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The Babolat AeroPro Drive – Rafael Nadal’s Actual Racquet

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Rafael Nadal endorses and ostensibly plays with Babolat’s Pure Aero tennis racquet. But like most pros, he actually uses a pro stock racquet (a racquet that is designed and produced specifically for a professional player).

And since Babolat renamed the AeroPro Drive line to Pure Aero, what Nadal is actually playing with is the original AeroPro Drive with a Pure Aero paint job.

Nadal used the AeroPro Drive to begin his legacy of domination of the French Open, winning titles at Roland-Garros in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

In 2016, the Pure Aero was introduced, and so his later wins in 2017, 2018, and 2019 were technically played with the Pure Aero.

But in reality, his racquet has pretty much stayed the same over his legendary career.

Image: Babolat

Nadal has been playing with Babolat racquets since he was 11 or 12. Early on, he played with the Soft Drive and then Pure Drive, until Babolat worked with him to design a racquet adapted to his game. Once focused on power and spin.

This is how the AeroPro Drive was born.

Eventually, Babolat updated the AeroPro Drive line, introducing new technologies, and rebranded the line as Pure Aero.

Comparison of the original AeroPro Drive vs Pure Aero

Since most pros use pro stock racquets, you’re very rarely ever going to be using the actual same racquet as your favorite pro, even if the marketing and sales departments would have you think you are.

So if you want to play with the racquet Rafael Nadal actually uses, you’ll need to find an original AeroPro Drive on eBay or your local classifieds site, and customize it to his specs.

Instead, you can opt to use the highly reviewed Babolat Pure Aero.

It’s the racquet technically endorsed by Nadal, and it’s one of the most popular and highly reviewed racquets on the market currently.

You can read our full Babolat Pure Aero review here.

Babolat Pure Aero

  • (9.5) Power
  • (8.5) Control
  • (8.0) Maneuverability
  • (8.0) Stability
  • (8.5) Comfort/Feel
  • (9.5) Spin
  • (8.7) Overall
Head size 100 sq in
Strung weight 10.9 oz
Length 27 in
Beam width 23 / 26 / 23mm
String pattern 16/19
Balance point 320 mm
Swingweight 320
Flex rating 69
  • Tons of Spin
  • Lightweight
  • Great feel
  • High price tag

One key difference between the AeroPro Drive and the Pure Aero is a higher swingweight on the latter.

The Pure Aero can be a bit harder to swing, but most find that it adds that extra power and spin potential.

Many consider the 2019 Babolat Pure Aero to be somewhat of a return towards the original AeroPro Drive, so it’s worth checking out.

Header Image: Kate Tann

Post last updated on February 11, 2021

2 thoughts on “The Babolat AeroPro Drive – Rafael Nadal’s Actual Racquet

  1. Thanks this was really helpful, I’ve had the AeroPro Drive for I while and love it. I was wondering if I should upgrade since the whole line has been rebranded but it seems the advantages wouldn’t be worth it. Good to note that the 2019 PureAero version is closer to the original AeroPro Drive.

  2. Hello,

    Would you please let me know how to buy-Babolat AeroPro Drive in Canada. I have been playing with this racquet since long and would like to buy a new one.

    Thank you.

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