Rafael Nadal's Tennis Racquet
One of the legendary players of the tennis game is Rafael Nadal who has been on the top of the ATP Tour since a decade and a half. This professional player has built a legacy for himself, and this has enticed fans all over the world.
One thing has remained the same with Rafael Nadal even with his continuous victories on the ATP Tour, and this is his tennis racquet. This racquet is the AeroPro Drive which was built for him by Babolat in the year 2004. Ever since then, this racquet has been serving Rafael, although slight changes have been made to it.
To get the racquet that looks like the one Nadal plays with, then the Babolat Pure Aero is the choice for you. It is readily available, and it is known to be the most spin-friendly racquet in the world.
Read through this review to know more about the excellent racquet.
Even though Babolat markets the latest Babolat Pure Aero as the weapon of choice for this player, Rafael Nadal still makes use of the older model with a new paint job.
Babolat Aeropro Drive Original is the actual racquet of this professional tennis player. This racquet is strung with Babolat RPM Blast Strings. Working directly with Babolat, the Aeropro Drive was explicitly developed for Rafael Nadal’s playing style.
Much time was taken for research to figure out how to maximize this player’s shot making ability, including his unique hitting style. Up to today, the Pure Aero is considered by most people to be the most spin-friendly racquet one can buy.
The Babolat AeroPro Drive Original comes with a head size of 100 square inches, a length of 27 inches, a strung weight of 11.3 ounces/320 g. It also comes with a balance of 6 points headlight, a swing weight of 290, stiffness of 72, a 16×19 string pattern and Syntec Grip.
With some customizations to suit Rafael Nadal playstyle, the racket has a balance strung of around 335mm, a strung weight of 12 ounces/34og and a 17g lead (12g at 12 and 5g in the handle). The grip also features Babolat Syntec Pro Black plus Babolat versus Original White. The grip also comes with the Babolat Custom Damp which serves as a dampener.
Some advantages are accrued to using the Babolat AeroPro Drive Original. These include:
- Comes with an extraordinary amount of spin- this because the racquet is strung with Babolat RPM Blast Strings, which are the thickest version of RPM Blast. And so offers excellent spin. Also, these strings are fairly stiff. Thus, they enable the racquet to deliver a firmer and controlled ball response.
- The unique shape of this racket being part of the AeroPro Line enables players to hit harder. It also enables them to gain more power. These properties they get in their gameplay at the reduced effort.
- It is a perfect racquet for intermediate and above players who feel comfortable playing with racquets that come with the small sweet spot.
The demerit of this racket is:
- Not beginner-friendly; this is because it not arm-friendly. Also, when you hit outside the sweet spot, the racquet will be quite harsh on you.
Features and Benefits – Babolat Pure Aero
Apart from the modifications done over time to the Babolat AeroPro Drive Racquet, there are some features which makes it suitable for a pro like Rafael Nadal. These features include:
AERO MODULAR TECHNOLOGY
The Babolat AeroPro Drive racquet is one of the fastest frames available largely because of the Aero Modular Technology. This technology involves the incorporation of a design that is more aerodynamic by nature with varying beam widths of 23mm, 24mm and 26mm at the throat, the shaft and the head of the racquet.
This design helps to reduce air resistance in the right places. This feature leads to a 15% increase in maximum air penetration while maintaining excellent ball control. Ultimately, the player enjoys faster swings. The faster swings from this racquet make it a perfect choice for aggressive baseliners who likes ploughing through their shots while in the backcourt, with a bonus of directional influence.
Even Nadal makes use of this aggressive baseline approach, relying on agility, consistency and heavy topspin groundstrokes to win most of his points. This is most likely why this racquet was designed with him in mind.
The increased air penetration also helps to expand the range of angles and trajectories you are capable of delivering the ball.
The dynamic system located in the grommets, which helps players interact with their shots more is Woofer Technology.
The Babolat AeroPro Drive racquet depends on a pulley and piston system. This system helps to increase the duration of the ball impact (about 25% longer ball contact). This feature gives the strings the freedom to move around (instead of being stuck in a place as seen in a normal racquet frame). Thus, the entire surface area reacts on impact.
Ultimately, this feature results in added spin and increase in trampoline effect. It also gives a larger sweet spot size and absorption of more shock throughout the string bed. This technology is the reason for the high amount of spin this racquet produces.
CORTEX SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY
Another feature of Rafael Nadal’s tennis racquet is the Cortex System Technology. This feature involves a unique handle design which helps to filter out excessive vibrations produced on ball impact while ensuring maximum ball feel.
This system effectively removes the higher frequency of bad vibrations. Ultimately, it improves your comfort levels when playing the tennis game. Thus, you can be sure of great comfort even when you are producing lots of force behind your shots.
Ultimately, you get a perfect and accurate hit every time as this feature allows for added control over your game.
With the features of the Babolat AeroPro Drive Original Racquet, it is, without doubt, a well suited for fast swinging, aggressive baseline play. The more reason it is the choice of Rafael Nadal. Also, with the heavier swing weight and the added length of this racquet, it offers plenty of stability from all areas of the court.
These and more benefits of this racquet make it a desirable product for intermediate and advanced tennis players. But, getting the brand new version of this racquet is quite impossible as it’s a customized version for Rafael Nadal.