In this article, I compare 3 relatively similar tennis racquets that I had the opportunity to test at the same time ; the Head Gravity MP 2023 Auxetic, the Head Radical MP 2023 Auxetic and the Wilson Shift 99,300g.
These racquets have relatively similar technical characteristics and power levels, it could be a bit hard to differentiate them but I played a lot with these racquets and I could feel some differences in terms of sensations.
I think it will be interesting to see these differences in sensations in detail.
The Head Gravity MP 2023 Auxetic and the Head Radical MP 2023 Auxetic are 2 racquets for which the essential improvement concerns the addition of the Auxetic technology, which aims to improve the sensations, in particular by giving nice sensations even if we off-center the ball.
The sensations are close to those given by the previous versions, with a slight gain in comfort.
These are 2 control-oriented tennis racquets, with reduced power, which also are not among the most demanding racquets.
The Wilson Shift 99 300g is new to Wilson racquet for 2023.
This is a versatile racquet, with a fairly rare head size of 99 in² / 639 cm², medium power, good topspin access and good comfort.
An interesting racquet because with its intermediate power, it comes between the Wilson Pro Staff and Blade which have reduced power, and the Clash, Ultra and Burn which are more powerful.
In terms of power, the racquets aren't extremely different, but I'd rank them like this, starting with the most powerful:
The Shift is in my opinion the most powerful, the most versatile, with an intermediate power, thanks to:
The Shift has an intermediate power because:
For my personal feelings, with the Shift:
We really feel the control side of the Gravity MP thanks to:
This control side is reduced by the versatile 100 in² / 645 cm² head, slightly rounded at the head of the racquet, that brings some power.
I even think that powerful players who don't use much topspin could lack control with this racquet.
With the Gravity MP, I had the right power/control mix on all my shots, it was perfect, I really enjoyed playing with this racquet that really fits me well.
The Head Radical MP has a reduced power, for me it's the least powerful, at the same time it's not the least powerful tennis racquet, it remains accessible to many players but be careful to that control side.
Power is reduced due to:
With the Radical MP:
Slice backhand :
For the maneuverability, I found the 3 racquets excellent, despite their different points of balance, they have a similar swingweight, around 320.
The Radical MP has a neutral balance at 32cm but the racquet felt very light in the head, it was the one with which I had the best maneuverability, I almost wished I had a little more weight in the head to put more weight in the ball.
This can be customized by adding lead tape.
This may be the one that will be best for those who want maximum maneuverability in one-handed backhand.
The Shift is the one that is the most head light, with balance point at 31.5 cm, the maneuverability is also excellent, the profile is a little thicker than the Radical and the head a little larger, which can reduce very slightly the maneuverability compared to the Radical MP.
The Shift is very maneuverable and at the same time I didn't feel any lack of head weight because I had enough power and stability.
We feel that the Head Gravity MP has more weight in the head but given the rather average weight of the racquet of 295g and the average swingweight, it remains very maneuverable.
I generally don't like head heavy racquets and I had very good feelings with this racquet.
I wasn't bothered by the balance or the size and shape of the racquet for my one-handed topspin backhand, the thin 22mm profile helps with maneuverability, but those who don't like at all having a feel of weight in the head may be more comfortable for maneuverability with the other 2 racquets.
In terms of comfort, I found the Wilson Shift particularly comfortable, with very present vibration damping, which may be an issue for some players who may feel a little disconnected from the ball.
It was not the case for me, I liked playing with this racquet that has a lot of softness and a feeling of comfort is very present.
I had a very good sound with the Radical MP Auxetic, that I found a little more comfortable than the previous version, although the sensations are very close.
I found the Radical MP to be very comfortable, with very little vibration.
The tolerance is correct but lower than the other 2 racquets due to the 98 in² / 632 cm² head size.
I found the Gravity MP Auxetic more comfortable than the previous version, still with a bit of string vibration, you might want to use a string dampener.
The slightly rounded 100 in² / 645 cm² head size gives very good tolerance for off center shots.
The flexibility of the racquet means that on powerful shots hit at the top of the frame, you can slightly feel the frame deform, which is not the case with the other 2 racquets.
The comfort is therefore correct and I really loved playing with this racquet, I had excellent sensations overall, an excellent sound on impact, a nice "PAN" each time I centered the ball well! Really great feelings for me!
Here is a small summary of my personal sensations, to be taken with caution because the sensations often depend on each player.
I loved :
I least liked :
I loved :
I least liked the maneuverability of the racquet which was nice but which at the same time does not force me to be precise technically, particularly for the amplitude of my swings, their simplicity and the quality of my centering of the ball.
This racquet was a favorite, somewhat tempered when I played again with the Wilson Pro Staff X, a racquet that I did not include in this test because I classify it in another weight category with its 315 g unstrung.
The weight of the Pro Staff X:
I loved :
I least liked :