So I played with the 99s all week.
Strung Pacific natural 54/MSV Co Focus 48.
Broke the main string at the top cross tieoff on a mishit friday during warmup.
My impressions so far:
1) Forehand is tricky. I can place it left to right the way I want, but fi I don't front load down low, I'll throw the ball long. What I mean is, I can't hit off my back foot. I've tried every way I can think of, it just doesn't work consistently. If I load on my front foot correctly the ball is perfectly placed depth wise. Swing speed must be fast.
2) Volleys are very good. The stiff RDiS I play with is known as a good volley stick. This one is better. The ball trajectory on the 99s is different. Once I dialed that in over 2 hours, its better. Touch is better, slice is much better.
3) 1HBBH. This is why you use this stick. If you have a 2HBH I have no idea, I don't hit one. !HBH is sublime. Effortless power, effortless low flick and grab as you come up and out. Feels sexy is the only way I can describe it.
4) Serves. Nothing to see here. No better than my RDiS.
5) String life. Strings moved alot. I did not notice any more wear than my RDiS. If I had not mishit I imagine I would have broke the mains first at 8-12 hours. I have broken the gut like this before on other sticks with a mishit.. par for the course with gut.
6) Tension. 51 right after stringing with an electronic machine. after 1 hour 49. after 4 hours 47. I broke it before I could measure at 8. This is almost identical to my Yonex setup...
For those of you that are having tension issue, I notice each and every one is using poly in the mains. All polys suck at tension maintenance. The best maintenance sticks for full poly beds have always be 18x20. I'm not sure why people are shocked that a bed with less string loses tension on a full poly setup faster. Its common sense.
With gut in the mains tension isn't an issue. As I bought this stick with the intent to use gut in the mains the tension performance of poly is a non issue for me.
I strung the stick up this time with pacific natural mains and Gosen Sidewinder in the crosses. I'll play all week and report back. Sidewinder is a geared poly and is a bit softer than msv with a bit more power. I'm curios to see if it slides better and what it does to the gut.
Oh, I also ordered another 99s so I don't have a fit on court if I break a string during warm up when I had planned to test it all day
For those that are having depth and launching problems: My conclusion is that your swing speed is not fast enough or you are pulling up on the stroke. Wilson markets this stick like it'll make everyone better. It won't. If you have bad form or you don't play with a semi-western or full western with a fast head speed you'll launch balls to the moon. If you hit a flat ball, this stick is *NOT* for you.
Every pro at the club that used it (bar one who is a chip and charge player) put more rotations on it than I could. Makes sense. They swing faster than I can. All of them remarked at the silly spin they could generate with it.
In short, If you know what you are getting into string wise, and you have *good form* with a fast closed grip, you might want to give this thing a try. It's definitely not for everyone.