Tennis Racquet for Beginners

Racquet for beginners by zdepth

Been watching professional tennis matches on TV & feel like gettin’ into the game of tennis? Well read on as this is probably the most complete write up on how to get your very first tennis racquet. When I first started tennis, I had my very first racquet before I stepped onto a tennis court. The more you hold a racquet, the more it will inspire you to hit with it. So you can be without any tennis hitting friends or partner but your very first contact with the world of tennis can be a racquet, so by all means, go out & get your very first racquet. The rest will come later.

Choosing your first racquet:


Now the first most important aspect to look into when you wanna get your first racquet is the ‘headsize’. Headsizes in racquet varies from as small as 90 to 125 square inch. There are racquets that sits out of that spectrum but they are rare. If you’re from other racquet sports background like ping-pong,badminton,squash or cricket/baseball & have good hand eye coordination in them, you can opt for 100 headsize to start with so that you dont need to switch to another racquet in a long time. If you’re a total beginner and dont have much racquet sports experience then I would advise you to go above 110 in headsize for your first racquet.

Now what does headsize do? Simple… the smaller the headsize, the higher chances of you hitting the frame or even missing the ball totally when you are a beginner. So with a bigger headsize, your sweet spot on the stringbed goes bigger & u have a much more bigger chance on hitting the ball on your stringbed. If you start off tennis with a 90 racquet, you must be Roger Federer cos that is his racquet headsize. Most professional tennis players are within the 95 to 100 range. So 100 is the smallest headsize that you can go for a beginner, that is if you come from strong racquet sports background & have great hand eye coordination.

Headsize will also effect power. Bigger headsize = more power, Smaller headsize = less power. Reason: if u tie a piece of string across both ends of a frame & you push the string in the middle, it will compress. If you let go, it will spring back to it’s original location. Now if you widen the frame, the string will need to be longer to reach both ends of the frame. So longer string = more compression = more spring back (recoil) = more power. Got it? So for most beginners, they wouldnt have enough power to hit from baseline to baseline on the tennis court because their technique is not developed yet. So opting for a bigger headsize would help you hit with more power.


The numbers for grip size are 4 1/8″,4 1/4″,4 3/8″,4 1/2″ and 4 5/8″ …. some manufacturers would call 4 1/8″ as grip one and 4 1/4″ as grip two and so on. Size 4 1/4″ is very common in Malaysia & it is hard to get other sizes here. Size 4 1/4″ is kinda small so you can build it up with tennis overgrip if you have big hands. Anyway, to know your grip sizing just follow the grip guide below:

Holding an eastern forehand grip (the palm is placed against the same bevel as the string face), you should be able to fit the index finger of your non-hitting hand in the space between your ring finger and palm. If there isn’t enough room for your index finger, the grip is too small. If there is space between your finger and palm, the grip is too big. A too-small grip requires more muscle strength to keep the racquet from twisting in your hand. Prolonged use of a grip that’s too small can contribute to tennis elbow problems. A grip that’s too large inhibits wrist snap on serves, makes changing grips more difficult and also requires more muscle strength. Prolonged use of a grip that’s too big can also contribute to tennis elbow problems.

Racquet balance

A tennis racquet are either balanced head heavy, head light or even balanced. What does that mean?

– Head heavy: weight of the racquet are distributed more towards the head of the racquet
– Head light: weight of the racquet are distributed more on the grip end of the racquet
– Even balance: tie a string on the middle of the racquet & it will stay straight & doesnt dip on either ends

The effect:

– Head heavy: you can hit with more power cos the racquet is like a sledge hammer with all it’s weight on the head end
– Head light: more control than head heavy but not much power. As you progress you will tend to want more control than power cos by that time you already have good technique to unleash power by yourself without the help of the racquet
– Even balance: you get a balance of control & power but this is not usually what everyone wants cos most players are bent on being a power player or control player & rarely both.

Most oversize tennis racquets are head heavy. Very rarely do you see one that is head light so being a beginner, getting a oversize racquet with a head heavy balance is a good start.

String pattern

Same like racquet balance, you dont need to worry about this in the beginning as most oversize racquets comes in 16×19 pattern. Anyway here’s the explanation on string pattern:

16×19 = 16 strings vertical X 19 strings horizontal
18×20 = 18 strings vertical X 20 strings horizontal

The above are 2 of the most popular of string patterns. String patterns means amount of strings stretched across the frame. There are 16×20, 16×18 & other string patterns as well. What do they do:

more strings (18×20) = lower compression on stringbed = lower power = lesser ball bite = lower spin
less strings (16×19) = more compression on stringbed = more power = more ball bite = more spin

String tension

With the explanation on string patterns above, you can also vary the power of the racquet on any string pattern by stringing with different tensions. String tension equates power:

High tension = high poundage = less power
Low tension = low poundage = more power

To start off, you can experiment in the range of 50 to 58 lbs. String tension tuning is an individual thing. It ties closely with game play, technique, feel & a lot of other aspect & it is up to the player really.

String type

I would recommend to stay away from polyester & go for softer synthetic strings for beginners. For beginners, they’re not used to the stiffness in tennis gear so going with softer strings are better. Among all racquet sports, tennis racquets are the stiffest & may cause discomfort or even injury especially for beginners who doesnt have sound technique.

Other racquet specifications

There are other racquet specs such as swingweight, stiffness, composition, shaft width, weight, length, etc. That is not important for this article but if you wanna know more, you can research about it yourself on the internet or find me on the tennis forum at

Racquets to avoid

Never ever buy pre-strung racquets with logos sprayed onto the stringbed. You can find these type of racquets at the sport section of departmental stores. These are the cheapest range of racquets from any racquet manufacturer. They’re made from very inferior grade of materials & normally the bridge on the neck of the racquet are separate from the racquet frame. These type of racquets cant hold high tension & will fracture & crack if you string it high. These type of racquets will also hamper your tennis learning process. You would not understand it if you’re new to tennis but take my word, these type of racquets are very unstable, flimsy & fragile.

Good racquet frames will never come strung and their price are normally above RM500 per frame. These are the frames that you want. During sale, you might be able to get them at around RM300. Used ones normally run from RM100 & above. If you dont wanna fork out so much money to start out with tennis, I suggest you do the below:

1. Buy past range racquets – every 2 years or so, racquet manufacturers would come out with a new range of racquets & dealers would throw cheap sale on the past season frames. Nearly 99% of professional tennis players on tour use old range of racquets (some up to 10 years old) because they start tennis at a young age & when they reached pro level, they’re already comfortable with their current racquet at that time so they wont hop onto any new models cos it will take them time to get used to a new model & they dont wanna risk losing matches during the transition period.

2. Buy second hand good racquets – you can search for used racquets on the forum here at under the tennis racquets for sale section or you can buy from players outside in the real world. Some shops do have used tennis racquets for sale

3. Borrow – if you dont have any playing partners, you can go for coaching session for beginners & the coach would be able to provide you a temporary racquet during training. You can also borrow from any of your friends… tennis is a common sport & quite a lot of people would have one stashed in their home somewhere.


To simplify on the selection, just follow the criteria below:

1. Get an oversize tennis racquet (above 110
2. Get your correct grip size for the racquet
3. String it with synthetic type strings (you can start off with 55 lbs tension)
4. DO NOT buy cheap pre-strung racquets that comes with logo sprayed on the stringbed

Zdepth’s racquet recommendation

Below are some of my racquet selection for total beginners:

1. Head YOUTEK Three Star Black

2. Head YOUTEK Seven Star

3. Prince O3 Original Silver

4. Prince EXO3 Silver 115

5. Wilson BLX Cirrus One

6. Babolat Drive Z 118

7. Babolat Overdrive 110

8. Babolat Y 118