A Perfect Time to Experiment
We are all creatures of habit and tennis players are no different. When you find that product that works, you tend to stay with that racket, pair of shoes or combination of string until it's unavailable or you're forced to switch. We interact with countless customers who are sentimental about their 10-year old rackets and reluctant to try anything new. Reflecting back on his career, Pete Sampras wished he had switched out of his Wilson ProStaff 85 and into a larger head size, but never changed out of fear that it would affect his game.
If you’re a bit like Pete Sampras, we get it— ‘if it ain't broke, don’t fix it’. However, given the current COVID-19 world we live in, with no tournaments or league play for the foreseeable future, why not experiment and try something new?
Pros Making the Switch
Roger Federer switched to a 97” head size, previously using his trademark 90”. While his eventual success wasn't without an adjustment period, Federer attributes much of his success in the 2017 season to an improved backhand and easier power on the serve, enabled by his racket.
“I think the backhand has gotten better because I have been able to put in so many hours onto the racquet now… I feel super comfortable with the racquet, and I think I have gained confidence stepping into it”, says Federer after defeating Nadal to clinch the 2017 BNP Paribas Open Title.
Similarly, Serena Williams, 25 years into her career, is consistently play-testing with different rackets to try and squeeze every last ounce of an advantage for her game. This year she started the 2020 season with a blacked-out racket that she had play-tested for months on end. In an article with Complex Serena dives into her process of play-testing different rackets in search of her next edge on the court.
“You have to take your time. It is not an overnight switch and at some point, you need to have a leap of faith. You can test it for hours and hours and hours and literally maybe even months sometimes. Some things that might feel good to you might feel terrible a week later.”
Our Best Sellers and Opinion
Babolat Pure Drive Standard 2018
Since 1994 players of all levels have loved the ease of use the Babolat Pure Drive has to offer. Sitting at a unstrung weight of 300 grams, and coupled with a 100 square inch head size, the Babolat Pure Drive has you covered whether you're a weekend warrior looking for a solid racket to develop your game with, or a seasoned tournament player looking to add some extra power and spin on your ball.
Lovingly referred to as the “Goldilocks” frame around the store, this iteration offers a slightly more muted feel thanks to Cortex Pure Feel. Its power and 'whippyness' remain intact as the Pure Drive continues to be whatever its wielder needs to be. Whether you’re grinding your opponents off the court, or hitting winners on the run, the combination of power and control the Babolat Pure Drive has to offer is tough to beat.
It has long since been a staff favourite and the standard for rackets offering a firm, crisp response, coupled with a lively spin friendly string bed suitable for a vast variety of playing levels and styles.
Wilson Blade 18x20 V7
The Wilson Blade is back with its seventh iteration. New features brought over from the very successful Clash lineup means that Wilson has removed Countervail from this iteration, instead opting for Free Flex technology. This means that the new Blade offers a more flexible and pure feel at contact, as vibrations are no longer getting filtered away. Apart from this change in the layup, the Wilson Blade continues to be a control oriented racket available in two different string patterns in the 98sq inch head size. The 18x20 string pattern is the lower powered, more control oriented of the two. It will require players to generate all their own power and spin but will reward them with unrivalled precision and control.
Head Graphene 360+ Speed Plus
The Speed MP is endorsed by WTA and Canadian star Bianca Andreescu. Need we say more?
A slightly lighter and punchier version of the Speed when compared to the Pro, the Speed MP distinguishes itself by having firmer, more crisp feel. This makes the MP a more versatile frame that will suit a wider range of playing levels and playing styles. The firmer feel and more open 16x19 string pattern mean that depth, spin, and power are more readily available when compared with the Speed Pro. Its 300g weight remains unchanged from the previous iteration meaning this MP continues to be faster swinging than the Pro, allowing more players to take those “Andreescu-esque” cuts at the ball.
So where do you start?
A perfect place to begin experimenting is with our demo program; now up and running with new procedures to ensure our staff and customer safety. Take up to two rackets out for three days at a time for just a toonie. Let any one of our racket specialists walk you through each racket and what to expect.