Head Prestige MP 2021 Racket Review
With this updated version of the Prestige MP for 2021, Head has upped the forgiveness and power of their most iconic control focused model. The naming conventions of the Prestige lineup have changed a bit since the previous generation, with the MP now representing the previously named ‘Prestige Tour’. In this case, MP stands for Main Performance rather than Mid Plus (don’t worry we’re just as confused as you)! Whatever they call it, this version of the Prestige promises to be more dialled in and user friendly than previous versions. The improved feel, power and stability over the previous generation make the Head Prestige MP 2021 better suited to an aggressive baseline game style, without losing any of that classic feel or control.
9out of 10
Head has added more weight to the Prestige MP and upped the swing weight as a result. The idea here is to give the racket more plow through, helping players to get more power from their ground strokes.
This has the benefit of adding stability to the racket whilst reducing unwanted vibrations that previously lighter versions could sometimes suffer from.
To remedy this, Head has also added a new technology called Auxetic to the throat of the racket. This carbon fibre based material actively responds to the contact you make with the ball and where it is in the string bed.
Whilst the flexibility and plush feel of the Prestige line up has been a characteristic feature of the model, adding a bit more weight and dampening to the racket has taken it to the next level.
You can generate more power with this version of the Prestige, due to the uprated force that gets transferred into your shots. But Head has not lost sight of the Prestige’s main attraction and retained a great deal of control and feel thanks to their technological upgrades.
One thing that should be taken into account is that this is definitely a racket that suits an intermediate to advanced level player. This is the most performance focussed racket in the 2021 Prestige line up and should be given the respect it deserves.
You need to be timing the ball and striking it cleanly to get the most out of this racket. Despite the added power due to the extra weight, it is not the most forgiving racket in the world, so beginners should go for something with a bit more margin for error.
That being said, I really got on well with the Head Prestige MP. The extra swing weight gives the racket a more rounded appeal, making it more suited to a wider audience of modern players.
This may sound a bit counter intuitive given that adding more weight to the racket should make it harder to swing and therefore more difficult to play with.
However, the extra pop that you get from the stick means rather than the Prestige MP mainly appealing to all court players that want that classic feel for when they rush into the net, baseliners will also enjoy the updated racket.
The racket pockets the ball really nicely thanks to its relatively flexible frame and adaptive materials. You can feel the ball lingering on the string bed longer than with a stiffer frame, which gives you that classic Prestige plushness.
The combination of comfort, control and extra weight of shot makes this one of the best performance rackets out there today.
The added weight also makes the racket more accessible to a baseline player that wants to dominate with heavy ground strokes from the baseline but also feels comfortable transitioning to the net.
This type of player would appreciate the added weight and stability of the 2021 Prestige MP, as it allows them to hit heavier compared to previous versions.
Bear in mind though that the extra power you get from the Head Prestige MP is generated from yourself more than it is the racket. The added weight will enhance long, fast swings and give them more power and spin.
But, if you have a slower, more compact swing you’ll most likely think the racket is way too underpowered and unforgiving. This is why the racket is geared towards intermediate to advanced level players that want to improve their game.
Again, the 2021 Prestige MP and I got on really well and this is definitely a racket I would recommend to a player that wants to blend control and feel with stability and sledgehammer-like power. Sure, it takes a bit of getting used to due to the higher swing weight, but once you get dialled in it is an absolute joy to hit groundstrokes with.
8.5out of 10
Volleys are another area that the Head Prestige MP does a great job of. You can place the ball exactly where you want it thanks to the sense of connection the racket gives you. The dense string pattern also adds to the control of the racket, again helping to dial in the precision.
The added weight does improve the stability of the Prestige MP. When you just want to redirect the ball with authority and get a solid volley past your opponent quickly, the racket feels reassuringly secure.
However, the downside of the higher swing weight is that the racket becomes a little less manoeuvrable than previous versions.
This is not so much of a problem if you are a confident net player that has great volley technique and is happy using the weight of the racket to redirect the ball.
But, if you are less of a strong volleyer that is seeking a bit more forgiveness from your racket and need something a little easier to swing, this version of the Head Prestige probably isn’t for you.
However, I enjoyed the crispness of the racket along with its ability to cushion and punch the ball well in equal measure. The weighty feel in the hand made it feel solid on contact and that gave me a lot more confidence when hitting through my volleys firmly.
8.5out of 10
On serve, the Head Prestige MP 2021 was a very accurate racket that also had a surprising amount of spin. The added weight gives you a lot more of a solid feel on contact, which is particularly satisfying on first serves.
The 18×19 string pattern also helps generate a fair amount of spin, helping you hit an all round heavier serve.
The Prestige MP’s precision is a real asset on serve. The ease of which I could find my serving targets was pretty impressive.
However, one area that the added weight could cause a problem is with tiring out your arm or shoulder. Even for an advanced player that has previously suffered from arm issues, this could be a bit of an issue when using this racket.
It is not a major drawback of the Prestige MP by any means, but definitely something to take into account. It is well worth testing this racket before going ahead and buying it, especially if you are not used to a racket with this kind of swing weight.
8out of 10
The control oriented nature of the Head Prestige MP 2021 makes it a solid performer when returning serve.
You can block the ball back accurately in order to nullify a big serving opponent, whilst the spin potential and stability make adding a bit more weight to your shots rewarding.
The Prestige MP doesn’t give you much in the way of easy power when returning, so if you are used to a frame with a more forgiving sweet spot and more pop, this may take some adjustment.
That being said, when you time the ball right and connect well, the ball is sent down the other end of the court with power, precision and spin.
You definitely need to be timing the ball well to make the most of this racket, particularly when returning serve.
Whilst the additional weight makes the Prestige MP a little more demanding to swing quickly, it more than makes up for it in additional punch. Time the ball well and you’ll be returning like Novak!
8.5out of 10
Overall, the Head Prestige MP 2021 is a great control oriented racket that has been tailored to suit the modern game. The addition of a heftier swing weight and better damping technology gives the racket a more baseline friendly set up whilst still retaining the classic Prestige feel.
The reduced manoeuvrability and whippiness that the 2021 model has over previous generations may not be the best of updates for some players.
But, if you are a performance player that needs a racket that will give out what you put in, the Head Prestige MP is a solid choice.
It rewards faster strokes with heavier shots and the control and feel that the racket is famed for makes it a great companion up at the net.
This makes the Head Prestige MP a perfect choice for the aggressive baseliner that likes to finish points off at the net and wants to take their game to the next level!
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