flexible response on contact. The application of Graphene 360 also seemed to be an improvement over Graphene Touch as it kept a more connected feel to the ball. The Gravity S felt a bit more forgiving in the top of the hoop than the MP, perhaps due to its thicker beam and larger sweet spot. The lower stiffness aided in the racquet’s overall comfort as well. The Gravity S was one of the more comfortable Head frames’ I’ve tested recently. I didn’t notice any hot spots and there was only occasional jarring if I was really off center on contact. Anything in the sweet spot felt smooth and clean. Players with arm sensitivity should find enough comfort in the Gravity S that they can use their desired string and tension without issue.
The Gravity line represents Head’s jump back into the world of more flexibly constructed frames. The Gravity S pairs flexible feel with a dose of easy power and spin. Coupled with a more forgiving head size, the racquet is easy to swing and plays with comfort. Rising juniors and intermediates looking for a forgiving frame with a steady blend of power and control that doesn’t skimp on feel and comfort have a new option in the Head Gravity S.
About the Reviewer: 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.