As one of the most impressive shotmakers to come out of British tennis for some time, Dan Evans is always a must-watch on the court. His heavy forehand and versatile backhand combine effectively with an accurate serve that is quite big for his stature.
Though he previously spent time away from the tour due to testing positive for cocaine, Evans completed his comeback and has been a top-50 stalwart since.
He uses his trademark backhand slice to control the pace of points and bullies his opponents with heavy forehands and running backhands.
Let’s take a look at the racquet he uses to produce this pretty, crafty tennis.
- Endorsed Racquet: Wilson Pro Staff Line
- Actual Racquet: Wilson NCode 6.1 95 18×20
- Strings: Luxilon ALU Power Rough mains and Natural Gut crosses around 50 pounds
Which Wilson is it?
Dan has used the same Wilson 6.1 95 mold for his entire career. Reportedly, it’s the NCode 6.1 95 under the paint. His string pattern is 18×20.
He’s used multiple paintjobs like the Pro Staff 97 but seems to have recently been transitioned to the Pro Labs 6.1 95 paint which is nearly the same as what he’s been using (Pro Labs 6.1 95 is reportedly the Hyper Pro Staff graphite layup).
This classic racquet from Wilson is renowned for providing excellent control and feel while supplying more power than other frames in its category like the Prestige line from Head.
It’s perfect for somebody like Evans who prefers to construct points off the ground rather than powering through his opponents.
- A close-up of Dan regripping his racquet. We can see 8 mains run through the throat and a rounded off PWS system, identifying the Six.One 95. Interestingly, he uses a molded handle with ridges mimicking a leather grip. He puts an overgrip right on the foam.
A reputable pro tour customizer has shared Dan’s specs as:
- Strung mass: 360g
- Strung balance: estimated 31.5 cm according to other sources
- Strung swingweight: 325
- Balance was not shared by the customizer who only stated most of the mass was in the handle
Basically, Evans is using a stock NCode Wilson Six.One 95 with a low swingweight. Usually we see these pieces in the mid 330s to 340s for swingweight, so he may have some sort of special request on the swingweight.
The result is a racquet that gets stability and power from its sheer amount of mass, not swingweight. The headlight balance and low swingweight allow for some extra maneuverability and combine with the inherent stability of the beam and high weight for scalpel-like precision.
Evans strings his 6.1 with Luxilon ALU Power rough in the mains and natural gut in his crosses. He’s been reported between 48 and 52 pounds for the tension, so he likely switches around based on conditions and preferences. He used to use Wilson Sensation in his crosses.
Sensation is a basic multifilament that is far inferior to natural gut, but Evans and another couple of British pros used this setup. They probably just used it as juniors and never wanted to change anything.
The combo of a lower tension and soft-ish response from ALU Rough and gut provides Dan with classic polyester control and good feel for his crafty game.
We see in Dan Evans yet another professional employing a racquet and string setup perfectly suited for his game. The control and precision offered from the Wilson 6.1, despite dying out among amateur players, is still alive and well on the professional tour.
I’d assume it will continue to have a place for pros seeking precision without giving up as much power as they would with a super flexible control frame. Dan isn’t changing anything any time soon either, so it seems.
If you’re interested in other ATP players’ racquets, I listed all the top 100 players’ racquets in this post.