In my experience, the best place to purchase Tennis equipment or apparel is Midwest Tennis located at 11613 Reading Rd, Cincinnati, OH. This is primarily an internet re-seller of Tennis equipment and apparel, but they have a giant show room and frequently have extra inventory, clearance items, demo racquets for sale, and an great deals. You will save money as opposed to your traditional sporting goods stores and you’ll get great equipment.
Many people mistakenly use running shoes for Tennis. I highly suggest you purchase a good set of tennis shoes. You will be stopping, starting, and moving laterally – similar to basketball. You need to have good heel and lateral support or you risk injuring yourself. While there are plenty of guides out there to tell you which one is the best, the fact is all of them are good. You pay a premium for style. Just make sure they are comfortable and provide proper width and support.
One more thing about running shoes – you mark up the courts. In the event that budget is an issue, basketball shoes will work just fine.
Number of Racquets
I suggest you have two identical racquets strung at the same tension with the same strings. If this is not necessarily feasible from a budget standpoint, you should have at least have TWO racquets with you at all matches. If you are concerned about budget, you can go to Midwest Tennis and search their demo racquets for sale. You can get these about 1/2 price and they are perfectly fine.
Type of Racquet
Type of racquet depends on your skill level. Here is the general rule of thumb:
- Larger racquet heads provide a larger sweet spot for beginner to intermediate players. A larger sweet spot means that the likely hood of mis hits are much lower. These tend to be less expensive.
- Smaller racquet heads (98-90 sq. inch) are designed for intermediate to advanced players. Provides more control and power, but you need to be able to hit the ball dead on.
- Racquet Weight – Lighter racquets help with spin. Heavier racquets help with power.
- Strings – Looser the Tension is designed for power and spin. Tighter the tension is designed for control. There are thousands of strings out there for you to choose from. Typically, a good synthetic gut string will work. If you are a beginner string your racquet a little tighter than the mid point of the recommended tension for each racquet.
At the end of the day, take some time to try out different racquets and find one that you are comfortable with.
- Tennis Bag or Insulted Bag – Never a bad idea to have a bag to keep racquets insulated particularly in cold weather conditions. Weather extremes can have an impact on your racquet strings.
- Racquet Grip Tape – It is always a good idea to grip your racquet with a sweat absorbing grip. Simple Tournagrip or something similar will do just fine.
- Towel – You’ll want a towel to absorb sweat particularly in heat.