Which racket and string setup does Dominic Thiem use? We hear you ask! Before we tell you though, ask yourself why you want to know…
Even amongst professional players, there is an enormous variety in choices of racket and string tension alike. I would even go as far to say that there could be considerably more variety than amongst amateur players!
It’s important to remember that what might be right in terms of equipment for Dominic Thiem’s game may not be right for yours, so it’s always best to look at a wide variety of players when searching for inspiration with your racket and string setups. Also, remember Dominic is one of the best players in the world, possessing unbelievable strength and technique to help him fully utilise his personal set of equipment.
With that now in mind, lets take a look at Dominic Thiem’s equipment!
Thiem uses the 18 x 20 Babolat Pure Strike with additional lead tape at 3 and 9 o’clock and silicon in the handle. The actual specs of the racket haven’t been made clear, but we believe the racket to weight around the 337g mark (strung), have a 345g swingweight and a 33cm balance.
Will, from our website, is our poster boy for the Babolat Pure Strike range, so to speak! (Although, sorry to disappoint ladies, we don’t have a picture of him in his underwear yet, posing by a pool with a racket under his arm.)
You can check out his review of the Pure Strike 18 x 20, here. He’s a big swinging leftie and the Pure Strike helps him to swing big and also keep the ball in the court, whilst unleashing massive spin and power.
We can certainly see why Dominic Thiem enjoys this as his racket of choice. You only have to watch him play for a few minutes to see he is putting an unbelievable amount of energy into every shot he hits. Thiem murders the ball and possesses an extremely heavy, whippy forehand loaded with RPMs. On the backhand side, he can also generate great racket head speed, often hitting winners on the run, or stepping in to deliver the final, lethal blow to his opponent.
In contrast to something like the Babolat Pure Drive, the Babolat Pure Strike helps to reign a little bit of that energy in, without sacrificing too much power and spin. Consequently, this helps Thiem to essentially point and shoot.
A racket like the Pure Drive or the Pure Drive Tour Plus (+) already bring a lot of their own power to the table, and since Thiem has this already, those combinations would not bode well.
To further enhance the effect of the more control orientated Pure Strike, Thiem has opted for the 18 x 20 pattern as opposed to the 16 x 19. Again, the 18 x 20 option provides the highest levels of control and the least access to spin. Since Dominic produces enough spin already, actually a huge amount of it with his own technique, he doesn’t need any additional help from the racket.
Interesting Note: Thiem used to be sponsored by Head, so it’s also interesting to note that he has his old handle moulded to the racket.
Remember huge hitter, Andy Roddick? He was the same. Obviously, he was never sponsored by Head, but he had the same handle since childhood. This may seem like such a minor point, but to professionals it can actually bring something to their game in terms of marginal gains.
If you think about it, the handle is the closest part of our body to come into contact with the racket, so it’s important that this feels right to the player.
Thiem uses Babolat VS Touch Natural Gut in the main strings and Babolat RPM Blast Rough in the crosses.
If you’ve paid close attention to the beginning of my article, where I describe Dominic Thiem as an insanely powerful athlete, you are probably wondering why he would need an additional power boost from the natural gut string he has chosen to string in the mains of his racket. You can read our reviews of natural gut strings and their benefits, here.
Additionally, he tends to sit on the baseline; preferring to hit a heavy ball from the back of the court, rather than serve-volleying often, like someone such as, Roger Federer or big John Isner.
Natural gut strings deliver touch and feel in oodles, and although Thiem also has incredible touch (as do all professional players), it isn’t what his powerhouse game is built upon.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Thiem would play some unbelievable tennis with a polyester setup like RPM Blast 16 at say, 57 lbs. This would complement his fiery racket head speed well; the slick polyester string also complementing the heavy spin he can already generate.
In the past, Thiem has also experimented around with the gut in the crosses and polyester in the mains. During my testing, I found that this offered a slightly similar response to the full polyester setup, with an additional power boost and a little more comfort. However, I wasn’t overly impressed with the levels of spin it delivered.
I think this is the main reason that Thiem strings natural gut in the mains. In our opinion at The TennisBros.com we feel the gut in the mains, sliding across the polyester cross strings can provide a little more access to spin than stringing the opposite way. There’s also the added bonus of additional comfort, which, maybe, Thiem likes.
It’s unusual to see such a spin orientated player using natural gut in the mains of their racket these days, with full polyester setups providing such formidable levels of control, but perhaps it just feels right to him! With a player as talented as Dominic Thiem, you get the impression he could make any combination of racket and string work for him.
Article by: Tom