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Denis Shapovalov’s Racquet Setup

This flashy young Canadian seems to have the ability to hit any shot from anywhere on the court!

From his jumping one-handed backhands, to blistering inside-out forehands, to sliding passing shots on the run, Denis has been wooing tennis fans across the globe since he burst onto the scene as a teen, defeating Rafael Nadal in his home tournament in Montreal.

While Denis has missed the mark on consistent results throughout most of his career, we would do well to remember that he is still young at only twenty-three years old and his two major quarterfinals at the Australian and US Opens in tandem with a Wimbledon semifinal adequately demonstrate his potential when he is playing well.

Of course, you’re really here to find out which racquet powers Denis’ game, aren’t you?

Here’s Denis Shapovalov’s racquet setup:

  • Racquet Endorsed: Yonex Vcore 95
  • Actual Racquet: Yonex VCore SV 95
  • Strings: Yonex Poly Tour Strike @ 46 pounds

Early Days

As a junior, Denis competed using a Wilson 6.1 95 in 18×20 string pattern. He used it up until the paint scheme of the first RF97 racquet. 

Pro Staff 97 18x20 - Shapovalov | Talk Tennis

In the summer of 2017, he switched to Yonex, endorsing and using the VCore SV 95. The VCore 95 model has been a lighter players racquets with a very headlight balance, and low mass and swingweight compared to other racquets in its class.

Its 16×20 string pattern melds power and control, and most users find good pop from these frames despite its small headsize and relative lack mass.

Of course, Denis adds weight to his frames, and a reputable stringer on the pro tour stated that his specs were 335g and 30.4cm balance unstrung with an overgrip. Later, another respectable source listed his unstrung weight at 324g.

No source seems to have measured his swingweight, though Wilson 6.1s are 335-340 on average, and a safe assumption would be that he is still in this range.

He strings with Yonex Poly Tour Strike, and the only record of tension I could find was 46 pounds all around.

I’m sure this is to open up the smaller sweetspot of this 95 inch racquet, but given his power-oriented game I figured he would string tighter – in the 50s at least.

Time to Experiment?

As of late, it seems Denis might be searching for something by changing his racquet specs and even his racquet itself. Until recently, Denis had been using his trusty VCore SV 95 under newer paintjobs, but since the beginning of the 2022 season has been experimenting.

In Abu Dhabi and in the early part of the 2022 season, we saw Denis swinging the new Yonex Ezone 98 with its raised rib where the handle meets the throat.

Though a racquet geared toward producing extra power seems like an ill fit for Shapo, he pushed eventual champion Rafael Nadal in five sets at the Australian Open with it but changed back to his paintjobbed SV 95s during the grass court swing and at the time of this article is sporting an all black racquet that Yonex claims is the soon to be released VCore 95 2023.

Whether this is true or Yonex is attempting to hype up a future release is quite literally unclear. Images of his racquet did not allow clear pictures of the 10 and 2 o’clock positions on his racquet head where the SV95 has its “AeroFin” technology, indicative of that model.

I’m sure somebody will scour enough photos to tell in the near future! 

What’s Next?

Denis did reach a final in Seoul with his black racquet, losing to Nishioka in two tightly contested sets.

Hopefully, he is satisfied with his racquets for the time being and can figure out how to get his results to follow.