Testing Equipment #16: The best racquets for serve-and-volley players
In the latest episode of Testing Equipment, Seb Proisy gives an insight into the best type of racquets that serve-and-volley players should opt for
The serve-and-volley game style has come back into vogue on the men’s ATP Tour with the rise of American Maxime Cressy, the current world No 33 who won the first singles title of his career in 2022 on the grass courts of Newport.
Abandoned in the early years of the new millennium, this super aggressive style of play, once championed by the likes of Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pat Rafter and Tin Henman, is gradually coming back into fashion. In this new episode of “Seb’s Tests”, Proisy reveals the best rackets to use if you wish to adopt the serve-and-volley game style.
In the early part of the video, Proisy first lays down the foundations and decrypts the characteristics that one needs to use this style of play. “A powerful first serve to get to the net quickly, to be able to take the ball early in return of service to then volley in the best conditions, to know how to shorten the exchanges at the back of the court. “
To practice the serve-and-volley, Seb Proisy advises using a racquet with a tighter string pattern, 18×20 or 16×19, to have more control. A fairly heavy racket will also be more effective to have more stability on the fly and to counter the opposing player.
A light racket head and a small head size
“Since you won’t be playing a lot of shots in the back of the court, you won’t have to worry about your arm being strained from a racket that’s too heavy (the subject of our episode #15 on the best rackets for players with tennis elbow),” Proisy says, as he advises starting with a racket of about 300 grams.
Regarding the inertia of the racquet (inertia indicates the weight of the racket when hitting a ball, see our episode 6), to be more responsive to the net and to be able to maneuver the racket well, Seb Proisy recommends not to overload the racquet head and to use a scale of about 32 centimeters.
According to Proisy, the most suitable rackets for players adopting the serve-and-volley game include: the Babolat Pure Strike, the Head Prestige, the Wilson Pro Staff, the Dunlop CX or the Yonex EZone. In this new episode, Seb Proisy also advises using a smaller head size of about 100 inches or 645 cm².