New HEAD GRAVITY 2021 racquet series - Ask for forgiveness

Forgiveness used to be a dirty word in tennis.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, people would talk at your tennis club if anyone had a forgiving racquet with a big sweetspot, saying they must be less of a player. What would a decent tennis player want with so much margin for error? 

But, in today's modern game of heavy topspin and unrelenting power, elite players such as Sascha Zverev are choosing the forgiving racquets in the new HEAD GRAVITY 2021 series, and not out of weakness, but out of strength. Forgiveness means confidence. And confidence means aggression, and hitting 160km/h forehands that are loaded with thousands of RPMs of spin and menace.

The more forgiving his racquet, the more confident Zverev is to take a fast swing at the ball. Wider than the classic HEAD frame and with an enlarged, elevated sweetspot - it's higher up the racquet, just where modern players want it - the HEAD GRAVITY 2021 gives Zverev the full confidence to deploy his attacking game. With this racquet in his hand, he doesn't hold back. 

In 2021, forgiveness is being reclaimed as a positive word for tennis players of all abilities, from Zverev down to those who play recreationally and quite often shank, or mishit, their strokes. Away from the ATP and WTA Tours, this is a racquet series that will also give a confidence boost to club players, who are swinging faster as they try to emulate HEAD ambassadors Zverev and Ashleigh Barty and other professionals. 

Fast, powerful and precise 

"Sascha fell in love with the racquet," said Ralf Schwenger, HEAD's Director of Research and Development for Racquetsports. "The head shape is extremely important for him. It's a huge help. It enables his game to be fast, powerful and precise." 

Zverev's opponents on the ATP Tour are playing with plenty of topspin and power. The HEAD GRAVITY 2021 allows him to hit the ball back with potentially even greater spin and pace. "Spin is now essential. If you look at the top players nowadays, they are using spin more often than in the past, and they hardly ever play a fast shot without spin. When topspin came up in the 1980s, players were hitting loopy shots but they weren't fast shots. Now players are using a lot of topspin, and they are using it to control speed," Schwenger said.

"The ball is coming in fast at Sascha. If he blasted a 160km/h forehand without any spin, the ball would land two metres long. Only by using a lot of spin can he control the ball and make sure the trajectory of the stroke will see the ball dip down before the baseline." 

No reason to slow down 

The HEAD GRAVITY 2021 series - which is engineered with HEAD's own advanced GRAPHENE 360+ technology for optimized energy transfer, enhanced flex and a clean impact feel - is changing how people in tennis think about that word forgiveness. "Historically, people used to say that if you had a more forgiving racquet you were a bad player. But now you can link forgiveness to confidence. It's like a racing car with lots of horsepower - because of that power, you need wider tyres. This racquet lets you play with lots of power so you need a wider frame," said Schwenger. 

"You have full confidence in your racquet and that's why you go full throttle with your strokes. You hit as fast as possible. You don't have to slow down. That's the positive side of forgiveness. If your head size is too small, and you're having to coordinate the fast, incoming ball on to your racquet, you will unconsciously slow your racquet head speed. The HEAD GRAVITY 2021 gives you confidence to swing at as fast as possible and you will still be sure that you're going to hit the ball properly."

To generate topspin, you brush the racquet over the ball. That's why, for additional forgiveness, some of the frames in the series have slimmer beams, reducing the risk of shanking the ball. 

Amplify your game 

First launched in 2019, the HEAD GRAVITY is also suited to Barty, who has plenty of variety in her game. "Ash is a very versatile player. On her forehand she likes to mix it up, playing some extreme angled, topspin shots that open up the court, as well as very fast winners when she needs topspin to ensure those high-speed shots dip and bounce before the baseline. Ash also likes coming to net to play volleys,” said Schwenger. “The head shape helps her to execute her game. I see the HEAD GRAVITY 2021 as the amplifier or the enabler which boosts her game."

New colorway for 2021

Along with a larger head shape, the HEAD GRAVITY is known for its unique flip design, with different colours on each side. For 2021, the design has been refreshed with the yellow and blue adding to the modern look and feel of a racquet series that comes in six different models: PRO, TOUR, MP, MP LITE, S and LITE.