Tennis Racquet, Topspin, Textured Strings, Head Light Racquet
As everyone knows, applying topspin effect on a tennis ball can only be achieved with proper swing mechanics. With good technique all tennis racquets will allow you to hit forehand and backhand with a certain amount of topspin. However, all things being equal, certain racquet characteristics can significantly influence how much topspin you will be able to impart on the ball. You will find below a discussion of these essential elements.
Factors that will be positively influencing the amount of topspin you will be able to impart on the ball:
- Open string bed pattern (16X18 or 16X19): wider string spacing let the ball imbed itself in the string bed which enhances friction, thus the amount of spin.
- Smaller String diameter (17 or 18 gauge vs standard 16): smaller diameter strings will bite more into the ball. Be careful however not to overdo it, as thin strings will break much faster.
- Lower string tension: more strings deflection on impact means more dwell time.
- Textured strings: again, increasing the potential to bite into the ball.
- More flexible racquet: the ball stays in contact longer with the strings giving you the chance to brush more effectively.
- Head light racquet: easier to increase head speed with head light tennis racquet. Faster head speed will result in more spin potential.
- Type of grip: swing mechanics of full western or semi-western grip with open stance will favour topspin.
As you can see, several tennis racquet specific characteristics can make your life easier when it comes to generating shots with a lot of topspin. Together with proper string bed selection (taking into account string tension), a player with adequate swing technique can improve his topspin potential if he makes the right equipment selection.
My personal experience has led me to adopt the Babolat AeroPro Drive GT with RPM blast strings. I have also used the Babolat Pro Hurricane strings with similar result; these strings do not feel as stiff as the RPM and have a good longevity. This tennis racquet has been adopted by Raphael Nadal, the ultimate “topspin master” and by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a top-ten player from France. Although you will certainly not be able to match Rafa’s topspin shots by simply switching to this racquet, you will definitely enjoy the feel and superior access to spin that this racquet provides.