If you’re a tennis lover, you must have heard of Nadal – he’s one of the Legendary 3 with extremely outstanding achievements. Thus, every detail about his equipment and accessories is hot news to many people. If you’re also a fan of Nadal and want to know more about Nadal racquets, today’s post is for you.
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What Racket Does Rafael Nadal Truly Use?
If you’re a tennis lover, it’s common knowledge that Nadal is the brand ambassador of Babolat. Indeed, he has represented the Babolat Pure Aero, one of the best-selling tennis rackets on the marketplace, for years.
Due to his popularity, the product has become so widespread that you could go to any open tennis facility and spot at least one of these rackets in practice.
While Nadal’s racket shares the comparable design and looks similar to the most recent Pure Aero, he utilizes a pro series racket, the Babolat AeroPro Drive Original.
Nadal and Babolat AeroPro Drive Original have established a vital connection as they’ve been through many life and career stages.
Indeed, this famous player has been using his racket since 2004, with the only modification being the introduction of extra weight, which we’ll discuss further in the section below.
Is Nadal A User Of Babolat Connected Play Racquets?
Babolat introduced their Connected tennis rackets in 2014, which included a device integrated inside the butt cover. This sensor gathered various statistics that players might utilize to analyze his (her) performance, and many people praised it as a fascinating concept.
Although Nadal is a significant part of the advertisements, it seems like he has never employed this racket in a tournament-level game.
So, how is the racquet doing now, 7 years later? It is a disappointment. This innovation is not in any lines of Babolat nowadays, as they have dispatched this technology to the dustbin of history.
How so? While it received a lot of attention, it never truly gained sales due to the high cost and technical difficulties for those buying it. Thus, while the statistics it provided were helpful, it rapidly became tedious for most gamers and was simply a gimmick.
What Are The Technical Specifications of Nadal’s Aero Pro Drive Original Racket?
Nadal has been using the AeroPro Drive Original since 2004, although he has adjusted a few tweaks throughout the seasons. His present racket specs are as below:
- Head: 100 in²
- Length: 27 inches
- Weight (Included Strings): 343 grams
- Balance: 33.5 centimeters
- Swing Weight: 360
- String Dimensions: 16×19
- Dampener: Yes
- Handle Design: Babolat Syntec Pro Black with Babolat VS Original White Overgrip
- Handle Dimensions: 4 ¼ inches (L2) + Overgrip
- Stiffness: 72
Nadal’s racket (343g) is the most lightweight of the Big Three Stars. Indeed, Roger Federer‘s RF97 weighs around 357g, while Novak Djokovic’s racket weighs 353g.
How Has Nadal’s Racket Specifications Changed During His Career?
As a competitor, Nadal used the Soft Drive, followed by the Pure Drive throughout his earlier days. After that, in 2004, Babolat introduced the Aeropro Drive, which they practically built for him.
In 8 years, the racket stayed unaltered, but in 2012, as Djokovic came to the fore, Nadal felt that he needed to put more on the game to win. As a consequence, the racquet’s head gained 3 extra grams.
Later, in 2017, extra 2 grams got introduced to the same spot, and Nadal still uses that standard.
During the five years of adjustments, Nadal also tried to change tennis rackets several times. In 2015, the Spaniard competed at the beginning of the clay season using a Pure Aero experimental frame featuring the FSI drill design. Yet, before the French Open, he returned to his regular racket.
What Size Handle Does Nadal Racquet Utilize?
Nadal utilizes an L2 handle, and even if he applies an overgrip to his racket, it’s still a short handle for a 6ft tall player.
The reason for this is due to how the sport has evolved. In the 1970s, thicker handles were the trend due to the fantastic and effective combination of the continental grip and a bulky handle.
With spin taking charge, a narrower grip design improves topspin formation and makes the racket simpler to operate in the hands.
The only significant disadvantage of a narrower grip is on volleys when you’ll notice Nadal holding the racket considerably higher up towards his neck while he’s at the net.
Why Does Nadal Use The AeroPro Drive?
Nadal’s style centers on powerful spins, and his skill and grip allow him to generate high RPMs on the ball.
And the AeroPro Drive is the ideal selection to achieve that goal. Indeed, it possesses an aerodynamic structure boasting an unrestricted, spin-friendly 16 x 19 string arrangement that cuts through the air like butter.
Besides the spins, there isn’t much more to mention in this racket’s construction. Sensation and feel aren’t things you’ll get in an Aero Pro Drive, and considering that Nadal’s style only gets him forward for the simple put-away. Also, as he doesn’t employ drop shots or slices very much, such criteria aren’t unnecessary.
What Strings Does Nadal Utilize?
Since 2010, Nadal has utilized a tailored polyester string called Babolat RPM blast 15L gauge/1.35mm. Previously, he had been using Duralast and Pro Hurricane Tour.
For additional power, Nadal reportedly turned to Luxilon Big Banger Original 130 at the beginning of 2016.
While the string provided greater power, Nadal found he lacked control since the strings moved excessively (getting more spaced out), and he quickly returned to the Babolat RPM Blast configuration.
Unlike different players, Nadal does not vary his strain over the years or according to the circumstances, stringing his mains and crosses at 55 pounds.
Apart from the lead strip, his frame has no additional modifications, including power cushions, silicone, or strand protectors, and so on.
The Nadal racquet has always been a big thing when it comes to tennis fans and tennis players. Hopefully, today’s post has provided you with enough information regarding this tennis legend’s racket and satisfied your curiosity. Off we go!