Babolat Ballfighter 21
With its lightweight aluminium design, the BallFighter 21 is easy to swing but provides the stability you need to learn good shot technique. An Improvergrip system helps young players learn how to hold the racket correctly.
A series of innovations followed, including the tension-resistant Babolat VS string in 1925, which remains popular today, through to the Cordynel – the world’s first electric stringing machine – in 1981. The Lyon-based brand are also responsible for some of the most technologically advanced synthetic strings on the market, such as the RPM and Xcel ranges. In short, they are the masters of strings.
But what about rackets? It might surprise you to learn that Babolat’s first range of rackets was released relatively recently, with another Pierre Babolat, great grandson of the family company’s founder, creating the Pure line in 1994.
Having cleverly gifted their frames to talented up-and-comers, Babolat’s name began to ring out on the pro circuit, chiefly thanks to the Pure Drive. After Carlos Moya won the French Open in ’98 using the power-focused racket, Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters became ATP and WTA No.1s with the same frame in 2003. A couple of years later, a youthful Rafael Nadal won his first Slam title, conquering Roland-Garros with the Aeropro Drive, which was specifically designed to suit his spin-based play.
Nowadays, Babolat split their rackets into three categories: the Pure Drive for power, the Pure Aero for spin, and the Pure Strike for control. Each series comes in a range of headsizes and weights to suit all ages, body types, and skill levels, with comfort-focused EVO editions available for players who prioritise fun and gradual improvement.
- Weight: 190 g / 6.7 oz
- Length: 534 mm / 21 in.
- Quick Ref: 194295
- Man. Ref: 140239
One often overlooked, but crucial, aspect when selecting a tennis racket is the grip size. The grip size is the measurement around the handle's circumference, and choosing the right one can significantly impact your comfort, control, and potential to prevent injury. This article will guide you through the process of selecting the right tennis racket grip size.
Importance of Choosing the Right Grip Size
A correctly sized tennis grip ensures you have optimal control over your racket and helps prevent injuries. Too small a grip may cause your hand to shift during play, reducing accuracy and increasing the risk of developing tennis elbow due to overuse of the forearm muscles. Conversely, a grip that's too large can make the racket hard to turn and manipulate, and it could also lead to hand, wrist, or shoulder injuries due to overgripping.
Measuring Your Grip Size
There are two common methods to measure your grip size:
- The Ruler Method: Open your dominant hand and extend your fingers. Align a ruler with the bottom lateral crease of your palm, measuring to the tip of your ring finger. The measurement in inches correlates with your grip size.
- The Finder Test: Hold the racket with a standard Eastern forehand grip, where the base knuckle of your index finger is on bevel #3. You should be able to fit the index finger of your other hand in the space between your ring finger and the palm that's gripping the racket. If there's not enough room for your finger, the grip is too small. If there's too much space, the grip is too large.
Grip Sizes: U.S. vs. European
In the U.S., grip sizes range from 4 inches to 4 ¾ inches, increasing in increments of 1/8 inch. European grip sizes use a different naming system, L0 to L5, each correlating to their U.S. counterparts as follows:
|European Grip Size||US Grip Size|
|L0 or G0||4 Inches|
|L1 or G1||4 1/8 inches|
|L2 or G2||4 1/4 inches|
|L3 or G3||4 3/8 inches|
|L4 or G4||4 1/2 inches|
|L5 or G5||4 5/8 inches|
Choosing the Right Grip Size
When choosing the right grip size, consider the following points:
- Go for the smaller size if you're in between: It's easier to increase the size of a grip than decrease it. You can always add an overgrip (which usually adds about 1/16 inch) to a smaller handle to increase its size, but shaving down a larger handle is not recommended as it can compromise the racket's structural integrity.
- Consider your style of play: Players who rely on spin might prefer a smaller grip size, which allows for more wrist action. In contrast, players seeking control may benefit from a larger grip size.
- Test it out: If possible, try before you buy. Visit a local sports store, hold the racket, and mimic your swing to see how it feels. Remember that comfort is key - if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
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