The popular Speed MP gets upgraded with new technologies for the 2020 season. In 2018 we saw a completely redesigned Speed line, and now HEAD continues to upgrade the family with Graphene 360+ technology which carries over from the Gravitys and Prestiges. This technology adds Spiralfibers into the lower hoop of the racquet head to create a more flexible, and comfortable feel at contact. Most of the the specs remain the same, but the swing weight is increased for better plow through and stability. I was big fan of the previous Speed MP, so I was very excited to hit this Graphene 360+ version.
The biggest changes I noticed right away on the new MP were the increased swing weight, and the much more flexible feel. Since this was a relatively fast racquet, I was a little confused why HEAD would increase the swing weight or feel from the previous versions. At first, I didn’t really like hitting with the new Speed MP because I really had to force myself to elongate my swing and focus on topspin due to the explosive power. However, after about an hour or two I started to enjoy the feel and appreciate the increased weight. The swing weight really allowed me to hit through the court and stay aggressive on my shots. I got a greater amount of precision when I wanted to dictate points, and could hit a variety of spin shots to throw off my opponent. Stability was improved as well allowing me to block back or counter punch hard hit shots and not worry about the racquet twisting unwillingly. The weight may take time to get used to, but I found the Speed MP to be very mobile making it easy to transition to different areas of the court.
Up at net, I was definitely concerned at first with the increased swing weight slowing me down. However, like my groundstrokes, it just took some time to get used to the racquet. While not as quick as the last version, it’s still very easy to handle volleys during quick exchanges. The increased feel for me was a great benefit at net because I could hit almost any shot with precision. I felt in way better command with the ball and didn’t have to worry about the ball flying randomly long. Stability up at net was also better allowing me to handle pace quite easily. Some players may find this version a little sluggish at net, but the reward is undeniable with feel and precision.
Serving allowed me to be explosive and precise with the updated Speed MP. The added swing weight does require a little more effort to get started, but compensated my serve in the long run. Flat serves gained extra speed and went through the court faster. Slice and kick serves seemed to jump up more thanks to the increased racquet head speed I had to generate. I could be very precise and hit aggressive targets making it very difficult for my opponent to read. If you’re someone that struggles with generating racquet head speed, it might take some time to adjust.
Just like the Gravity and Prestige lines, the improved feel and comfort of the Speed MPs are hands-down better than before. It truly reminded me of first hitting with the Wilson Clash racquets. It’s a completely new generation of racquet comfort that I personally have not seen for many years. The Spiralfiber technology makes the Speed MP and the whole line way more enjoyable to hit with.
All in all, I was thoroughly impressed with the new Speed MP. The increased swing weight and feel makes it more practical for players to stay aggressive and confident when they hit. I loved the increased precision and stability with this frame allowing me to dictate points from the beginning without worry. This is an impressive update from HEAD and players that want a great combination of flexibility, power, and precision should try out the new Graphene 360+ Speed MP.
Note: Playtest racquets were strung with two different options. HEAD Lynx Tour 17G (1.25mm) at 48 pounds and HEAD IntelliTour 17G (1.25mm) at 55 lbs.
About the Reviewer: Chris Virk-Brown currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Neumann University and coached at the collegiate level for 3 years. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player.