Head YOUTEK IG Extreme Pro 2.0 - WOW.
After using the Prince SPB for a few years and having mixed results with the Wilson Juice, (liked it at first, but realized it was a bit unstable when returning power shots) I decided it was time for a change. I demo-ed 4 racquets in the 315g class.
I hit with the Youtek Extreme Pro 2, Volkl Organix 8, Donnay Formula 100 and Technifibre 315 Speedflex. They are all great racquets, but this Extreme Pro 2 is quite amazing.
First, and like Carol said in her playtest review, this racquet feels fantastic right out of the gate. It is a bit heavier than i'm used to, but it is still quite head-light and has a perfect balance for me. I'm testing it out with polyester, i'm assuming a Head string, but I couldn't tell you which one.
Groundstrokes - check. So, so solid and a heavier ball to boot. This racquet is an absolute beast from the ground. Service returns, approach shots, slice..you name it and the racquet does it. The only issue i've encountered was overhitting some of the put away shots, but i've since figured it out. I can't wait to try this thing with my normal string. The topspin seemed a bit less than I normally produce, but it was probably just the strings. It was actually nicer to be able to flatten out my shots a bit. I was hitting 2hbh's with more pace than ever before.
Volleys - OMG! This is where I was most impressed with this racquet. I was hitting volleys with ease and putting them anywhere on the court I wanted. I think this was my main gripe with the SPB - I just could not get into any kind of comfort zone with this racquet at the net and it frustrated me to no end. Touch shots, also excellent. I was coming into the net just to see what this baby could do. Drop volleys, put aways, angle shots..it was all gravy.
Serves - this is where I struggled a bit for the first hour or two. I could not get into a comfort zone, but I think once I switch string and experiment a little bit it shouldn't be a problem. This racquet also had an overgrip on a 1/2 so it was a bit bigger than I was used to, and this could have impacted some of my wrist snap with the serve.
All in all, I think this is the most impressive racquet i've tried in a long time. It is also worth mentioning that it is extremely comfortable on the arm. The new technology they put in this thing really makes a difference. I still need a few more hours with this thing, but i've tried all the different Babolats, Prince, Wilsons, etc.. and this one is the most impressive of the bunch.
Prince Speedport Black with Gosen Polyquest 17 @ 61 lbs (4.5 USTA)