|11-14-2012, 07:10 PM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2012
I'm sure this racquet has been covered many times over, but I thought I'd add my thoughts. Plus, I can't search for 7G, so here is a new thread. It is just too good to be overlooked because it isn't from one of the big three. Anyway, it's my first review (adapted from the TW APD review format), so here goes.
Tennis experience/background: I played for about a year in high school, then stopped. I finally picked up the racquet again 22 years later, and have been playing for about 6 months now. I've always been good at ball & stick sports, though, so I've kind of picked up where I left off. Really wish I would've started earlier and stuck with it.
Describe your playing style: I started as a baseliner, but have been playing in a 3.5 league where a lot of shots land short. The blocked back shots have me moving forward constantly and being aggressive, so now I am pretty much an all court player. I still prefer the baseline though. I hit a heavy forehand with significant spin, hit both a 1 & 2 HBH, and have flat and spin serves.
Current racquet/string: PK 7G; go to set up is Isospeed Baseline Spin w/OGSM crosses. Came from an OG APD with the same strings.
How long have you had the racquet: 2 months and just bought a second
Comments on racquet performance:
-groundstrokes: The 7G kills it here. Like many have said in other reviews, it just does everything well--it has no weaknesses. It has ample power with easy access to spin. With the poly/syn hybrid, I can hit hard, low shots off both wings, or hit heavy topspin shots that clear the net by 8ft and land at the baseline, bouncing up to my opponent's shoulders/head. While it isn't going to turn you into Rafa, the racquet does exactly what you ask of it. It rewards good form.
What really surprised me is the control. I'm able to put the ball most anywhere I want, and I'm no longer hitting long. I think this is a combination of the 16 x 20 string pattern as well as the Kinetic system. I honestly cannot think of a time when the racquet twisted in my hand. This has really improved my accuracy. I also think this is the sweet spot for string patterns.
I think the Kinetic system has also improved my slices. I get far less floaters than I did with my OG APD and far more hard, low drives. It almost isn't fair for the other guys. The racquet just soaks up the ball and sends it on its way in solid, cotrolled manner. I've never had a racquet so solid off the ground.
-serves: It took me a bit to find my serve, but now they are back with a vengeance. My normal spin serve (second serve that isn't a slice or a kicker, somewhere in between) has good pace, depth and consistency. With the 7G, I can place this thing anywhere in the box and do it time and time again. I've also added a flat, slice and kick serve. The flat serve has ample power even though I was getting more with the APD. The slice is where this really shines. It curves wildly to the left, drops as soon as its over the net and keeps on moving out wide. Not sure if its the Kinetic stuff helping out again, but it really keeps guys guessing. The racquet just allows me to take everything but the spin off while maintaining a normal toss and motion.
-volleys: This is another area that surprised me. Since I've been moving in more, I've found that the 7G is a great volleying stick. Again, I think the Kinetic system soaks up the ball and gives you great control. It is supremely stable, even on off-center hits. It is like the ball is hitting a bag of sand. Touch is great, and you can really get good angles, putting the ball where you want to. A nice thing about the racquet is you just have to get it in position. It will take care of the rest.
-serve returns: I'm a little disappointed here. It isn't so much about how well the 7G handles serve returns, but more about losing a step over my APD. I think the power level is lower and the racquet is heavier, so I'm not getting it into position as quickly or getting the hard returns I was accustomed to with the Babolat. The 7G actually handles returns well, it's just that I've hit them much more aggressively with the APD. I'm still returning well, just not like before.
General reaction/comments on overall performance: All told, this is one awesome stick! So much so that I felt the need to write about it. What's kind of funny is that once I took it out of the box, it was very underwhelming. The PJ looked plain, almost box store like. The feel was ok, nothing special. And this was further exacerbated by the fact that it is $120 new vs $190 for the big names. Once I got on the court, though, I realized that this unassuming, inexpensive racquet from a poorly marketed company is just right--perfect!
One thing I didn't mention is the arm friendliness of the racquet. Most people, including me, find out about this stick due to arm issues. I wasn't buying the hype, but my arm would hurt so bad that I'd have trouble shifting on my way home from the court. I loved my APD, but something had to give. I only bought a new racquet because of my arm. This thing works! I've played with full poly and routinely play the hybrid, and I have zero issues. Even after 4 hrs of rallying, etc, my arm is pain free.
While this is a great reason to get this racquet in and of itself, don't pass this thing off as some kind of orthopedic device. The 7G delivers the goods as a player's stick. It just also happens to help out with arm problems. On a related note, you can hear the micro beads if you shake the racquet near your ear and are trying to hear them. During play, you will not hear them. That really is a non-issue. Only bats are going to hear this on court.
There you go. The best kept secret in the racquet world.