The Babolat AeroPro Drive GT (Est. $150) racquet is most notably used by world competitor Rafael Nadal, and while it won't necessarily turn you into a tennis superstar, it will add plenty of topspin and power to your game. This Babolat model and the Prince EXO3 Rebel 95 (Est. $150) weigh 12 ounces (strung weight), which is slightly lighter than many of the competitors in this price range. However, the AeroPro Drive GT maintains this weight reduction without sacrificing power. In fact, it actually generates more power than the EXO3 Rebel 95 thanks to its extra stiff frame and 65-pound string tension. Comparatively, the EXO3 Rebel 95 has a maximum string tension of 60 pounds.
Apart from being used by Rafael Nadal, the Babolat AeroPro Drive GT is most renowned for its ability to produce a high amount of topspin due to its fast swing speed combined with a wide -- 23 mm -- beam (the part of the frame surrounding the head). Although it is generally considered a baseliner's racquet due to its power, the extra topspin proves useful for other styles as well.
The Prince O3 Silver OS (Est. $100) is somewhat cheaper than the Babolat, but the AeroPro Drive GT makes it well worth the extra $50. The O3 Silver's larger head size and swing weight make it much more difficult to maneuver than the Babolat.
Overall, the Babolat AeroPro Drive GT is a racquet that is recommended for intermediate to advanced playing levels, and it will keep you competitive with some of the best players in the game.
While there are very few tennis racquets designed specifically for women, there seems to be a preference for certain specifications when needing to compensate for a lack of strength or ability. One such favorite is the Prince O3 Silver OS, an oversized racquet with a large head size of 118 inches squared. This is much larger than the Babolat AeroPro Drive GT's 100-square-inch head and the Prince EXO3 Rebel 95's 95-square-inch head. The O3 Silver OS's supersized head produces a much larger sweet spot for more forgiveness if your contact with the ball is off-center.
To compensate for any lack of strength, the Prince O3 Silver OS generates quite a bit of power compared to other racquets thanks to its high string tension of a maximum 67 pounds. Compare this to the Prince EXO3 Rebel 95's maximum string tension of only 60 pounds. This added power allows weaker players to focus more on controlling their shots. While the Prince O3 Silver oversized racquet may not be made specifically for women, it remains a popular choice for these particular attributes.
Some parents prefer starting their children out with a full-sized tennis racquet to help them adjust to the feel while learning how to play. However, a full-sized racquet may be too difficult for some children to maneuver and swing. In this case, a "junior" model, like the Wilson Roger Federer 23 Junior (Est. $25) , may be the wiser choice.
The Wilson Roger Federer 23 Junior has a much smaller head size (95 square inches) than most beginner level racquets like the Prince O3 Silver OS, which is 118 inches squared. When fully strung, the racquet weighs only 7.2 ounces, making it easy for a child to maneuver and swing. The Wilson Roger Federer 23 Junior is nearly half the weight of the Prince EXO3 Rebel 95.
One strong attribute of the Roger Federer 23 Junior, though it may not prove useful to everyone, is its durability. The racquet is said to last long enough to be passed down when your child outgrows it. The racquet sells for about $25 -- much cheaper than most full-sized racquets. Comparatively, our other top picks, the Babolat AeroPro Drive GT and Prince EXO3 Rebel 95, both sell at about $150, and the Prince O3 Silver OS is a little cheaper at $100. This alone may help to justify purchasing a junior-sized racquet before your child grows into a larger-sized frame. Recommended for use by children aged 6 to 9, the Wilson Roger Federer 23 Junior is a well-rounded racquet that will help your child develop his or her skills at an early age.