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Old 03-14-2011, 03:04 PM   #194
Kal-El 34
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
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X-Black 99 Review

ok guys i have been meaning to get to this. i really have i promise but these reviews don't just pop out of mid air

again, cosmetically... the black 99 looks lethal. However, as posted earlier, where i liked the flex of the black 94 better than the blue 94, I felt the opposite of the 99's. this is not to say the black 99 is a bad racquet. It is the smoother cousin of the blue 99.

Groundstrokes 8/10
I again found hitting groundstrokes with the black 99 to be very nice. Instantly I noticed a little less natural "pop" compared to the blue 99. However, I was getting a bit more control on bigger swinging groundstrokes. Spin potential seemed close, but not as much as I saw with the blue 99. I liked the fact that I could take gigantic cuts at the ball, and knew precisely where it was going every time. The feel and balance of this frame is amazing. My 2 handed backhand was great with this as well. I was really ripping through my shots with great accuracy. I was not however, getting the massive topspin that I was getting with the blue. I think flatter hitters may enjoy this frame a lot. I felt my slice was a bit better with the blue 99, as the black just didn't seem to snap through the air as effortlessly for me. Flatter groundstrokes were lethal though. I was really crushing the ball and felt good going for broke on just about any shot. Someone in an earlier post said something I liked about this frame... it's not getting as much chatter as the others, but it may just be the sleeper of the group

VOLLEYS 8/10

The added flex of the black 99 really made touch volleys sweet. The ball really pocketed well on the strings and I was getting some really nice angles, and amazing drop volleys. It was not difficult to go deep on flatter volleys either. The frame moved through the air about as easily as the blue 99, and it did not feel bulky whatsoever. Personally, I enjoy that the blue 99 felt a bit more crisp, especially on reflex volleys, but the black 99 performed very well too. Like I have said with previous reviews, the sweet spot on the x series is fantastic. very big, very comfortable, and no real vibration or shock to the arm on off center hits. Really a great performing frame at the net.

SERVE 8.5/10

Serving with this frame is solid. The frame feels so solid when striking the ball on big swings, i loved it. Again, a little less pop that the blue 99, but still enough to feel very confident Flat serves were effortlessly coming off the racquet with great power and consistency. I was able to generate a pretty fair amount of spin, both with kick and slice, but not as crazy as I was getting with the blue 99. again it just did not feel like it cut through the ball on the spinners quite like the blue.

OVERALL 8/10

Overall I think this is another racquet to be taken seriously among the tennis community. Donnay has really put out a great line of sticks, and I think it will be interesting the see where the company goes in the coming year. I seemed to prefer the blue 99 when I was hitting personally, but I can see a lot of people really falling in love with the black 99 as well. I would love to get an opinion from a flatter hitter on this frame as well. Big time groundies, good touch at the net, and a cannon on the serve... sounds like a pretty good combo to me!
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