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Top 5 Best-Selling Rackets in 2023

People are always asking which rackets are best sellers, but my question is "are the best sellers actually good?"
Top 5 Best-Selling Rackets in 2023 Featured Image

Since we are a little past the halfway point of 2023, it's the perfect time to round up which rackets are at the top in sales.

While sales might not directly indicate performance, selling well is proof that the general population likes your product, and that's a metric tennis companies should value quite highly.

First, I want to clarify that I'm talking about individual rackets rather than a full-on racket line. For example, if the best-selling racket were the Head Extreme MP, I'd be talking about that specific racket and not the whole Extreme line. This is important to understand because some lines' popularity is diluted by a higher number of top-end models.

After doing a thorough analysis of the most popular frames, a few interesting common themes stuck out as relevant:

1. Playability. These rackets can be picked up, taken straight out to the court, and play well with most string setups in most peoples' hands. They don't require a period of adaptation, customization, or a specific string and tension to play at their best. This is essential because it means that players can quickly fall in love after even a brief demo.

2. User-friendly. These are also rackets that aren't too demanding. None of them weigh more than 305 grams, and most have a 100-square-inch head size. Of course, small head-sized, heavy rackets have a fervent following amongst the advanced tennis population, but they are more difficult to use, making them less accessible to the average player.

3. Well-rounded. Finally, every frame on this list performs well in most metrics; they're well-rounded rackets. Some rackets will sacrifice one playability characteristic for more of another, alienating many potential customers.

Obviously if your racket, or a racket you like, isn't on this list that doesn't mean it's bad. It might just not be as popular as these for one reason or another.



5. Head Radical MP 2023

I must admit I was a bit surprised that the Radical MP was so high up on this list. Not because it's a bad racket, but because about five years ago, the Radical line was on life support, barely selling at all. The Radical had its glory years in the mid-2000s, but fell off a cliff when Head decided to modernize its shape, string pattern and turn it into a much more powerful frame. A few jarring versions of the Graphene Radicals and Head had laid out the rule book on how to ruin a best-seller.

But then the 360 and 360+ Radicals came out, and they were actually very decent rackets, with the 360+ getting even closer to that top-tier performance. Now, with the introduction of Auxetic in the Radical's throat, it really is a world-class frame with unique playability. It still has the feel, control, and stability you should expect from a 98, but in a much more forgiving and user-friendly end-product than other small head sizes.

Very few 98s have such a sturdy, undulating beam with a more power-oriented shape and mold. That also helps make the Radical more spin-friendly; it is the definition of a "jack-of-all-trades."

I want to emphasize the importance of Auxetic tech in pushing the Radical back up to the top. The feel is leaps and bounds better than it has been for over a decade, so it's much easier for players to grab it and instantly like it. I'm happy that Head has finally gotten it right with the Radical because it's such a legendary racket that deserves to be at the top in sales, where it was for so long.

4. Yonex EZONE 100 V7

Again, I am slightly surprised that it's the EZONE 100 and not the 98 that's number four on this list. But after some consideration, it makes sense. I'm a massive fan of the EZONE 98, and I know it has a huge following amongst tennis aficionados, but the 100 combines most of what makes the 98 so good, just in a more user-friendly and forgiving package, so it's more accessible to the masses.

Yonex is usually rewarded for its unwavering innovation, and there's no better proof of that than the EZONE line. For over ten years, it's been a rampant success (with only one hurdle in the middle.) Developing such a drastically different racket profile was daring but undoubtedly paid off.

What makes the EZONE so different? It has a thick, unyielding, and powerful hoop, with a very thin throat molded to be aerodynamic and spin-friendly but also to provide a better feel for the ball and an extended pocketing dwell time that you won't find on other "power" frames. Because it's so unique, Yonex has managed to corner the market so that you have no other choice if you want something that plays like the EZONE. That's part of why the EZONE has probably the most loyal fanbase in the world.

The hurdle I referenced earlier was the EZONE V5, and it truly was a terrible frame that almost killed off the line, but Yonex followed it up with a fantastic V6 and improved the line even more with the V7. It's half a millimetre thicker than the previous one, which means it's slightly more forgiving and powerful, but it still has the great feel, power, and spin that an EZONE should have. The 100 is the definition of the "E-Z One." Get it?

3. Wilson Blade 98 v8 16x19

The Blade goes against most of the common themes I mentioned earlier. Ok, it's easy to quickly fall in love with, but it's certainly not easy to use, and it does sacrifice a lot of power to have such top-tier control. Still, the Blade is incredibly popular and for one fundamental reason.

The Blade has a stranglehold on the mainstream advanced player's racket sales. There are a lot of other fantastic player's rackets, but no other line has the longevity and, more importantly, the long-term consistency of making nearly every model a successful one. Thanks to this long-term success, it has become the go-to option for advanced players.

The v8 represents years of development for a line that's been popular since day one, and it is the perfect Blade for the modern game. It's one of the softest ever, so it has excellent feel and control and a spin profile that it hasn't necessarily had before.

Wilson lowered the swing weight on the v8 16x19 but maintained great stability with their 45-braid technology. That means the Blade swings faster, so you can whip it through contact more efficiently for better spin production.

The 18x20 is also very popular, but the 16x19s do much better nowadays, even with advanced players.

2. Babolat Pure Aero 2023

So far, Babolat has been this list's notable absentee, but no longer. It would have come as no surprise to anyone if the Aero had been number one, but because it's no longer in the spotlight with Nadal's level dropping over the last several months, it's more or less logical. Although Alcaraz, Rune, Felix… Maybe not so logical. Of course, Babolat also diluted one individual Aero's sales by adding the Rafa, so it's a clear number two, but still a fantastic racket.

The 2023 Aero is, in my opinion, the greatest Aero of all time, and you can read all I have to say about it in my full review and my comparison with the Rafa. I struggled with the last couple of Pure Aeros because Babolat went so extreme with their spin and power profiles that they weren't consistent enough for my game. The wide-open string bed and massive spin grommets meant they only performed at their best for players hitting with almost artificial amounts of spin.

They closed up the string bed and have a more standard grommet set on the 2023, so it has an incomparable amount of control than the previous two and a significantly more solid response on contact. The feel has also drastically improved with the introduction of NF2 Tech Flac inserts in the graphite.

The only drawback with the current Aero is that it is noticeably less spin-friendly than the previous two, but it's still an absolute spin monster and so much more solid than those rackets that I'm sure most people are more than willing to make that sacrifice.

1. Babolat Pure Drive 2021

When you think about it, it's insane that the best-selling racket of the year came out almost two years ago. It's not even close between the Pure Drive and the rest; it runs circles around its competition, and it's been doing so for years. It's the only racket on this list with no Top 10 endorsements on either the men's or women's pro tour, and honestly, it doesn't need it. 

Every brand has tried to copy the Pure Drive. Still, it has a complete chokehold on this racket style that checks all boxes for ease of use, power, spin, good control, and especially that magical ability to work well with almost everyone immediately. People gravitate to it because it looks good, and then almost every time it goes out for a demo, players end up wanting it.

Specifically, with the Pure Drive 2021, Babolat knocked it out of the park. SMAC technology added an element of feel that hasn't been there in the past, and it also helped make the frame significantly more comfortable than the last couple of generations.

It's a racket that even advanced players can use (unless you're looking for the best control profile) because the Pure Drive is incredibly stable and consistent, especially considering its low weight and 100 square-inch head size. It's somewhat of a magical frame, and I don't see how it could be dethroned now or any time soon.

Final Thoughts

Kudos to Babolat for making two incredible rackets that are so incredibly popular with every player's style. They've figured it out, and that's something to be proud of. As a whole, though, the industry is in a great place right now with all of these best sellers objectively great performers. There are other amazing rackets that might not sell as well, but in general, brands are getting it right a whole lot more than they are getting it wrong.

If you want to demo any of these rackets, come visit us in-store, or you can check them out online.


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