Head Speed MP Lite (2020) tennis racket review
The Head Speed tennis racket series has received a considerable technology and design update for 2020 so tennishead took the chance to play test and review the lightest racket in the range, the Head Speed MP Lite, with some exciting results.
Coming off the back of yet another Novak Djokovic Grand Slam victory at the 2020 Australian Open, the timing of this refresh for the Head Speed series seems perfect.
Head have been investing considerable resources in their whole racket range in recent years most notably with the launch of a complete new range, the Gravity, which went on sale last summer to great fanfare. Now they’ve decided that the hugely succesful Speed needed some love, so they got in touch with tennishead to see if we wanted to be the first to try out the new frame, even before it goes on sale. Of course we said yes!
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The Head Speed range is positioned as the all court player’s racket from the Head portfolio. What does this mean? Basically they are saying that anyone can use it but players that like to play every shot in the game from any position on the court should really enjoy this racket. It’s no surprise that the recommended style of play for this racket also perfectly matches that of their most high profile customer for the Head Speed, Mr Novak Djokovic.
Head introduced Graphene in 2013 and the material now forms the core component of most of their tennis rackets. Graphene 360 has now been introduced to the Head Speed whereby the frame incorporates Graphene at all the major impact points including the shaft and the head. Graphene aids the “mass distribution” (hitting the ball) therefore allowing “greater manoeuvrability and more power”.
Spiralfiber technology is new for this iteration of the Speed and means there are “twisted fibers placed on the shoulder area of the racket which accompany the frame in it’s deformation and provide greater flex and a clean impact feeling”.
The Head Speed MP Lite version of the range that we decided to test is their lightest model coming in at 275g. Most pro players will use a much heavier racket at around 310g to 325g so this light version should deliver the same benefits but for players that don’t always hit the ball perfectly or haven’t the natural strength to control a heavier racket.
Watch what happened when our testers tried out the Head Speed MP Lite
The play test feedback
tennishead gathered four of our most experienced all court play testers for this session as we really wanted to put the Head Speed through it’s paces with hitters whose games closely match the specification provided by the manufacturer. Finley, Austin, Helena and Liam are all confident grinding it out from the baseline or looking to finish the point quickly in the forecourt so they were excited to try this new frame before anyone else had the chance.
Initial feedback on the new design was positive with Liam pointing out that the style was reminiscent of the original Speed design from 10 years ago. Finley found the black and white “very smart and really cool”.
As the testers got stuck into their groundstrokes the immediate response was around the very lightweight feel coming from this 275g frame but the stability on impact didn’t seem to be compromised. Finley “loved it” especially enjoying the ability to “really rip the ball and generate spin and power at the same time”. Liam especially noticed how much lighter it felt than his usual Yonex EZONE 98 but he was still able to put the ball where he wanted even though he felt there was less power than he was used to generating.
The only area where this frame didn’t perform quite as strongly for our testers was up at the net hitting volleys. Both our male testers found the light weight frame slightly compromised their ability to hit a really solid feeling volley however all three players noted that the control on the volley was excellent.
Overhead hitting smashes and serves the lightness of the 275g racket really came into it’s own with Liam in particular pointing out how easy it was to hit and how this would help with injury prevention. Helena enjoyed the ability to “get a lot of power and rip” with her serve which was reiterated by Finley.
We then asked the pay testers specifically about how the new spiralfiber technology in the frame worked for them in enhancing the feel and comfort when striking the ball. Helena found that this racket gave her the ability to “hit big shots from the back but still keep the flexibility on impact”. Finley pointed out that he “didn’t really feel any shock” up his arm and that the racket has “quite a nice sweet spot so when you do make contact you feel like you are hitting a really solid clean ball”. Positive feedback indeed.
For a detailed explanation of each racket measurement criteria below have a read of our guide.
Head Speed MP Lite (2020)
RRP = £180
Head size = 100 sq in
Weight = 275g
String pattern = 16/19
Testing a very light racket such as the Head Speed MP Lite can often lead to negative comments from play testers who are used to a heavier racket, but that certainly wasn’t the case this time.
The new technology in the frame really seems to have served it’s purpose in helping the player feel like they are producing a clean and solid strike. Another aspect that really shone through from our testing was the all court control that this racket delivers with all our testers commenting how easy it felt to direct the ball where they intended no matter what shot they were hitting or where they were positioned on the court.
So that’s an overall thumbs up from the tennishead review of the Head speed MP Lite with the small caveat of making sure you pick the right weight of racket from the Speed range to suit your body shape and playing style.
Buy the Head Speed MP Lite
tennishead has teamed up with AllThingsTennis.co.uk, our trusted online retail partner, to offer you an incredible price and service if you’d like to purchase the brand new Head Speed MP Lite.
Head’s RRP for this racket is £180 but as a tennishead reader you will receive 5% off the already heavily discounted price of £155 if you use promo code: TENNISHEAD5 when purchasing this racket from AllThingsTennis.co.uk. They are also offering everyone a free string upgrade worth up to £30. What’s not to like about that!
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