Having control when on a tennis court can be the most devastating attribute in certain situations. Putting the ball exactly where it needs to go can keep even the best players off-balance.
While no racquet will magically provide amazing control, some do a better job than others at making improvements. Players who could use a little bit extra help on the control side of things can pick from the seven racquets as great starting points.
Here are the 7 best tennis racquets for control (ranked from number 7 to 1).
7. Prince Phantom 93P 18×20
The Prince Phantom 93P racquet is a great control racquet that offers exceptional power and maneuverability.
It’s a great choice for intermediate and advanced players who want to finesse their shots with precision while maintaining good power, even on off-center hits.
With its 18×20 string pattern and thin beam, the Prince Phantom provides excellent control so players can confidently place their shots where they want them.
Thanks to its innovative carbon tubing design, this racquet also boasts some impressive maneuverability and responsiveness, making it easy to respond to fast rallies or difficult angles.
Also, the extended sweetspot delivers consistent performance across the entire hitting surface, making every shot feel effortless.
All in all, if someone is looking for a reliable and well-balanced control racquet, look no further than the Prince Phantom 93P.
Players just need to be fine with a smaller head size that has a bit of a whole school field to it in general. It’s built for the advanced player wanting extra precision instead of someone trying to learn the game.
- Very thin fit beam
- Dense string pattern
- Small head size
- Needs a fast swing for any power
6. Wilson Pro Staff RF97
This Wilson Pro Staff model has been known in recent years as the weapon of choice for Roger Federer.
Known as the RF97, the head size is a little bit smaller than what most players in the modern game use. That can be looked at as a negative to some, but a positive for control-oriented advanced players.
It’s never been advised for beginners to use the same racquet as Roger Federer. Players need to be consistent with hitting the sweet spot to maximize the value of the racquet. Get a shot opportunity with enough time, and it’s easy to crush a forehand or backhand.
Out of all the racquets on this list, it might be the best at offering both power and control. It just comes in a smaller package that has a tiny sweet spot compared to other racquets.
This won’t be a person’s first racquet, as it takes time to get up to this level. However, it continues to be a hot seller with the Federer branding as well as its performance.
- Excellent combination of power and control
- Extra mass for stability
- Built with advanced players in mind
- Limited amount of players can benefit from the racquet
- Heavier than most racquets
5. Yonex VCORE Pro 97D
Yonex came out with a new VCORE Pro 97D to make it a little more control-oriented for players. Another racquet that’s designed mostly for advanced players, it has a very dense string pattern that allows people to put the ball exactly where they want it.
In the previous version, some players complained about the lack of power. Yonex decided to make the beam 1 mm wider, which adds power without giving up any control people are used to.
Finding the sweet spot for this racquet is easier than people might think. It takes a little bit of getting used to like any other advanced racquet, but players wanting control will find that they don’t have to hope for the best.
- Larger sweetspot compared to other racquets with this head size
- Bigger beam for more power
- Dense string pattern
- Yonex head size not for everyone
- Somewhat high learning curve
4. Babolat Pure Strike 18×20
The most overlooked Babolat racquet from their professional line is the Babolat Pure Strike.
They don’t have as many big-name players endorsing the racquet, but the third generation has turned into a very hot seller over the years. For control, going to the 18×20 version is the way to go.
The Pure Strike is already known for being a control-oriented racquet. Once a tighter string pattern is there, it makes it that much more dynamic. Players can get mass behind the ball and plow through shots with this setup.
To maximize the use of the Pure Strike, players need to swing pretty hard. That can seem overwhelming for some players, while others will love the fact that they feel like they will never hit the ball out of play.
One positive not found that much in control oriented racquets is the amount of spin a player can create with this one.
Even with the 18×20 version, it has a fairly open string pattern compared to the competition. That means players can maximize the spin people are so used to with Babolat racquets.
- Excellent all-around racquet
- A tight string pattern helps out
- Low power allows big swingers to keep the ball in
- Not a lot of free power
- Can feel stiff with the wrong strings
3. Head Radical MP
The Head Radical MP is a great control racquet for players of all skill levels. With its dense string pattern, the Head Radical MP provides excellent control and precision on every shot.
It also allows players to place the ball exactly where they want. Additionally, its stiff but flexible frame provides plenty of power so that a person can hit with pace even when playing against aggressive opponents.
Thanks to its sturdy construction, this racquet will last through countless games and matches without showing any signs of wear or tear.
Head is one of the most consistent manufacturers in the racquet game, and this control-oriented option will play well for people for years to come.
The biggest difference between the newest model and previous versions comes down to a lower flex rating. With this rating, it feels a lot better with the arm.
They also made the rack a little more stable so players can feel like they can excel with it in their hands anywhere on the court.
- Great all-around racquet
- Added flexibility
- Spin is a little harder to generate
- Balls don’t jump off the sweet spot
2. Head Prestige Pro
There are some similarities between the Prestige and the Radical. With that said, the Prestige Pro gives advanced players the ability to hit balls hard and still have outstanding control. The accuracy of the racquet in the right hands can be devastating for opponents.
It’s getting harder and harder to make meaningful updates to the racquet with each new release. That’s not a knock on the Head Prestige, but more of the fact that the company is getting it right.
A lot of players can benefit from this racquet, with power and spin seeing slight improvement. It’s still the weakest part of the setup for a control-oriented racquet like this, but advanced players will still be fine.
- Very stable
- One of the best with accuracy
- Enough mass to plow through shots
- Built mostly for advanced players only
- Not much of a difference between this version and the previous version
1. Wilson Blade 98 18×20
The Wilson Blade comes in quite a few different variations, but one of the classic designs is the 98 in.² head with an 18×20 string pattern.
This makes for a very dense racquet that offers outstanding control for players who have relied on Wilson throughout the years.
While the basic specs might seem almost the same as years ago, the technology gets progressively better with the frame itself.
The latest variation of the Blade is more comfortable, stable, and built for all-around play than ever before.
While control will be the calling card for this particular set up, and it’s an all-around racquet that won’t let a player feel like they are getting overpowered.
After Wilson came up with the Wilson Clash, they started implementing some of that technology in the Blade and other models.
The Blade is the perfect blend of touch, comfort, and control that helps out players of various skill levels.
- Great feel
- Decent free power
- Comfortable on the elbow
- Takes a speedy swing to tap into the power
- Not that spin-friendly
Can Tennis Players Survive Without Control?
Tennis players understand very quickly that they need to have control to have any type of success. A player can hit the ball extremely hard and look great at times, but consistency is the key to winning.
This goes for all levels of play, as control will dictate the outcome of a match. A player can look much better than someone else during certain shots, but the consistent player will find a way to win.
Players at all levels can use extra control. A lot of control-oriented racquets tend to be on the more advanced side, but there are options for intermediate players as well.
One of the biggest indicators of a control-oriented racquet is a thin beam and a dense string pattern. Having a combination of these two attributes usually means that a racquet can play exactly how a person wants it to.
Some players already hit with control, so they might not need as much benefit from a racquet. If that’s the case, going with a racquet that helps with some of their weaker parts can be a better approach.
All in all, it mostly comes down to trying out a racquet and seeing what works best. Not everyone will have the same results as everyone else.
Variety within the tennis racquet community exists for a reason. While some might need as much help as they can get with control, others just need a slight boost.
For even more tweaking, play with the strings that go into control-oriented racquets. In general, the higher the tension, the better the control.
Polyester or nylon are the two types of strings that tend to do best with control. It’s a process to get the right setup, but starting with a control-oriented racquet ensures players are doing the best they can to play the way they want. I listed the best polyester strings in this post.