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How to Select the Perfect Tennis Racquet Grip Size

A helpful guide with sizing table

If you’re about to choose a new tennis racquet or you’re considering changing racquets, it’s important to select the appropriate grip size. It’s one of the most frequently overlooked elements of a tennis racquet, but selecting the wrong grip size can have painful repercussions that you can avoid through a little due diligence.

In this article, we’ll look at why it’s helpful to select an appropriate tennis racquet grip size as well as two methods you can use for choosing the perfect grip size.

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How Grip Sizes Are Measured

Tennis racquet grip sizes are often measured in the middle of the racquet handle and range from 4 inches to 4 ⅝ inches. This measurement is the circumference or distance around the handle, including the stock grip that your racquet has installed.

Depending on which country you live in, you may find the sizing of the racquet grip expressed a bit differently, so we’ve provided a chart below.

US SizesEuropean SizesSizes in mm
4 inches0100-103
4 1/8 inches1103-106
4 1/4 inches2106-110
4 3/8 inches3110-113
4 1/2 inches4113-118
4 5/8 inches5118-120
4 3/4 inches6120-123

Helpful Tip
You’ll often find the size of a tennis racquet listed on the butt cap of the tennis racquet, which you can find at the very bottom of the handle. If you don’t see it there, check for it around the throat of the racquet frame.

Why Does Grip Size Matter?

Beyond providing you with comfort when playing tennis, the appropriate grip size can help prevent injury.

The problem with a grip size that is too small is that your hand, wrist, and arm will have to expend extra energy squeezing the handle to keep the racquet firmly in place. Over time, this can contribute to injuries such as tennis elbow. You’ll also likely find that a grip that is too small will frequently slip from your hand, which can be frustrating.

Similarly, a grip that’s too large can be challenging to hold, and as a result, put unnecessary stress on your hand, wrist, and arm. Also, a large grip can be challenging to manage when you need to change grips quickly or when you’re looking to snap your wrist when serving or hitting an overhead because it restricts movement.

The key is to find a grip size that feels comfortable, prevents undue stress on your body, and allows for proper range of motion.

Selecting The Appropriate Grip Size

There are two common methods used to help identify the ideal grip size for a player. I typically recommend using both to help get the best fit.

First, if you have one handy, grab a ruler or measuring tape. Next, take a look at one of your hands, and you’ll notice you have a bunch of lines and creases running through your palm. In the middle of your palm, you’ll see two pronounced lines, one on top and one on the bottom, running horizontally from one side of your hand to the other.

Grab your ruler or measuring tape and line it up vertically with your middle finger so that the bottom of the ruler (the part hitting your palm) lines up with the bottom horizontal line in your palm – once you have it lined up, measure to the top of your ring finger.

You should find that the measurement falls somewhere between 4 inches and 4 ⅝ inches. Once you have that measurement, you’ll want to head over to your local tennis shop and find a racquet with that measurement. I’d also recommend finding a racquet that is one grip size above and below your measurement (assuming you don’t fall on the highest or lowest grip size) so you can compare a few different sizes to help determine the right fit.

Start with the racquet grip size that is closest to what you measured and hold the racquet handle with a continental grip.

Helpful Tip
A continental grip is one where you hold the racquet in your hand as if you were going to use it as a hammer. If the racquet is strung, the strings should be perpendicular to the floor.

At this point, you should be able to stick your index finger of the hand not holding the racquet in between the tip of your middle finger and your palm. If it fits, then you’re likely on the mark.

However, it’s not an exact science, so hold the racquet grip size that’s bigger and then the one that’s smaller to get a feel for whether the grip you’ve identified feels right. For many players, you’ll know by holding each racquet. It should feel comfortable yet secure.

Some players may feel like they are in between sizes. If that’s you, go for the smaller size. There are ways to build up a grip to make it feel perfect, including the addition of an inexpensive overgrip. However, apart from swapping out the base grip that came with the racquet, it is more difficult and, in some cases, not possible to drop the size of a grip.

Many players also like to use a new overgrip every few times they play to keep that nice tacky feel in their hands. If that’s you and you’re on the fence about a larger size, definitely go smaller. Overgrips will usually add about 1/16 of an inch to a grip, so if you go a bit smaller, you freely add that overgrip without it starting to feel too bulky.

Tennis Racquet Grip Sizes for Kids

For kids, there are unfortunately fewer grip size options than adults. In most cases, you’ll find that kids or junior tennis racquets have a grip size of 4 inches and, in some rarer occasions, a grip size slightly smaller, such as 3 ⅝ or 3 ⅞ inches.

At a very young age, I’d make sure the racquet feels comfortable. However, I wouldn’t be overly concerned with a racquet grip size that is a bit too large for your child. First off, they’ll grow into it quickly, and secondly, most young kids won’t be playing aggressively or long enough with that grip size for it to have any real negative impact on their hand, wrist, or arm.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, selecting the right size grip for your tennis racquet can make a huge difference. Spending some time finding the appropriate grip can even help prevent injury. Now that you know how to select the right size grip, head on over and check out our list of the top 20+ racquets for 2020.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful. If so, we’d love to hear in the comments below. Have questions? Don’t hesitate to ask – we’re here to help.

Photo Credit: mirsasha

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