Alexander Zverev Racket & Strings (In-Depth Analysis)
Want to know exactly what Alexander Zverev’s racket and string setup is?
We’ve taken an in-depth look at Zverev’s racket to see what he’s using it and how it has contributed to his consistent brilliance.
How Does Alexander Zverev’s Racket and Strings Help Him Maintain Consistently Elite Tennis?
Beyond the traditional ‘big four’ (Murray, Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic) there are a small number of players waiting to take their place. Leading this group is Alexander Zverev. Hailing from Germany and standing at an impressive 1.89m (6’5”) tall Zverev has a glittering resume that is only missing a Grand Slam.
Zverev uses a combination of solid mechanics married to his intimidating height and wingspan for clinical effect and he has long used a version of Head’s Gravity racket to amass over $32m in prize money – the Head Gravity Pro.
Here we examine his racket and string to see how his choices complement his game.
Like many tour professionals, Zverev uses a ‘pro-stock’ version of Head’s retail offering, but whereas some pro-stock frames are radically different from their over-the-counter models, Zverev’s frame is almost identical.
The only real difference is that the German’s frame is much lighter which gives Head’s technicians a blank canvas for adding weight – both in terms of quantity and location to achieve the precise configuration suited to Zverev.
Most (if not all) ATP players use heavier set-ups and Zverev is no different. He has a liberal amount of lead tape added to the hoop with silicon injected into the grip for balance. This creates a more substantial feeling weapon with the added mass ramping up Zverev’s swing weight yielding a real heaviness to his shots.
Pro-stock frames cannot be bought from retail outlets, rather they are molds, often of much older models, that manufacturers hold for professionals who have very specific demands. Professionals have a heightened sense of what they need from a frame, desiring unique specifications and it’s not uncommon for today’s professionals to rely upon models that can be 10-20 years old because that design fits their game.
Manufacturers meticulously ensure that each racket issued to a professional is matched perfectly throughout their bag, with absolute consistency across key metrics such as weight, swing weight, and stiffness – something that cannot be guaranteed with retail frames where manufacturing tolerances are less precise. So, when it comes to cherry-picking the perfect frame irrespective of that model’s age, professionals enjoy both specificity and consistency.
The exact frame used by Zverev has the following specification.
Head: 100sq inch (645cm)
Weight: 343-grams (strung)*
Balance: 33cm (6-points head-light)
Stiffness (RA): 64
String pattern: 18×20
*As mentioned, Zverev achieves a high racket and swing weight largely because of the application of lead tape (and silicon) – should you wish to experiment to see how added weight impacts your frame our guide has you covered!
The standout metric when analyzing Zverev’s set-up is his monstrous swing weight – not something that club players should consider replicating. At 6’5” the man from Hamburg has long limbs that serve as huge levers, couple this with his naturally athletic build and we can see why he is able to generate the necessary head speed to make this type of swing weight work.
And the result? Super heavy groundstrokes and blistering serves that afford Zverev the option of pinning his opponent far back in the court.
Why does Zverev use this frame?
The Head Gravity line is not the flashiest of frames and could even be considered a sleeper when players are choosing their next racket. But what it lacks in pizazz it makes up for in its ability to let the player create the exact shots within their arsenal.
For many players, specifically those with a developed skill-set, who do not need help in any single area, such as generating spin or power, having what could be termed a ‘vanilla’ type of frame is liberating. It allows a player’s natural game to function without influence.
For Zverev, who uses the Head Gravity Pro, he has all the shots and ample power and undoubtedly likes that his racket does not unduly accentuate any one part of his game. Conversely, were he to use something like a Yonex VCore Pro or Head Extreme (spin-enhancing frames), these rackets would provide him with extra and unwanted spin so he would have to moderate his natural shot selection.
Furthermore, with an 18×20 string-bed, Zverev enjoys even more control at the expense of spin and it is fair to say that this racket is as neutral as it gets – ideal for someone with all the shots.
Head Gravity Profrom our Partners - Racquet Guys
Given the neutral flavor of Zverev’s frame, it is natural that he uses a complimentary string setup. And the tall German relies upon a hybrid mix of a stiff poly together with a soft, natural gut string.
To gain power and spin Zverev uses Head Hawk Touch (1.25) at 24kg tension in his mains, and this is balanced by using Babolat’s VS Touch in the crosses (1.3 at 25kg) to promote touch and feel.
Again, the theme of balance and neutrality is maintained and Zverev can allow his skill set to determine what type of shot is unleashed.
Why Does This Combination Work for Zverev?
A lot of players lean on their frames and strings to either compensate for weakness or enhance strength. If you struggle to generate spin there are many frames and strings that will help you. Conversely, if your game is built on finesse and guile, small frames and natural gut strings will greatly emphasize such qualities – if that is your thing.
For Alexander Zverev however, his choice of frame and string allows him complete control over his game without interference or influence. It is not for everyone, and most of us need a little help from our set-up, but for an accomplished player with a variety of shots at their disposal, this type of set-up provides the player with complete control over their shot choice and game style.
Thinking About Your Own Game
Manufacturers create a wide range of specific frames and indeed strings that tap into certain aspects of a player’s game. We can choose from spin-orientated frames, strings that generate power, or those that promote feel or forgiveness. Whatever you need, there is hardware for that purpose. But maybe we should consider the option of a setup like Zverev’s that is impartial.
This approach should only appeal to a small number of amateurs, but if you are a strong player with no clear weakness, a neutral, control-oriented racket will let you dictate shots on your terms.
It is an interesting concept, and one we like, for those prepared to lean heavily on their own ability. For the best advice in choosing the best racket and string for your specific game, check out our custom fitting service. We can help you find the perfect set-up to match your demands, just like Alexander Zverev.
Discover The Perfect Racket and Strings For Your Game With Our Famous Custom Fitting Service!
Jan 30, 2023 • Equipment Advice Shoes
5 Best Hard Court Tennis Shoes (Men’s & Women’s Top Picks)
Looking for the best hard court tennis shoes? We’ve put the best shoes to the test to find out which ones give you maximum performance on hard courts. Getting the best tennis shoes that fit your feet perfectly is a crucial part of making the most of your tennis game.…Read More
Sep 17, 2022 • Equipment Advice
Wilson Clash vs Head Gravity (Full Racket Comparison For 2023)
Picking the perfect tennis racket isn’t always easy for the recreational tennis player. There are so many brands out there to start with, then breaking those down into different model lines, and finally ending up with the correct weight, head size and exact racket you like is no easy task!…Read More