Best Tennis Rackets For Control
If you are a player who favours pinpoint accuracy over outright power, a control oriented racket is what you’ll need!
Of course, choosing your perfect tennis racket is a very personal process, that requires a lot of trialling and understanding your own strengths and weaknesses in order to find the perfect match.
However, it is commonly understood that a number of factors such as small racket head size, high unstrung weight, high stiffness and a thinner beam width will make a racket more control focused.
What you lose in power and arm friendliness in these rackets you will more than make up for in control, precision and a connected feel.
If you are an advanced player that is physically fit and strong enough to generate your own power consistently throughout a tennis match, you may well be after more control and feel in order to tame some of that power.
The list of rackets below in this case will be ideally suited to your game.
They will all offer a blend of control, feel and plow through, so you can really swing through the ball with confidence, not worrying that the racket will be too overpowering for your shots.
As technology in tennis rackets and strings has developed, more modern rackets have become power oriented in general.
Tennis strings are now much better able to cope with the power generated by the modern player, so rackets can afford to be geared more towards power than control, whilst still maintaining a good level of feel.
Therefore, if you are looking for an ultimate control racket, you may want to opt for a slightly older racket that you could find either pre-owned or as a pro stock version.
This will give you a more traditional feel that can be combined with modern strings to produce a more precise result.
However, there are still some modern tennis rackets that offer a decent level of feedback and can compete with some of the more old school control friendly rackets.
So, with that being said, let’s explore the best tennis rackets you can buy for control right now!
Best Tennis Rackets for Control
Wilson Pro Staff 85
You can’t talk about control tennis rackets without mentioning the original pure feel racket itself!
Wilson introduced the original pro staff in 1984 and it was a success with a lot of top pros at the time.
Stefan Edberg and Roger Federer both used this racket, owing to its control focused design.
The tiny 85sq in. head size made this quite an unforgiving racket to play with, any remotely off centre strike would almost send shivers up your arm!
But, strike this in the sweet spot and it feels butter smooth. The Wilson Pro Staff 85 is a legend and well worth including in our list of control focused tennis rackets!
Wilson Pro Staff 90
An evolution of the iconic WIlson Pro Staff 85, the Wilson Pro Staff 90 is a modern take on the legend.
Featuring Wilson’s basalt, graphene and kevlar construction design, this scalpel of a tennis racket is a traditional feeling modern racket with more forgiveness built in.
This is not a light racket! Weighing in at around 340g it is suited to a player that is physically strong and really does not need any help from their racket to generate power.
Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Mid
The Head Prestige has been a mainstay of the control focussed racket club for a number of years now.
With its more supple and flexible feel it is a plush racket that prides itself on its butter smooth sensation as you hit the ball.
This 335g version provides a solid and stable base for you to hit crisp volleys, making it ideal for an aggressive modern player.
If you are looking for a plush feeling racket that still allows you to hit crisp shots and stay connected to the ball, then look no further than the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Mid.
Yonex VCORE Pro 97HD 18x20
The Yonex VCORE Pro is a beast of a racket! The HD (high density) string bed helps you control the ball and, along with the heavy static weight, gives a very solid feel on contact.
This racket is actually slightly more on the flexible end of the spectrum at a 59 stiffness rating, making this a reasonably arm friendly racket despite the weight.
This racket has a relatively larger head size compared to some of the other models we have listed, so you will get a bit more forgiveness out of this racket.
Whilst the VCORE Pro offers great touch and feel, it is better suited to aggressive baseline players who are looking to maximise their one-two punch and finish the point at the net, rather than a traditional serve and volley player.
Babolat Pure Control Tour
Babolat has been famous for producing some of the best power and spin friendly rackets on the market.
The Pure Aero and Pure Drive range of rackets are some of the most popular models out there.
However, Babolat have also produced a range of control focused rackets, aptly named the Pure Control!
This racket follows in the footsteps of the Pure Storm Tour, a very popular racket that was used by the likes of Fernando Gonzalez!
The Babolat Pure Control Tour harks back to a more traditional feel, offering great precision and control to the modern player.
This head light stick will complement a net rushing game very well as it delivers a plush feel, whilst being easy to maneuver.
Wilson Pro Staff 97 Autograph
The current racket used by Roger Federer is most certainly a great tennis racket for control!
The Swiss maestro uses the Wilson Pro Staff 97 Autograph, a racket that he specifically designed to offer a larger sweet sport and more forgiveness, whilst retaining the crisp feel and control he loved from his previous 90sq in. rackets.
The 97 Autograph is a hefty racket despite its head light balance, so you will have to play with good timing and be physically strong to use it effectively.
However, provided you can wield this stick comfortably, you will feel striking the ball with it!
This racket offers precise feedback and excellent control, whilst allowing for a little more margin for error and forgiveness than its smaller headed predecessors.
Head Pro Tour 2.0
A revamp of another control legend! The Head Pro Tour has been the racket of choice for countless professionals on tour, some using it and actually rebranding as alternative rackets!
But the Head Pro Tour 2.0 comes as a welcome addition to the Head modern line up.
Whilst the stats of this racket are not out of the ordinary for this type of racket, this modern icon offers an unparalleled crisp feel that many players know and love.
The Head Tour Pro 2.0 also comes with a hefty 335 swing weight, meaning you won’t be short or plow through on your groundstrokes either.
Babolat Pure Strike Tour
One of the more power friendly control rackets on the market today, the Babolat Pure Strike Tour is designed for an all court game style.
This is the heaviest racket in the Pure Strike line up and is used by Austrian super star Dominic Thiem.
It offers great stability and a rock solid feel on contact, thanks to its relatively high static and swing weights.
The slightly thicker beam also allows you to generate decent power for this type of racket, without sacrificing control in the process.
This is a great racket for the control based player that is looking for a little more depth and pace on their shots but still wants a more traditional set up on their racket.
Other Factors to Consider
Using a softer tennis string when playing with a control oriented racket would tend to be preferable for most players looking for a good combination of control, spin and arm friendliness.
Alternatively, a hybrid setup with a soft or rough polyester string combined with one of these softer variants would work well too.
Additionally, using a racket with a denser string pattern such as an 18×20 will offer less spin but a more solid feel.
Arguably, a more dense string pattern can offer more control due to less movement of the string bed overall, however a more open string pattern such as a 16×19 will offer more spin.
So, which one is better for control really depends on your game style and whether you favour more spin or more of a solid, dead feel from your racket.
A heavier weight of racket will generally give you more control (if you are using a racket appropriate for your level of physical strength), more plow through on your shots and greater stability when volleying.
Therefore, using as heavy of a racket as you can comfortably swing is definitely preferable if you are looking to optimise your control.
Whilst using a lighter racket offers benefits such as maneuverability and arm friendliness, there are a range of reasons why using a heavier racket is preferable.
An ideal compromise that many control oriented rackets offer is a head light balance.
Using a heavier static weight racket with a head light balance means you benefit from the stability, sturdiness and control that a heavier racket offers, whilst retaining the maneuverability and lower swing weight of a lighter weight racket.
Therefore, the weight of your tennis racket should be as heavy as you can comfortably swing without having to put excessive strain or tension on your arm.
Most control oriented rackets tend to fall between the 310g and 350g weight range, so it is worth trying a few different options to see which suits your game style best!
A smaller head size of tennis racket will give you a smaller sweetspot and therefore less margin for error on your shots.
You therefore need to be more precise and controlled when hitting the ball, something that should come naturally to the sort of player looking for a control oriented tennis racket.
However, what you lose in sweetspot and forgiveness you will gain in pin point accuracy, control and feel.
The major benefit of using a smaller headed racket is that you will feel a lot more connected to the ball.
There is less of a trampoline effect as you hit the ball and the smaller hitting zone will mean you have a lot more control when you hit the ball in the sweet spot compared to a larger headed racket.
Having a smaller racket also makes maneuvering the stick a lot more manageable, which is ideal for serve and volley players or net rushers that need to optimise their quick reactions and swat volley away.
Having a thinner beamed tennis racket also helps reduce the amount of power that the racket generates, reduces vibrations and allows for greater control over the ball.
Some thinner beamed rackets are also more flexible than their thicker beamed counterparts, however the overall stiffness rating, weight and head side tend to play a more significant part than the beam thickness on its own.
Overall, using a control oriented racket is a great addition to a precision player’s game.
They offer superior feel, allow you to hit amazing touch shots with greater ease and help wield the power that a physically strong and fit tennis player can generate.
These more traditional style rackets are well suited to the more old school game styles of net rushers and serve and volley players, whereas counter punchers and baseline grinders may struggle with these types of rackets.
Therefore, players looking to implement a more traditional, attacking, aggressive game style to the modern game could certainly benefit from using a control oriented tennis racket!
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