HEAD’s new Speed Line is sure to give you surprises. This new line includes the Pro, MP, MP Lite, S, and Lite models. They have updated their Graphene Touch technology from the previous generation which is dubbed Graphene 360. Instead of the focus on a polarized weight distribution (weight in the grip and tip) Graphene 360 is located in shaft and throughout the hoop to improve stability and increase energy return. The Speed MP has a little thicker beam at 23mm, a minimalistic asymmetrical design and comes in slightly lighter than the Pro. I have been a frequent Head Speed user in the past and I was very excited to try this new line out.
The Speed MP is fast and easy to get through the air. The thicker beam doesn’t feel sluggish at all, and there is subtle boost in power from last generations Graphene Touch. The response is comfortably dampened, and off center hits are more stable than the prior version. There is plenty of access to spin, and players that like a full bed of polyester shouldn’t have any issues with sore elbows.
The MP shines in the forecourt particularly when playing touch shots and trying to absorb and redirect pace. There is sufficient power, but not in the same vein as some stiffer frames. Control and feel are the high points here. There is notable flex which really feels outstanding in quick doubles exchanges and half volley pick-ups.
Serves & Overheads
The comfort theme continues. I have had a somewhat balky shoulder as of late that is particularly noticeable when trying to achieve a bit more kick or power on my serves. With new Graphene 360 construction I felt emboldened to go after my serves and experienced little to no discomfort! The MP is great frame to add a leather grip to so that it will be balanced more head light to assist in stability and racquet head speed.
Though Head changed the beam construction on the new Speed MP to 23mm, the racquet plays softer and more plush than the older Graphene Touch Speed MP. One would think a thicker beam would make the frame stiffer, but this was not the case here. Perhaps the weight isn’t as polarized as the previous generations and there seems to be more mass throughout the head.
Head has managed to improve one of the most popular racquets on the market which should remind players of the more flexible player frames of yester year. The thicker beam gives more power but doesn’t compromise feel, or speed and the sweet spot feels plenty expansive.
Note: The playtest racquet was strung with Head Lynx 16G at 52 lbs.
About the Reviewer: Sam Jones currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Southwestern University, taught tennis for 10+ years and earned his Master Racquet Technician Certification in 2011. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player.