Wilson BLX Steam 99S vs Babolat AeroPro Drive 2013

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by BabolatTennis9, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. BabolatTennis9

    BabolatTennis9 New User

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    I'm thinking about switching rackets from the Babolat AeroPro Drive GT to either the Wilson BLX Steam 99S or the Babolat AeroPro Drive 2013 and i was wondering what the difference between the 2 rackets were.
     
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  2. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Only NIGHT AND DAY!

    Played the Pure Drive GT and the 99S yesterday, the 99 sucks, sorry to those who like it.

    You can get more spin out of the Bab because it's so much more controlled, the 99 is weird, weird balance on the frame, and the spin I think is only for those who can't generate their own spin. Only thing that stuck out with the 99 is if you take a huge cut, it goes way up, looks like it's going out, then lands AT the baseline, but this is no way to play consistantly, by the time the ball lands your opponent will be there, better off keeping what you have.

    One more thing, buy the 99 if you don't mind stringing every week!
     
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  3. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    Sounds like you simply hit with no pace...that's why your opponents chase down your balls, not cuz of the 99s
     
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  4. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Is that a joke? I'm a monster 5.5 player who has beaten pro's. The racquet simply bites.
     
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  5. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    I would think a 'monster 5.5 who has beaten pros' wouldn't be hampered into uselessness by a racquet. Everyone's a big deal when sitting behind their computer screen. Heck, we're ALL monsters who have beaten pros!
     
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  6. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    Difference is I'm playing a TW forum player this week who will report everthing!

    Who said I was hampered into uselessness?

    Where do these people come from?
     
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  7. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    Oh! Proof! Solid proof! I love these self-rates!
     
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  8. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    I see, can't win for losing.

    Amazing that some are so horrible at Tennis that is amazes them that someone can be a 5.5.
     
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  9. Lilguy1456

    Lilguy1456 Semi-Pro

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    You can't use your RANK as evidence that you know what you're talking about, because you can't verify it...clown
     
    #9
  10. NetNinja68

    NetNinja68 Rookie

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    Why does a "Monster" need a light, artificially powered tweener frame like a PD anyway?? I would think a monster would want a players frame as they possess the strength but require more control?
     
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  11. Trippisthebest

    Trippisthebest New User

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    I'm pretty sure Mick knows what he is talking about
     
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  12. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    You just don't know when to stop digging your own grave, do you? Nobody likes a liar or a braggart, you are establishing yourself as both. You gain respect through honesty and integrity, not artificial rankings. Real players at the 5.5 level would never even think about using a racquet this light because of their lack of stability against hard hitters.
     
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  13. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Funny that your post effectively contradicts your signature....
     
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  14. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    Please explain.
     
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  15. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    You claim that you're a 5.5 and that you could find a way to win with effectively any racquet in your signature. Then you claim that no real 5.5 would use dream of using a racquet as light as the APD. Do you not see the conflict between those two positions?

    Also, the APD has a very hight twist-weight, which in effect runs counter to your position of stability against hard-hitters. That twist-weight is at stock specs. If you'ver never had the chance to play an APD with lead added, I highly suggest it as it might change your opinion greatly.... but then again, it's not really meant to be for S&Vers.
     
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  16. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    Thanks for explaining. I recently got moved up to 5.5 (shoulda sandbagged more), and the latter statdment is just my mentality when it comes to tennis. No blaming a loss on the racquet, or things like that. If I couldn't adapt my game based on the surrounding conditions, I would have no success in any high level match.
     
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  17. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    No worries man, and you're right - at the end of the day, the last thing you want to worry about during a match is the racquet. That being said, you do need to try the APD spec'd up to fully appreciate it - whole 'nother ballgame.
     
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  18. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    My old coach used the apdgt and the feel was just something I couldn't get used to plus it had to much power. Do those change when lead is added to the apd?
     
    #18
  19. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Either silicone or blu tack in the handle will improve the feel noticeably. Frankly, blu tack in the handle has made a night and day difference in that racquet. I believe a handle full will result in a weight just south of 12 oz.; very, very stable at that spec and just a beast when leaded to about 12.5 oz.

    Too much power? That's an issue, and frankly the basis of my comment regarding S&V. If you're a baseliner with a modern stroke, just implement more spin and the power is very controllable. If not, well it gets tricky.
     
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  20. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    I'll have to remember that if I'm ever in the market for a new racquet as I am currently in a love affair with my exo3 black.
     
    #20
  21. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    I own the 2013 APDs and I demoed the 99s this week and I didn't like it compared to my APDs. It lacks natural control because of the open pattern, it's too powerful and off centered shots were really bad.
     
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  22. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    How does the APD 13 do for solidness? I thought the PD 12 was noticeably more solid than past versions. Does the latest APD continue with this trend?

    I actually think the 99s is pretty solid. It's a tweener frame that's nudging up a bit towards player's frame realm.
     
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  23. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    Significantly more solid than the GT and the prior releases. Also more solid than the PDR2012. You won't confuse it for a PT630 stock though.
     
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  24. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    No, I doubt that too. :)
     
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  25. El Zed

    El Zed Banned

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    I'm telling you, man, with Blu Tack in the handle - the feel is sublime, though. :)
     
    #25
  26. fullpolyserve&volley

    fullpolyserve&volley New User

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    So it's basically just a moonballer racquet?

    Don't worry about that other guy. He's just trying to troll you.
     
    #26
  27. fullpolyserve&volley

    fullpolyserve&volley New User

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    Can we please get back to the posts about these two racquets?

    Some players will probably add some lead to them anyway...

    Swing lengths/speeds doesn't guarantee a higher class of player.

    Sampras, Becker and Lendl had slow swing speeds and they were monster hitters and servers at top level.

    There's no rule to say that higher level games need a certain weight for racquets (or frame types in general) anymore either. Nadal's is one of the lightest on the ATP (Í remember reading he's got a little bit of lead, but its pretty much close to stock still)
     
    #27
  28. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Yes, I would like to hear from ppl who've played the latest APD and 99s.

    Compared to the old APD Originals I used to play, IMO the 99s is a MUCH better serve frame. It's got better feel. It's better all court. It's easier re manoeuvrability. The comfort is an improvement. And it's more solid.

    The APD Original does perform quite uniquely from the baseline though. It's very special indeed from the backcourt if prioritising big heavy topspin is your thing.

    But what about the APD 2013?
     
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  29. P.Floyd

    P.Floyd Rookie

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    Do you play your original at stock? Based on your response, I can speak about the APD 2013 vs APD 2005.
     
    #29
  30. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    For 2 years on/off I played the APD/O with 6g in b/cap and 3 @ 12. Towards the end of my time with the frame (switched at the end of last year to Juice 100, then Steam and Blade recently), I started playing it with no mods at all.
     
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  31. P.Floyd

    P.Floyd Rookie

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    I'll just provide some initial thoughts and I can elaborate if necessary.

    First point, I've never tried the 99S and have no interest in doing so.

    If you played the APD 2005 only in stock form, then I can understand your comments as to serves. In stock form, the 2005 is very comfortable and soft, to the point that's its 65/67 stiffness rating feels excessive. While not the same type of hollowness that the 2010 GT had, which was unpleasant and cheap feeling, the 2005 has its own feel in this manner and lends to occasional impressions that it lacks solidity (especially on serves). This, to me, if pretty easily fixed with some lead at the upper hoop and handle (or through the use of silicone).

    The difference between the 2005 and 2013 is pretty stark. The 2013 feels more solid as it is rather muted on hits and tends to minimize feedback. The 2013 is very, very rigid in comparison to the 2005; whereas the 2005 provides the occasional feel of noticeable flex, the 2013 flat out doesn't. To date, it's the only racquet that has given me any arm or wrist problems. Power for both the 2013 and 2005 is comparable, and to me the slightest of paces behind the 2010. I believe the 2010 had the most generous sweet-spot, and therefore the greatest impression of perceived power.

    In terms of modifications, I play at a stock weight of 333 grams and a swingweight approaching or in the 350(s). Respective to the original, that means about 8 grams of additional weight to the top of the racquet, with a commensurate amount of silicone to bring the balance to about 33.25 cm. Not sure what I needed to do the 2013 to make it generally comparable, but once done so, the 2005 was far more enjoyable in feel and in its ability to aid spin and power. 2013 was even worse than the 2010 when modified, with the 2010 treading that line between comfort and feedback better than the 2013.

    So, unless you have amazing racquet speed that can really take advantage of the relatively low swingweight of the 2013 (and presuming that a bump up to the specs of 2005 or 2010 is too much for you to maintain that speed), I would look to other APDs in the series.
     
    #31
  32. P.Floyd

    P.Floyd Rookie

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    If you are adverse to mods, the 2013 might be your best option unless of course you are sensitive to high racquet stiffness or have had arm/wrist issues. The 2010 is pretty nice with a minimal amount of silicone in the handle to address the hollow/feel issue. The 2005 is absolutely king if you want to go all out with mods and don't mind a racquet at about 11 3/4 oz.
     
    #32
  33. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    Thanks P.Floyd for above posts. Yes, the APD/O is an exceptional frame IMO. I suspect I've moved on for good though, and judging from what you say, I don't think the APD 2013 would be quite my cup of tea.
     
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  34. P.Floyd

    P.Floyd Rookie

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    Anytime, Ross; yes, I couldn't recommend the 2013 over either the 2005 or the 2010.
     
    #34
  35. AndyChao

    AndyChao New User

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    I've played both rackets ... both have pluses and minuses ... in fact, I'm going to start another thread to see if there is a racket that is in between these two.

    Wilson Steam 105s was uncontrollable for me. Wilson 99s was pretty good. Tons of spin, could hit great serves and killer lobs. Somewhat out of control and difficult to hit precise targets.

    Babolat AeroPro Drive 2013 was far more stable. Very precise on certain shots. Decent spin. For me, racket was a bit stiff and hard to hit spinny lobs with. I think if you are strong enough to spin it a lot on your own, this is a great racket.

    For me, the Wilson Steam 99s is a little out of control while the Babolat is a bit stiff and tough to hit some spinny shots with. I'm about a 4.0 player.
     
    #35
  36. Dgdavid

    Dgdavid Professional

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    Try the Steam 99 Non-S version. 16x18, more penetrating than the 99S but still plenty of access to spin. Similar SW to the 99S though.

    I've had the APD 2010, 2013, Steam 99S, 99Non-S and currently have the new 99LS (needs a boat load of lead).

    Would also try the Volkl X8 300 in your shoes.
     
    #36
  37. oest10

    oest10 Semi-Pro

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    Although I agree with the first part of your post, this is a crazy statement. Theres plenty of people playing with light rackets who would kick your ***. Every once in a while I train with ex-pro's and there's plenty of them that have switched from their pro staffs to lighter rackets. And they will beat any 5.5 soundly let me tell you.
     
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  38. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I agree. I know a guy who was a former top 20 player who has beaten a few legends in his day. Today he plays with a 10.2 oz Team racquet. He counterpunches hard heavy balls better than anyone I know.
     
    #38
  39. naturallight

    naturallight Rookie

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    I've played with both...they're pretty different so I'd really recommend a demo.

    APD13 felt light and hollow. Control was good, as it felt pretty low powered due to the low weight. Spin was good. Really whips through the air, which is good because at slower swing speeds it's not very stable. Overall I like previous versions of the APD much better--at contact this one kind of feels like you're holding a whiffle ball bat.

    99s offers lots of spin. Also extremely comfortable. Be ready to use a thicker poly--I had to use 1.30 to get any semblance of string durability. The ball can really launch off the stringbed, which made consistency and control somewhat of an issue. Racquet is pretty stable and volleys were surprisingly good. But ultimately it was just too much different than what I'm used to, I could never adjust and play well in pressure match situations.
     
    #39
  40. Dragan

    Dragan Rookie

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    So you don't consider tour pros like Kim Klijsters, Na Li, Fabio Fognini etc. "real players"?
     
    #40
  41. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    I love the 2013 version of the APD , but I had to pull the trigger and get the Steam 99S. Sold all of the older vintage 80's player's sticks and am stocking up on the newer & interesting frames.
    One thing about the APD is that it rewards you for being aggressive and fast with your strokes. I'm really interested to find out if I can put hard & heavy shots with the 99S. I already have heavy top spin strokes, and my opponents were impressed with the bounce I was able to generate with the Six.One 95S. Just having a good time with various interesting racquets. That's all.
     
    #41
  42. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I prefer the APD 2013 to the 99s. I don't like being stuck with having to use 15g full poly. With the APD, I have a wide variety of string choices available and i like that.
     
    #42
  43. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    Is it because the 99S breaks the strings faster? I'm thinking about ordering a reel of the 16 g synthetic gut...
     
    #43
  44. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I demoed both and my initial impression was the Steam was the best tweener out there for how I play and I stand by it. The APD is also a great stick as well.

    As for strings, once I find a setup I usually buy a reel and move on.

    You definitely can use 16 gauge string with the Steam and are not limited to 15, I just have to figure out if I personally can do it.

    But if you hit hard with a lot of head pseed, the APD and Steam are both full poly racquets. I would not recommend synthetic gut in either, especially the Steam.
     
    #44
  45. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Semi-Pro

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    Thank you... Almost bought a reel... I will look for some poly strings...
     
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