2019 Wilson Blade

Jouke

Semi-Pro
Hi everybody, I’m a 33 years old former tennis coach from Germany. After not touching a racquet for almost 9 years this summer I have fallen in love with the wonderful game of tennis again up to the point where find myself sleeping with my racquets next to my bed. I playtested several racquets in the last few months (even though I still have my Völkl Quantum 10 Tours and might give them a try at some point later on) and I’m now torn between the Pure Strike 98 18x20 (Gen. 2) and the Blade 98 v7 18x20.

Some random observations:

When playing against hard and flat hitting opponents I found the PS to be the better choice. I had an easier time redirecting power and going for counterpunches when in defense. It probably has to do with the PS being a bit stiffer and more maneuverable due to its lower swingweight. It’s harder to create spin though and hits outside the sweetspot or late contact feel slightly uncomfortable. It’s really hard to overhit though. With the Blade on the other hand balls will fly when hitting late but it feels more comfortable at least haha. I guess I need a little bit more time getting used to the high SW of the Blade against offensive opponents or maybe I’ll add some weight to its handle. It sounds obvious but the Blade definitely rewards good contact/footwork. My slices were a little bit flatter/grittier with the PS and I had a tad more feel due to the racquet being more headlight.

I preferred the Blade when playing against people generating less speed who gave me more time for action and good positioning. Here is where the higher SW of the Blade has its advantages. Creating spin was not issue and hitting deep balls felt more effortlessly compared to the PS.

Serving flat bombs was a pleasure with the Blade, the “oooomph factor” was extremely high. I liked the PS more when kick serving.

I’ll try to improve my preparation with the blade when playing against hard hitters, maybe my swing tempo is too low since I was used to playing the Quantum 10 Tour with a SW of 306 or maybe it’s just that I’m still a bit rusty. Anyway, I hope this is helpful.

Both racquets were strung with 24kg (53lbs) Wilson Revolve 1,25mm.
My pure strike 16x19 had a strung Swingweight 334g without dampener. My v7 Blade 18x20 has a lower Swingweight.
Lots of things cannot be attributed to just swingweight.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
You used some odd strings or something because it simply does not feel like that. Even the 16x19 does not. I hate oports as well. The frame that feels like that to me is the clash, which I believe you still use?
The v7 16/19 came with revolve 16g. Hated the super muted feel. Blamed it on the string. Cut it out. My hybrid of prince Tour xp/Volkl v-pro might perhaps be odd to you but I am very familiar with this hybrid having used it and loving it in many other frames including the 2 previous iterations of the 18/20 blade.

Perhaps comparing it to o-ports was a bit extreme. My point was I never felt connected to the ball with the v7 16/19. The few times that I encountered this sort of feeling was with o-port sticks.

Compared to the v7 16/19, the Clash has a far more connected feel.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
The v7 16/19 came with revolve 16g. Hated the super muted feel. Blamed it on the string. Cut it out. My hybrid of prince Tour xp/Volkl v-pro might perhaps be odd to you but I am very familiar with this hybrid having used it and loving it in many other frames including the 2 previous iterations of the 18/20 blade.

Perhaps comparing it to o-ports was a bit extreme. My point was I never felt connected to the ball with the v7 16/19. The few times that I encountered this sort of feeling was with o-port sticks.

Compared to the v7 16/19, the Clash has a far more connected feel.
Wow, the Clash to me had zero connection to the ball. I tried a demo of the 100 at the tennis club here and hated it because it felt like I had no idea what the ball was going to do. I liked it only because it was good on the arm but it had a good amount of power to it that I didn’t really feel full control over.

I feel very connected to the ball with the 18x20 v7, but I also would not suggest those 2 strings. This frame really sings with a crisper poly which is why I think most people are loving it with ALU style polys. RS Lyon..etc. Typhoon is a winner in it, and I just put Max Power Rough in it and that works great as well.

For me, as soon as I hit the ball with the 18x20, I know what’s going to happen. It’s great. Everyone who has tried my racquet has been highly impressed. Even my coach who has been using the same Prestige Mid for 15 years. He wants the Blade now.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Wow, the Clash to me had zero connection to the ball. I tried a demo of the 100 at the tennis club here and hated it because it felt like I had no idea what the ball was going to do. I liked it only because it was good on the arm but it had a good amount of power to it that I didn’t really feel full control over.

I feel very connected to the ball with the 18x20 v7, but I also would not suggest those 2 strings. This frame really sings with a crisper poly which is why I think most people are loving it with ALU style polys. RS Lyon..etc. Typhoon is a winner in it, and I just put Max Power Rough in it and that works great as well.

For me, as soon as I hit the ball with the 18x20, I know what’s going to happen. It’s great. Everyone who has tried my racquet has been highly impressed. Even my coach who has been using the same Prestige Mid for 15 years. He wants the Blade now.
Clearly the v7 16/19 plays nothing like the 18/20.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I know some people love the 16x19 and I totally get why, but for me, once a racquet gets to a certain softness, it really benefits from the 18x20 pattern. Thats why I never tried the 14x16 P93. I need to feel the ball and control it as much as possible.

The 16x19 with Ytex Quadra twist was not insanely different than the 18x20, but that combo of string ( i dont like the feel of it, a little too soft) with the more open launchy 16x19 pattern just didnt give me the same feedback as I get from my setup.
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
The 16x19 plays extremely well with touch and control. Truly can’t imagine for a second what i would get from an 18x20 given the 16x19 is already pretty tight with a low launch angle. This is however a frame with a comfortable flexy feel and benefits from a crisp good feeling poly. Tour Bite plays really nice in it and i will be trying S7T and Revolution in it as well. Off hand and without even trying, quadro twist a soft poly does not strike me as a good fit. I like to match flexy frames with crisp strings and if the frame is more stiff then i’d go to a softer poly. Soft and soft has never proven to be a good combination in my view and becomes problematic sling shot action.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
The 16x19 plays extremely well with touch and control. Truly can’t imagine for a second what i would get from an 18x20 given the 16x19 is already pretty tight with a low launch angle. This is however a frame with a comfortable flexy feel and benefits from a crisp good feeling poly. Tour Bite plays really nice in it and i will be trying S7T and Revolution in it as well.
More punch and control and feel. It’s a personal thing, but thats the difference I noticed. Again the higher SW may be tougher for some, but for me it is an asset. Agree on the string choices. TB is probably awesome in it.
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
More punch and control and feel. It’s a personal thing, but thats the difference I noticed. Again the higher SW may be tougher for some, but for me it is an asset. Agree on the string choices. TB is probably awesome in it.
Truly not convinced, I added weight to mine to get SW higher 2&10 and i use a crisp string. Feel is perfect and punch is certainly there. No issue at all
 
I would imagine the 18x20 with 1.20 gauge and the 16x19 with 1.25+ gauge would play similarly if they had the same swing and twist weight. The 18x20 has more weight in the head (higher twist weight) so it’s going to have more plow than the 16x19 even if they have the same swing weight. I have measured close to 10 blades on my swing weight machine and they are all over the board. I also see folks adding weight to the head of the 16x19 and to the handle of the 18x20 so we’re probably talking shades grey once people get whichever pattern to their spec. Still loving my 18x20.
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
Ok, awesome. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. Enjoy your racquet.
If you read my prior comments, you’ll see where I’m coming from. I think you just didn’t have a 16x19 in the right combination of string. I am sure you know string makes a big difference. And quadro twist a soft string would not be what i would put in a soft flexy blade
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
If you read my prior comments, you’ll see where I’m coming from. I think you just didn’t have a 16x19 in the right combination of string. I am sure you know string makes a big difference. And quadro twist a soft string would not be what i would put in a soft flexy blade
It wasn’t my frame to string, and I prefer the 18x20 because I like the control and plow plus I don’t need to touch it with lead. I also like the launch angle of the 18x20 more. I also like the feel of the tight pattern as well in this frame. It works better for me.
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
It wasn’t my frame to string, and I prefer the 18x20 because I like the control and plow plus I don’t need to touch it with lead. I also like the launch angle of the 18x20 more. I also like the feel of the tight pattern as well in this frame. It works better for me.
Totally understand it wasn’t yours, just explaining why experience may not have been so good. I do remember trying the 2015 version 18x20 a long time ago and was surprised how much spin I was getting and good power. I bet if i compared the center strings between both patterns, there would be next to no difference.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
I never felt like 16x19 blade or any other S type blade is the same racquet as their 18x20 counterpart. I am not sure how v7 is different in this regard but they all played very different to me. In the past open pattern blades were stiffer harsher worst feeling. I truly hope they made them feel similar as that’s pretty hard to achieve. From my conversation with Paul from Angell layup cannot be the same for two different string patterns.
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
I never felt like 16x19 blade or any other S type blade is the same racquet as their 18x20 counterpart. I am not sure how v7 is different in this regard but they all played very different to me.
Why would you compare the 16x19 to an S? Not the same ballpark
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
We all have our preferences which is understandable. I am most certainly not a classic 18x20 guy and prefer the 16x19 pattern. However i love 16x19s with 8 mains in the throat that i think play to perfection with a more optimized center while still retaining characteristics of the 16x19. For me allows excellent flexibility in shot making and switching around easily between heavy spin and going flatter when i want to throw off an opponent's rhythm
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I never felt like 16x19 blade or any other S type blade is the same racquet as their 18x20 counterpart. I am not sure how v7 is different in this regard but they all played very different to me. In the past open pattern blades were stiffer harsher worst feeling. I truly hope they made them feel similar as that’s pretty hard to achieve. From my conversation with Paul from Angell layup cannot be the same for two different string patterns.
The 2013 blade 16/19 was stiff and harsh. The v7 blade 16/19 feels nothing like the 2013 blade 16/19. It’s much softer and more muted but unfortunately the change doesn’t result in a better experience for me.

Interesting about layups needing to be different for different string patterns. Didn’t know that.

Looks like I will have to try the 18/20 v7 now.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
We all have our preferences which is understandable. I am most certainly not a classic 18x20 guy and prefer the 16x19 pattern. However i love 16x19s with 8 mains in the throat that i think play to perfection with a more optimized center while still retaining characteristics of the 16x19. For me allows excellent flexibility in shot making and switching around easily between heavy spin and going flatter when i want to throw off an opponent's rhythm
What level do you play at?
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
The 2013 blade 16/19 was stiff and harsh. The v7 blade 16/19 feels nothing like the 2013 blade 16/19. It’s much softer and more muted but unfortunately the change doesn’t result in a better experience for me.

Interesting about layups needing to be different for different string patterns. Didn’t know that.

Looks like I will have to try the 18/20 v7 now.
The difference is very little and has to do with the flow pattern for each type of string pattern
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
The 2013 blade 16/19 was stiff and harsh. The v7 blade 16/19 feels nothing like the 2013 blade 16/19. It’s much softer and more muted but unfortunately the change doesn’t result in a better experience for me.

Interesting about layups needing to be different for different string patterns. Didn’t know that.

Looks like I will have to try the 18/20 v7 now.
The 2013 16x19 Blade was so bad for me too. Man I hated that one. Lol. Didn't like either version too much, but the PJ was kinda cool.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I have only played since I was 7 years old so I’m really terrible
Playing since you were 7 doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I’ve seen old guys who have played all their lives...and never made it beyond 3.5 because they never got any lessons. Lol. And yeah, they are still really terrible.
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
Playing since you were 7 doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I’ve seen old guys who have played all their lives...and never made it beyond 3.5 because they never got any lessons. Lol. And yeah, they are still really terrible.
Considering that I thought your question was very childishly reactionary, I already knew what your level is. If you’re ever in Chicago, happy to play a match so you could know.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Considering that I thought your question was very childishly reactionary, I already knew what your level is. If you’re ever in Chicago, happy to play a match so you could know.
Its not a huge deal, people just like to know to understand reviews better. A guy just asked me in the YY HD thread and I didn't take offense. I don't think he meant it as an insult.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Playing around with balance a bit this weekend.







Maybe a point move HL but can feel it sit back in my hand a little. Might double up to see how it goes.
 
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10nisne1

New User
Got a chance to hit few hours with the Blade 16x19 v7 today at Arcadia Tennis Center. Normal racket and setup is a Yonex DR 98 with VS gut 16 gauge mains@48lbs/Yonex Poly Tour Pro 17 gauge crosses@45lbs. I used to use a full set of Alu Power Rough on the Yonex until I discovered the benefits of gut hybrid setup. Yonex has some tungsten around 10 and 2 to bring the weight up to 11.8oz strung

Strung up the Blade with Alu Power Rough 16L at 45lbs for both mains and crosses. I didn't want to use gut until I felt more committed to the Blade. Blade strung up came in at 11.3oz. Here are my observations compared to my current setup:
  • launch angle was higher with the Blade​
  • power was about the same (or maybe a slight edge to the Blade) with their respective string setup, but as expected, full set of APR provided more spin. However, the Blade has more power when compared to a full set of APR on the Yonex at the same tension.​
  • the Blade offered more plow through than my current setup. I guesstimate my 11.8oz Yonex setup is around 7 points HL. I was caught many times late bringing my swing around with the Blade. More so on my forehand side. Not so much with my one handed backhand.​
  • Better control on the Yonex, but could be that I just need to get more used to the Blade's weight/balance. Shot height and depth seemed more consistent with the Yonex (isometric head perhaps). Again, probably just need to get used to the Blade more.​
  • Definitely could feel the "Clash" technology on the Blade. Pockets the ball really well.......really really well. However, whereas on the Clash I couldn't tell where I was hitting the ball on the face of the racket, the Blade offered a better feel for the ball. Most likely due to the combination of the Clash technology and higher stiffness compared to the Clash.​
  • The Blade is loud as in the sound it makes when you are hitting the ball. A dense "thwack" sound.....somewhat pro-esque sounding. The kind of sound it makes when you hit used flat balls if you know what I mean (the balls being used were from a freshly opened can albeit Penn tennis balls from Costco). Now thinking about it, did I just think I was getting more power with the Blade because of the sound the racket made? Hmmmm​
  • While I love everything about the Yonex, one shot that has been lacking for me was the backhand slice. Slice shots mostly felt unstable on the Yonex and never the low and dirty ball flight I used to be able to get with the Dunlop F2.0 Tour 18x20 before I switched to the Yonex. While the Blade wasn't as low and dirty as the Dunlop, my backhand slices felt lot better on the Blade than the Yonex. Shots felt very stable and the ball flight was more in-line with what I desired.​
I'm going to try and get the static weight between 11.7-12oz and 6-7 points HL and see if I can get a little better with the control and consistency.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Playing around with balance a bit this weekend.







Maybe a point move HL but can feel it sit back in my hand a little. Might double up to see how it goes.
Sometimes I think about adding a TW leather grip on it. Curious how it would play. Obviously it's heavier and more HL that way, but Im wondering how it would swing. I am quite sure the feel would be even more awesome.
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
Its not a huge deal, people just like to know to understand reviews better. A guy just asked me in the YY HD thread and I didn't take offense. I don't think he meant it as an insult.
Yes! I can easily see that and conversationally it happens, just in this case perhaps came off wrong. So just for you a fellow passionate tennis guy, I’ll spill the beans. I did play tennis from a very young age around 7 and was pretty good all the way to the age of 18. Easily beat people much older than me but i grew up overseas on the shores of the mediterranean. Tons of kids played and we spent hours a day and had our tournaments. I moved to the US for college age 18 and just didn’t know how things worked so never went for a school with a tennis program. Instead focus was on good academics and I played soccer for 4 years. I played three different sports growing up. I stopped playing for a bunch of years and came back to the game many years ago and played as high as 4.5 USTA. I still regularly play USTA and private leagues both singles and doubles.
 

AA7

Semi-Pro
Playing around with balance a bit this weekend.







Maybe a point move HL but can feel it sit back in my hand a little. Might double up to see how it goes.
Let us know... i have 7gr in the handle.. i like it .
Moved the balance 1.5pts to 5.5...
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Considering that I thought your question was very childishly reactionary, I already knew what your level is. If you’re ever in Chicago, happy to play a match so you could know.
I wasn’t implying you were any level. Was just asking because the type of ball and pace you face at varies greatly at different levels. But saying you’ve played all your life isn’t necessarily meaningful unless I knew you personally.

Have you played with jmnk? He’s in ChiTown too.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Yes! I can easily see that and conversationally it happens, just in this case perhaps came off wrong. So just for you a fellow passionate tennis guy, I’ll spill the beans. I did play tennis from a very young age around 7 and was pretty good all the way to the age of 18. Easily beat people much older than me but i grew up overseas on the shores of the mediterranean. Tons of kids played and we spent hours a day and had our tournaments. I moved to the US for college age 18 and just didn’t know how things worked so never went for a school with a tennis program. Instead focus was on good academics and I played soccer for 4 years. I played three different sports growing up. I stopped playing for a bunch of years and came back to the game many years ago and played as high as 4.5 USTA. I still regularly play USTA and private leagues both singles and doubles.
Thanks. 4.5 is good!
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
I wasn’t implying you were any level. Was just asking because the type of ball and pace you face at varies greatly at different levels. But saying you’ve played all your life isn’t necessarily meaningful unless I knew you personally.

Have you played with jmnk? He’s in ChiTown too.
No, in fact not familiar with any of his posts? I’ll check out and if he is in the city and willing to hit then great
 

topspn

Hall of Fame
No unfortunately not. He is in upper Michigan so truly not possible. He is a good guy and we generally gravitate to liking similar things so we do exchange ideas. He does have an open invitation from me if he is ever in Chicago
 
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