He might be the hardest hitter on tour. Nikoloz Basilashvili absolutely slams every groundstroke he gets his racquet on.
The Georgian has five career titles and has been as high as number sixteen in the ATP rankings back in 2019.
Though he’s just barely sitting inside the top 100 at the end of 2022, his ability to take the racquet out of his opponent’s hands from the first ball is incredible. The former Indian Wells finalist is still a dangerous player in large draws like the grand slams.
Let’s take a look at his racquet of choice:
- Endorsed Racquet: Head Auxetic Speed Line
- Actual Racquet: Head Gravity Pro pro stock, extended length
- Strings: Head Hawk at 48/46
What’s Under The Paint?
Nikoloz used the Head Speed paint for quite some time, including the blacked-out “Speed X” paint like Djokovic and Barty used.
However, his racquet is not a speed, it’s a Gravity Pro in 18×20 string pattern. The pro stock code is TGT 344.3, and Basilashvili plays the racquet in an extended length.
Why Head does not just have him endorse the Gravity, I do not know. The Gravity Pro has a reputation for being one of the more forgiving control-oriented racquets on the market.
Its 100 square inch headsize provides stability and a large sweet spot due to its teardrop shape, and the flexible layup combines with the thin beam for ultimate control and feel.
Nikoloz’s extended-length racquet allows for some extra leverage on his shots, amplifying his blistering groundstrokes.
- The Gravity Pro mold is quite obvious here (widest in the portion of the hoop and thin-beamed)
Basilashvili’s specs are reported to be as follows:
- Strung mass: 345g
- Strung balance: 32.2 cm
- Strung swingweight: 350
- All specs are reported strung with overgrip
This is a racquet with substantial weight and swingweight. Combined with his enormous racquet head speed and extended length, Basilashvili gets tons of power out of his racquet when he wants it.
The controlled features of the Gravity Pro come together to give him ultimate command over all of that power too.
Like many of Head’s sponsored professional players, Nikoloz uses a Head polyester string, specifically Head Hawk in 1.25 gauge.
He uses the white color and strings it lower than expected for such a powerful player, using 48 pounds in the mains and 46 in the crosses.
It seems Basilashvili prefers his frame to have a flexible, feel-oriented response while providing inherent power from the mass and extended length.
If you’ve ever had a chance to play a racquet like this, you know just how addictive it can be to swing out because the racquet’s response allows you to be precise with the bullets you’re firing to the other end of the court!
Basilashvili obviously employs a power-oriented game. And though one might think he’s more likely to employ a racquet like a Head Extreme or Babolat Pure Drive, that wouldn’t allow him to swing so freely and violently while still controlling the ball.
His racquet gives him a good amount of precision and control to taper his power level off while maintaining some characteristics of a powerful frame.
It’s an interesting hybrid for a player who relies so much on power, but it appears to work for him given his streak of impressive results like the Indian Wells final!
If you’re interested in other ATP players’ racquets, I listed all the top 100 players’ racquets in this post.