If you are an intermediate-level tennis player and shopping for a new tennis racket, what should you look for? There are so many options and it may be challenging to decide on a tennis racket that can help you progress to be a more advanced player. Some features of the tennis racket that you should pay attention to include the racket head size, the weight of the tennis racket, and what kind of racket will give you more power and more control. What are the best tennis rackets? What are good intermediate rackets? Should you stick with the same racket or change it as you progress? Should you get a heavy racket or a lighter racket?
At North State Resurfacing, we have a wide variety of rackets for intermediate players. This article will give you information on the features of intermediate rackets and which ones are considered the best tennis rackets for intermediate tennis players.
But, first, when do you know you are at an intermediate level of playing? According to the USTA NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program), the classification system that has all of the tennis levels and rankings, there are two intermediate levels:
Intermediate Player (3.0 – 3.5) – This player can maintain a rally from the baseline with basic sound stroke techniques and has achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots but still lacks depth and variety. This player is beginning to show more aggressive net play and has improved court courage.
Advanced Intermediate Player – This player has dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides plus the ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots, and volleys with some success. This player may be starting to master the use of power and spins, but tends to over-hit difficult shots.
If any of these descriptions sound like you, then consider yourself an intermediate player and start shopping for the best tennis racket you can find!
How to choose the Best Intermediate Tennis Racket?
As an intermediate tennis player, you begin to place the shots better on the court. You have also developed a consistent swing that generates power from the baseline in order to get the ball back over the net and deep into the court.
The primary factors in choosing the best tennis racket for intermediate players are the weight, and size of the racket (length and head size). Smaller frames have more control while tennis rackets with big frames and a large surface area have more power in general. But, you will also want to consider your playing style and consistency of play when choosing intermediate rackets.
Your playing style makes a difference when you are choosing your racket. Some tennis rackets are better for some styles and not for others. The playstyle you engage in helps you determine what kind of intermediate racket you need.
Generally, there are four playing styles, according to On The Rise Tennis Academy: Aggressive Baseline, Counter Puncher, All-Court Player, and Serve-and-Volley. If you are an aggressive baseliner, you like to dominate from the back of the court so you want a racket that gives good power and spin. A heavier racket with a smaller head would accommodate this type of play.
If you are an all-court player, you’re happy playing from anywhere on the tennis court so you want your tennis racket to offer both control and stability. Maybe you’re a counterpuncher, a player with consistent shots that have a low error rate, as well as precise placement. If so, you value control above everything else, but still need power.
Consistency is key to winning and only comes with practice and good technique. It’s less about the racket and more about the movement and technique. It’s tricky to find an intermediate racket that offers control and also has some power to it. More than anything, look for a comfortable racket that feels good and stick with it. That said, the strings on the tennis racket make a difference when looking at consistency. Strings shouldn’t be too old, thicker strings may play more steady, and denser string patterns tend to direct the ball better.
Racket Head Size
The size of the racket head is a consideration when selecting a racket for intermediate players. Generally, both intermediate and advanced players benefit from smaller head sizes because they have developed stable and reliable techniques and don’t need a larger head like a beginner does. The head size recommended for intermediate and advanced players is 97 square inches up to 100 square inches. If you are looking for more power, you want a larger tennis racket head size. If you are looking for more control, you want a racket with a smaller head.
Power Versus Control
Depending on your type of play, you will be looking for a racket that gives you either more control, more power, or a little of both. When looking for more power, you want a larger head size. The smaller head size provides for more control, but you sacrifice power when you hit the ball. Generally, control is affected by the racket head’s size, with larger head sizes being less maneuverable than smaller heads. Many manufacturers combat this by using lightweight material construction and the racket’s length. However, the racket’s head size is still the most crucial factor to consider.
The weight of the tennis racket for intermediate players is important, so it should be one of the first things you consider. Lighter rackets are easier to maneuver, but as your swings get better, you’ll find that you get more power, spin, and control from a heavier racket. Medium-weight tennis rackets are a better fit for intermediate and advanced tennis players. These rackets are usually between 10.5 and 11.5 ounces. They provide a nice balance between power and control and are fairly maneuverable.
How We Choose the Best Intermediate Tennis Racket
When we choose the best tennis rackets for intermediate players, we are looking at all of these features:
- Size of the tennis racket’s head
- Weight of the racket
- Power, control, or both
Our Top Intermediate Tennis Rackets
Best Rackets for Power:
The Babolat Pure Aero Plus is a great intermediate racket that delivers both power and spin. The Babolat Pure Aero Plus has a 100 square-inch head and is strung at 11.3 ounces and has a 16 x 19 string pattern. All of these characteristics lend to speed and power for baseline players.
The Babolat Pure Drive 107 Tennis Racquet 10th Generation is a great racket, one of the very best intermediate tennis rackets for power. The Pure Drive is a versatile racket for intermediate players providing a perfect balance between power and feel on every shot. You have tons of power, easy access to spin, and easy playability with the Babolat Pure Drive. The Pure Drive racquet weighs in at 300g.
If you are a strong player, you should also consider the Babolat Pure Strike 98 16 x 19 racket. It offers an ideal balance of both response and precision if you are an aggressive baseline player. It weighs 11.3 ounces and the 16 x 19 spin-friendly string pattern helps when you are looking for deep, penetrating groundstrokes. (This racket also comes with an 18 x 20 string tension.
Best Rackets for Spin:
The Yonex VCore 98 offers the intermediate tennis player easy maneuverability and lots of spin, with a design that has reduced air resistance. The string pattern is 16 x 19 and has a strung weight of 11.4 ounces.
The Volkl V-Sense V1 Pro is a great intermediate racket for spin and comfort. The head size is 100 square inches, has an unstrung weight of 11.1 ounces, and has a 16 x 18 string pattern. This open string pattern gives it huge spin potential.
Best Value For Intermediate Tennis Players:
One of the best values for an intermediate racket is the Wilson Blade Team. It has versatility, which is great for players who don’t quite know what their eventual tennis playstyle will be. It is lightweight, has a thinner beam construction that helps with control, and usually comes pre-strung with Wilson Sensation strings that provide a consistent, more forgiving string bed response.
Best Intermediate Tennis Racket For Women:
Our best tennis racket for women is the Babolat Pure Drive with Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP coming in at a close second. The Babolat Pure Drive is one of the top-rated racquets for spin, control, and power. It has a stiffer frame with exceptional power return and added precision.
The Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP LITE features new graphene 360+ technology providing an enhanced flex and clean impact feel as well as a 16/19 string pattern for the right amount of spin. The Graphene 360+ utilizes Spiral Fibre technology that stretches upon impact, making the racket feel more comfortable.
Best Intermediate Tennis Rackets For Junior-Level Players:
Overall, the Yonex Ezone 25 Inch Junior Tennis Racquet is an excellent lightweight racket that suits junior intermediate-level tennis players. It has excellent maneuverability and is very comfortable, both of which make it easy to play tennis.
Shop North State Resurfacing For All Of Your Tennis Equipment Needs
If you are an intermediate tennis player looking for the best racket for your playstyle and comfort, shop North State Resurfacing for a wide variety from which to choose. Regardless of your level of play, we have the right racket for you! Call us today at (919) 365-7500 or visit our shop online for more details.