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How to Buy a Tennis Racquet

Power or Control?

When buying a racquet, you must decide whether you want one that will provide you with power, control or a blend of the two.

If youíre a beginner, you should play with a racquet thatís light enough so itís easy to swing and powerful enough so it adds pop to your shots. Go with a racquet that:

  • Weighs between 9 and 10 ounces
  • Has an oversize head measuring 107 to 110 square inches (which will give you more power and improve your chances of making solid contact with the ball)
  • Has a beam width (the thickness of the frame) of at least 25 millimeters. A wide beam makes the frame stiff and, therefore, powerful.

If youíre an advanced player and can generate your own juice on the court, itís a different story. Youíre looking for more control, and you can get it with a racquet thatís heavier (over 10.5 ounces) with a smaller head and thinner beam.

If youíre an intermediate player, try a racquet that offers a blend of power and control, falling between the heavy, thin-beamed racquets and the lighter and bigger power sticks. ďFor most levels of play, you need a racquet that isn't too powerful and yet isn't all about control,Ē says Bruce Levine, TENNIS Magazineís racquet adviser, ďbecause power wonít mean a thing if you canít keep the ball in the court, and all the control in the world does you no good if you canít get enough gas on your shots.Ē

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