Novak Djokovic is one of the best tennis players that has ever walked the earth, and at the time of writing, is the world number 1. He’s won 16 Grand Slams over the course of his career so far; his dominating groundstroke game and phenomenal movement on court being some of the most recognizable sights in tennis.
Djokovic’s choice of equipment isn’t quite as interesting as his game! However, we do receive a large number of requests to bring you the equipment choices of the Top 10 (and also those of many rankings below), so we hope you enjoy this one.
Since we launched our own exclusive Custom Fitting Packages here at TheTennisBros.com, there seems to have been much interest sparked regarding the setups of the professional players, on tour. So, if there are any players (male or female) that you would like further information on, in terms of their exact equipment and specifications, feel free to shoot us a line!
Now, let’s take a look at Novak Djokovic’s racket and string.
Djokovic plays with a Head Radical LiquidMetal, however, according to online sources, there have been slight tweaks to his racket in the last year or so. As of 2019 (time of writing), he is using much less lead tape in the frame and is also using an extended length handle.
Those of you who are familiar with our reviews may have come across our extended length racket articles. The Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus review remains one of the most popular ones with our readers, due to the racket’s thick beam and 27.5-inch handle for monster power and spin.
Djokovic’s new handle length is believed to be 27.25 inches, however, which provides him with a small boost in power and spin, without being too overbearing.
Kei Nishikori, being a shorter player, is another guy on tour to utilise the 27.25-inch handle. Typically, amongst professional players, it does tend to be the smaller players that look to an extended handle due to their lack of leverage in creating free power on the serve. However, Djokovic is 6 foot 1, and not short at all. But then again, he’s never had a huge serve so the bonus power may be desirable.
There has been a great deal of secrecy around the great man’s exact racket specifications, especially since the changes last year, but here are the most current and accurate specifications that we have.
Racket: Head Radical LiquidMetal
Strung Weight: 359g
Lead Tape: Yes
Handle Length: 27.25 inch
Grip: Custom mold with side bevels extended. Head Calfskin replacement grip with two additional overgrips.
String Pattern: 18x19
Novak strings Babolat VS Team Natural Gut in the main strings at 59 lbs and Luxilon Alu Power Rough in cross strings at 56 lbs.
The natural gut main strings provide the most dominant response from the racket, offering oodles of power and silky levels of touch and feel. We’ve all seen Mr Djokovic hit crazy drop shots out of nowhere and from anywhere in the court with magical levels of touch. The elastic natural gut string allows him to find this sensitivity of touch with ease, as well as providing a welcome power boost on serve.
The polyester cross strings (Luxilon Alu Power Rough) help to reign in some of the elastic power of the gut by enhancing control as well as adding some durability to the stringbed. There are a few players on tour these days – Radek Stepanek comes to mind, who play with all gut. However, this is very “old school”. He is a very flat ball striker, however, so perhaps he doesn’t value the advanced topspin capabilities of the modern strings.
Almost all the professionals are now swinging full polyester setups or hybrid string combinations, like Djokovic. For the latter, it is often a case of testing between what you prefer – the gut or synthetic gut in the mains or the polyester.
Gut in the mains (Novak’s choice) will provide a more powerful response, whereas the polyester in the mains will provide a more control orientated response, but a little less powerful.
Check out our Online Custom Fitting Section if you would like help choosing the right strings and racket for your game.
Why Are These Combinations Good Choices For Novak?
Djokovic’s racket is extremely solid and weighty, even amongst professional players. Although not a good choice for the majority of tennis players out there, it works in devastating fashion in the hands of Novak.
Djokovic is one of the best baseline grinders of all time. He absorbs pace from the bigger hitters and rebounds the ball back, deep, through superior movement and reflexes. His heavy racket assists him with this by creating great plow through effect and enables him to deflect heavy spin with ease.
Baseliners, like Djokovic, typically prefer a full polyester setup to provide the highest levels of control. Think Andre Agassi, Nadal, Fognini, Kudla. All of these guys string with a full polyester setup. However, Djokovic opts for the hybrid combination.
Why? Probably for no other reason than he likes the feeling of it the best! Often, players can become overly technically minded and obsessed with which string “should” give them the best results, they forget to consider which feel they actually prefer!
Thinking About Your Game
We wouldn’t ever advise you to try and match Djokovic’s racket specs, thinking they are going to make you a better player. Not to sound negative, but they probably won’t, unless you possess his level of technique, strength and timing…
We would, however, suggest you give his stringing setup a try, at maybe a couple of pounds lower in tension. The gut mains/ poly crosses offer truly a sensational hitting experience!
Finally, if you’d like any help at all getting your equipment set up just right, we are here for you! Please get in touch and place an order with us through our Online Custom Fitting Services.
Article by: Tom