If you’re about to buy a new tennis racquet or considering changing racquets, it’s important to evaluate and select the appropriate grip size for optimal performance and comfort.
Although grip size ultimately boils down to personal preference and feel, selecting the wrong size grip can have painful repercussions that you can easily avoid through a little due diligence.
In this article, I’ll guide you through measuring your hand to find the perfect size grip, including why you should care and related topics and tips on grip size so you’ll walk away with a thorough understanding.
If you’re a parent looking for the right grip size for your child, I’d encourage you to check our complete guide on kid’s racquet sizing in addition to this article, which I reference in the video.
In my guide for kid’s racquets, I cover everything you should consider as a parent, along with recommendations for some of the highest quality and affordable kid’s racquets.
How Tennis Racquet Grip Sizes Are Measured
A tennis racquet’s grip size measures the circumference or distance around the handle, including the pre-installed stock grip, ranging from 4 inches to 4 3/4 inches.
There are eight available grip sizes within that range, which start at 3 7/8 inches or a size double zero and increase by 1/8 inch for each size up to 4 3/4 inches for a size six.
Tennis Racquet Grip Size Chart
Depending on which country you live in, you may find the size of a racquet’s grip expressed differently, so be sure to check out the chart below for reference or to convert measurements as necessary.
It’s worth noting that not all racquets are available in every grip size above. For example, most kids or junior tennis racquets will only come in size zero, while adult racquets are typically available in sizes 1-5.
Size six is a thing of the past. Double zero is a newer size reserved exclusively for children’s racquets, and zero is the most common size for children’s racquets and available for some lightweight adult racquets.
Available Grip Sizes from Top Brands
Thankfully, grip sizes are standardized, so all brands use the same measurements and sizing for their racquet handles.
However, the sizing a brand makes available for their racquets varies and may change based on the specific model. Here’s are the different size grips you’ll find offered by some of the game’s top brands.
Again, keep in mind that you may find some brands limit the sizing based on the model. For example, here’s a selection of Babolat racquets and the available grip sizes.
Available Grip Sizes
Babolat Pure Aero
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Babolat Pure Aero Lite
0, 1, 2, 3, 4
Babolat Pure Aero Junior 26
0, 0, 1
Babolat has limited the available selection of grip sizes based on the typical player profile that would use each racquet in the scenarios above.
Locating a Grip Size on a Racquet
More often than not, you’ll find the size of a tennis racquet’s grip listed on its butt cap at the very bottom of the handle. For most brands, this has become the standard location for displaying grip size.
However, some brands will only list the number corresponding with the size, while others may display the number and measurement.
Furthermore, you may find the grip size printed in a different location, such as near the racquet’s throat or shaft.
In other cases, you may find it printed under the butt cap’s trap door.
Generally, a careful inspection of the frame from top to bottom will uncover the grip size.
However, some manufacturers place stickers on the racquet, making it more challenging to identify a racquet’s size once peeled off.
As a last resort, you can measure the circumference of your racquet’s handle with a flexible measuring tape.
Why Does Grip Size Matter?
An appropriately sized grip will provide you with optimal comfort and feel while helping prevent injury.
A grip that’s too small may tend to twist or rotate within your hand when striking the ball, which can lead to painful blisters and unnecessary strain on your arm as you overcompensate by holding the grip too firm. Over time, this can contribute to injuries such as tennis elbow.
Furthermore, a grip that is too small can also have an increased tendency to slip from your hand, especially when sweating heavily.
On the other hand, a grip that’s too large can be challenging to hold, and as a result, put unnecessary stress on your hand, wrist, and arm.
Moreover, a large grip can be challenging to manage when you need to change grips quickly or when you’re looking to snap your wrist when hitting a forehand, serving, or hitting an overhead because it restricts movement in your wrist.
The key is to find a grip size that feels comfortable, prevents undue stress on your body, and allows for proper range of motion.
Grip Size for Maximum Spin
Many players argue they can generate more topspin with smaller grip sizes, which they feel provide more control and a snappier release when striking the ball.
Rafael Nadal is well-known for using a smaller size two grip, which he argues feels right and allows him to generate the most spin. Recognizing he hits with some of the highest RPMs on the ATP tour, it’s noteworthy and certainly worth considering as a player.
Perhaps most importantly, it underscores that the “right” fit when it comes to grip size is the one that feels best and allows you to perform at a high level, which you can only learn by experimenting.
How to Determine Your Grip Size
There are two common methods used to help identify the ideal grip size for a player. I typically recommend using both to help get the best fit.
However, before getting started, keep in mind that these methods intend to get you in the right ballpark for your grip size.
Unfortunately, both methods are imperfect, but they should help get you close to the correct measurement, which you can refine by testing different grip sizes in person to achieve the optimal fit.
How to Measure Your Grip Size
First, if you have one handy, grab a ruler or measuring tape. Next, take a look at your dominant hand, and you’ll notice you have a bunch of lines or creases running through your palm.
If you look closely, you should see two large or more prominent lines in the middle of your palm, one on top and one on the bottom, running horizontally from one side to the other.
Grab your ruler or measuring tape and line it up vertically with your ring finger so that the bottom of the ruler lines up with the top horizontal line in your palm and measure to the tip of your ring finger.
You should find that the measurement falls somewhere between 4 inches and 4 3/4 inches. As you can see above, mine measures 4 3/8 inches or a size three grip.
This method works great if you’re ordering online and you don’t have access to test out multiple grip sizes in person. However, if you do order online and you’re between sizes, I’d encourage you to go with the smaller size as it’s much easier to increase the size of a grip than decrease it.
Please keep in mind that the creases in everyone’s hands aren’t identical and vary from one person to the next. With that in mind, if the lines in your hand don’t look like mine, then that’s fine. Most likely, you have at least one prominent crease that runs close to the edge of your hand, which should be sufficient for taking a measurement.
Test Grips in Person
Another method you can use to find the right grip size is to try out multiple sizes in person and reference the gap between your fingers and your palm when holding the racquet.
First, grab a racquet handle with your dominant hand and note the size of the grip. Then, with your other hand, place your index finger within the gap between your fingers and your palm. You’re looking for a grip where that space is roughly equal to your index finger’s width.
Once you find the grip size that roughly matches up, I’d recommend trying one size above and below to compare and see what feels best. The racquet’s handle should feel comfortable yet secure.
Many players will fall between sizes, which is common. If that’s you, I’d encourage you to go for the smaller size because it’s easier to increase your grip’s size than it is to decrease it.
For example, adding an inexpensive overgrip will increase the size of your grip by 1/16 of an inch or a half size. Similarly, you can have a local racquet technician add a heat shrink sleeve to the grip to increase the size by 1/8 of an inch for a full-size increase.
However, apart from swapping out the base grip that came with the racquet or removing it altogether, it is difficult and, in some cases, not possible to drop the size of a grip.
Men’s vs. Women’s Grip Sizes
Tennis racquet grip sizes are universal, not gender-specific.
Although it’s common for women’s hands to be smaller than men’s, the sizes or measurements don’t change for genders.
Average or Most Common Size Grip
A size 3 or 4 3/8 grip is the most common, and you’ll find a lot of crossover between men and women at this size.
The vast majority of women will play with a grip size that’s a size 1, 2, or 3. Men, on the other hand, will typically have a size 3, 4, or 5.
Although average or standard grip sizes are helpful as a point of reference, many players fall outside these ranges, so it pays to do your homework.
4 3/8 vs. 4 1/2 Grip Sizes
Many men looking for tennis racquets will find themselves choosing between a size 3 (4 3/8 in) and size 4 (4 1/2 in) grip.
If you’re on the fence between the two, I’d encourage you to go with 4 3/8 because it’s much easier to build up a grip than reduce it and the difference between the two is only 1/8 inch or 3.2 mm.
You may also find that adding a single overgrip to a size 4 3/8 grip for a half size or 1/16 inch increase gives you the perfect fit as it does for me.
Tennis Racquet Grip Sizes for Kids by Height
For kids, there are typically fewer grip size options than adults. Most will usually fall at 4 inches or less, which depends on the manufacturer.
However, instead of finding the right grip size, parents will want to focus on the length of the racquet, which generally corresponds with the height of your child. The following chart outlines those sizes.
4 or younger
40 in or less
10 or older
4 or younger
102 cm or less
10 or older
If you get the right length tennis racquet for your child that they can comfortably handle, the grip size should work itself out.
However, even if the grip is a little bit large, I wouldn’t be overly concerned. First off, your child will grow into it quickly, and second, most young kids won’t play aggressively or long enough with that grip size to harm their hand, wrist, or arm.
Demoing Grip Sizes for the Perfect Fit
Although I hope the methods we’ve reviewed in this article help point you in the right direction toward your ideal grip size, there’s no substitute for testing out different grip sizes while playing.
For that reason, I highly recommend players get their hands on a few different tennis racquets with varying grip sizes before making a decision and buying a tennis racquet.
To test different size grips, you can take advantage of one of many available racquet demo programs. Here are a few options to consider for tracking down demo racquets:
Local tennis shop
Racquet club’s pro shop
Once you’ve settled on a specific model tennis racquet, it’s ideal to demo the same racquet with different size grips. That’s because changing between different racquets with varying grip sizes will make it challenging to gauge how feel changes from one size to the next.
If you can’t track down multiple grip sizes for the same racquet, it’s still better to test different models with varying grip sizes than not at all.
In my experience, local tennis and pro shops will carry a single model in one or two standard grip sizes, while online retailers will have a broader range of grip sizes available for each racquet.
As a last resort, use the methods outlined in this guide to approximate your grip size and if you’re on the fence, order a size down. From there, you can relatively easily build up your grip for the perfect feel.
Pro Player Grip Sizes
As a point of reference, you mind find it helpful or interesting to know what some of the world’s top players are using for their grip size.
One thing you’re likely to spot quickly is that most of the players listed are using the average size 3 or 4 3/8 inch grip.
ATP Grip Sizes
WTA Grip Sizes
Although players do change racquets sometimes, most rarely change their grip size, which remains constant throughout their career.
Changing Your Grip’s Size
Whether you’re playing it save and ordering down a grip size or looking to change the size of your existing grip, it’s helpful to understand how to increase or decrease your grip size.
Increasing Grip Size
Generally, it’s easier to build up a grip and make it larger, which is why I recommend players order down a size if they’re in-between sizes or on the fence between two sizes, i.e., 4 3/8 vs. 4 1/2.
The quickest and easiest way to build up a grip is to add an inexpensive overgrip on top of the grip your racquet’s existing grip. Doing so will add 1/16 of an inch for a half-size increase. Adding two will increase your grip size by 1/8 of an inch for a full-size increase.
The handle of a tennis racquet has eight sides or bevels, which prevent the racquet from twisting in your hand, help you maintain a solid grasp, and allow you to identify various types of grips quickly. Keep in mind that as you add overgrips, the bevels will become less pronounced.
Alternatively, you could replace the racquet’s existing grip with a thicker replacement grip for some added thickness. It’s a bit trickier to swap out a replacement grip, but not too challenging either.
Finally, for a more permanent solution, you can remove your racquet’s grip and add a plastic heat shrink sleeve, which is available in half sizes or 1/16 of an inch and full sizes or 1/8 of an inch.
One of the benefits of heat shrink sleeves is they allow you to increase the size of your handle while maintaining clean bevel edges.
Decreasing Grip Size
If you accidentally buy a racquet with a grip size that’s too large or you’re looking to reduce the size of the grip on a racquet you own, then you have a few options to consider.
Typically, the first step I’d encourage you to take is to replace the existing grip on the racquet with a thinner one. Most tennis racquets come with a thicker replacement grip for added comfort. However, there are thinner grips available for slightly reducing grip size.
Some players prefer a lower profile grip for added feel, while others enjoy a grip that’s thicker for extra comfort. The main drawback to going with a thinner grip is that you may end up with more shock and vibration, i.e., less comfort. Nevertheless, give it a try to see how it feels for you.
If replacing the grip isn’t practical because you need to drop the grip size further or doing so would reduce comfort too far, then a racquet technician may be able to help you sand down your grip depending on your grip’s material.
It’s also worth considering the cost of having someone customize your tennis racquet. In many cases, you’ll be better off buying a new racquet instead of absorbing the cost of customizing yours.
Although finding the right grip size takes a bit of trial and error, it pays to get something that feels comfortable and allows you to perform your best. Thankfully, you’ll only need to go through the process of identifying the correct size grip once. Then, after finding the size that works well, you’ll know what to order for all future racquet purchases.
As a parent, you don’t need to worry too much about grip sizes for your kids until they transition to a full-size 27-inch tennis racquet, where there is a greater variety of grip sizes. You’ll also likely need to remeasure for the appropriate grip size as they grow.
Now that you know how to select the right size grip, head on over and check out our list of the top 20+ racquets for 2022. Of course, if you have any questions on this topic, let us know in the comments below.