Andy Murray has been a tour stalwart since 2005, reaching the finals at all four grand slams and capturing three championship crowns at the 2013 and 2016 editions of Wimbledon and the 2012 US Open.
He is also a world number 1, Davis Cup champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, and almost certainly a first-ballot hall of famer. In 2022, he regained a top 50 ranking after two hip surgeries. His second surgery, an alternative to a traditional total hip replacement, left him with a metal hip joint.
Just to come back and compete at this level again requires so much grit, and Andy still seems to have plenty left in him.
There had been some talk that Andy might have to adapt his game to ease the strain on his body, including tinkering with larger head size racquets and different weightings, but Andy is quite particular and ended up with his trusty old frame.
Let’s take a quick exploration into what he’s actually using under the paint.
- Endorsed Racquet: Head Radical Pro – Currently using the Graphene 360 paint instead of the newer 360+ paint
- Actual Racquet: Head PT57A2 in 16×19 string pattern
- Strings: Luxilon ALU Power mains and Babolat Natural Gut crosses
What Is a PT57A?
Andy uses the Head PT57A2 pro stock frame in 16×19 string pattern. Effectively, it’s the old blue Pro Tour 280/630 with a more open pattern than the retail version.
Reportedly, the open pattern does not provide much more spin than the 18×20 version but offers more power and a higher launch angle.
This racquet has near mythical status among racquet nerds and pro stock purveyors, with even well-used pieces fetching large sums on the tennis racquet grey market.
This racquet with its 95 square inch head size and thin, surgical beam is perfect for an adept tactician like Murray who looks to counterpunch and control the tempo of each point rather than dominate with power from the first ball.
Andy’s reported racquet specifications are 353g, 33.2 cm balance, and a swingweight in the 370s (379, according to a reputable seller of pro stock racquets).
This is quite a hefty stick, and the mass definitely aids Andy in redirecting heavy shots from anywhere in the court. Word is that back in his younger days he used a swingweight north of 400 which is mind blowing to say the least.
Andy strings with Luxilon ALU Power mains and Babolat Natural Gut crosses at around 60 pounds. This combined with his thin frame and heavy specs give him maximum control from his racquet.
Tinkering on His Comeback Tour
When Andy was finding his footing on the ATP again, he went on a quest to find a more powerful racquet, even taking to Twitter to ask what could increase the power of his racquet.
He was seen demoing Head Gravity and Head Extreme frames at the Cincinnati Masters event in 2021 and at the end of 2021 in Abu Dhabi used what was revealed to be a 99 square inch frame in a blacked out paintjob.
This is believed to be the Head Prestige MP-L, exclusive to the European market. One reputable member of a tennis message board said it had the PT57A layup but the Prestige MP-L mold.
Did He Stick With The Switch?
Though he had what appeared to be decent results, Andy eventually switched back to his trusty PT57A in the previous Graphene 360 paintjob. He used the current 360+ paint in bright orange for one tournament but went back to the more muted paint quickly after.
He practiced in London for the 2022 Laver Cup with the event’s special edition paint but played his matches with the old one. So, he obviously prefers the old gray paintjob.
Whether it’s superstition, mental, or visual he’s sticking with it, and Head doesn’t seem to be bothered about it.
Will His Racquet Work For The Future?
Though Andy has tinkered and tweaked his racquet, he shows no signs of sticking to any switch.
If it were any other player returning from hip surgery, I’d say they need some sort of change in their equipment or game style to have true success on the tour again; however, this is Andy Murray we’re talking about.
His determination and fighting spirit are unrivaled, and he simply loves the game too much to walk away. He wants to be comfortable on the court.
Though the argument for a bigger, lighter, longer, or otherwise more powerful racquet is obvious, he’s sticking with what he knows.
The tradeoff in confidence must not be worth winning few more cheap points or having a slightly easier time on defense for him.
Equipment change or not, Andy is here to stay and recently said he has no plans for retirement just yet. He’ll be around, so let’s enjoy him while he’s here!
If you’re interested in other ATP players’ racquets, I listed all the top 100 players’ racquets in this post.