Best Tennis Racquet for Intermediate Players 2020 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

best tennis racquet for intermediate player

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How to Choose a Tennis Racquet for Intermediate Players

Summer will soon be here; you’ve worked on your game and now you feel like you should step it up a bit. The racquet you started training with was pretty good but just will not give you that performance edge you now seek.

Time for an upgrade. There are a variety of intermediate performance racquets on the market that won’t break the bank, but which one to choose?

Here we will break down our list of good, mid-range racquets that perform well for a reasonable price.

Best Tennis Racquet for Intermediate Players 2020 – Comparison Table

IMAGEPRODUCT
EDITOR’S CHOICE 1. Babolat Pure Drive 2018

  • Strong application of power, control, and ball spin
  • Ball contact is stable and ball placement is accurate
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RUNNER UP 2. Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph

  • Large head
  • 8 HL
  • Heavy: 12.5 oz
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3. Babolat Pure Strike

  • Large head
  • Lightweight
  • 7 HL
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4. Head Graphene Touch Speed MP

  • Well balanced
  • Shock absorption
  • Fast swing
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5. Babolat 2018 Pure Areo

  • Excellent weight distribution
  • Fast swing
  • Aggressive spin control
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Our Best Product Reviews and Comparisons

1. Babolat Pure Drive 2018

Product Highlights

Even though this is 2020, the Babolat Pure Drive 2018 model is still the racquet to have for regular players. It has the right mix of features and is a solid performer.
The head sweet spot is raised slightly for a more solid hit since modeling of player swings has shown that most players contact the ball further out on the string bed. The Pure Drive also has made improvements over previous versions in adjusted string spacing (16 main strings, 19 cross strings) and the use of diamond grommet holes.
The Pure Drive also has a core shock dampening system (SMAC) built into the graphite frame.

Features

  • 100 in2 head
  • 11.2 oz strung weight
  • 4 Hl
  • Strings: 16 x 19
  • Stiffness: 71

What We Like About Babolat Pure Drive 2018

Users report a lot of power production for this racquet, as well as strong spin applied to the ball. Strikes are accurate and stable with good control.

What We Don’t Like About Babolat Pure Drive 2018

Some users find the racquet too stiff.

PROS

  • Strong application of power, control, and ball spin
  • Ball contact is stable and ball placement is accurate

CONS

  • A bit stiff

2. Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph

Product Highlights

The Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 is a graphite racquet autographed and co-designed by Roger Federer.

Features

  • 97 in2 head
  • 12.5 oz strung weight
  • 8 HL
  • Strings: 16 x 19

What We Like About Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph

Wilson designed this racquet for their Attacker Player segment and as such, it is a racquet designed to deliver power. Roger Federer assisted Wilson in the design of the racquet, so it feels balanced in the hand, meets the ball squarely, and applies the appropriate amount of spin.

What We Don’t Like About Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph

The racquet is heavy for some users, although some prefer the change in stance required to swing it.

PROS

  • Large head
  • 8 HL
  • Heavy: 12.5 oz

CONS

  • Weight may not be good for some users

3. Babolat Pure Strike

Product Highlights

The Pure Strike is essentially a lighter version of the Pure Drive racquet above. It is intended for users who prefer a faster swing. The racquet employs the same FSI string spacing as the Pure Drive, giving greater spacing in the upper cross strings to create a sweet spot that applies strong spin to the ball.

Features

  • 98 in2 head
  • 10.8 oz unstrung weight
  • 7 HL
  • Strings: 16 x 19

What We Like About Babolat Pure Strike

High-quality build drives spin well. Users report great shot accuracy with this racquet.

What We Don’t Like About Babolat Pure Strike

The lightweight can cause stress injuries to the wrist if the player is not very strong.

PROS

  • Large head
  • Lightweight
  • 7 HL

CONS

  • May be too light for some players and cause wrist injury.

4. Head Graphene Touch Speed MP

Product Highlights

The Head Touch Speed is a well-balanced racquet that uses a different polymer in its construction (Kraibon). This softer polymer is quite good at vibration dampening which reduces wrist injury and allows for shot recovery on off-center strikes.

Features

  • 100 in2 head
  • 10.6 oz unstrung weight
  • 8 HL
  • Strings: 16 x 19

What We Like About Head Graphene Touch Speed MP

This racquet is comfortable in the hand and swings easily. Vibration dampening gives excellent ball control and placement.

What We Don’t Like About Product Name

May be too light for some players and lacks power.

PROS

  • Well balanced
  • Shock absorption
  • Fast swing

CONS

  • May be too light for some players

5. Babolat 2018 Pure Areo

Product Highlights

The Pure Areo is another holdover from 2018 by Babolat. Despite being a model from two years ago, Pure Aero remains a solid racquet for aggressive players. This racquet is very spin-oriented and is regarded by many users as the best all-rounder racquet on the market.

Features

  • 100 in2 head
  • 10.6 oz unstrung weight
  • 8 HL
  • Strings: 16 x 19

What We Like About Babolat 2018 Pure Areo

If ball spin is a big part of your game, this racquet will fit the bill. The head features a larger-than-normal sweet spot to ensure regular optimal ball contact.

What We Don’t Like About Babolat 2018 Pure Areo

The default strings supplied with the racquet are too loose for some players, requiring a re-stringing.

PROS

  • Excellent weight distribution
  • Fast swing
  • Aggressive spin control

CONS

  • Standard strings are too loose
  • Requires re-stringing to see good performance

The BUYER’S GUIDE: What to Look For in a Racquet

1. What kind of racquet do you want?

The first thing to consider is how you approach your game. If ball placement is your thing, you want a racquet known for good control. That would entail racquets with uneven string spacing, which makes for a larger sweet spot and allows the application of more ball spin.

Perhaps you want a racquet that delivers a lot of power. You will want a heavier racquet with more weight in the handle and some form of vibration dampening to apply more force to the ball.
If you are looking for comfort, this will be a compromise between the two design approaches above.

2. How much can you spend?

Mid-level and premium racquets tend to have a much higher price than entry-level racquets. That goes without saying.

Premium racquets have a higher cost (around $200), but also have performance-enhancing features. It’s not just a marketing ploy, these design elements actually do make a difference in performance.

The amount you can spend will dictate the quality of racquet you can expect to get.

3. Weight and balance.

In general, a heavier racquet is recommended for intermediate-level players. Despite the slower swing, the weight will help reduce joint injury and deliver more solid power application to the ball.

Balance is also an important consideration. Head heavy racquets deliver a lot of power but are harder to swing.

If you want comfort, look for a balanced or slightly head light racquet.

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