Play 2 sets and 3 games of 21 yesterday with my Melbourne.
A little about my game: I'm a 4.0, I like to serve and volley, I have a solid kick serve that I use most of the time, Hit my groundies with quite a bit of topspin, and I typically get my racquet on most ball. I'm working at getting to tthe net more during baseline rally's and staying out of defense mode when I hang on the baseline.
Having played with Volkl's and Becker's in the past, there are definitely some similarities. I purchased two racquets from TW. They came it with stock dampener and an wilson over wrap at 347 grams each. And they had Identical balance points. I had them strung with the free synthetic gut TW offers at 55lbs. I typically string my own racquets. And in this case, I elected to have TW string them since it was free. Couldn't ask for more. My first impressions.....
1. Solid.....The Melbourne is solid. Hitting volleys, shoe strings, and off center shots all felt great. I loved how solid it felt at the net. I hit several balls out the air from errant balls from my hitting partner and it was just solid. Off center balls still resulted in good directional control.
2. Slices.....I have an ok slice with about 1 out of every 4 sitting up on me. With the melbourne, slicing was fantastic. The solid nature of the racquet made it easy to slice.
3. Touch.....This is something I have missed since selling my PB10 mid and my Becker 11. The Melbourne had great touch, I was able to hit great drop shots, touch volleys and change up speeds with out thinking about it.
4. Topspin.....Frankly, I was concerned about topspin with the 18x20 string pattern. And with all the talk about a hot string bed I was concerned about keeping balls in the court. I was pleasantly surprised by how much topspin I was able to generate with this racquet.
5. Serve.....My flat first serve didn't have as much pop as I am accustom too. And the racquet seemed a bit lethargic on serve in general at first. Never got my flat first serve going, however, my kickers were jumping. And I rarely hit long, which gave me added confidence on second serves. Directional control was great. I'm going to play around with adding weight to the handle to see if I can get a little more whip with my serve.
6. Maneuverability.....This was another area I thought might be an issue. I was more than pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to pick up short hops as well as put spin on low, short balls. And it never felt sluggish at the net. I'm looking forward to playing more S&V with this racquet and coming to the net more often. At one point I came to the net on 8 straight points and winning the point on each.
7. Hot String Bed.....I was really worried about this and it just never seemed to be an issue. With the spin I was able to generate from both wings I never worried about hitting long. I had plenty of power when I swung out, and my backhand felt great.
8. Control.....I've been playing with the Biomimetic 300 Tour and the Prince EXO3 Tour, and I felt way more confident with the Melbourne in every aspect.
I'm excited to play around with different string set ups, especially poly. I've played around with different racquets from time to time, but I usually settle on something and play with it for a couple of years. I really like my Prince EXO3 Tours and I've played with them for 2 years now. They are leaded up to 357 grams. And the Melbourne's have better touch and better control. Not quite as much topspin.
Serving was the only area that I wasn't completely happy with. And like Basil, It usually takes a couple of outing and a couple of baskets of balls to dial that in with a new racquet.
I plan on sticking with this racquet for the foreseeable future.