HEAD Graphene XT Speed MP A tennis racquet
HEAD Graphene XT Speed MP A tennis racquet

My new HEAD Graphene XT Speed MP A
tennis racquet

by Rich Neher
For the last 10 years I was pretty much a dedicated Völkl fan. You know, like a Hippie driving a Volkswagen Bus or a Beetle. The Austrian product was as close as I could get to a European racquet and - it saved my arm. Plagued with tennis elbow more than a decade ago I used to blame the racquet and first the Quantum 10 and later the Organix 10 took care of that problem.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine, who happens to be the local Rep for HEAD Penn, encouraged me to try a new HEAD racquet. I did and ended up with the new HEAD Graphene Speed MPA, with the (also new) Gravity strings. And boy, was I in for a surprise. This racquet exceeded my expectations and improved my game just where I needed it.
HEAD Graphene Technology 30 - 20 - 10
HEAD describes Graphene as the strongest yet lightest racquet frame material in the world. They also say that the updated technology Graphene XT now features a 30% stronger material structure, is 20% lighter than regular Graphene and features a 10% better energy transfer for a higher ball speed and faster game.
ASP - Adaptive String Pattern Technology
The HEAD Graphene Speed line of racquets comes in 4 models: Pro, MP A, S and REV Pro. The REV and MP A models feature the innovative Adaptive String Pattern (ASP) technology, which allows the player to exchange the grommet strips and choose between a 16/16 pattern for more spin or the 16/19 pattern for more control. HEAD gives the reason for this new feature as: ...so players can change their game any time.
This is the lighter tour version of the Speed Pro, optimized for more versatility and power with APS, 100 square inch head size, 10.6 oz weight, a constant beam of 22 mm, 27 inches long, Sony compatible.
Gravity Hybrid String
HEAD describes this string as "A new concept designed to maximize the spin potential of this Co-Polyester string and to control the trajectory of every shot in a perfect way." The main strings are triangular shaped. Effect: increases the friction between the ball and the string bed maximizing the ball bite effect. The cross strings are round and thin. Effect: allows a faster snap back that accelerates the rotation of the ball. The Hybrid combination of triangular and round strings are designed to add "...unique touch and perfect control."
Sony Compatible
Most of the new HEAD Graphene XT Speed and Instinct racquets are Sony compatible. By attaching the Smart Tennis Sensor to your racket butt, all your shot data is recorded and can be displayed in real-time on your smartphone via Bluetooth. Through the app screen, you can check the swing (shot) type, ball speed, swing speed, ball spin, ball impact spot and other data for every shot. There is also supposed to be a feature where you can sync the data with video. The Sony Smart Tennis Sensor should be available in the USA mid-2015.
When I first used my new MP A with Hawk string I noticed how good this racquet felt and how much power the strings create. The big sweet spot and the 16x16 string pattern probably added to that power. However, my game is not so much power and more control, so I decided to have it restrung with the Gravity Hybrid string, which made all the difference for me. You can truly feel how the string is biting into the ball and how much spin it creates. My volleys are so much more effective now. Increased touch and control is exactly what I wanted.

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