A fairly reliable index of racquet quality is the ratio Mr²/I, which in spreadsheet cell formula is [(M*r²)/I]. The variables in this ratio are the published racquet specifications for strung and gripped racquets. M is the racquet mass, in kilograms (e.g. 320 grams = 0.320 kg), r is the distance, in centimeters, from the butt to the balance point, and I is the swingweight about the standard 10 cm axis of rotation used for published swingweight measurements.

This site cannot be updated frequently enough to keep up with the new racquet models, so this quality index should be used for judging the new stuff. In the 2002 survey, when ranked by this index, 104 of the 167 racquets were within 10 places of their Expert ranking, and at most off by 31 at the extreme. The average ranks were almost the same. Using this formula, index values of 1.10 or less are good; 1.18 or more are bad. This index will quickly evaluate new racquets which have not been ranked yet here. Tennis Warehouse is a good source for new racquet specs.

For example, the Prince Graphite Classic OS has a mass of 348 grams, a balance of 30.8 cm, and a swingweight of 335, according to the USRSA database. Plugging these values into the formula:

Mr²/I = (0.348*30.8²)/335 = 0.985

This value, or quality index, of 0.985 is extremely low, therefore good, consistent with the top rank of this racquet in the Expert rankings. Other racquets rank as follows:

Different racquets often play and feel different. One aspect of these differences is how they interact with your arm. They can be comfortable to play with, or using them can create sensitivity in your wrist, elbow, and/or shoulder. These differences are thought to be caused by the mass (weight) of the racquet, the balance point, the swingweight, and the flex.

It is a difficult process to determine which racquets are going to be best for any given person. This estimator will give you a rough idea about whether a particular racquet is likely to be comfortable or not.

If you don’t have the basis measurements for your racquet, check to see if these specifications have been published by the USRSA. The easiest way to do this is by selecting the racquet of interest in the Racquet Specs On-Line, and then reading the specifications.

Enter Your Racquet’s Specifications

Mass in grams gm
Balance in centimeters cm
Swingweight kg·cm²
Quality Index (lower is better)

Notes

Quality Index Distribution

Of 663 racquets for which USRSA has specifications (gathered using a Babolat Racquet Diagnostic Center), the average estimated Quality Index is 1.1224. The breakdown in scores is as follows:

Quality Index No. of Racquets
.87 1
.95 1
.96 1
.97 3
.99 4
1.00 7
1.01 4
1.02 6
1.03 13
1.04 15
1.05 28
1.06 23
1.07 31
1.08 34
1.09 26
1.10 40
1.11 33
1.12 37

1.13 41
1.14 54
1.15 40
1.16 42
1.17 45
1.18 25
1.19 27
1.20 23
1.21 20
1.22 11
1.23 5
1.24 3
1.25 6
1.26 5
1.27 4
1.29 1
1.32 1
1.33 1
1.37 1
1.41 1
Total Racquets 663