Surging from 90th in the world at the beginning of the year to the top 30 with a career-high of 28 is Tommy Paul from the USA.
His improved movement and fitness along with an explosive forehand have afforded the North Carolina native and 2015 Junior Roland Garros champion his best year yet. Of course, though, we’re here to talk about his racquet. So, here we go!
- Endorsed Racquet: Wilson Blade 98 v8
- Actual Racquet: Wilson Blade 98 Pro Stock
- String Setup: Babolat RPM Blast mains and Luxilon Natural Gut Crosses @ 50 pounds
What’s Under The Paint
Because so many pros using the Wilson Blade don’t ACTUALLY use a Blade underneath the paint, we have to inspect what Tommy is using. Somewhat surprisingly, he is actually using a Blade mold, not an H22, H19, Steam, or anything else.
The string pattern is 16×19, and his grommets are the “parallel drilling” version present from the v5 onward. It’s likely he’s using the same frame he used as a junior, the 2015 Blade.
Specs & Strings
Tommy reportedly plays with quite a heavy racquet. His strung specs are noted as 347g, 31.7 cm balance, and an unknown swingweight. I would imagine the Wilson Pro Room adds a bit of lead under the bumper for him, but for now it is a mystery.
This headlight balance makes the Blade surgically precise and very whippy through contact. So, Tommy gets the benefits of a Blade—control, feel, above average pop for a thin beam—and the handling of a traditional players racquet with most of the mass in the handle.
Tommy strings his racquets with RPM Blast mains and Luxilon Natural Gut Crosses at 50 pounds as reported from the stringing room at the ATP event in Atlanta earlier this year.
A Fun Paintjob
Though Tommy hasn’t changed much about his racquet specs during his time on the tour, he has been the recipient of a few special colorways.
Most strikingly, he designed a baby blue paintjob inspired by his favorite University of North Carolina Tar Heels which was available through Wilson’s Custom Made service and endorsed by Tommy on the tour.
This was a little bit of a surprise, as Tommy is one of the only players I can remember playing with one of these “Custom Made” cosmetics, and he wasn’t even ranked in the top 100 at the time.
Pretty cool for Wilson to set up one of their up-and-coming players with this if you ask me!
So, we now see that Tommy Paul’s racquet is pretty simple: it’s a Wilson Blade 98 in 16×19 pattern customized to his preferences.
Basically, any of us could buy it and replicate it (there are some v5 Blades in good or better condition floating around if you know where to look). Though, I doubt we’d play like Tommy with it 😉
If you’re interested in other ATP players’ racquets, I listed all the top 100 players’ racquets in this post.