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Old 01-21-2013, 06:36 AM   #1298
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,252

Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
Probably not a bad idea.

I hit with the 99S yesterday. At the request of its owner, I strung it at 58.5 mains and 55.5 crosses. It was strung with MSV Focus Hex 17L. First, I think it was strung a little too tight for my tastes, but I was really amazed at how well it played strung with poly at what I consider too high a tension for me. Three of us, 2 4.5s and 1 5.0, hit for two hours and played some Canadian doubles.

The thing that really struck me was, as others have said, how much more clearance you get over the net. Once you get used to the frame, you can keep the ball lower for times when your opponent is at net. The other striking thing about this racquet was how the ball "dove" at the end of well hit strokes. This caused the 5.0 on the other side of the net (ProKennex about 15 years old) to mishit ball after ball. He remarked more than once about how cleanly I was hitting the ball.

Comfort, especially considering an all poly string job at 58, was excellent. Control was great and touch was as good as any other frame save possibly the C10 that I've hit with of late.

I was really impressed with serves. I arrived earlier than the other two and took some serves. I started off just limbering up, hitting some easy kick serves. I then hit a couple of harder serves. I was able to hit the corners, and with more pace than I've been getting with my Prince frames. This frame is much firmer playing than the O3's, but not necessarily in a bad way. Serves were definitely a plus with this frame.

If struck properly, the ball really has a nice trajectory. Crosscourt forehands were for the most part unreturnable if I made it a point to step into them. On all shots, it seemed that the ball was coming down into the court much faster and at a steeper angle.

One-handed backhand here and it was sublime. I hit a couple of balls that had so much spin on them they literally shot off the court after hitting it. And the really good news is that slices were effortless and "dug" into the court more. I was able to really hit the ball without worrying about this being a new frame. It was like I had played with the frame before.

This frame is nice and fast around the net. Proper technique is rewarded with some good stick on volleys. Touch was great with half-volleys going back and angled volleys were pretty good too. I think my net game was a little off due to the all-poly string job and I did club a few.

Service Returns
The one thing to keep in mind with this frame is "swing". You really need to give the ball a good cut to get the proper response out of it. This is really most true for service returns at least 1st hit. I may, after some time with this frame, figure out how to hit a softer return, but out of the gate, if you swung aggressively, you were rewarded with a great return.

The 5.0 who owns the frame called me to check on how I liked it. I basically loved it. He said there is a downside. He had the other one and strung it with ALU 16L. He said that he broke strings right after the 1st set. I took a look at the MSV in my frame and it was notched about a quarter through. I think a soft, cheap, thick poly may be in order here. That said, I'm probably going to string mine with Lux Ace or Pacific PF 18 or Isospeed Pulse 17 when they come in. I know for sure that I'll string it at 54 or 55 and the crosses at 52 or 53. I suspect from previous experience the BB Original may be a good candidate for this frame as well.

From my experience, this frame plays great right out of the gate. I didn't have to make any big adjustments.

And, I'm going to try a few hybrids in this frame ----- Draulike?

But this is a great frame. Maybe Mark Woodforde and Felix Mantilla did know something none of the rest of us did!
nice review Rabbit, I'll play some dubs Tu and Thurs and I'll have more to add.

I did a TW search and Black Widow has a 15L Poly, but I thins it's only a 1.32. I loved the gut mains with the 4G crosses the first time out so I will see how it lasts. Interesting you found the serve to be good, I did not hit serves my first time so I'll look forward to that tomorrow.

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