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Rafael Nadal’s Tennis Racquet 2023

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Rafael Nadal will go down in history as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. On hard court, it’s up to debate if he is better than players like Federer and Djokovic, but on clay , there is no arguing that Nadal is the greatest of all time.

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Nadal have not only established himself as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but also as one of the most loved and popular athletes on this planet. With all the popularity and success on court, many asks, what racquet Nadal uses to compete at the very highest level. That’s what I will go through in this post.

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What racquet does Rafael Nadal use?

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Rafael Nadal currently plays with the original Babolat Aero Pro Drive from 2005, which is under a paint job of the Babolat Pure Aero. Nadal strings his racquet with Babolat RPM Blast 15L.

Why Is Nadal’s Racquet Painted Like Something Else?

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The main reason for painting Nadal’s racquet to look like the newest version of the Babolat Pure Aero is for marketing. If people see that one of best players of all time plays with the new Pure Aero, they would also consider buying that racquet.

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Since, Nadal uses a racquet that was produced back in 2005, it’s no longer produced by Babolat and pretty much impossible to find a new one today. If everyone knew that Nadal played with a racquet from 2005, not as many people would consider buying one of the newer racquets. If one of the greatest player of all time uses a 15 year old racquet, why would I as a consumer even bother buying a new one?

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A very smart move from a sales perspective. However, if it’s right or not is up to debate. Since, they are in-directly marketing a racquet that isn’t what it looks like.

Specs of Rafael Nadal’s Racquet

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The Babolat AeroPro Drive Original doesn’t have any of the new technologies, it is more like a pure graphite construction with an Aero beam. Compared to the newer versions of the aero line, the launch angle is significantly lower and with an RA rating of 72 unstrung, the racquet is everything else than arm-friendly

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Here is the original specs for the Babolt AeroPro Drive Original and all the customizations Nadal have done to his racquet.

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Specs: Babolat AeroPro Drive Original

  • Head size: 100 sq. in
  • Length: 27 in
  • Weight (strung): 11.3 oz / 320g
  • Balance: 6pts HL
  • Swing weight: 290
  • Stiffness: 72
  • Grip type: Syntec Grip
  • String pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses

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Rafael Nadal’s Racquet Customizations

  • Babolat Aeropro drive 2005 — Babolat Pure Aero Paint Job
  • 17g lead: 12g at 12 and 5g in handle
  • Grip: Babolat Syntec Pro Black + Babolat Vs Original White
  • Dampener: Babolat Custom Damp
  • Balance Strung: around 335 mm
  • String: Babolat RPM blast 1.35
  • Weight (strung): 12 oz / 340g

How Does The Racquet Play?

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Rafael Nadal’s racquet is certainly not for everyone. The other day, I got the opportunity to play-test Nadal’s Aerodrive original for a couple of hours. Here is my thoughts about the racquet so far.

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First of all, what I first noticed about the racquet was the unbelievable amount of spin and whip I was able to get in my shots. I felt like going for spin shots all the time to really feel Nadal’s style of playing tennis. If you have watched Nadal play, you know how much spin he uses and that is why this racquet is ideal for him.

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Even though the spin is incredible, it’s certainly not for everyone. It is one of least beginner-friendly racquets I have ever played with. Your shots are very direct while you hit the sweet spot, but as soon as you hit outside the sweet spot, this racquet will be quite harsh to you. However, once you get comfortable playing with this racquet, you can have a lot of success.

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Although, the racquet is entertaining to play with, it is not aimed for beginner players. I would only recommend Nadal’s racquet to intermediate and above players that is comfortable playing with racquets that have a smaller sweet spot.

Can You Buy Nadal’s Racquet?

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If you really want to buy Nadal’s racquet and don’t want to get a copy of what just looks like Nadal’s racquet, you are up for a challenge.

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Since, the APD original is from 2005, Babolat isn’t producing the racquet anymore, so it’s pretty much impossible to find a brand new one today. However, if you are fine with a used racquet, they are sometimes listed on sites like eBay and Prostocktennis . Go there and test your luck!

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If you want to buy the racquet that it looks like Nadal plays with, the Babolat Pure Aero , it’s available pretty much everywhere. It’s known for being the most spin-friendly racquet in the world. So, if spin is a big part of your game, I would strongly recommend the Pure Aero.

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