Improver racket review: Tecnifibre T-Fight 255
Originally published on: 25/07/13 00:00
After bringing you the latest range of rackets directed at advanced and intermediate players in our last two issues, now it’s the turn of those who haven’t quite shed the tennis L-plates to sit up and take note.
The improver models are not just beneficial to players who haven’t quite fine-tuned their skills, however. Juniors transitioning to adult-sized frames and older players, who may have played all their lives but who now lack the power they once possessed, can also profit.
The three things that distinguish a beginner model from an advanced frame are the weight, head size and thickness of the beam.
A lighter racket is much easier to manoeuvre around the court and while the majority of advanced frames will weigh in at over 300g, each of the improver rackets we tested were below 280g, with one even as low as 223g.
Bigger is better when it comes to the head size of a recreational racket because it means a larger sweet spot, which facilitates players on off-centre shots and miss-hits.
The head size of the bats we tested for this issue ranged from 100-118 square inches while the advanced models, which are used by players with greater precision, fell between 95 and 100 square inches.
As well as our testers, Phil Wheeler and James Turner of racket-specialists Wigmore Sports offered us their expert analysis on each frame. “With beginners we always try to identify the aspirations of the player,” Wheeler explains.
“For example, are they a member of a club? Do they have coaching? How often do they play? This helps because if a player plays two times a week and has coaching their ability to improve should be greater than someone who only plays twice a month with no coaching. This in turn affects their choice of racket.”
After testing nine improver frames at Dukes Meadows indoor courts in West London, here's our verdict on the Tecnifibre T-Fight 255.
Length: 27 inches
DA (stiffness): 65 points
Head size: 100 sq. in
String pattern: 16 x 20
Unstrung weight: 255g
What the experts say
This is particularly ideal for a developing junior. It has a midplus headsize with a medium frame flex to give good control and allows for improving technique. A lightweight racket for easy manoeuvrability.
What the testers say
The T-Fight 255 went down a treat with our testers and after much deliberation was voted the top improver racket of 2013. Bobby felt it was the easiest and most comfortable racket to swing. "I felt like the ball went where I wanted it to go with the T-Fight," he said. Jo also noticed the ease of the swing and added: “It had the best feel and control out of all the rackets tested. If I were to buy an improver frame tomorrow it would be this one.”
What the manufacturer says
The lightest racket in the T-Fight range: power, handling and respect for the physical integrity of young competitors. The best first price graphite racket for the U12 players. Essential step to pass from intermediary ball to standard ball on normal court.