After winning the second grand slam title at the Wimbledon Championships 2019, the Romanian Simona Halep is regarded as one of the best tennis players in the world. But, she is not only one of the best players, Halep have also established herself to become one of the most popular and loved players on tour.
With all the success on the court, many ask what racquet she plays with. That’s what I will go through in this article.
What racquet does Simona Halep use? Simon Halep currently endorses the Wilson Burn 100 CV. However, she actually plays with the Wilson Steam 99 racquet that is painted to look like the Wilson Burn 100 CV. Halep strings the racquet with Luxilon Alu Power Big Banger 1.25.
Why Is Halep’s Racquet Painted To Look like Another Racquet?
Like you may know, most pros don’t play with the racquet that it looks like. Most racquets that you watch on TV is painted to look like a specific racquet when in reality it’s a whole other racquet.
The reason behind that is marketing. The racquet brands that sponsor the players to want everyone to think that they play with a racquet that is available to buy online. Since the fans want to buy the same racquet as their favorite player. Most pros including Simona Halep play with a racquet that isn’t available to buy online. Therefore, the brands won’t benefit from sponsoring the players. So, instead, they paint their racquet like what is on available online to increase sales.
It absolutely makes sense, and It is a smart move from the racquet brands. But, if it’s right or not, it’s up to debate. Since they are indirectly marketing a product that is not what it looks like.
Simon Halep’s Racquet Specs
The Wilson Steam 99 Specs
- Head Size: 99 sq. in
- Length: 27 inches
- Weight: Strung — 11.3 oz Unstrung — 10.7 oz
- Tension: 50-60 Pounds
- Balance: 2 Points Head Light
- Beam Width: 24 mm
- Grips Type: Wilson Sublime
- String Pattern: 16 Mains / 18 Crosses
- Swing Weight: 328
Simona Halep has done some minor customizations of her racquet. She strings the racquet with Luxilon Alu Power Big Banger 1.25 and she uses strips of lead tape at 3 to 9. Then like I mentioned earlier, her racquet is painted to look like another racquet, so her racquet is under a paint job. But that does obviously not affect the performance of the racquet.
Simon Halep’s Racquet Review
The other day I got the opportunity to playtest Simona Halep’s Wilson Steam 99 Racquet for a few hours. This is what I think about the racquets so far.
In the beginning, I struggled to keep shots from flying long with the Steam 99, and also felt an uncomfortable amount of vibration. It’s not a major issue, but it takes time to get used to.
The Wilson Steam 99 high swing weight really helps you plow through even the most powerful shots from your opponents. You don’t need to use much effort to make the ball go deep into the court.
The open strung does not just help you with power, it’s also very spin-friendly. I was able to get a lot of spin in my groundstrokes, and after I got used to the racquet overall, felt very comfortable from the back.
The high swing weight helps you to increase your power, but the weight also makes volleys more difficult. Because the combination of high swing weight and high balance point leads to a lower recoil weight than most net players would prefer. The wider beam reduces the feel on touch shots but provides solid power and depth. Overheads felt powerful and when the opponent lobbed, it was easy to pound away them.
Luckily, tennis players aren’t going for the net as much anymore. Volleys are more used in the modern game to endpoints, you rarely hit two volleys in a row. So, you shouldn’t bother too much about the racquet not being as comfortable for volleys. Also, I have to mention that this is just something that more advanced players would notice, If you are a beginner, you most likely wouldn’t even notice it.
As the modern game of tennis is becoming faster, serves become more and more important. Nowadays, a serve can win tournaments alone. Even though Simona Halep’s serve isn’t her strongest weapon, I was very satisfied with the serving for this racquet.
The Wilson Steam 99 stiffness and wide beams add a lot of power to your serves, and the open pattern gave my serves got more spins than I expected. I loved to serve with this racquet, if I would make a custom racquet specified for serving, the setup would be quite similar to the Wilson Steam 99. You won’t be disappointed when serving with this racquet.
The Steam 99 is just an all-solid racquet that doesn’t lack anything you need to become successful on the tennis court. It takes a little bit of time to get used to, but once you are comfortable with the racquet, it is one of the most satisfying racquets out there.
I would recommend this racquet for beginner and intermediate players that wants to improve their game. As an advanced player, there are some better options on the market. However, I can strongly recommend this racquet to everyone who doesn’t categorize themself as an advanced player.
Can You Buy Simona Halep’s Racquet?
The original Wilson Steam 99 is quite hard to find online, Wilson isn’t producing that model anymore, so it’s pretty much impossible to find a new one these days. However, it’s possible to find a used Wilson Steam 99. As Im writing this post, I find the Wilson Steam 99 on sites like prodirecttennis and eBay. So, if you are interested in Simona Halep’s racquet, go there and test your luck.
There are plenty of different models of the Wilson Steam 99, so if you are fine with not getting exactly the racquet that Simona Halep plays with, I can strongly recommend buying one of the newer versions of the Wilson Steam that plays similar, like the Wilson Steam 99s. The racquet will be new and it will be much easier to find online. Also, you don’t need to break the bank, since the Simona Halep racquet is listed for pretty hefty prices.