Wilson Blade V9

Extended tennis racquets / longbody tennis racquets

What is an extended tennis racket?

What are the advantages that can be expected?

What are the disadvantages to watch out for?

What kind of player can use this kind of racket?

I answer all these questions in this article!

At the end of the article you will also find a list of extended rackets currently on sale and a list of professional players who use or have used extended rackets.

Extended tennis racquets

The typical length of an adult tennis racquet is 27 inches (68.58 cm).

An extended tennis racquet is one that is longer than 68.58 cm.

In general, extended tennis racquets measure between 68.8 cm and 71 cm.

These are racquets that are about 1 cm longer than the standard length.

Longbody" or "XL" racquets are generally referred to as being longer than 69 cm.

This may seem like a small change, but in the case of a tennis racquet, it is a significant difference that will have a fairly clear impact on the feel of the game.

Extended racquets are longer than their equivalent full-length model in the handle, the rest of the racquet keeps the same as the classic model.

This does not mean that all racquets longer than 68.5 cm have a longer than normal handle; some lightweight racquets with a large headsize are only available in an extended version and in this case the handle is not necessarily longer than normal.

Possible advantages of an extended tennis racquet

The interests of extended tennis rackets can be the following:

  • power gain by increasing the swingweight,
  • we can consider that this power gain is more "natural" than using a racquet with a high stiffness, especially for extended racquets with a weight lower than 300 grams, which can help for the power despite the slightly reduced weight,
  • a little more reach, for all shots, but especially on serve to hit the ball a little higher,
  • more space on the handle for those who use a two-handed backhand,
  • more stability,
  • better feel of the ball going through at impact,
  • counterbalance a high grip on the handle; so if you are used to holding the racquet with your hands a little high on the handle, it will be the same as having a classic length racquet with a low grip.

The point is that you don't lose power by placing your hands a little high.

Michael Chang was one of the first professional tennis players to use an extended tennis racquet , which measured 28 inches (about 71 cm) instead of the standard 27 inches.

According to him, this racquet allowed him to gain about 10 mph on his serve, have a higher percentage of first serves and serve more aces, all without hindering the rest of his game.

The disadvantages of extended tennis racquets

An extended racquet can have advantages, but be aware of the following disadvantages for some players:

  • reduced maneuverability,
  • loss of swing speed,
  • more difficult for short and fast strokes,
  • more difficulty with one-handed backhands, especially on high balls,
  • risk of injury,
  • a period of adaptation may be necessary to find the right swing rhythm and good placement in relation to the ball.

Extended tennis racquets, for which players?

The main interest is a gain of power, but be careful, no miracle, the priority remains to have a good technique.

This should be considered as an additional help.

Moreover, depending on the player, a longer racquet can be a handicap rather than an advantage, because of the reduced maneuverability.

Finally, how do you know if you can enjoy the benefits of a longer tennis racquet and not be handicapped by the longer than normal length?

Watch the length of the racquet you buy

My first piece of advice is this: before you buy a new tennis racquet, check the length of the racquet and don't choose an extended racquet at random, especially if the racquet weighs 300 grams or more.

If in doubt, stick with a classic length of 68.58 cm / 27 inches.

Test the racquets

When in doubt about the choice of a tennis racquet, there is no other solution than testing to see how it feels to play.

Level of play

Players of all levels can use extended racquets, but when these racquets have a weight of more than 300 grams, it is in my opinion more suitable for advanced players.

Game style

I would recommend extended racquets to players who have large and loose swings and are used to using the weight of the racquet to find power.

Be careful if you play a lot with arm strength, trying to make small and fast swings.

On the other hand, this kind of racquet seems to me more suited to two-handed backhands than one-handed ones, but it's not impossible; Richard Gasquet, Tommy Robredo and Justine Hénin, who have an excellent one-handed backhand, use an extended racquet.

This kind of racquet can be interesting for small players with a good level of play and physical qualities, in order to gain some power.

This kind of racquet is also interesting for strong tall players to have even more power.

My personal experience

Personally, I played a few years with a rare extended version of the Head Prestige MP that weighed 345 grams strung (very heavy).

I had good power on groundstrokes when I was in relatively easy situations.

On the other hand, on the serve, which was a weak point technically, and on the baseline in emergency situations, it bothered me:

  • loss of power,
  • loss of swing speed,
  • lack of maneuverability,
  • muscle fatigue, especially on the one-handed backhand on a high ball.

I didn't test this racquet long enough and in retrospect it didn't fit my game.

Be sure to test this type of racquet before purchasing, especially if the weight is high.

Again, this kind of problem is strongly related to the weight of the racquet, there is much less risk with light racquets.

List of commercially available extended racquets

Tennis racquet brands have in their range some specific extended models or which are variations of the classic length model.

There are models in all weight ranges, for players of all levels.

Not all racquets are available in extended versions.

Here is a link to a list of adult tennis racquets that are longer than 68.58 cm: extended tennis racquets.

Professional players using extended racquets

I don't have precise statistics about the use of extended racquets among professional players.

Nevertheless, here is a list of pro players who use or have used extended racquets:

  • Andreas Seppi
  • Andy Roddick
  • Benoit Paire
  • Bernard Tomic
  • Caroline Wozniacki
  • Daniel Hantuchova
  • David Ferrer
  • David Nalbandian
  • Diego Schwartzman
  • Dudi Sela
  • Elina Svitolina
  • Eugenie Bouchard
  • Fabrice Santoro
  • Jelena Ostapenko
  • Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
  • John Isner
  • Juan C. Ferrero
  • Juan M. Del Potro
  • Jurgen Melzer
  • Justine Hénin
  • Kei Nishikori
  • Mardy Fish
  • Maria Kirilenko
  • Marion Bartoli
  • Nikolay Davydenko
  • Novak Djokovic
  • Pablo Andujar
  • Philip Kohlscreiber
  • Richard Gasquet
  • Sam Querrey
  • Serena Williams
  • Thanasi Kokkinakis
  • Tommy Robredo
  • Venus Williams