This last week I started my quest for a racquet to temporarily (?) replace my Slazenger X-1s. According to my shoulder, I need something lighter, at least for a while. I'm a 4.0 player, with a serve-and-volley/all-court game. Serve, net game and forehand are my strengths, and I'm trying to make the move to a 1-handed-backhand after years of pendulating between the one-hander and the two-hander. First up were the Wilson Hyper Pro Staff Tour 95, the Yonex MP-2i and the Head LiquidMetal Radical MP. And the LM Radical didn't even last 10 minutes. The feel, especially on the backhand, just was not right for me. It promptly went back into the TW demo box. So, two contenders were left, the Tour 95 and the MP-2i. The relevant stats from the TW Product pages are: Yonex MP-2i Head Size: 102 sq. in. / 658 sq. cm. Length: 27.5 inches / 70 cm Strung Weight: 11oz / 312g Balance: 5pts Head Light Swingweight: 312 Stiffness: 65 Beam Width: 24-25 mm Composition: Ultra High Modulus Graphite/Ultimum Ti String Pattern: 16 Mains / 18 Crosses Wilson Hyper Pro Staff Tour 95 Head Size: 95 sq. in. / 613 sq. cm. Length: 27 inches / 69 cm Strung Weight: 11.5oz / 326g Balance: 7pts Head Light Swingweight: 325 Stiffness: 62 Beam Width: 20 mm Straight Beam Composition: 80% Graphite / 20% Braided Kevlar String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses Both racquets are 4 1/2 grips, with two overgrips. The Yonex was strung with 16 gauge Wilson NXT something - the standard TW demo string - and the Tour 95 was strung with Yonex Tour 850 Pro 16. So how'd they compare? I'll give you the conclusion first. If you want the blow-by-blow, you can keep reading. Overall The Tour 95 suits my game much better than the MP-2i. That's not to say that there isn't a lot to like about the MP-2i. It's an excellent racquet, but one that suits a power baseliner who attacks the net ocassionally, rather than a serve-and-volley player. A major difference between the two was the heaviness of the shots they produced. For example, while the MP-2i produced consistently deeper groundstrokes, the Tour 95 produced heavier strokes: more pace, spin and penetration. My slice shots skidded more and stayed lower with the Tour 95; my topsin shot jumped harder. My serves were heavier and my volleys had more authority with the Tour 95. The Tour 95 also provided more control and more comfort. It was also the more manueverable racquet - despite what the relative swingweights would indicate. Compared to the Tour 95, the MP-2i felt slightly cumbersome and slow. I noticed this primarily in two places: volleys and on my backhand. The MP-2i seems to really want a two-handed backhand. That said, MP-2i has some impressive strengths. The sweetspot is huge, comfort is good, the racquet is stable and it's easy to produce consistently deep groundstrokes. Topspin is easy to generate, and kick serves really hop. It's good at throwing up defensive lobs. In absolute, rather than comparitive terms, manueverability is good. I survived some fast-paced net exchanges in doubles with MP-2i. It's defintely worth a demo. Comfort and Feel The winner here was the Tour 95. I could feel the ball so much better than with the MP-2i. In fact, the Tour 95 felt a lot more flexible than the MP-2i - more than the 3 point stiffness difference would seem to indicate. As for comfort, the MP-2i is a very comfortable racquet. It's well, perhaps overly, damped. I noticed no excess vibration. This is partly because the sweet spot is huge - it feels like almost the entire face of the racquet. But again, the Tour 95 proved to be the better racquet. Despite the excellent feel, I felt no harsh vibrations. And whereas I noticed some forearm discomfort after hitting backhands with the MP-2i, I noticed no such discomfort when hitting backhands using the Tour 95. Groundstrokes This was the closest category. The MP-2i produces consistently deeper shots for me. Topspin was easy to produce, and slice was decent. Control was good. Lobs were consistently deep. However, despite the extra depth, my groundstrokes seemed to lack weight. They were deep, but not penetrating. My slice didn't bite as much and stay as low as I'd like. With the Tour 95, I was unable to get my groundstrokes as consistently deep. However, I had greater directional control, and my shots had more penetrating power. My slice bit hard and stayed low. The topspin drives jumped more. Most importantly, I seemed to hurt my opponents more with my shots - except for lobs. I was having trouble getting those deep enough until late this afternoon, when I finally hit a few good topspin lobs. For me the Tour 95 wins here, by a hair. My goal for my groundstroke game is to create a short ball that I can attack and follow to the net. I was able to do this more often with the Tour 95 than with the MP-2i. Volleys and Overheads Both racquets volleyed well. Both did really well on half-volleys, which is an important criteria for me. As a net rusher, I have to dig up a lot half-volleys: a racquet that's not manueverable enough and stable enough to allow me to half-volley effectively and consistently is worthless. Both racquets also produced good results on overheads. I got good power and placement out of both of them. However, the Tour 95 was the clear winner here. It's the more nimble racquet at the net. It also provides better touch, control and put away power than the MP-2i. The MP-2i is good...the Tour 95 is superb. Serves The MP-2i game me good control, consistency and decent pace. I even got some wicked kick serves out of it. But, despite the extended length, I just couldn't overwhelm my opponents with my serve. I never lost serve, but I faced a fair few screaming returns. In comparison, I was able to produce much more pace and overall heavier serves with the Tour 95. Control was quite good, as was consistency, spin was excellent and the returns coming back were distinctly weaker. Returns Both racquets did well here, especially on the forehand side. However, when it came to backhand returns, the Tour 95's superior manueverability produced better results. The heavier ball the Tour 95 produced also made my forehand returns more effective. Remember folks - these are my opinions, based on my playing style and strokes. It's possible for you to have a totally different impression of these racquets, and for both of us to be right.