When choosing a racquet, you will have to deal with two decisions in relation to the “HEAD” of the racquet, i.e. the racquet-head size in sq.cm/sq.in and the width of the frame. The correct choice is down to an individual feeling but here are some general pointers, which might guide you in the right direction:
In theory, the racquet-head does not need to be much larger than the tennis ball. If we were REALLY good players, we could hit the ball with a very small racquet-head. However, reality kicks in and we find that all tennis players play with racquets, which have larger hitting areas. Top and elite players, will tend to play with racquet heads in the lower end from 85-95 sq. inches with some playing with heads up to around 100 sq. in. Recreational players tend to play with racquets from 95-98 up to around 110 sq. in. The smaller the racquet head, the smaller the “sweet-spot” (the area where you feel no vibration). The larger the racquet-head, the larger the sweet-spot is. Top and elite players hit the ball very precisely and do not need the larger sweet-spot area. The sweet-spot is not necessarily where you hit the hardest ball but where you hit the “best feel”/no vibration ball.
Where to hit the ball on the racquet strings, in order to generate most power, has to do with swing-speed. Generally, at low swing-speeds, you hit harder balls towards the throat of the racquet and the faster you swing the racquet, point of contact (POC) should move upwards towards the tip of the racquet. So, the ultimate POC moves along the centre-line of the strings from the throat, via the centre of the racquet up towards the tip, as you swing faster, in order to generate maximum speed on the ball.
When choosing a racq
The thinner the frame-width is, the more flexible the racquet is and the thicker the frame is, the more firm the racquet is. A firm racquet means less vibration and less rotation when the ball is hit outside the sweet-spot. A flexible racquet will give you more vibration and rotation when hit off the sweet-spot.
So, one conclusion could be: “I want a large headed racquet with a thick frame, in order to have a large sweet-spot with as little as possible vibration and rotation.” And some players choose like that!
The argument for say a thinner frame and smaller head-size would be that the racquet can be swung faster and manoeuvred easier, i.e. faster and more powerful play.
Again, the choice is individual and you can, of course, choose “the middle of the road”, finding a racquet, which gives you a bit of both Worlds…… You can also use means of “compensation”, i.e. you could choose a more flexible racquet (more vibration/rotation) but then choose a looser string-tension. Less tension on the strings means less vibration.
At the end of the day, it has a lot to do with “FEEL”. How does the racquet feel in your hand when you hit the ball? How does it sound in your ear, when you hit the ball? Now, the more “padding” you add to your racquet (thick grip, dampener, thick frame, large head etc.), the more chance you have to loose “the feel” of the racquet/ball. The more you “strip” your racquet (thin leather grip, no dampener, thin frame, small head etc.) the more “response” you will have from your racquet etc.
Ask your Tech Guys or coach if in doubt or if you would like some general guidance in your racquet choice. Now, strings and grips you can change on your “old racquet” but you cannot change the head-size and the frame-width, so when buying, get the right “stick”! Ask for DEMOs in our Pro-Shop!