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Tennis Racquet Review: Head Graphene Radical Pro

October 23rd, 2013

filed in Tennis Product Reviews, Tennis Racquet Reviews

Tennis Racquet Review: Head Graphene Radical Pro

The Head Graphene Radical Pro tennis racquet is one of the great historic frames in tennis history. Head has made it in various versions for a very long time; and there are many tennis players at all levels from club to highly ranked pro who have used this model racquet. In the mind of some, the Radical Pro back in the day was the penultimate player’s frame. Unfortunately I think there is a tendency in tennis as in other areas to assume that something is the same, because it has the same name and history.

I didn’t like this frame at all. It has the same modern dazzling paint and cosmetic job as the new Head Graphene Radical MP tennis racquet. The frame is the standard 27 inches long, weighs 10.9 ounces and is supposed to be a little headlight, but that is pretty much the end of the good news.

To start with I have never been in love with Head tennis racquets because of the rectangular handle. But even with that basic history and bias, the handle on this racquet is very large and bulky and somewhat unwieldy. I even pulled the Head Graphene Radical MP from the demo shipping box to compare, and there is no way that the handle on the Radical Pro is not significantly more boxy and bulky.

My arm started hurting the first time that I was a nanosecond late on a high forehand with this tennis racquet. I went ahead and hit with this frame for a couple hours in the interest of doing a complete review, but in the real world I would have put the racquet down after five minutes, never to return.

The frame was average in my mind. I could hit rally groundstrokes fairly easily and with some consistency; but if I tried to crank up the pace or the spin or to really spot the ball in my opponent’s backhand corner; there were misses that don’t happen with other tennis racquet brands.

The frame has a tinny feel if you miss the sweet spot at all. To me the sweet spot felt rectangular and narrow, as if it ran vertically up and down in the head, not horizontally as is usually the case. Truth be told I couldn’t consistently locate the thing, and every time I hit a ball towards the edge of the tennis racquet my arm hurt (forearm\elbow\shoulder).

The volley felt fine with this frame, for sure that was the shot I had the most feel and confidence in. But the mishit potential ran a little high even here, and I flipped some high volleys and low overheads into the net trying to hit them deep. Again I ended up being a little late.

The serve was just bad. No spin, no pace, no location, no clue where the ball was going. I just was not a happy camper with this frame at all. It is hard to be objective when a good number of the shots hurt your arm. My technique is not perfect, but it is consistent, and I have never had an arm injury in my life. I would encourage 4.5 players on up to demo the Radical Pro tennis racquet, but that is based more on my knowledge of the history of this frame than anything that took place when I hit with it.