Lightning speed, relentless pressure and a flash of blonde hair are all iconic to Belgian, David Goffin. Although not one of the biggest hitters on tour, he can still hit hard off both the forehand and backhand wings as well as hitting a flat serve up to around 125mph.
His strokes are silky-smooth and his footwork is perfection, but how does Goffin’s choice of equipment affect his game? This article will delve into all the technical aspects of his racket and string setup, whilst also giving you an insight into how choosing the correct racket and string could have a huge impact upon your own game.
David Goffin uses the Wilson Blade 98 (18x20). Here, at TheTennisBros.com, we are a big fan of this racket and gave it a very positive review during our testing! The racket didn’t blow us away in terms of power, but it did provide sublime levels of control and pinpoint precision when attempting difficult targets.
As a man who values consistency so predominantly on court, we can see why Goffin enjoys the control-orientated response from the Blade 98. Although he, as we previously mentioned, doesn’t have the firepower, of say, Nick Kyrios, Goffin has superb technique and enough of his own natural power not to need any additional help from a racket in this department.
For those unsure about what I just said, rackets come in a variety of power levels. Rackets like the Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus are nothing short of rocket launchers for tennis balls, whereas, a racket like the Wilson Pro Staff offers a much more muted, deadened response from the stringbed.
Finding the racket that offers a suitable level of power is essential to professional players and amateur players, alike. Often, this depends on how much natural power a player already possesses.
For example, a player like John Isner is unlikely to choose a racket like the Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus in the future, that would give him a huge amount of “free power”. Instead, he’ll always be likely to choose a racket that allows him to find his targets with pinpoint precision.
There are always exceptions, however! Andy Roddick used a beefed up Babolat racket and could serve over 140mph with ease!
Speaking of the Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus, this is an extended length racket – 27.5 inches instead of the regular 27 inch length of a tennis racket. Most players on tour under 6 feet tall tend to be swinging these extended length frames, but Goffin, at 5 feet 11 inches tall, does not.
It’s also important to point out that any racket out there can be customised to have a longer handle, but Goffin has always opted out of this feature, instead favouring control. Who knows, perhaps he will experiment with this in the future, but I know I’d be reluctant to change anything in my own equipment if I had reached the top 10 in the world!
Goffin’s Racket Specs
Unfortunately, his actual racket specs have no been made clear. If you do a quick search online on the forums you’ll probably come across users commenting that he plays with the shop version of the Blade 98.
At TheTennisBros.com, it’s our belief that this is probably not true. It is likely that he is playing with a customized version of this racket, albeit with minor tweaks.
David Goffin is a big fan of the Luxilon string family and strings his Wilson Blade with Luxilon Alu Power 16 at around 48lbs in tension. We’ve tested virtually all of the Luxilon strings via our website and can vouch for the superb, control orientated properties of the Alu Power range.
Being a baseline player as opposed to a serve-volleyer, most predominantly, Alu Power is a great choice for Goffin, allowing him to rip the ball with confidence; knowing it’s is likely to find the right side of the line.
Some players on tour today play with a hybrid of polyester strings in the mains or crosses, paired with a natural gut string on the opposing side. However, a huge number of players, especially some of the young players coming up, are using a full bed of polyester strings. Goffin opts for the latter option, providing him with oodles of spin with controlled power.
Why This Combination is Effective
To put this in simplistic terms, Goffin is playing with a relatively low powered racket and string combination. Its effectiveness lies in the fact that David is comfortable enough in his own technique and strength levels to generate enough power to hit through his opponent without too much additional help from the technology. Therefore, enabling him to hit key areas on the court with precision and consistency.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, this helps him to maintain accuracy under pressure.
One of our Tennis Bros, Lawrence, plays with the Babolat Pure Aero Tour, which is a very powerful racket, indeed. However, in some of his articles on the site, he often comments on how much he loves the racket and its incredible power, yet under pressure, sometimes finds himself in hot water.
This can sometimes be the downside of favouring such a high powered racket setup, but try telling that to Rafa Nadal – the poster boy for the Aero and Babolat in general!
Thinking About Your Own Game
We would never normally advise you to go out and copy, directly, a professional player’s setup who have (we assume) superior strength and technique. However, in the case of David Goffin’s equipment choice – especially as we have not been able to divulge his exact racket specs, we’d actually recommend you do go out and give his racket and string combination a try! This would be especially beneficial to you if you are looking some more accuracy and control in your game.
If you would like more help finding the perfect racket and string for your game, check out our popular Custom Fitting Packages, where we help you to play the best tennis of your life through your equipment!
Article by: Tom