This could have been a really short review: the best racket of the last five years just got better.
But please, don't stop reading. I didn't get to review the previous Gravity Pro, so I am going to take my sweet time to let you all know just how good of a racket this is.
When I reviewed the Gravity MP a few weeks back, I mentioned that the Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro was in the conversation for "best racket of the last 5 years". In all honesty, to me, it was at the top of that list.
The Pro encompassed everything great about the Gravity line. Feel, control, stability, power, and even, to a certain extent, spin, were all top-notch, but one small factor lead me to downsize to the Tour. The Pro had a hefty swing weight — around 334 — and if you got an off-spec frame, it could push the 340s, which I wasn't willing to risk as I can't swing that heavy a racket.
It's a good thing that the swing weight is the most significant major spec change on the new Gravity Pro. Head has lowered it – bringing it closer to 330 – and this was tested on 4 different rackets, so I'm 99% sure it was a conscious decision. This is great because adding swing weight is always easier than removing it.
The rest of the specs? I might be turning into a robot, but they've stayed more or less the same. The Gravity Pro 2023 weighs 315 grams, has a 100 square inch head size, 18x20 string pattern, and 20-millimeter beam. As you probably expected, the flagship technology has changed to Auxetic. Like with most of Head's lineup, this makes the frame slightly softer than its predecessor, coming in at 58 RA strung. More on that magical Head number later…
New to this review is the Rackets & Runners rating system (a more catchy name is in the works) where we rate each category on a scale of 1-10. The numbers will be very high in this review; that should tell you how good the racket is.
Let's get right into the superlatives, shall we? The feel of the new Gravity Pro is absolutely fantastic; the best of any Auxetic racket I've used to date. The technology has objectively improved feel on most of Head's lineup, but it's just incredible here.
What's crazy is that feel on the previous Pro was already top-notch. It's no secret that Graphene was not super well loved by tennis' feel purists, but Graphene 360+ took a huge step away from that material's notorious "pingyness." This new Gravity Pro eliminates that sensation altogether and has one of the most addictive, connected-to-the-ball sensations I've felt in a long time.
As I became more comfortable with this frame, I couldn't stop thinking about another fantastic Head frame: the Pro Tour 280. There was something magical about the dwell time and pop off of the Gravity's string bed that reminded me so much of the feel of that classic Head legend. When you make contact in the Gravity's sweet spot, the response is highly addictive; it's plush but well-defined, and when the ball leaves the stringbed, it hits you with a lovely poppy sensation that I haven't felt in a long time.
It reminded me so much of the Pro Tour 280's feel that I dusted mine off to test it out, and sure enough, I was right. Here's my theory: 20-millimeter beam? Check. Y-shaped throat? Check. 58 RA? Check. Something about that combination in a Head racket yields fantastic results for feel.
There is excellent feel everywhere on the court, even for slower shots. Slice, drop-shot, volley, serve, forehand, backhand? Hit any shot you want, and you'll feel ultimate connection to the ball. Also, the Gravity Pro may have gotten softer than its predecessor, but it hasn't lost out on any of that racket's well-defined sweet spot. Nowadays, some soft rackets are getting a bit "mushy," but that is not the case here.
The biggest criticism I had for the Gravity MP was that it wasn't very maneuverable, and the main reason for that was its mold. In some way, that also applies to the Pro because it has an identical teardrop shape, but I found the Pro to be less clunky than the MP.
That's mainly down to the thinner 20-millimeter beam, which makes the frame more aerodynamic than the MP. But the Pro's better maneuverability also has much to do with its more headlight balance.
Because more weight is concentrated in the handle, the racket might technically be heavier, but it feels relatively lighter through the air. I know that's a bit confusing, but it adds up because when I threw a leather grip on the MP, it felt more maneuverable than in stock form. Balance and aerodynamics play a massive role in maneuverability; that's why something like an RF97 feels whippier than a Pure Drive 107.
Compared to the previous version, the new Pro is more maneuverable because of that swingweight decrease. Still, the racket has a 100 square-inch head size, and that teardrop shape concentrates more weight higher up the racket, so it will never be the quickest racket in the world.
I felt a tiny bit of discomfort after a long time hitting with the Pro, and I can guarantee you, it has nothing to do with the frame's stiffness and all to do with the weight and maneuverability.
This is a heavy racket with a high (albeit lower than previous) swingweight, so you need a solid arm to swing it. Get lazy with the Pro, start wristing the ball without a full swing and you could suffer some discomfort as well, but if you're on top of your game, the racket is incredibly rewarding, and comfort shouldn't be an issue.
It's hard to pick the Gravity Pro's most redeeming factor, but it might just be the stability. The previous Pro was incredibly stable, the most stable 100 square-inch racket by quite some margin. Head may have lowered the swing weight on the 2023 model, but the racket feels just as stable, if not even a touch more.
That's down to the Auxetic technology. I've covered this tech ad nauseum — check out the Gravity MP review for more details — but to quickly summarize, Auxetic makes the throat flex more but also return more energy when the ball shoots off the stringbed. That extra oomph on release makes the Auxetic rackets more solid than their 360+ predecessors, and it's the case again on the Gravity Pro.
More stability and less swing weight? That's a great combination to make the racket more user-friendly, but if you prever the old Gravity's swing weight, go ahead and customize it to that spec; you're just going to make a super solid racket even better. Like I said, that's a bit much for me, and I love it in stock form.
If stability isn't the best characteristic of the Gravity Pro, then it's got to be the control… or the feel… or the precision…? Even I'm confused.
You'll know this if you played with the previous Pro, but there's something magical about the control profile of the Gravity. Head might claim that the Gravity has a "massive sweetspot," but never once was I left wanting more precision. Yes, the sweet spot is bigger than on player's frames with smaller head sizes, but the Gravity Pro feels just as precise and controlled as those rackets.
Control is even better on the 2023 Pro because of its improved feel. Also, because the racket is softer than the previous version, there is longer dwell time, so you get that classic ability to "edit" your shot while the ball is in the string bed.
Of course, the Gravity Pro has an 18x20 string pattern, so it has fantastic directional control. It also has a low launch angle, so it won't feel wild or inconsistent like some 16x19s or 16x20s.
Finally, a characteristic that isn't the racket's most redeeming factor. That 18x20 string pattern does come at the expense of spin potential, but we all know that. Comparing an 18x20's spin to a 16x19's is a bit unfair. These rackets are in their own category and should only be judged against each other.
Compared to other 18x20s, the Gravity Pro actually has a more open stringbed, so it naturally produces more spin than standard. I tested the racket with two very spin-friendly polys but preferred it with the ultra-snappy RPM Rough. I could feel the strings move and pop back into place with that string, making for more spin generation than I did with the sharper Lynx Tour. Combining a slick poly at a fairly low tension is optimal to generate spin competitive with more open string beds.
The Pro might be a controlled player's frame, but it packs more punch than most other rackets in that category. That's because the teardrop shape concentrates more weight and the sweet spot higher up the frame. The higher up you hit the ball, the more leverage you have over it, so this racket has plenty of put-away power.
The power profile helps the Gravity Pro stand its ground in the ever-evolving modern game. Classic players' frames are still around, but they're slowly becoming less viable with young players opting for more inherently powerful rackets. The Gravity combines elements of both the control and power game that helps keep it more than relevant. Swing big with this frame, and it will not hold you back.
Groundstrokes - 9.4: The Gravity's bread and butter. Dialed in like you're making a phone call
Serve - 8.8: Extra pop means extra aces
Return - 8.9: The harder your opponent serves, the harder you're sending it back
Volleys - 8.2: Strong hands are needed to move the racket, but the ball's going right where you aim it
Slice - 9.2: Buttery soft, thin 18x20? About as good as it gets
X-Factor* - 9.5: You won't want to put it down
*the racket's "omg-ability" (why we love tennis)
Who's it for?
It's no surprise that the Gravity Pro mold has been one of the most popular pro rackets of the last few years, with players switching to it left, right, and center. In the right hands, it's a machine of consistency, stability, solidity, and even variety.
I do think it's a design that excels, first and foremost, from the baseline, which is why a guy like Andrey Rublev, who I love, but really needs to add some spice to his groundstroke game, is such a big fan. You'll quickly get into a zone from the baseline with this frame, but it has so much potential to excel from other parts of the court that it almost feels like a waste using it only from there.
Remember, this is a demanding, advanced player's racket, so it's not made for players intermediate or below. What I will say is: the Gravity Pro 2023 has gotten noticeably more forgiving than the previous version, to the point where someone like me, a solid 4.0, not so solid 4.5, could switch to it, whereas I wasn't quite consistent enough with the 360+.
String it up with whatever you want. Tight poly, loose poly, sharp, soft, anything really. It's just a question of whether you want to complement its elite strengths or negate its not-so-noticeable weaknesses. Also, for those who use natural gut, this is the kind of frame it will excel in.
I pretty much just wrote a love letter to the Head Gravity Pro 2023, but that's how I genuinely feel.
I've been writing many positive reviews lately (keep it up tennis brands!), but this one might take the cake. It's a phenomenal racket that has just gotten better for 2023. Remember, much of what I said also applies to the previous 360+, so don't go worrying that that racket is obsolete if you own it. Both frames are great, but I do think Head's inclusion of Auxetic tech makes the frame even more elite than it previously was, so it is 100% worth a demo, both if you own the 360+ or if you just like good tennis rackets.