Expert Review: Head Radical MP Racquet · UnstrungPublished on 11/22/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the racquet, which I purchased with my own money in June of 2021.
All photos courtesy of Brandon Maki
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the racquet, which I purchased with my own money in June of 2021.
The 2021 Head Radical MP is the best version of a legendary racquet series that shines all over the court. Its standout feature is how well-rounded it is for various playing styles. Intermediate to advanced players with lots of variety in their game who are looking for stability and control would be making a mistake by looking past this racquet.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 Head Radical MP
- Grip Size: 4 ⅜ / EU 3
- String and Tension: Head Lynx Tour 16g Mains/Head Velocity MLT 16g Cross 55 lbs
- Head size: 100
- Racquet Length: 27
- Any Customizations: None
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Previous Racquet Played With: Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP
- Experience: 28
- NTRP/UTA Rating: 5.0
- When I bought these: June 2021 and 2022
- Days tested: 12
- Court Surfaces: Hard
- Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
- Where I’ve used it: Kingsford, MI
How it performs
What I was looking for
I am currently playing with a Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP, which I have had for a year now. I was looking at other models in the Head lineup to see if they suited my game any better. I’ve owned six different Head Radical MP models going back to the Liquidmetal Radical in 2003. I’ve always been a big fan of their great feel, controllable power, and stability. My racquet prior to the Gravity MP was a Head Graphene Touch Radical from two generations before this one.
Why I chose this gear
This is my second demo period with the 2021 Radical MP. I tested it in 2021 when I purchased my Gravity MP and the Yonex Ezone 98, Yonex Vcore 98, Dunlop CX 200 98, and Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP. I chose the Gravity MP at that time and just wanted to revisit the Radical MP due to my history with the racquet to see if I missed something the first time. This is my favorite of the Radical racquets I have played with, but I still chose the Gravity MP over it due to more maneuverability and a more prominent sweet spot.
What I love about it
- Control: The 2021 Head Radical MP offers easy targeting on all types of shots. It really excels on slice backhands and directional placement on serves.
- Feel: This new version of the Head Radical MP is a significant departure from my last Graphene Touch Radical MP regarding feel. The response is much more solid and connected on impact, whereas the Graphene Touch version was more dampened. I thought I really enjoyed the dampened feel of the Graphene Touch Radical, but after trying this one, I realized I like the more crisp feel.
- Stability: I’ve always liked the stability of the Radical line from Head, and this one continues in the same mold. Compared to the Gravity MP and my previous Graphene Touch Radical MP this 2021 version handles pace and depth just slightly better due to its heavier 5-gram weight.
- Versatility: The Radical MP is marketed as the all-court player’s racquet in the Head lineup. It works well for a variety of playing styles, including power baseliner, counter-punching, and serve and volley.
- Features: The orange color of the Radical lineup from Head is iconic, going back to Andre Agassi, and this one continues with that tradition.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Power: On groundstrokes and volleys, the 2021 Radical MP offers plenty of depth, but I struggled to generate pace on my first serves. Although, my serve was still effective due to the remarkable accuracy of the Radical MP, it seemed to be lacking the pop I was looking for in a racquet.
- Maneuverability: Going along with the lack of power on my first serve, I felt like I couldn’t quite get the 2021 Radical MP into the correct slot on serves and overheads. It felt slow, and I think that was contributing to my lack of power. I also noticed it was tough to generate enough racquet head speed to hit winners on the run. I think a slightly lower swingweight, closer to the Gravity MP, would likely have helped and probably put the Radical MP in my bag over the Gravity.
Favorite moment with this gear
The part of my game that really excelled while playing with the Head Radical MP is my defending. With its stability and control, I not only could handle the pace of hard-hitting opponents, but oftentimes, I could turn the tables and get back on offense fast. Whether it was blocking back a big serve deep or hitting a cutting slice backhand on the run, the Radical MP allowed me to hit solid shots back against aggressive opponents to buy myself time or change the advantage in the point.
Value for the money vs. other options
The 2021 Head Radical MP is competitively priced with other similar racquets such as the Babolat Pure Strike 16x19 and Wilson Blade 98 16x19. The Solinco Whiteout 305 is another racquet with similar specs that comes in a bit less than the Radical MP.
The 2021 Head Radical MP is my favorite Radical to date. It has a more crisp, connected feel than previous generations while maintaining the versatility and stability that the line has come to be known for. It doesn’t stand out in any one area of the court or for one playing style but is just a racquet that does everything very well. The only complaints I had about it in terms of power and maneuverability could be easy to overlook given how many other things it does well.