FULL REVIEW: Donnay Pro One 97 (pics)

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Kal-El 34, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    So I have hit with a ton of frames over the last couple of years. My last full time rackets have been Wilson K-6.1 95 18x20, Head YT Prestige MP, Donnay X-Blue 99, Donnay X-Dual Platinum 99, and now I am fully on board with the Donnay Pro One 97. This frame is a beast, and I really feel that it will help Donnay make a bigger splash in the racket industry.... Here are the pics of the frame (taken from my other thread)

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    The first thing that jumps out at me are the cosmetics. They are beautiful. I have received so many compliments on this frame since I started hitting with it. It just looks tough on the court. The all black matte job, with silver foil lettering works perfect. Very simple, but awesome. When you pick up the frame it just feels like a club, ready to mash the tennis ball. It's a pretty balanced frame, giving it more of a Head like feel than say a Wilson, however it has a normal grip shape which I have really started to appreciate.
     
    #1
  2. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    I agree. Donnay has a winner with the Pro One. It plays as good as it looks.
     
    #2
  3. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    GROUNDSTROKES: 9.5/10

    This is honestly one of the nicest, smoothest hitting clubs I have ever had the chance to hit. The weight in stock form is perfect for my game. It is on the lighter side for a players racket, but really plows through the ball nicely. I have historically been an 18x20 string pattern player, but the 16x19 on this is a little tighter than others, and works really well on this racket.

    Power and depth on the forehand comes effortlessly. It has more natural pop on shots than my Dual Platinum 99's had previously. I thought I would have trouble controlling the extra power, but this has not been the case. I hit with a more western grip, and rally with a lot of topspin trying to set up shots to attack the net with. The open string pattern allows me to get more spin that normal, and the non-hollow frame gives a perfect response off the strings, allowing me to hit the ball deep in the court and place it where I want to.

    My two handed backhand is a little flatter shot usually, which is why I have preferred an 18x20 in the past. However, my backhand with this frame has never felt better. I am getting a little more topspin on the ball, which I have enjoyed. I really feel like I can wind up and snap my backhand nicely with the Pro One. I can get the same, or even more power, than I normally get, while not having to swing as hard. As I am a bit older than I used to be, working less and getting the same power with more control is much appreciated :)

    Slicing on both sides for groundstrokes is great. My backhand slice has a ton of bite on it, and I have taken more of a liking to short, angle slices while approaching the net. Control is so nice on this frame (have I said that enough?) that I really feel I can carve the ball out anywhere on the court, which helps when attacking the net. I hit forehand slice a lot on the run to help me get back into the court. It's kind of a squashy shot. It took me a few days to dial this shot in due to the extra power, but now that I have it I am hitting this shot great. Nasty spin... just nasty.

    Overall on my groudstrokes I have to give the Pro One one of my highest grades. It has a great feel in hand when you pick it up, nice swingweight, good grip shape, and amazing feel, power, and control. The sweetspot on the frame is more in the center to the bottom of the stringbed as well - just throwing that out there for the readers.
     
    #3
  4. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    Kal-El, regarding weight and distribution, I felt that the Pro One was more tip heavy than other racquets (as opposed to weight at 3/9), which really helped accelerate the racquet head on serves and groundstrokes. Did you have the same impression?
     
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  5. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    VOLLEYS: 9/10

    Another area where I really, really enjoy this racket is with the volleys. I have really liked volleying with all of the Donnays. The non hollow frames just give such a great response and feel at the net. The Pro One does not let you down here.

    My forehand and backhand volleys deep in the court are better. Much better pace, and pinpoint control. The response off the strings is perfectly solid. The frame has a great swingweight to it, which makes it very easy to get around at the net. It plows through the volleys nicely though, making depth very easy. I feel I am being much more aggressive at the net lately, and am absolutely loving it.

    However, touch volleys are not to be forgotten. The Pro One has a buttery feel when you want to go for angle volleys, half volleys, or drop shots. There is not real shock on off center hits, which is something I have really appreciated since switching to Donnay.
     
    #5
  6. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    yea but not too much. I feel it may help for customization as well, as adding some weight to the 3/9 will give some more plow without hurting acceleration. I have not really played with the weight kits yet, as I have been so impressed with the frame in stock form
     
    #6
  7. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    SERVES: 10/10

    I don't give a perfect score often... but here it is. My serve has not felt this good in a long time. Maybe it hasn't felt this good ever. AS Hominator said, there is some good weight at 12:00 on the frame, which helps with acceleration on all shots, but especially on the serve.

    My flat serve I have added MPH effortlessly. I feel I am snapping through the ball better, and not having to work as hard to generate pace. Usually when you get a frame that gives you such power, it tends to be hard to control. Not the case here. I feel I could knock over a stack of dimes on command with this frame (can't really do it, but feel like i could)

    I usually like to throw in the flat bomb on the first serve. And even though my flat serve is bigger with the Pro One, I have found myself hitting more spin serves than normal. The open string pattern, and effortless snap through the ball really help me to generated power and spin.

    On the deuce side, I find myself really enjoying snapping slice angles on wide, and jumping nasty slice down the T. On the ad side flip that around. Love throwing slice down the T and giant, nasty angle kickers out wide. My slice has more bite, and I am bending it in to the court way more than usual. My kick serve has never been better than it is with the Pro One. Nasty, and I mean nasty kick.

    Overall Donnay has really hit a home run with this frame. The really thin beamed frames were met with mixed reviews. Personally I loved them, and actually felt a transition back to a normal beamed frame might be difficult. However, this has been about as smooth of a racket change as I could have asked for. My groundstrokes are bigger, my volleys are more controllable, and I dare you to try to break my serve right now.... really.... I DARE YOU :)

    I hope you guys enjoy the review. I haven't really posted a long review in a long time, so I hope it lives up to expectations. For the record I post my opinions on the frame for my game and nobody else's. if you hate the frame, or hate my review that is perfectly fine as well. If there was one perfect frame, everyone would use it. However, Donnay has created a very very nice offering here with the Pro One. Even if you hated the thin frames, this should be on your demo list... RIGHT NOW
     
    #7
  8. ZeroSkid

    ZeroSkid Banned

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    Looks like the k-blade except this does not even have a paint-job
     
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  9. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    Wow! I've held out hope for a long time that Dunlop would produce a 300 model with these specs and attributes. This one seems to be as close as I'm ever going to get . . . but maybe much better. I could see a heavier grip and about 4-5 grams @ 3/4/7/8 making this an absolute gem. I love a muted frame, and I would assume that a foam-filled frame would be as muted as they come?
     
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  10. neil1b

    neil1b Rookie

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    What tensions have you experimented with and what do you think works best. I liked the racquet, but the demo I got from TW Was a hybrid and seemed trampoline-e and a bit on the low side of the tension range

    Thanks in advance
     
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  11. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    could be your grail sounds like
     
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  12. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    relatively close. the closest i have found is to the h22

    plays like the prestige mp and the radical mp had a baby
     
    #12
  13. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    i have gone low 50's to upper 50's so far. I really like the frame with a full poly set up at 56lbs.
     
    #13
  14. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    Kal-El and Hominator, would you say that the flex is pretty uniform through the throat and hoop, or does one seem more flexible than the other?
     
    #14
  15. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    pretty even throughout.

    when i used to hit the k 6.1, i found the throat to be too stiff. couldn't get anything on the ball if i ever hit it late

    this is not the case here.
     
    #15
  16. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    I agree with Kal-El. To me, the feeling is firm, but not harsh. The foam-filled frame definitely feels unique to me - very solid. The firm response lets you absolutely drive and crush groundstrokes, if that's your thing.
     
    #16
  17. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    going to have to test this one now...cause can't be lazy with the 90 sq in 4D 100 and the legs are feeling age.
     
    #17
  18. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    The throat stiffness of the K-Blade, and its effect on my arm, was the only reason that I quit hitting that frame. That's good to hear about the Donnay.

    I prefer the Dunlop feel to all racquet brands that I've tried. It's more muted, in between the crispness of a Wilson and the softness of my Beckers. I assume that this Donnay would have to be more muted, in a solid way. Thanks!
     
    #18
  19. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    agreed about "Dunlop feel". hadn't hit with a Dunlop til the 4D 100 and with a little lead it became numero uno for match play.
     
    #19
  20. ghia

    ghia Rookie

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    Could you compare this racquet to the Dunlop 200 16x19 ? Are they comparable ? Seems that the string layout is pretty similar, weight is exactly the same but what differs is the SW !
     
    #20
  21. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I keep hoping that they'll create a HotMelt/Bio 300, an ounce heavier, 21-22mm beam width, and 60-63 flex. And this Donnay is very close to that.
     
    #21
  22. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    that will have to come from someone who has spent a little more time with the Dunlop. I have hit it, but not for a long time and probably not enough to give you the right comparison.

    i'm sure someone will chime in and help you out here though
     
    #22
  23. ghia

    ghia Rookie

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    Thank you Kal-El 34 for the very quick answer!

    I orderd some 200 16x19s after a breef test and got quite similar feelings towards the dunlops as yours for the donnay. Viewing the specs of the racquets match almost exactly and as you hit a lot longer with the pro one than me with the dunlops I just thought it could be informative to ask.
    By the way, what's the string setup? (lux ?)
     
    #23
  24. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    i generally use the donnay x-poly. the other one in the pic i was just playing with colors and it's prince twisted with solinco tour bite
     
    #24
  25. Peter Szucs

    Peter Szucs Semi-Pro

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    Hominator, whats the power level compared to the x8? Can you compare the two with regards to power and control? Thx
     
    #25
  26. JGads

    JGads Hall of Fame

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    Isn't this essentially the same frame as the Dual Pro that Donnay sold last year, this one with an open pattern?
     
    #26
  27. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    It's been a while since I've hit the X8, but the power level is comparable, IIRC. The Pro One is more precise, IMO. Both are firm, but where the X8 excels at spin, the Pro One excels on driven shots, if that makes sense.

    I hit a much heavier ball with the Pro One than with the X8.

    FYI, I string mine at 53 with Babolat Xcel 17.
     
    #27
  28. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    Actually, I think they're different frames. Suppawat did a photo comparison between the two in one of these threads, and the Dual Pro was boxier.
     
    #28
  29. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    Wondering what if any other current Donnays the OP has tried for comparison? The Formula 100 looks like a better fit for me headsize-wise but is stiffer and has a thicker beam than the Pro One. Maybe more of a baseline stick in the theme of the Volkl Org 8 315?

    How is the sweet spot size on the Pro One and Formula?

    How was the stiffness/arm friendliness feel between the two?

    Volleys? etc.

    Not trying to derail thread to another racquet, just wondering about comparisons b/c the 97 may be a little too demanding for me, though the description obviously sounds great. Thx.
     
    #29
  30. Peter Szucs

    Peter Szucs Semi-Pro

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    Thanks! Specs seem to be close to the blx blade. Any chance you can compare the two with regards to power and control?
    The other thing is the length of the grip. Is it long enough for a comfortable 2hbh?
     
    #30
  31. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Yeah... especially comparison with the Gold 99 as they're so close in specs. From what I read, the Pro one has more plow and power?
     
    #31
  32. skeeter

    skeeter Semi-Pro

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    Kal-El, or anyone else, thought I read somewhere that Donnay will be offering an 18x20 version of this racquet; any truth to that? While I can generate topspin, most of my groundies tend to be on the flatter side and I've enjoyed the tighter patterns of the Plats that I've used before.

    And with a RA of 64, is the Pro One as arm-friendly as the other Donnays in this stiffness range?
     
    #32
  33. suppawat

    suppawat Semi-Pro

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    I tried Dunlop AG200 16x19 long time ago and bought Babolat Pure Storm GT recently (just because of nice paintjob). They both feel somewhat similar to each other, but very different from Pro One. Pro One has decent plow-thru and hit the ball much heavier than those 2 frames. The Pro One is also much more stable on hard hitting. For AG200 and PSGT, I need to hold the grip tighter and work harder to get the same result as Pro One. Feel wise, the Pro One has foam-filled feel which dampen high-pitch vibration while other 2 frames feel hollow.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #33
  34. suppawat

    suppawat Semi-Pro

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    According to Donnay website, they will release the 18x20 version in Summer 2012. Anyway, just saw more pros using Donnay now.
    [​IMG]
     
    #34
  35. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, I've never been much of a Wilson guy. The grip is fine for 2hbh.
     
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  36. Radical

    Radical New User

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    Kal-El 34, is Pro One crispness or mute?
     
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  37. panta77

    panta77 Rookie

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    How would you compare the Pro One to the Youtek Prestige Pro?
     
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  38. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Heya!

    Just wondering, as I probably missed it, but do you have a spec sheet for it? It seems like an interesting stick even though I'm in no position to be changing sticks! :)

    Thanks!

    -Fuji
     
    #38
  39. ghia

    ghia Rookie

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    Great info, thanks suppawat.
     
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  40. ghia

    ghia Rookie

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    And you know, that photo of the 200 is my current desktop background
     
    #40
  41. StayLoose

    StayLoose New User

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    Thanks for the great review. I'm a strong 4.5 player with a big serve and forehand. Comfort and control are most important to me (I'm 6'4'' and 230lbs with decent mechanics, so I can generate enough pace) I'm wavering between the Pro One, one of the Prestige IGs (had a leaded youtek midplus but interested in that new buttery mid) and the new blx pro staff 95 (great customization platform and sweet box beam feel). Have you hit with any of those frames? If so, how would you compare them to the Pro One?
     
    #41
  42. crazyups

    crazyups Semi-Pro

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    Hi Suppawat or kal el, is the pro one a true 97 head size? Can you compare it to the prestige mp or 6.1 95 headsize?
     
    #42
  43. OnyxZ28

    OnyxZ28 Hall of Fame

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    Not sure if this has been answered, but is the new Pro One based off of the Dunlop pro mold, or the old Pro One Int'l mold?
     
    #43
  44. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    sounds like we are pretty close. I am 6'6", 225. ugly mechanics, but I work harder than most :) I go big on the forehand, move around my backhand, and am always looking to attack.

    i played with the MG Prestige for awhile, liked the YT Prestige MP, but the Pro One is on a new level for me. Better feel, more control, better access to finishing power, and more spin. Prestige on steroids is more like this

    have not hit the BLX box beams yet (just the black frame demo 90) so can't help there though I am hitting them next week
     
    #44
  45. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    haven't measured it but seems to be a true 97. suppawat may be able to help here
     
    #45
  46. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    Head size: 97sqi
    Unstrung Weight: 310g
    Unstrung Balance: 315mm
    Strung Weight: 11.5oz
    Strung Balance: 5 Points HL
    Strung Swing Wt: 318
    String Pattern: 16x19
    Stiffness (RDC): 64
    Grip: Cushion
    Rec. String Tension: 55lbs (+/- 5)
    Beam Width: 21/21/21mm**
    Length: 27

    the codes on all of mine are:

    310 321 66
     
    #46
  47. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    dude i've tried them all. The Formula is like a more controllable Pure Drive. Def. a great baseline stick, with tons of spin and power. Also has a nice soft feel at the net. Both are extremely arm friendly frames. On off center hits on both there is minimal to no shock which is nice.

    I prefer the weight, headsize, and beam on the Pro One, although I did really enjoy my time with the Formula as well.

    I've also spent massive time with the Dual Platinum 99, X-Blue 99, Dual Silver 99, Black 94, and Gold 94. I've hit every other Donnay frame that is out or has been released (there have been so many I can't list them all haha)

    I think they have it figured out for the time being, with no new Dual series coming out for awhile, and only the OS and different string patterns for the spring summer
     
    #47
  48. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    poised for a big weekend
     
    #48
  49. Kal-El 34

    Kal-El 34 Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ and for anyone who cares, the setups are as follows :

    red / white donnay dampener, full luxilon savage green @ 57 lbs with green wilson pro overgrip

    white donnay dampener, full luxilon savage green @ 53 lbs with green wilson pro overgrip

    both grips just tied off with white electrical tape

    thinking about playing with the weight kits a bit this weekend as well
     
    #49
  50. suppawat

    suppawat Semi-Pro

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    I don't have 6.1 95 in hand now.
     
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