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Dominic Thiem’s Racquet Setup

He’s climbed over two hundred ranking spots since the beginning of the year and is finally ranked inside the top one hundred on the ATP tour again. Dominic Thiem is back in a groove with his blistering one-handed backhand and incredible fitness.

Though he’s far from his career-high rank of number 3, Thiem is picking up plenty of steam heading into the 2023 season. Now, as we always do here, let’s dive into his tennis racquet. 

Here’s Dominic Thiem’s racquet setup:

  • Endorsed Racquet: Babolat Pure Strike 98 v3
  • Actual Racquet: Babolat Pure Strike 98 v3 
  • Strings: Head Lynx Tour mains and Head Hawk crosses at 55 pounds

Racquet Switches

Thiem first started on tour with a Head Prestige MP pro stock (not disclosed if PT57A or a more recent TGT model) with specs of 337g, 330 cm balance, and 345 swingweight.

During the 2015 season, he switched sponsorship contracts to Babolat and used a Pure Strike 98 v1 in 18×20 pattern right off the shelf. He reportedly used a 4-3/8” grip size but shaved the pallet down himself to more closely replicate the shape of his old Head racquet’s grip. 

He continued to play with the original Strike 98 under the 2017 Project One Seven paint, as evidenced by the “X-Sider” indent present on Thiem’s frames, unique to the original model. 

  • Here you can see the X-sider indent and Thiem’s name in the throat from an Youtube inverview with the stringers at the BNL D’ITALIA tournament. 

Prior to the v3 Strike being released at retail, Dominic was spotted using the 2017 paint without the X-Sider tech and the addition of new grommets in the throat which were later confirmed to be the same as the v3 retail grommets.

Rather than the traditional half-circle Woofer grommets, the throat grommets of the v3 came to a point in the center and lost the semicircular shape. 

Thiem’s racquet specs are, and we can assume remain 338g, 32.5 cm balance, and ~340 swingweight. This is a fairly heavy swinging racquet for its weight with a good amount of mass in the head and plenty of swingweight.

Considering Thiem’s massive racquet head speed, swinging this club for hours on end is a feat in itself. The Strike line is known for being Babolat’s most controlled silo, but they are still Babolats and provide good access to power and spin, even in 18×20 string patterns.

This all accentuates Dominics strongest aspects of his game with his explosive groundstrokes off both wings and excellent use of spin and angles to open up the court on offense. Talk about a wonderful fit!

String Experiments

For a player consistently at the top of the men’s game, Thiem has tinkered with his string setups A LOT. When he first switched to Babolat racquets, he was using Babolat Origin crossed with RPM Blast. Then he was using VS Gut mains in place of the Origin, keeping RPM Blast in his crosses.

Down the line, he swapped RPM Blast for RPM Rough crosses…perhaps he was seeking more spin or softness from his setup. Then, at Indian Wells in 2019, his stringbed was starkly devoid of any black or red colors we were used to seeing in his frame. 

A person holding a tennis racket

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  • Thiem’s racquet Indian Wells 2019

It was later revealed after Thiem won the tournament with a thrilling defeat of Roger Federer that he used an experimental Head String – later revealed to be Lynx Tour – in the mains and Head Hawk in the crosses.

Later on in that year, he switched to RPM Power from Babolat, perhaps for contract reasons or maybe because he preferred it. Though during his comeback, he appears to be using the same Lynx Tour and Hawk setup that he used back in 2019.

Dominic has always strung around 55 pounds which should be a good fit for his offensive game. Polyester at a relatively high tension helps him rein in his powerful shots and still provides plenty of spin and control for his aggressive game style. 

Conclusion

Dominic Thiem seems solidly on the comeback trail now that he has broken back into the top 100. He’s playing some inspired tennis again and showing tons of fight on the court.

Despite his wrist injury, he does not seem to have changed anything about his racquet which is reassuring that he is both healthy and confident.

After all, he did have his best results with this frame and is a former grand slam champion. Here’s hoping he can continue all of this momentum into 2023!