Finding the best racquet for your game can enhance your game and help propel you to the next level.
Luckily, there is a wide range of options at varying price points. However, extreme differences in tennis racquet prices might have you wondering why there’s such a big gap and how much money you need to spend.
Some of the most expensive racquets in the world cost upwards of $700 after several hundred dollars of customization. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can pick up a $20 racquet from your local big box store. While the range in price is broad, there are good reasons for the price differences, which we’ll cover in detail.
It’s worth noting that we’ll focus primarily on adult tennis racquet prices. If you are looking for more information on kid’s racquets, then be sure to check out our full guide. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ll cover:
- Tennis racquet prices
- Why are racquets so expensive?
- Price ranges
- Prices by brand
- What the pros pay
- Inexpensive vs. pro models
- Additional racquet costs
- Where to buy
Click any of the above links to jump to that section.
Tennis racquet prices
As noted, the price of tennis racquets is quite variable. At first glance, the logic behind the price differences may not be obvious, so it’s a good use of your time to learn why.
From hundreds of dollars to twenty bucks, the range is substantial. However, the range of prices has a lot to do with the differences between various types of racquets that may not be obvious at first glance.
Let’s dive into the nuances that influence racquet prices.
Why are tennis racquets so expensive?
As you’ve probably guessed, not all racquets are created equal. Four of the most significant reasons for price gaps include:
- Build quality
- Integrated technologies
Let’s dive deeper into each of these and take a look at two example tennis racquets to help paint a picture of the difference between an entry-level and pro-model frame. If you’re new to the game, a quick review of the different parts of a tennis racquet will be helpful as we discuss these racquets in this section.
|Wilson Energy XL||Babolat Pure Aero 2019|
|Stop Shock Sleeves||FSI Spin|
|n/a||Carbon PLY Stabilizer|
|n/a||Cortex Pure Feel|
First and foremost, the materials are dramatically different. The inexpensive Wilson Energy XL is made of aluminum, which is highly affordable. Wilson does a nice job of marketing this as AirLite Alloy, but the reality is that’s simply a fancy way of saying aluminum.
On the other hand, the Babolat is made from advanced graphite, which is strong and dramatically more expensive to create. As a result, the baseline price of this tennis racquet is going to be higher.
Next up, we have the build quality. The Wilson Energy XL gets the job done for a beginner who’s learning the ropes, but it leaves much to be desired.
If you look closely, you’ll notice it’s a simple piece of aluminum. It starts at the handle and loops its way around to form the head before connecting back at the handle. A lackluster amount of strength and stability to the frame is added by integrating a separate piece that creates the bottom hoop of the racquets head toward the top of the racquet’s throat.
Again, the result is practical and perfectly sufficient for a beginner, but is severely lacking in stability and performance that intermediate and advanced player’s demand.
When compared to the Babolat Pure Aero, you’ll notice the frame is a single piece of graphite down to the handle. This design gives the racquet strength and stability, especially when combined with the more advanced graphite material in use.
Last but not least, the technology used within racquets can substantially increase the price.
With the Wilson Energy XL, there’s not much going on in the form of new or advanced technology. Moreover, you won’t be seeing Wilson pour much effort into improving the technology associated with this or any of their entry-level racquets.
- AirLite Alloy: again, a fancy term for inexpensive aluminum. I wouldn’t count this as a technology, but I’m giving them bonus points for creativity.
- V-Matrix: this frame technology refers to the concave shape mold used to pour the aluminum when creating the racquet. The result increases the already sizeable sweet spot the racquet features primarily due to the racquet’s 112 square inch head size.
- Stop shock sleeves: at 3 and 9 o’clock on the racquet, you’ll notice white pieces of plastic integrated into the racquet’s grommets. These make contact with the strings toward the center of the racquet and provide a minimal reduction in vibration.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the Babolat Pure Aero 2019. Here’s a look at the technology that’s integrated into this tennis racquet.
- Aeromodular 3: not only does the racquet’s thickness or beam vary at different points of the frame, but Babolat refines the shape throughout. This design reduces wind drag and allows for increased swing speeds. This third-generation version also improves the bumper guard to protect the strings and simplifies string installation.
- Woofer: this technology allows the strings to move freely through the frame on contact for a greater response from the stringbed. As a result, the sweet spot increases while improving the feel and sometimes harsh impact of off-center shots.
- FSI Spin: the separation of the grommets where the strings enter the frame at the top and bottom of the racquet’s head is increased. Moreover, the shape of the grommets themselves is elongated, which allows for the strings to move freely and helps increase snapback and in turn, the amount of spin that a player can generate.
- Carbon PLY stabilizer: to provide added stability to the frame, a special layer of carbon is integrated into the frames graphite to reduce twisting of the frame on contact.
- Cortex Pure Feel: a unique rubber is integrated directly into the frame at 3 and 9 o’clock to absorb and reduce vibration.
Hopefully, reading through these technologies gives you a sense of the lengths that racquet manufacturers are going through to improve the performance of their high-end models. However, what pushes the price further is that they are always tinkering with them and every few years introduce new technology.
As a result, the consumer foots the bill to use these technologies, just as consumers do when a new model iPhone is released.
Last but not least, the world’s best tennis players heavily endorse some of the most expensive racquets on the market, like the Babolat Pure Aero 2019. In this case, Rafael Nadal uses this racquet, so Babolat can easily charge more because many players gravitate toward the racquet in use by their favorite player.
To wrap up with a quick analogy, the Wilson Energy XL is akin to a Nissan Versa, while the Babolat Pure Aero is much like a Tesla. There’s nothing wrong with a Nissan Versa. In fact, both cars serve the same baseline purpose getting you from point A to point B. However, Tesla is jam-packed with high performance and advanced engineering to give you one of the best possible driving experience, and you pay dearly for that privilege.
Tennis racquet price ranges
Now that you know why tennis racquet prices vary let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to pay depending on where you live.
Here are some ranges to consider for popular currencies based on a simple conversion from the US Dollar to other popular currencies from around the world.
|US Dollar||$20 – $250|
|UK Pound||£16 – £201|
|Euro||€18 – €227|
|Canadian Dollar||$27 – $332|
|Japanese Yen||¥2,159 – ¥26,992|
|Chinese Yuan||¥142 – ¥1,775|
Note: price conversion as of October 10, 2019.
Breakdown of prices by brand
As with all things, the brand of tennis racquet plays a factor in the price. Some brands are more prominent than others, which reflects how much you’ll pay.
As discussed earlier, Babolat is Rafael Nadal’s racquet of choice among many other top players, including Dominic Thiem and Fabio Fognini, to name a few.
Babolat offers a wide range of tennis racquets with capabilities that attract all players from beginner to advanced.
Their Pure Strike 16×19 sits at the top of our list of the best tennis racquets, while the Pure Aero has enjoyed incredible popularity backed by the endorsement of Nadal. All in all, Babolat has managed to provide racquets that cater to a broad spectrum of players.
In general, their racquets are lightweight and packed with power and can expect to spend between $30 and $230 to take one of these racquets home.
Wilson is one of the best-known brands on the market. Notable players such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams use Wilson racquets, which has driven their popularity to soar.
Federer’s endorsed racquet, the Wilson Pro Staff RF 97, is one of the priciest racquets on the market. With a custom paint job, the price can push $300. However, you can buy a lower end Wilson racquet for around $30.
The Wilson Blade series used by Serena offers spin-friendly racquets that emphasize maximum control and feel. Plus, different options such as larger head sizes and extended lengths provide players with more power on the court.
Overall, Wilson is a popular option with a variety of price points.
If you plan to buy a Yonex racquet, then expect to spend between $80 and $240. The company has become increasingly popular in recent years with a strong lineup of endorsements and prides itself on staying up to date with technology advances.
At $80 Yonex Ezone Rally is one of their low-end tennis racquets geared toward beginners. It’s lightweight and features a 107 square inch oversized head.
On the other end of the spectrum, their popular VCORE Pro series focuses on advanced players that desire greater control and peak at around $240 in price.
Head is a popular brand favored by some of the world’s top players, including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Ashleigh Barty. Their Speed series of racquets is easily their most popular line and offers a well-rounded feature set that blends control and power.
If you are an all-court player that is just as comfortable on the baseline as you are at the net, then these racquets are a great option to consider. You’ll feel a balance between power and control with plenty of spin potential.
You can expect to pay between $80 and $230 for a Head racquet.
Tecnifibre has been a bit of a sleeper in the racquet market compared to some of the more established brands. However, the recent successes of players like Daniil Medvedev will likely help push the popularity and adoption of their racquets.
They’ve also launched a unique series of stylish racquets that were designed specifically for women. Instead of the traditional unisex racquets, this company is taking things in a new direction, which is worth keeping an eye on and checking out.
Tecnifibre has a solid range of tennis racquets packed with high-end technology that caters to all levels and styles of play. You can expect to pay between $120 and $210 for a Tecnifibre racquet.
Prince offers a wide range of racquets. At the lower end, you can expect to pay around $20 for a basic entry-level model. However, the higher-end tops out around $190.
American ATP Tour player, John Isner favors Prince racquets. As a top-ranked player, he uses the Beast series racquets, which are known for their versatility and spin friendliness.
Other lines offered by Prince include their Warrior, Tour, ad Phantom series. The latter two, which top out at around $190 in price.
ProKennex is a Taiwanese manufacturer that offers stylish arm-friendly racquets and great performance, with prices ranging from $120 to $200.
They’re one of the less popular brands on our list due to their lack of endorsements, but review if you suffer from tennis elbow or similar arm injuries.
How much do elite players pay for their racquets?
Curious to see how much top players pay for their racquets? Check out what some of the top players on the pro tour pay for their frames.
Federer: Roger Federer endorses the Wilson Pro Staff 97 RF as his racquet of choice, which costs around $250. However, his actual racquet has several additional modifications that push that price even higher
Nadal: Rafael Nadal uses the Babolat Pure Aero racquet to power his way through tournaments. Off the shelf, this racquet costs $230.
Djokovic: Novak Djokovic uses the Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro racquet with additional aftermarket modifications. At retail, the racquet will set you back $230.
Williams: Serena Williams endorses the Wilson Blade SW104 Autograph v7 racquet, which costs $250 and sits at the higher end of racquet prices.
Barty: Ashleigh Barty uses the Head Speed X Limited Edition MP racquet which costs $220
Osaka: Naomi Osaka is known for using the Yonex EZONE 98 Blue racquet, which costs $210. However, she recently upgraded her paint job with a limited edition gold version, which costs $230.
Inexpensive vs. pro models: Is the price difference worth it?
After reading through this guide, you may be wondering if you should spring for a top of the line racquet or start with a reasonably priced model?
The answer primarily comes down to your skill level and experience. If you are a new player who is just learning the game, then a top tier pro model racquet is going to be overkill.
In the early stages of learning the game, you’ll be focused primarily on the fundamentals and proper technique. As a result, the nuances of a high-end racquet will have little to no impact on your performance. At this point, you’d be better served to focus on improving your game before deciding to shell out for an expensive racquet.
If you are an intermediate or advanced player, then the right racquet can make a world of difference and help take your game to the next level. As a result, spending the money to find a racquet that compliments your game will be a worthy investment.
Additional racquet costs
As you consider the price of buying a new racquet it’s worth noting the other equipment expenses you’ll likely incur.
For starters, you’ll need to restring your racquet, which can get pricey. Typically, the string itself can range from $10 to $40. Plus, you’ll need to pay someone to string your racquet. The labor cost is typically in the range of $15 to $30. Keep this in mind as a recurring expense.
Another cost you need to consider is the grip of your racquet. You may want to regularly replace the overgrip of your racquet, which will run you a few dollars each. However, if you need to replace the racquet’s original grip, then you are looking at a higher cost of around $7 to $10.
Although these may seem like relatively low costs, they can add up over time. Make sure to factor that in as you search for the best racquet for you.
Where can you buy a racquet?
Now that you’re familiar with a variety of costs associated with buying a new racquet let’s talk about where you can buy them.
Local Pro Shop
One of the first places I would look at is your local pro shop. Typically, the employees at pro shops are knowledgeable and play tennis themselves, so they’ll be able to work with you to recommend the right racquet for your game.
Plus, most of the local shops will offer racquets that you can demo before you decide to make the purchase. If you don’t have a pro shop nearby, then I’d encourage you to talk with your coach or a local instructor. They will likely be able to help guide you in the right direction.
Online Tennis Retailers
If you prefer, you can buy tennis racquets at tennis-specific stores and websites like Tennis Warehouse, Tennis Express, and Tennis Plaza. Typically, these are an excellent place to look for in-depth specs and reviews of tennis racquets.
In my experience, you’ll also find that the customer service for these online retailers will know more about racquets than your typical employee at a big box store.
Big Box Stores
Finally, you can check out traditional retailers like Target, Walmart, and Dick’s Sporting Goods to find a selection of basic models. If you are looking for a good deal to get you started, then these retailers are a great place to start looking.
Last but not least, Amazon is a great option for players that know what racquet they’re looking for and want it shipped straight to their front door.
The Bottom Line
Finding a great racquet that fits your budget and level of play will take a bit of time and research, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
Hopefully, you’ve found this guide on the price of tennis racquets helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment below – we’re here to help!
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