Simona Halep Tennis Racquet Review
If you are an ardent women’s tennis fan, and you are looking for a source of inspiration other than Serena, then Simona Halep should be your model. She has proven herself consistently on the big stages, especially within the last decade. When any player is planning to feature at the grand slams or probably to feature in a WTA tour, then they must have her game studied for fear of meeting Simona on the field of play. Yes! That’s how big she is.
Simona is a Romanian who started playing professional tennis sometime around 2010. But not until later in 2017 that she made her first significant strides in women’s tennis. She won her two grand slams in 2018 and 2019. But in total, she has won 22 WTA singles titles and has also finished runner up another 17 times. Around this period of her dominance, Simona Halep ranked No. 1 on the WTA charts for a total of 64 weeks, the tenth highest in the history of women’s tennis.
Her consistency is quite admirable and at the same time worthy of emulation. Simona is one of the few pro women players out there you would find with a consistent hard and dominant style of play. She has a solid return record and often hits winners from a defensive position. This style of play would be intricate for most beginners to emulate. However, with a strong will and dedication, it is well achievable.
One of the ways to fast track one’s journey into being or playing like the pros is to get at least used to the racket specs they use. This is important because, to achieve some of the results we see on the court, it takes a combined technical effort of the player and a good mastery of the right racket. With that, let’s delve straight into today’s discussion; what racket does Simona Halep use?
Wilson Steam 99
Simona Halep plays with the Wilson Steam 99. This is not your everyday Wilson tennis racket as it is not a very common choice among players. Yet, it is a very professional racket in its specs and design generally.
The Steam 99 has a tweener frame with an unstrung weight of 10.7 ounces which is the right weight for a strong frame poised for good power hits. With a balance of 2 points headlight, it indicates that the racket is more balanced than most other weighty rackets. And that would be more demanding from the swing at 328, and you would need enough strength in the arm to consistently field this racket.
The swing weight and frame design favor power and maneuverability. The Wilson Steam 99 rightly has a 99 inches racket head size which contributes majorly to the control. But when you factor in the string pattern of 16 x 18, we observe that the design is excellent for spin production. And that’s about it when it comes to specifications from a racket. To seal the deal, this racket has a premium feel that makes it much easier to utilize. It’s the grip and comfort of the racket – using the Amplifeel 360, the racket handle is much comfier and easier to use.
In using this racket, many players fear the spin would get the ball out of their control. While this happens, it is not uncontrollable. When you factor in the reactivity of the stringbed, you would know to focus on hitting shots around the centre of the racket. That’s the right combination when you have to worry less about the power in your shots.
Head Size: 99 sq. in
Length: 27 inches
Weight: Strung — 11.3 oz Unstrung — 10.7 oz
Tension: 50-60 Pounds
Balance: 2 Points Head Light
Beam Width: 24 mm
Grips Type: Wilson Sublime
Power Level: Low-Medium
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 18 Crosses
- It generates more power on technical shots
- Easy access to spin
- Good blend of stability and maneuverability
- Comfortable feel
- The size and weight can be challenging for beginners to handle
- Some players complain of stiffness of the stringbed
Features and Benefits – Wilson Steam 99
You can’t talk of power and not reference the swing weight of the racket. The higher it is, the more likely the impact on the ball for making a shot. But as you don’t need to hit the ball anyhow it comes, you need it to go where you want. It means there is a need for some technicality even in playing those heavy shots. Most players prefer to use spin to balance out the force in the hit. This works fine for rackets that already have good spin just like the Wilson Steam 99 does.
When it comes to starting your game, you need to get it right. It often doesn’t seem like the serves matter, but they go a long way in any game. The serve more or less determines the psychology to follow through the game. How then do players take control of serves? It is mostly through powerful hits and technicality. When the serve is hit well into the area where the opponent can’t correctly respond, then the game is already tipped in your favor. However, to use this to your advantage the most, you need also to develop your serving skills.
The whale setup of the Wilson Steam 99 up until now is designed for the baseline player. However, let’s talk about playing at the net. Sometimes, this is even more difficult than it seems as the bulk of ball control comes from how easily you can maneuver the racket you are using. On the part of the racket, the Wilson Steam 99 offers good stability, and it still reacts well to hits.
Simona Halep makes use of a great piece of play gear. The racket is balanced and reacts well, even in the hands of amateurs. So, if you like the pattern of playing that this racket suits, you should make sure to get one for yourself and try it out soon enough.