If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
That was the approach Head took with the updates in its Gravity line. The company was pleased with the initial generation of the franchise and wants to give the frames more time to take hold. So instead of tinkering with the formula, the racquets got a fresh coat of paint. Two coats, actually, as the unique flip design changes its primary colors from teal/coral to shades of violet/blue and green/yellow.
Which means the playability of the new Gravity Pro 2021 hasn’t changed from its predecessor. I familiarized myself with the frame again, and was quickly reminded of its merits. The teardrop-shaped head, unlike anything else offered by Head, gave the frame a distinctive appearance. But more than that it elevated and widened the sweet spot in the upper portion of the hoop where the modern player most frequently makes contact.
The composition of Graphene 360+ technology—graphene is placed at strategic locations around the frame for power and stability—with spiralfibers in the hoop resulted in a clean, comfortable feel at impact. Of all the graphene incarnations Head has rolled out, I found this one to produce the most satisfying feedback. Combined with the softer flex and a hefty swingweight—the Pro is the heaviest model in the family—there’s a solid, plush response that has become increasingly hard to find in modern releases. My ground strokes felt comfortable and connected with a near perfect ratio of backbone to forgiveness.
For a frame which oozes advanced players specs, the Gravity Pro was surprisingly friendly. It was still demanding, and off-center hits drew a noticeable penalty, but the sweet spot is large enough that it didn’t happen at an alarming rate. The ample swing weight gave shots plenty of depth and plow through. Yet, the thin, constant beam allowed it to cut through the air so that it fell short of being cumbersome. I could still play defense well enough until I found an opportunity to transition to offense. Along with the mass it gave the frame a rock-solid feel at impact. I absolutely loved it when returning serve—it handled incoming pace without a problem and could send it back with interest.
And with the 18x20 string pattern I could do it with excellent command over the ball. I could swing freely on any shot with confidence and I would regularly find my targets. It was the embodiment of dependability in terms of producing what I expected—both good and bad. With the tighter spacing, it was more suited to drive shots through the court with adequate work on the ball for safety, rather than a spin monster; although I could generate enough to create effective angles. Aggressive players should find it lively enough to play their natural game.
My first test with the frame I used a dead poly strung in the low 50s which accentuated the control aspects of the frame, if a little boardy feeling when struck imperfectly. My next go-round I dropped the tension into the 40s with a thinner, shaped poly and it widened the sweet spot and spin window. However, I wasn’t quite as steady or accurate with my targets, and would probably stick with the first setup. Still, the racquet is versatile enough that it could be strung either way—I think a hybrid would be great as well—and still be highly playable.
On serves it was sneaky fast, capable of picking up the occasional free point. Not a bomber, spot-on placement and high percentages were its primary assets. You can stun your opponent with a well-placed, flat serve and then inflict heavier damage with the follow-up shot—building a point until there’s an obvious opening to finish it. As with ground strokes, spin on kickers wasn’t overly nasty, but enough to keep opponents at bay.
This worked well because of the inherent versatility of the frame. It’s solid and dependable enough to exchange consistent, deep ground strokes before taking advantage of its feel to drop something short in the court. Or move forward to the net with the confidence it can deflect and control a hard-hit pass to put the volley where you want it. Again, it’s not the quickest through the air, but it’s just nimble enough that experienced net rushers should find it highly effective.
It’s a fine line when a racquet tries to strike the balance between old school feel and control and modern power and aggression. Usually the scales are tipped too unfavorably in one direction. But the Gravity Pro 2021 manages to pull off the feat with favorable results. It’s one of the best feeling Head racquets in quite a while, yet it doesn’t sacrifice stability in the process. It’s got just enough power to compete with the light, stiff and thick crowd, but beats them handily in the control department. If you’ve been searching for a classic-feeling frame with some modern flourishes, look no further than the Gravity Pro.