Price: $225 Head Size: 100 square inches Length: 27 inches Weight: 10.6 oz. Balance: 1 point headlight Ideal Swing: Long String Pattern: 16 mains/19 crosses Beam Width: 20 mm NTRP: 3.5-5.0
How It Tested: The ball came off the strings with such crisp precision that it felt like the frame had its own internal GPS system. The IG Speed MP 300 is a full 15 grams lighter than the patriarch of the IG Speed family, the IG Speed MP 18 x 20, and provides more power. The racquet was responsive to topspin, slice and flat shots and forgiving on off-center hits. Its light weight was helpful in elevating the racquet quickly on overheads.
Likes: This is a smooth frame offering both comfort and stability. Innegra, which Head touts as “the world’s lightest high-performance fiber in the industry today,” is integrated into the frame for shock absorption and improved stability. The brand’s d3o technology is designed to adapt to a variety of shots, offering stiffness or softer touch depending on the impact of the ball off the string bed. It’s a well-balanced stick that testers agreed was more maneuverable than the YouTek IG Speed Elite (which offers a wider 22-millimeter beam), the YouTek IG Speed MP 18 x 20 (Novak Djokovic’s racquet) or the YouTek IG Speed MP 16 x 19.
Dislikes: Some testers expressed concern over creating pace off of slower balls. This was apparent in players moving forward for low, slice shots. The racquet lacks a bit of heft when tested against heavier frames, though that’s not what it is designed for—for those seeking heavier options, the IG Speed Series offers the MP 18 x 20 and 16 x 19 frames, which weigh 11.1 oz., unstrung.
Bottom Line: This all-court stick is as smoothly satisfying as a sports car capable of cornering a hairpin turn with comfort and control. You can whip the racquet through the contact zone quickly and comfortably, and it performs admirably from anywhere on the court. It is ideally suited for a 3.5 to 4.5-level player, though an older 5.0 player with a longer, fluid swing would likely benefit from its comfort and maneuverability. Several testers reported this was the most responsive racquet in the YouTek IG Speed family.
TENNIS racquet advisor Bruce Levine is a former touring pro who has coached on both the men’s and women’s tours. Bruce is the general manager of Courtside Racquet Club in Lebanon, N.J., has worked as a full-time teaching pro for 30 years and lectures nationally on racquets and equipment.
My good friend, tennis player and racquet reviewer for the Swedish Tennis Magazine, Henrik Wallensten, managed to get a hold of the new Radical MP for a few days and here is his HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP racquet review. Thanks Henrik for another brilliant contribution.
Before we delve deeper into the HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP racquet review, let’s delve back into some HEAD history…
Back in 1993, the hard-hitting American André Agassi was one of the biggest stars in the game. He had previously been using a Prince Oversize-frame (The famous Prince Original Graphite with a cross-bar stabilizer) and then a Donnay oversize. When Austrian based company HEAD started the work on a new frame for the hot American, they were looking at Andre’s previous frames. Out of the baking-ovens in the factory at Wuhrkopfweg 1 in Kennelbach came an oversize-frame with a stiff feel, magic power, and great spin potential. André took some time to find the right groove with his new frame, but after a while, Andre and his Radical racquet was a match made in heaven.
HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – A Radical history lesson
Andre continued to use the Head Radical through his entire career and he was the big poster-boy of Head. Since the first Radical tour (or the Trisys as it was called in the US) we have seen a bunch of different versions of the Radical with technologies like Intellifibres, Microgel, Liquidmetal, Flexpoint and so on, but since a couple of years, the famous oversize version of Radical is no more. The last oversize was the Innegra (IG) Radical.
After the IG Radical, the series changed direction again. Going from a soft flex with good feel, Radical once again was heading for the stiffer feel with the new Graphene-rackets. The new, stiffer Radicals were very popular among the juniors and has been in the last models, but among the purists, the somewhat stiff feel has not exactly been the flavor of the month. But my feeling about this HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP racquet review, is that it might change.
HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Specs and Tech
Maybe things will change now though, in the year of 2019, when Head launches the new Graphene 360 Radical. The 360 Radical has, as the name points out, the new Graphene 360 technology. What is the new technology? Well, it´s enforced parts in the frame with extra graphene materials. HEAD have placed it in the shaft and in the head at 9, 12 and 3 (clockwise). When I have tested the 360-tech in Extreme and Instinct rackets, I have felt a more muted, well-dampened feel so it was interesting to see how 360 performed in the Radical.
HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Specs:
WEIGHT (UNSTRUNG): 295 g / 10.4 oz STRING PATTERN: 16/19 HEAD SIZE:630 cm² / 98 in² BALANCE: 320 mm / 1 in HL LENGTH: 685 mm / 27.0 in BEAM: 20/23/21 mm
HEAD in Sweden was so kind to let me borrow the new Radical over the Easter-holiday for an equipment update in the Swedish Tennis Magazine (where I write travel and equipment articles) and also the chance to write an early mini-review here at Jonas’ magnificent site tennisnerd.net. The frame I got was the Graphene 360 MP in grip 3. As soon as I got the frame, I noticed a major difference: the grip-shape! Radical have since the birth always had the more rectangular shaped grip (first TK57 and later TK82) but now it will have the rounder TK82S that first was launched in the Youtek Speed and now is used in Extreme, Instinct, Speed, MXG and Radical-series. I would not be surprised if the Prestige when it gets the 360 update also will have the TK82S pallets.
HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Performance
Normally, I always cut out the pre-strung factory strings when I get a frame to test, but the Radical I only had a couple of days, so I was testing it with the factory string. A black co-poly strung at an estimated 52 to 54 pounds. First test was on indoor hard with the Dunlop Australian Open ball and second test was outdoor on the Swedish clay courts (they are more like gravel-courts then clay here) with the magnificent RS Tour edition.
The design of the new Radical is nice and not so messy like the last versions. It sports clean lines and gives a premium look. It now feels like HEAD has a good strategy with all their designs. Out on court, it was interesting to see how the frame performed. First strokes from the baseline were easy and precise. Straight away you notice that the feel of this version is much more muted than previous versions. There are no vibrations at all finding its way down to your hand and arm. It´s also very noticeable that this is a very polarized frame. There is a lot of weight in the tip and bottom of this racket. When the pace is increased, you will feel that it is a solid and stable frame. It offers good control and is intended for players with a flat, powerful game. On serves, it creates a big ball and the sound you get from the frame when hitting the sweet spot is wicked.
HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Playability
Volleys are precise and sharp and thanks to the light weight of the frame, it´s easy to manoeuvre on quick exchanges at net. I was playing indoor against a really good junior player with hard, heavy strokes and the 295-gram unstrung weight had no problem whatsoever to withstand the shots. My normal set-up has been a 315-gram unstrung weight with a 31.5 cm balance, but I have just recently changed my go-to racket to the new Wilson Clash Tour with a 310-gram unstrung weight and around 30,5 cm balance. The polarized setup of the Radical 360 has a big part in this. You simply don’t need to make it much heavier to get some good plow.
Next test was outdoors on clay (gravel), on a beautiful, warm Swedish spring day with 21 degrees Celsius and no wind at all. This time up against a senior player with good patience. Perfect for a test! Going from the Clash Tour with its very open string pattern to the more closed pattern of the Radical, you immediately notice that the spin in the Radical is not the focus. It is all about control and stability in this frame. Perfect for the attacking player. To get a better spin, I would try a lower tension and/or a shaped co-poly string. The tension and round poly in the demo frame were not helping the spin at all and I guess if I had some more time with this frame I could surely find a good string/tension combination that would fit my game.
HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Summary
The IG Radical Pro was my go to frame back in the days, and with some more love to this racket in the form of a leather grip, a little squirt with the silicone gun into the handle and a restring with a string like Tour Bite or Hawk Rough, well, then I guess this frame could easily be a frame I would call my go to frame as well.
HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Video
Gamestyle: Self-described “aggressive baseliner”. Compact swing on the forehand, though he generates plenty of spin due to his elite racquet speed. Excellent backhand, though he has the foot speed to run around it if desired. When playing well, he utilizes a mix of down-the-line/slice backhands to successfully move his opponent around the court. Short backswings allow him to be aggressive on the return, though he will slice when stretched. Elite athlete with tremendous movement on the court. The results he has had on clay are a testament to his court speed/footwork. Terrific improviser on the run, though he too often relies on his speed to cover for lapses in shot selection. A willing volleyer who displays quality touch around the net. Has shown newfound pop on the first serve, and has displayed a variety of kick/slice spins on the serve. Too easily loses concentration during matches. Shot selection can be appalling, particularly for someone with his speed. Must learn to embrace the Gilles Simon “grinder” mentality. t
Tommy Paul (born May 17, 1997 in Voorhees Township, New Jersey) is an American professional tennis player. Paul won the 2015 French Open boys’ singles title by defeating fellow American Taylor Fritz in the final in three sets. He also reached the boys’ singles final at the 2015 US Open, this time losing to Fritz in three sets. Paul was a quarterfinalist at the 2017 Citi Open, an ATP 500 tournament, before losing to Kei Nishikori.
Tommy Paul has always been one of the highest ranked juniors of his class. Paul reached a career-high ITF junior rank of No. 3 on December 9, 2015.
Cited as one of North Carolina Tennis’ greatest rivalries, Paul played Will Baird a total of 14 times (Paul holding a 10–4 record) throughout their junior careers. In those matches, four took place in quarterfinal rounds, five in semifinal rounds, and two in finals. Ten of their fourteen matches ended in third sets.
Paul reached two junior Grand Slam finals in 2015, winning against Taylor Fritz at the French Open, and losing to him at the U.S. Open.
Paul turned pro in 2015. He has a career-high ATP singles ranking of No. 191 achieved on April 11, 2016. Unusually for an American, Paul has shown a preference for playing on clay, having won the Junior French Open and his first four ITF Futures singles titles on clay. He qualified for the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time at the 2015 US Open, losing to Andreas Seppi in the first round.
In March 2016, Paul cracked the Top 200 for the first time by qualifying for the Miami Masters. In April, Paul was awarded a wild card into the 2016 U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships at Houston, and defeated 53rd-ranked Paolo Lorenzi in the 1st round for his first career ATP level win.
Tommy would then mainly compete on the ATP Challenger circuit and ITF circuit for the remainder of 2016 and early 2017.
In July 2017, after going through qualifying at the Atlanta Open, he defeated seventh seed and 53rd-ranked Chung Hyeon in three sets. He then went on to defeat Malek Jaziri in three sets to advance to his first ATP tour level quarterfinal. Then he was defeated by third seed Gilles Müller. Following his performance in Atlanta, Tommy was awarded a wildcard into the ATP 500 Washington Open. Paul defeated Casper Ruud to advance to the second round. He then played Lucas Pouille and achieveed the biggest win of his career, defeating the Frenchman in straight sets. In the next round, he faced Gilles Müller again, but this time came out on top in three sets to reach his first ATP 500 quarterfinal. There he faced Kei Nishikori and lost in three sets.
Paul holds a record of 16 consecutive water bottle flips, taking place during the Playford Challenger of Early 2018.
A groundstroke or ground stroke in tennis is a forehand or backhand shot that is executed after the ball bounces once on the court. It is usually hit from the back of the tennis court, around the baseline.
A tennis player whose strategy is to trade groundstrokes with the opponent is termed a baseliner, as opposed to volleyers who prefers to hit volleys near the net.
There are many factors that may define a good groundstroke. For example, one groundstroke may use topspin and another backspin. Both can be effective for different reasons having to do with depth, opponent’s strength or weaknesses, etc. Some characteristics of groundstrokes are:
depth (how close the ball lands to the opponent’s baseline),
consistency (the tendency of groundstrokes to not drop short or into an opponent’s strike range in rallies with many groundstrokes),
speed (how fast it travels in the air),
pace (the ball’s behavior after it bounces on the opponent’s side),
If a “good groundstroke” is to be played, it would generally have a combination of the above characteristics to produce a shot that is difficult for the opponent to return.
Generally, a groundstroke that lands deep and in the corner of the opponent’s court will make it more difficult for the opponent to return the ball. However, this is somewhat arbitrary and depends on the opponent and stage of the point being played. For example:
a short angled shot,
a moon ball (very high trajectory),
an off pace shot, etc.,
may prove effective against opponent A but not opponent B.