TENNIS.com gear editor Justin diFeliciantonio and his technical advisers answer your equipment questions each day. Click here to send in a question of your own.
I'm looking to replace my old Babolat AeroPro Drive Cortex racquet with something a little more specific to my style. I hit with a double-handed forehand and backhand. I generally hug the baseline and prefer to hit flat groundstrokes. Any suggestions as to what stick I should look at for my rather unorthodox forehand?—Sun
There really isn’t a hard-fast rule, Sun, as to what a player of your talents should use. Of course, as a baseliner, you should probably stick with a racquet similar to the AeroPro Drive, i.e., a stick with medium weight, a thick beam, and a close-to-even balance. (You may even want to stick with the AeroPro Drive itself.)
That said, if you're eager to test-drive something new, playtest racquets with longer-than-usual handle lengths, which should more comfortably accommodate your two-handed style. In this vein, consider the Prince EXO3 Warrior 100. During playtesting for this year’s gear guide, we found the Warrior to have a longer handle than most frames. And, appropriately enough, the playing characteristics of that stick are close to those of your Babolat.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling especially adventurous, think about trying out a few of the two-handled racquets from Natural Tennis, specifically the Battistone Freestyle and the Diamond, both of which utilize a grip configuration specially tailored for double-fisted play. While many players with more traditional games have balked at the idea of the two-handled racquet—of course, it’d be rather difficult to hit a Federer-esque one-handeder with such a tool—I imagine that a player of your abilities may flourish with it.