“Usually, lightning leads to a blackout. This time, the Blackout led to lightning.”

By Jon Levey | tennis.com

Seven racquet companies, two frames from each. One is sure to be a perfect match for your game.

HOW WE TEST: Several samples were requested of every racquet reviewed. Each model was either strung with the manufacturer’s recommended string and tension, or such a string was provided, to optimize the frame’s performance. Racquets were then distributed to our playtesters located throughout the country. Each tester was encouraged to try a racquet for as long as it took to get a feel for its particular playing characteristics, including power, control, comfort, maneuverability and overall playability. In addition to forming their own opinions, they sought assessments from playing partners, students and customers. A special note of thanks to Kevin Brandt, Mitchell Case, James Golden, and Kin Roseborough for their valuable contributions.

Solinco

Blackout 300

  • PRICE: $220 (Buy)
  • HEAD SIZE: 100 SQ. IN.
  • LENGTH: 27 IN.
  • WEIGHT: 11.2 OZ.
  • BALANCE: 6 PTS. HL
  • SWINGWEIGHT: 315
  • RA RATING: 70
  • BEAM WIDTH: 23.5 MM / 26 MM / 23 MM
  • STRING PATTERN: 16X19

Player Profile:

Baseline Bully

Tester Quote:

“Usually, lightning leads to a blackout. This time, the Blackout led to lightning.”

How It Tested:

+ Easy acceleration combined with a thick, stiff frame added up to a powerful stick that was also fairly consistent.

+ Whether bashing balls to the corners or using its extra juice to get out of trouble, it excelled at baseline play.

+ Not a wand at net, but still quite capable of doing damage with volleys—especially chest-high and above—and ruthless on overheads.

– Good pocketing and forgiving feel inside the sweet spot, but noticeably tinnier when con-tacted off-center.

Whiteout 305

  • PRICE: $220 (Buy)
  • HEAD SIZE: 98 SQ. IN.
  • LENGTH: 27 IN.
  • WEIGHT: 11.4 OZ.
  • BALANCE: 4 PTS. HL
  • SWINGWEIGHT: 325
  • RA RATING: 65
  • BEAM WIDTH: 21.7 MM
  • STRING PATTERN: 16X19

Player Profile:

Jack of All Trades

Tester Quote:

“I could (and would) 100% play with the Whiteout.”

How It Tested:

+ Solinco made a racquet worthy of its strings, with many of the desired traits of a player’s frame—versatility, stability, feel—but with more free power.

+ The open string pattern cre-ated a higher launch angle than many frames in this category, with access to excellent spin-potential.

+ Smooth handling and point-and-shoot control made it an adept performer at net, capable of handling any volleying assignment.

– Occasionally erratic unless consistently employing lots of spin for control.