Tennis experience/background: 10 plus years
Describe your playing style: baseline oriented, solid 4.0
Current racquet/string: Head Prestige S strung with Solinco TB 1.25mm at 43/42
Racquet model tested: APD GT 2013
How many hours did you play with the racquet? 4 so far
I can sum the whole experience as like this: it's an APD. If you like the PD or APD you will likely love this one. Babolat have made several improvements but the dna leaves you in no doubt that it's a Bab.
Improvements: 1. I did find that it feels much better on contact with the new cortex and handle: its much more solid overall and I would play it stock if I switched to it. In the past, I usually leaded mine up to roughly 342g.
2. It swings lighter than the older versions and that's a plus IMO. However, it does feel less mobile than my Prestige S. The S weights 5g more and has the same balance: 33cm. My apd13 weighted 324g with a rubber band and tournagrip.
Groundstrokes are just what you would expect: you can hit a nice heavy ball off both wings and I found that my 2hbh in particular improved with this stick: I could hit a nasty heavy deep bouncer with a touch of side spin cross court to set up a short reply.
I did find that the ball trajectory is a bit higher than with my last two sticks: Prestige S and IG Radical Pro. For my game, I usually prefer to produce a driving lower trajectory ball to take time away from my opponent. However, if you love to pound it hard and deep, this is your stick.
Volleys were solid, the new cortex system is solid on impact and gives a satisfying feedback; the 100” hoop makes it hard to miss. I tend to only come in to finish off points and the apd was great for that.
Serves: Nice on serve, it does swing lighter than previous versions which helped with my placement in the box, easy to produce serves from the deuce side that consistently painted the outside corner.
Return of Serve: one of my favorite shots: the APD shines on this side, especially on the BH side, you can take a full rip at the ball and produce a nice deep return that’s tricky for the server to handle.
Overall, the feel is much improved over the older versions. For comparison, my Prestige S feels like a wand in my hand, it comes around lightening fast and I'm rarely late on shots; the APDGT 13 swings faster than before but the 100" hoop and big beam is not as agile.
I’ve owned all the previous versions of this stick: Original, APDC and GT and this is the best version since the original: some things the original does better (overall it’s softer) but the GT 13 has better power and is superior on return of serve.
At any point were you approached by a man in a poncho offering peyote?