Thanks to a flurry of tech refinements, the new crop of tennis racquets have an edge. To pick the best ones, we recruited tennis consultant Rick Leach, who is a former number-one-ranked doubles player, winner of nine Grand Slams, and a current champ on the 40-plus ITF Senior circuit. He coaches in Newport Beach, California, and instructs current pros Leander Paes and Scott Lipsky. Advising on new racquets is part of his job: "It's a disadvantage for any player if they're not up on the new tech. You can't avoid the fact that our game changes because of it." Launch Gallery >>
Babolat Pure Drive
THE TECH A new "cortex active system" between its head and handle promises to dampen vibration but deliver more information to your hand.
ON THE COURT "The ball just jumps off this racquet," says Leach. "The new changes add stiffness but control. There's a learning curve. If you haven't used a new racquet for a while, playing with this will be like stepping into a Ferrari."
BEST FOR Advanced players looking for more power. [$190; babolat.com]
Credit: Michael Pirrocco