Any 5.0 Players Switch From Players Frame to Babolat and Get Even Better?

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
I have gone from the Wilson RF97 to the 2018 Babolat Pure Drive. The changes in the new PD made the transition very seamless. I use a similar string set up in the PD that I used in the RF97. There are so many good racquets on the market nowadays that it can be a little overwhelming to "find" the one that you feel is perfect for you. I feel that the good news is there are multiple options and offerings that can fit everyone's game. Obviously string set up and grip size play into the equation as well. A fun debate/discussion that we can probably never all come to a complete consensus.
Just curious are you still using the 2018 Pure Drive and what string setups do you like? I am doing the exact same transition right now RF97 to 2018 Pure Drive.

Have only played one match so far and felt it went pretty well. The biggest difference I noticed is my ball did not have the same heaviness to it as with the RF97. But that is to be expected given the difference in weight and swing weight. Also the RF97 is unmatched with it's ability to pick up balls hit into your body and re-direct them with authority.

My reason for switching is for better maneuverability and I certainly notice the difference there.

I strung it up with RPM Blast 17 at 51 lbs and it felt a little stiff for me.
 

Geoff

Hall of Fame
Just curious are you still using the 2018 Pure Drive and what string setups do you like? I am doing the exact same transition right now RF97 to 2018 Pure Drive.

Have only played one match so far and felt it went pretty well. The biggest difference I noticed is my ball did not have the same heaviness to it as with the RF97. But that is to be expected given the difference in weight and swing weight. Also the RF97 is unmatched with it's ability to pick up balls hit into your body and re-direct them with authority.

My reason for switching is for better maneuverability and I certainly notice the difference there.

I strung it up with RPM Blast 17 at 51 lbs and it felt a little stiff for me.
As of January 1 I am back with Wilson (playing with the RF97 and teaching with the Clash). In the 2018 Pure Drive I was using Babolat VS Touch 16g at 57lbs in the mains and Babolat RPM Blast Rough 16Lg at 55lbs in the crosses.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
As of January 1 I am back with Wilson (playing with the RF97 and teaching with the Clash). In the 2018 Pure Drive I was using Babolat VS Touch 16g at 57lbs in the mains and Babolat RPM Blast Rough 16Lg at 55lbs in the crosses.
It's a tough stick to move on from that's for sure!
 

dr. godmode

Professional
As a junior I played predominantly with APD's and the I switched to the SV95 and my game got way better.

So for me the opposite happened. I'm a counterpuncher and even I cant play with Babolat.
 

TnsGuru

Professional
I know the Bryan brothers are playing with Babolat now and for years they played with more player type rackets. At 40 yrs of age I guess easier power is what is needed to save energy. Tweener frames are played by some of the best players out there. Sometimes our ego wants us to play with a players frame but its ok if you don't.

I can play with the RF 97 pretty well but requires keen eyesite to hit sweet all the time. My Babolat I can hit it and not always dead center and still have some juice on it. I don't have 20/20 vision anymore and the extra size and power makes up for it.

Look what Federer did when he went from 93 to 97 sq inches......he improved with it, I see no reason why a 5.0 can't have the same benefits. He stayed with the smaller frame becaue his ego said he was still capable but he didn't account for his aging body and eyesite. Luckily he was humble enough to say "maybe its time for a change" and now he is able to extend his career even further.
 
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I was at Indian Wells this weekend. The thing folks need to understand is the higher the level the less difference the extra power of a babalot will make. Why? Because your opponent will run the ball down anyway. I was watching monfils play Mayer and Mayer had more power but it didn’t matter. Mayer only won points when he hit a deep shot that forced monfils into an error, hit a big serve, or executed a volley or drop shot. More power from a Babolat would have been useless since Monfils is too fast anyway. Mayer would have simply hit the ball out more. To win, he need control and the ability to flatten the ball out. It’s only when your opponent is slower that the extra power matters. The slower we get as we age, the more of an advantage you will have using a Babolat because the spin angles and extra power will be more effective. If you hit a spiny angle on a pro, he would get there in plenty of time and hit a effective flatter shot to put you on difference. Against a slower league player, this could play turn out to be an effective shot and might open the court for you to win the point. In addition the slower player will struggle recover when you hit a more powerful shot. Two or three shots could win the point.
 
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Dartagnan64

Legend
Look what Federer did when he went from 93 to 97 sq inches......he improved with it
You mean 17 GS titles with the 90 and 3 with the 97 is an improvement? yes he had one bad year in 2013 before making the switch but he was beating tweeners with his 90 long before making a switch. It was probably his declining knees that were the bigger issue with the need to switch. With loss of speed getting the timing right with the mid was harder. He didn't win a GS title with the 97 until he got his knee fixed.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Switch from Wilson Ultra Tour -> Pure Aero Drive 2019. More power on serves, groundstrokes and able to hitting angles without having to generate the extra force in the swinging to generate fast velocity for passing shots. Great so far!
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
Am I having something wrong here?

Lot of people speak about the tweeners, but the pros play the same make tour-edition rackets at the highest level of play.

Getting extra spin and speed to me sounds really intimidating. But I think there is not much to gain, cause I play PD Tour.

For the record, when I started tennis again I bought two PD Roddicks. Strung weight were about 20 grams higher than the current replacement PD Tour 2017. The Roddic GT’s were sooo smooth and easy to hit comparing to my 80’s Puma Reds with seasoned poly strings.

The Puma Red’s were not my choice though, but since I needed two similar frames, i had to go with them. The Boris Becker stock model, Puma Blue was the one, I’d wanted in my bag. They were not available, so I had to go for the rubber band Reds.

The difference in between the Pumas were the ratio, 50/50 (graphite/glasfiber) to 80/20 in favor the Blue model. And that was remarkable in the feel of the sturdyness and rebound.


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No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Lot of people speak about the tweeners, but the pros play the same make tour-edition rackets at the highest level of play.
Pros don't play tweeners. Most play rackets with SW's in the 350's and Flexes in the high 50's to low 60's. That's not a Tweener spec. They play 95-100 Sq in frames because that is what they grew up with but as the balls become harder to hit they all tend to modify as they grow up.

Talk to anyone that's played with a pros actual racket and they'll all relate how much beefier it is than a retail frame.

As to the premise of this thread and I've gone from Babolats to Princes and my game is better than before and may arm is healthy. So there's one for the reverse trend.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
Pros don't play tweeners. Most play rackets with SW's in the 350's and Flexes in the high 50's to low 60's. That's not a Tweener spec. They play 95-100 Sq in frames because that is what they grew up with but as the balls become harder to hit they all tend to modify as they grow up.

Talk to anyone that's played with a pros actual racket and they'll all relate how much beefier it is than a retail frame.

As to the premise of this thread and I've gone from Babolats to Princes and my game is better than before and may arm is healthy. So there's one for the reverse trend.
So, if the pros play low 60’s, why would someone sell a low 70’s racket off the shelf? Who would that fit?

I doubt your sources of information.


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No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
So, if the pros play low 60’s, why would someone sell a low 70’s racket off the shelf? Who would that fit?

I doubt your sources of information.


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No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
Some prostock frames are designed specifically for the pro players to modify to their specs. While some pros, just my opinion, play with the modified version of the retail frame. The one that Mardy Fish used was painted as the BLX Six One 95, but it was an extended version and was probably one of the retail extended Pro Staff classic frame that was modified to.some extreme HL.balance and weight. It did seem like the handle was weighted with epoxy and lead underneath the grip. Super heavy and hit some amazing balls bit could only hit effectively with it for maybe 3-4 games maximum.

The other prostock was the Wilson pro room prepared Six One 95. It had metallic paint, instead of glossy BLX paint. Felt super soft, yet great impact feel. It was modded with lead under the grip and lead at 2 & 10.

It's puzzling as to.why there are retail versions and prostocks.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
Pros don't play tweeners. Most play rackets with SW's in the 350's and Flexes in the high 50's to low 60's. That's not a Tweener spec. They play 95-100 Sq in frames because that is what they grew up with but as the balls become harder to hit they all tend to modify as they grow up.

Talk to anyone that's played with a pros actual racket and they'll all relate how much beefier it is than a retail frame.

As to the premise of this thread and I've gone from Babolats to Princes and my game is better than before and may arm is healthy. So there's one for the reverse trend.
Where did you get that info on SW?
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
So, if the pros play low 60’s, why would someone sell a low 70’s racket off the shelf? Who would that fit?

I doubt your sources of information.


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No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
Low 70's rackets fit every rec player with problems generating spin and power. Fit a lot of juniors that aren's strong enough to get a higher swing weight racket moving faster.
Where did you get that info on SW?
There was a thread that I can no longer find that had a link to players specs from stringers. My aging memory can't track it down lol. But there is a lot of other posts and web site that have published similar specs of players frames - higher static and SW than retail frames by quite a bit.

There is a reason pros have forearms like Popeye.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
There was a thread that I can no longer find that had a link to players specs from stringers. My aging memory can't track it down lol. But there is a lot of other posts and web site that have published similar specs of players frames - higher static and SW than retail frames by quite a bit.

There is a reason pros have forearms like Popeye.
Interesting did not realize they were that high.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
I heard a story, but it was a sales rep or importer of Babs rackets telling it.

He said, that Roddick was to tune his racket, but they denied it at the factory and wanted to build the signature racket in his exact specs to sell the public.

Could be, cause I have one left. It is 362 string weight and feels quite different from the mere 20 grams lighter 2015 TOUR-model I had to dial in, when broke the other one. The odd is, that by specs they should be the same.

I still don’t get, why the better players don’t want any help from the equipment. Lot of touring pros in golf has dialed down from blade clubs.


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No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
 
I heard a story, but it was a sales rep or importer of Babs rackets telling it.

He said, that Roddick was to tune his racket, but they denied it at the factory and wanted to build the signature racket in his exact specs to sell the public.

Could be, cause I have one left. It is 362 string weight and feels quite different from the mere 20 grams lighter 2015 TOUR-model I had to dial in, when broke the other one. The odd is, that by specs they should be the same.

I still don’t get, why the better players don’t want any help from the equipment. Lot of touring pros in golf has dialed down from blade clubs.


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No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
The more you watch the pro game - especially live - the more you realize the racquet doesn't make a difference. Their mental toughness alone makes more difference than the racquet. Again, monfils vs mayer indian wells...Monfils lost three games in a row to lose the second set. It had nothing to do with his racquet. He was upset about a call made by the umpire and he refused to play for three games. He then lost the set. Still he came back and won the match once he got his head together. The mental game is huge in tennis. Again, with osaka vs bencic. Osaka has a ton of lead on her racquet and is using a much heavier stick. It made absolutely no difference. Bencic was faster, hit cleaner, and had a better attitude. Mental toughness, fitness, and technique are far more important in the pro game and in league play it will be even that much important than the racquet because league players struggle with all three.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I still don’t get, why the better players don’t want any help from the equipment. Lot of touring pros in golf has dialed down from blade clubs.
Pros do want help from their equipment. They want control and stability. They swing fast enough and are strong enough that power is irrelevant. They need plowthrough to reverse the energy of the hard balls they face and they need control to hit near lines. The average 3.5 - 4.5 player seems to yearn for big spin and power so they can mimic Nadal. And they think it comes from Nadals racket rather than his technique and giant forearm.

And most pro golfers still play with custom blades for precision whereas most rec players need forgiveness.
 

FedMex

Rookie
I recently was losing 6-1, 6-2 to a legitimate 4.5. I've always been a technical player with "flowing and long "beautiful" strokes" as other say, but I'm not the best match player. I can hit with junior college players fine, but have never had the power, just a lot of accuracy. I've always played with ProStaff 90 and carry a RF97 when I can't handle a strong 4.5's pace with the 90. More recently, it was bothering me that I had to be doing HIIT 4 times a week, working out and very focused to get to 6-3 with this particular player, who is 51 (3 years older), very fast and match plays 4X a week (I hit 1X a week over the winter). He plays with Pure Drive (last generation) and gets amazing spin on his ball. I also hit with alot of spin but notice deeper shots and better rallying ability with the RF97 with him.

So I bought a used APD and a used Head Speed Pro. I am still losing (partially due to the amount I am playing) but with the Head I am doing the best due to the ability to have more put aways at net. sets are 6-4, 7-5 now. With the APD I also play better. I tested his Pure Drive and we both were floored how my serves seemed faster and still had the punch of the APD. When I switch back to the PS90 and RF97, it's a joke. Maybe the RF97 can get close if I'm in great shape and playing a lot. I can hit better shots with more pace off lazier preparation and footwork. I simply have to bend a bit lower on low balls to raise the ball with the prostaffs vs can dip the racquet head and get a more generous launch angle with the same stroke and lift the ball over the net.

I expect to be beating this 4.5 this summer when I'm playing 3-4X myself. I would rate myself a solid 4.0 but my USTA is actually 3.5 due to bad losses a couple of years ago and non-competition the last 2 years. I need more data points with these more forgiving racquets but I do believe you can jump an NTRP point if you have strong technical strokes and are getting older and not getting enough power. I still love the feel of the prostaff's but I will no longer use them to compete.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I recently was losing 6-1, 6-2 to a legitimate 4.5. I've always been a technical player with "flowing and long "beautiful" strokes" as other say, but I'm not the best match player. I can hit with junior college players fine, but have never had the power, just a lot of accuracy. I've always played with ProStaff 90 and carry a RF97 when I can't handle a strong 4.5's pace with the 90. More recently, it was bothering me that I had to be doing HIIT 4 times a week, working out and very focused to get to 6-3 with this particular player, who is 51 (3 years older), very fast and match plays 4X a week (I hit 1X a week over the winter). He plays with Pure Drive (last generation) and gets amazing spin on his ball. I also hit with alot of spin but notice deeper shots and better rallying ability with the RF97 with him.

So I bought a used APD and a used Head Speed Pro. I am still losing (partially due to the amount I am playing) but with the Head I am doing the best due to the ability to have more put aways at net. sets are 6-4, 7-5 now. With the APD I also play better. I tested his Pure Drive and we both were floored how my serves seemed faster and still had the punch of the APD. When I switch back to the PS90 and RF97, it's a joke. Maybe the RF97 can get close if I'm in great shape and playing a lot. I can hit better shots with more pace off lazier preparation and footwork. I simply have to bend a bit lower on low balls to raise the ball with the prostaffs vs can dip the racquet head and get a more generous launch angle with the same stroke and lift the ball over the net.

I expect to be beating this 4.5 this summer when I'm playing 3-4X myself. I would rate myself a solid 4.0 but my USTA is actually 3.5 due to bad losses a couple of years ago and non-competition the last 2 years. I need more data points with these more forgiving racquets but I do believe you can jump an NTRP point if you have strong technical strokes and are getting older and not getting enough power. I still love the feel of the prostaff's but I will no longer use them to compete.
I beat the #1 4.5 in my section with a wooden racquet.

J
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Not 5.0 but play and demo a lot of racquets. My experience with AP and the like is I notice the difference in control compared to player’s frames. Within the Wilson brand I landed on the Burn100 and I couldn’t believe how many folks on our team commented on how much more weight and spin my ball had with the racquet. And serve was up too. A solid increase in both MPH and RPM. No arm issues at all. But had a lot more UEs. I actually think those frames are worse for rec players because we don’t have the experience and technique to properly wield those sticks, but the power and spin is intoxicating (think of us saying, “I can hit just like higher level players” but have less than half the balls go in). Anyway, I ended up with the Blade 98 and love the combo of control and power. Many of the college kids at our club had chose the RF97, but ended up back to the Blade or Ultra for a better blend of power and control. Similar to moving between a Pure Drive and AP I would think

Just my .02.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I beat the #1 4.5 in my section with a wooden racquet.

J
I played in a woodies doubles day and won all my sets against guys that normally beat me with regular rackets. They said I was playing the best doubles they've ever seen me play. I think people really over-rate the effect of equipment on their game. I can use a wooden racket, a POG 107, a Wilson Blade, a PD+ and any of the Phantom series and get the same scores against my usual opponents. That's 50 years of racket technology right there with very little difference in outcomes.

So I play with rackets that feel great and have good control since that suits me better. But it doesn't mean I'm suddenly improving to 4.5 anytime soon. Any improvements I've made in my game has come from practice, not my rackets.
 

ron schaap

Professional
You mean 17 GS titles with the 90 and 3 with the 97 is an improvement? yes he had one bad year in 2013 before making the switch but he was beating tweeners with his 90 long before making a switch. It was probably his declining knees that were the bigger issue with the need to switch. With loss of speed getting the timing right with the mid was harder. He didn't win a GS title with the 97 until he got his knee fixed.
Mcenroe won grandslams with his wooden Dunlops. Does that mean fit pros should still use these kind of racquets too, to impress you ? You know there is such thing as progression.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Mcenroe won grandslams with his wooden Dunlops. Does that mean fit pros should still use these kind of racquets too, to impress you ? You know there is such thing as progression.
Most of the progression is driven by marketers wanting to sell you rackets not by actual improvement in technology. The other driving force has been polyester strings. BUt for players that don't hit with massive spin, then most of current technology hasn't really changed a lot. Plenty of folks on these forums winning with 20 year old rackets.
 
I tried to switch from using mainly Pro Staffs and Blades to a Pure Drive, but never felt completely confident with it. I tried adding some lead and experimenting with different strings and tensions, but it just never felt right. I finally gave up and went back to the Blade, and now I'm going all the way back and switching back to the Pro Staff...
 

TnsGuru

Professional
I remember a few years back David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco who normally play with thinner beam frames started playing with Babolat but didn't stay for very long. Verdasco has since went back to the Head speed pro frame and Ferrer a Wilson burn I believe. I understand Ferrer wanting a bit more power but for Verdasco who can generate his own power seemed like a strange fit.

Going from a control frame to a frame with extra/easy power takes a bit of fine tuning with your technique before it feels comfortable. Maybe these two felt control was more important than power and has thus went away from Babolat.
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
I think a lot of it has to do with what you are used to. I grew up playing heavy sticks in 80's and have pretty much used them ever since except for briefs stints with going a little lighter. Well I guess I don't learn my lesson.

Been playing with the RF97 for about 4 years now. Recently bought the newest Pure Drive. Have used it in 2 matches now, first time out felt pretty good. Used it again last night and struggled with return of serve. The difference was last night's opponent serves much harder. I missed the stability of the RF97 especially on the return of serve. Lost the first two sets pretty easily with the Pure Drive and we usually have very close matches. So for the 3rd set I switched to the RF97 and instantly my balls were deeper and with more authority giving him more trouble. Don't know why I keep doing this but there is no better racquet I have found then the RF97. My main reason I keep thinking about switching is the weight but I have learned I need to just get in better shape and not try to go lighter. At least not at this point in my tennis career.

Needless to say I think my Pure Drive is going up for sale.
 

MRG

New User
I guess Pure Strike is a easier path for those who used to play with player racket

Especially the previous version (BLACK) of Pure Strike Tour
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
It sure is great to hit a big ball with the PA/PD with little effort until 4-5 15-40 down set point and all of a sudden you’re under pressure and struggling to keep the ball in the court.
Getting sloppy or hesitative in clutch? These frames are made to be swung!


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No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
I think there is one key feature in Babs except for the stiffness, that makes the biggest difference.

The frame grommets are round on the outside between the openings and the strings, yet strung tight move and give in more than a square or more square grommet.

Wore there more friction between the frame and strings, the sticks would play more towards the old players rackets.

I’ve heard people filed off the roundiness from the ”woofer system” and got the rackets play less powerfull and adding control to it.


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No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
 

coolschreiber

Hall of Fame
It sure is great to hit a big ball with the PA/PD with little effort until 4-5 15-40 down set point and all of a sudden you’re under pressure and struggling to keep the ball in the court.
The idea that Babolats are easier to play with is a myth. Granted you initially get easier depth, spin etc. But you gotta have fitness and skill to control the ball with racquet head speed and spin. Hence the common complaint about Babos being rocket launchers. This is especially magnified during match play when feet start falling behind my beer belly :p. There's a tradeoff everywhere, no free lunch for us hacks unfortunately.
 

joohan

Hall of Fame
I tail-weighted my first ever frame (super light, super thick Wilson K Rush FX) with some weight at the tip to make it nicely polarized and it’s a great frame to play around with. I still use Tour G 330 most of the time but after a three hour clay court session, I feel like boiled cr@p. After three hours with that Wilson, I’m still able to go for a long bike ride and a swim.

It doesn’t feel as good and so on but does the job and if it was the only tennis racquet in the world, I wouldn’t mind at all. That’s when my racquetaholism was cured.
 

netlets

Semi-Pro
The Pure Strike 16x19 does seem to be the more logical step from people that come from a players racquet. I just switched from a PD to a PS since I wanted a less stiff racquet. It feels so plush at 45lbs with tour bite 17g. and am realizing how much unnecessary power the PD gave me. I’m a 5.0 that gets plenty of pop from the PS but not too much.
 

bobombom

Rookie
Well..just gave Bab a good try yesterday for the first time (new pure Aero). On shots that stayed in, opponent had no chance. On another note, my consistency dropped like a fly. Hitting long was a major issue. Granted, I only gave it an hour, but really not my cup of tea. Definitely more pizzazz on my shots, but didn't play any better.
 

topspn

Legend
PS 17 really is the standout in the Bab lineup. Good power and heavy spin in a more precision oriented string bed. Its only failure is it needs a bit of more comfort.
 
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