If you play tennis just for the fun of it, the quality of strings on your racquet is probably the last thing that comes to mind. It is quite likely that you went into a store and grabbed the one that looked most appealing and fit your budget. I could be wrong, but the truth is that most people are focused on aspects of equipment that do not really matter.
A lot of factors go into putting together a racquet, and professional players go to great lengths to ensure that what they use is of good quality, even if it costs a pretty penny. If you are looking to build a career in tennis and would like to know what a good racquet looks like, you are in the right place.
This article reviews the best racquets in the market that cost less than $200 and the things you need to consider before buying one.
A review of the Best Tennis Rackets Under $200
Babolat Pure Aero Lite – Ideal for beginners and intermediates
This racket is an ideal accessory for tennis players. It is built using special technology that reduces stiffness and allows for a better grip. Just as its name suggests, this racquet is incredibly light. This gives you the ability to be quite fast in your strokes. Most light racquets tend to lose stability when they strike the ball too hard, but the Aero Lite combines balance and control to give you good stability.
- Has a length of 27”
- It has a head size of 100 square inches
- It weighs 11.2 oz. when strung
- It has a stiffness of 67
- Its string tension is 50-59 pounds
The frame has been updated for better aerodynamics, contributing farther to its speed. The oblong grommets shape, together with the string pattern of 16×19 also helps to add spin to the tennis ball.
The racquet is also built using vibration reducing technology, which allows for a much better grip. A lot of consideration has been put into its stability, which is why a range of carbon fibers of superior quality has been used in its making.
Its weight also helps you to maneuver better, adding to your response ability.
- It is incredibly light
- It is built to enhance speed and stability which is needed by intermediates in their training
- Its frame and stringing allow for increased ball spin
- Its build allows for vibration reduction.
- It has a good grip
- It does not come with a bag. You have to purchase it separately.
This racquet is ideal for players that intend to spend a lot of time on practice. The lightweight, combined with reduced vibration and stability will help you play for long periods without tiring fast.
Wilson Pro Staff 97 Countervail –Ideal for professional players
This racquet’s build has been enhanced using Countervail, a type of carbon fiber that reduces the effects of vibration, lessening fatigue suffered by the arm. This aspect also provides for a better swing. Its considerably low weight also makes it easier to use, and you can use it for long periods without tiring.
- It has a length of 27”
- It weighs 11.7 oz. when strung
- It has a string pattern of 16×9
The combination of its shape and string pattern also adds spins to the ball. This also facilitates better precision. The Wilson Pro Staff 97 Countervail has high maneuverability and is excellent for serving. This makes it ideal for use by both intermediate and professional players.
This racquet will give you a quick response to every stroke owing to the ease in swinging it.
- Its build reduces the effect of vibration
- It is easy to maneuver
- It gives a quick response to your strokes
- The string bed can be quite erratic
You will enjoy using this racquet due to its conveniently lightweight and strong build. It offers great spin, and you will have more control, giving you a quick response in your swings.
Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro – Good for intermediates and pros
This racquet is one of the best in the market. Its string pattern of 18×20 and stiffness of 62-RA provides great control. It is also lighter than other racquets within the same brand, making it possible to achieve a stronger and faster swing.
- It has a head width of 100 square inches
- It has a length of 27”
- It weighs 11.6 oz. when strung
- It has a stiffness of 62
- String tension is 48-57 pounds
Graphene, a compound which is a carbon isotope, is used in making this racquet. Its incorporation in the build makes the racquet much stronger but flexible. This causes it to bend when the tennis ball hits against it, and also facilitates a stronger response from the string bed. This provides for an accurate swing and near perfect trajectory.
This results in better responses when dealing with aggressive passes. It is also good when it comes to serving, giving the tennis ball quite the spin to bring those points home.
It has a strung weight of 11.6 oz and a string pattern of 18×20 crosses. You will be able to get great balance and quick response in your strokes when using the Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro.
- It is lighter than competing brands
- It is made using graphene which offers both strength and flexibility
- It gives a great response, especially in aggressive passing
- It is considerably lighter than some brands
- It is also not as pricey as some pro racquets
- Graphene acts as a dampener for vibration
- The grip is not as good as many people would desire
The combination of lightweight and strength will give you a great experience when playing. This racquet is ideal for intermediate and pro players who want to go beyond the normal experience. The grip may not be as good as in other brands, though.
Wilson Blade 98 Countervail 18×20 – Good for Intermediates
This racquet has been around since the year 2006, and it has undergone a number of changes that have seen it constantly upgrade. Even after all the tweaks, the strength and stability of this racquet remain intact.
- It has a length of 27”
- It has a head width of 98 square inches
- It weighs 11.3 oz. when strung
- It has a stiffness of 65
- Its string tension of 50-60 pounds
- It has a string pattern of 18×20
Countervail, which is an isotope of carbon, is used in the manufacture of this racquet. It is integrated into graphite for more strength. It acts as a vibration dampener, allowing the user to interact better with it. At a weight of 11.3 oz. the racquet is actually lighter than many racquets out there.
It is also excellent at serving and provides a great response to opponents in an aggressive game. This is also an effect of a sturdy string bed.
It has a string pattern of 18×20 crosses, and a total weight of 11.4 oz.
- It is a light racquet
- It has a sturdy string-bed
- Its build reduces vibration
- It responds well to strokes
- It has a slightly smaller head-width than other racquet brands
This tennis racquet would make a great choice for both intermediate and professional players. It offers a good grip, and its building technology dampens most of the vibration that comes with hitting the ball.
Babolat Pure Drive 107 – Ideal for beginners, intermediates and pro players
If you love a racquet with a big head width, this one right here is for you. You do not have to worry about fatigue, though. The Babolat Pure Drive 107 is lighter than your average tennis racquet.
- It has a head-width of 107 square inches
- It is 27.2 inches long
- The strung weight is 10.7 oz.
- The string pattern is 16×19
- It has a string tension of 50-60 pounds
This racquet is a favorite of tennis players who like a little more head width and length. This extra sizing will add more momentum to your strike, adding to the power you hit the ball with. These additions may make you think that the Babolat Pure Drive 107 would be heavier than other racquets. The reverse is true. It weighs only 10.7 oz. when strung, making it lighter than other smaller tennis racquets.
An improved build that incorporates specialized rubber adds to the vibration effect on the racquet, giving you better control. The string pattern also helps in responding to the ball, giving it more acceleration for your finishes.
It is an ideal piece for beginners and intermediates that are looking for great maneuverability, more head width and lighter weight.
- It comes with extra head-width and length
- It is lighter than the usual racquets
- It has vibration dampening characteristics
- The extra length and width give more momentum to your swings
- It is quite pricey
This racquet is a great accessory for anyone looking for extra width and length. It is also quite light, making it ideal for long training. The reduction of vibration and strong string bed will give a better response to the ball, giving you a better reply.
What should you look out for when buying a racquet?
These are some of the things to consider before you purchase a racquet.
Many racquets in the market have a standard length of 27 inches. There are however some that are as short as 26.5 inches, and some that are as long as 29 inches. Getting a longer racquet will give you better reach, and add a little more power to your swings.
This characteristic is often overlooked. A string pattern can either be open or closed. An open string pattern gives more deflection on impact and provides for a better rebound of the tennis ball. However, they have a tendency to last a shorter time than closed string racquets.
Closed string racquets do not give as much energy as an open racquet during rebound but players are able to get more control. It allows for faster swings, adding more spin to the ball. They tend to last longer than open string racquets.
Weight and Balance
A racquet with more weight gives more power and stability than a light racquet, but you may experience fatigue sooner. A lighter racquet will give you more maneuverability.
Your racquet can give you balance in three ways; head-light, head-heavy or an even balance. A good combination of weight balance will give you good stability and maneuverability for a better experience as you play.
Tennis as a sport is interesting and fun and having the right equipment will add to your general experience. When choosing a racquet for your regular use, choose one that will work with you to give you prompt response and power so that you can build on your skill.
The market is flooded with an expansive variety of racquets, and you may very well be spoilt for choice. The buying guide above will give you a bit of perspective on professional level racquets that will cost you less than $200.
Additionally, you will be able to know what to look out for in a good racquet. Remember, a racquet that looks fancy does not particularly mean it is good, or that it will perform well. Look out for high quality to achieve a high quality experience.
Hi, my name is Leornard!
My love for sports started way back when I was in middle school. I participated in track field and tennis. Some of my greatest and proudest accomplishments during that time were playing against other schools in the state. When I college, I took up tennis as a fun sport or exercise due to my limited time but I still had passion in the sports. Now, I keep up with tennis as a hobby and for my health but my passion for the sports still run deep. I am interested in the highs and lows of tennis and that is why TennisWearguide exists.