The first thing that stands out about the new Gravity Pro is the teardrop-shaped head. It’s unlike anything else currently offered by Head and gives the frame a distinctive appearance. As does the flip design cosmetic—teal coloring on one side, coral on the other. The latter is purely for aesthetics, but the former is intended to elevate and widen the sweet spot in the upper portion of the hoop where the modern player most frequently makes contact. It’s part of the effective construction that made the Gravity Pro one of the best playtests I’ve encountered from a Head frame in recent memory.
The Pro is the heaviest member of the brand-new Gravity family. It’s composed with Graphene 360+ technology—graphene is placed at strategic locations around the frame for power and stability, while spiralfibers in the hoop encourage a cleaner 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 of the Gravity, there’s a solid, plush response that have escaped recent models which could feel hollow and sterile. My shots 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 also 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 racquet possessed ample swing weight, giving shots plenty of depth and plow through. Yet, the thin 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 static mass it gives 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 felt like I could swing freely on any shot with confidence I would find my targets consistently. It was the embodiment of dependability in terms of producing what I expected—both good and bad. With the tighter spacing, this kind of frame is 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 just enough to create some effective angles.
My first test with the frame I used a dead poly strung in the low 50s which really accentuated the control aspects of the frame, if a little boardy when struck imperfectly. My next go-round I tried dropping the tension into the 40s with a thinner, shaped poly and it opened up the sweet spot and spin window even more. I wasn’t quite as steady or accurate with my targets, and would probably stick with the first set-up. Still, the racquet is adaptable enough that it could be strung either way—I think a hybrid would be great as well—and still be highly playable.
Its roots are in control, but aggressive players should be able to find just enough power to play their natural game. It was sneaky fast on serves, capable of picking up the occasional free point. As with ground strokes, spin on second serves wasn’t overly nasty, but enough to keep opponents at bay. But it’s primarily not a bomber, offering up spot-on placement and high percentages as 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.
This worked well because of the inherent all-court 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 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. Accomplished players searching for a classic-feeling frame with some modern flourishes, need look no further than the Gravity Pro.