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By Robert Martin

A “tweener” racket is usually defined as a racket that weighs between 10 and 11.5 ounces and has a head size of at least 98 sq. inches. It can be a great choice for a younger junior player who is looking for a racket that can provide a good amount of control without being too light.

Although there are quite a few “tweener” rackets on the market today, I'll take a look at four options that would be a great fit for most players.

Head Size: 100 sq. inches
Length: 27 inches
Weight: 11.2 oz strung
String Pattern: 16 x 19

First Impressions: This racquet felt surprisingly heavy and slow through the air. I definitely prefer the French Open paint scheme to the regular Black/Yellow scheme personally.

Groundstrokes: Perfectly designed for the modern game, stand at the baseline and swing hard. Not my style of racquet, performance really suffered if I tried to flatten the ball out or attempted to hit an off-pace ball.

Net: Decent feel, but again, a little slow from a maneuverability point of view.

Serving: Excellent spin on serves, but pace suffered a bit from the heavier feel.

Closing Remarks: This racquet felt very stiff to me. Overall it performs well in the hands of a hard-swinger, but that’s just not my style.

Head Size: 100 sq. inches
Length: 27 inches
Weight: 11.2 oz strung
String Pattern: 16 x 19

First Impressions: Definitely a different appearance from previous models and the balance and weight felt good in my hand. I have never been able to get used to the Head grip shape, but this one was not as extreme as I remembered.

Groundstrokes: This racquet was a solid performer in all categories and performed as it should. Spin was good when you needed it, and I was able to flatten out shots as well. My one issue is that when I tried to hit heavy topspin the ball tended to sail a bit.

Net: Surprisingly good feel and quick to maneuver. Felt like the frame was able to knife volleys away pretty well.

Serving: I wasn’t able to dial in serves quite right with this one. It felt a bit sporadic to me.

Closing Remarks: Definitely not the softest frame out there, but fairly comfortable given the rather high stiffness rating. Overall I liked this racquet once the point started, but I struggled on serve.
Head Size: 98 sq. inches
Length: 27 inches
Weight: 11.2 oz strung
String Pattern: 18 x 20

First Impressions: For a minute I thought this was a painted Head Radical. With similar specs, I was not surprised to find that it felt quite a bit like a Radical in my hands.

Groundstrokes: This frame felt like it was all about control. The thin beam felt good and the flex was nice for more creative shots. It did play a touch stiffer than the Head Radical it resembles, but this no-frills frame was a solid performer.

Net: Good feel and quick to maneuver, this was an excellent frame at net. While it was solid from the baseline, it really shined for me at the net.

Serving: I’ve never been quite fond of serving with dense patterned racquets, and this one was no exception. Flat serves had excellent control, but I had trouble getting the same movement I am used to.

Closing Remarks: The grip felt smaller than listed on the frame, but overall I enjoyed the feel of the frame. Playtesting this one has me excited to try the Pro 10, a similar frame that is heavier, much closer to what I am used to.
Head Size: 98 sq. inches
Length: 27 inches
Weight: 10.9 oz strung
String Pattern: 16 x 20

First Impressions: Immediately you notice that classic Fischer tapered beam, and you just know the frame is going to have a unique feel. A modern rendition of a classic, this was an exciting trial for me.

Groundstrokes: There is just something entirely unique about the Fischer molds. That ultra thin throat gives such a great sense of feel and control while the thicker head provides some welcome pop. Though lighter than my normal racquet, this X-Force provided a perfect blend for a moderate spin player like myself.

Net: Once again, Pacific impresses with that amazing feel and good agility. If I had any complaints at net, it was that while my volleys were effective, they didn’t have quite the conviction of my usual frame.

Serving: This is where the racquet began to falter from its pedestal of greatness for me. As someone that is used to a heavier racquet, it is such an adjustment on serves and I was not able to get the same combination of pace and spin with this frame.

Closing Remarks: I loved the control that this racquet had in all areas, and with a little tweaking this could be an amazing frame for a lot of players. My favorite of the group, I would absolutely love to test out the X-Force Pro, an even closer relative to my favorite Fischer frame, the Pro No. 1.

Images provided by our friends at Tennis Express.


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