Any advice is appreciated;Finally ditching my APD...

I've been frequenting these boards for almost a decade and am convinced of the knowledge of many of its posters. Any informed advice would be much appreciated. Here's a little background.

So after about 8 years with the Babolat APD (first without the cortex then with it) playing initially at the lower to middle echelon of the 4.5 level and now at the upper end pushing 5.0, I want a racket that better suits my current game and has more feel. (By the way, I'm not interested in debating NTRP levels; I'm simply providing some background-- I'm currently a computer ranked 4.5 in SoCal, for what it's worth.)

I admit that based on the way I played for most of that time-heavy topspin off both wings and slice thrown in more than occasionally- the APD suited my lefty game style. Just like my signature shows. I actually got smart a few years ago and leaded up the hoop with about 9 grams from 9:00 to 3:00, which indeed accentuated the topspin. Although I used to play primarily baseline, I not only now feel comfortable at net, I'm trying to find a way in at the first tactically good opportunity in singles and in dubs, pretty much always at net...hence the reason for searching for a racket with more touch and feel on the volley. I do plan, of course, to take off some of the lead at the hoop, so my setup is not so polarized.

As I near my 40s & will be playing equal parts dubs and singles, I want a stick that has more feel at net. As I've stuck to my APD for so long, I really don't have much empirical knowledge of Wilson's, Heads, Yonexes, etc. I'm looking to find a racket with more feel/touch, good spin potential, good stability on volleys and overheads, low to medium power (at least lower powered than the APD) as I believe I can produce my own power with my full swings, & finally with similar specs to my APD like 100 square inches, 16 x 19 swing pattern, and comparable strung weight: 11.3 oz ( although of course my 9 grams at the hoop and dampener =10 grams, or 1/3 of an oz.).

The Wilson Pro Staff 100L caught my attention. Thanks for reading and I look forward to any info. before my Demoing begins. :)
 

Lukhas

Legend
The Wilson Pro Staff 100L caught my attention.
Please don't. :lol: It has none of the "supposed" advantages of a 100in² racquet bar the very light weight. It lacks power, plow, has the sweetspot of a 95in². Some have tried to slap a huge amount of lead on it FWIW; more than the "tweak" you made on your APD. I haven't seen people committing to it that much, especially considering there are tweeners that perform better in almost any brand.

I think the most obvious answer is to demo something such as a Yonex Ai100 or/and 98.
 
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Captain Ron

Professional
A very underrated racket that may be worth a look and demo is the Head Youtek IG Prestige S.
They are at a great price at TW $69, and specs are similar but more flex. The smaller head size may be a negative for you, I believe the 98 is really a 95 so that may rule it for you. I have a couple of these and think they are a very good racket.
Take my advice with a grain of salt FWIW, I'm a 3.5 and also play with Aero Storm, Pure Storm LTD, and Yonex Vcore 97.
Happy demoing and good luck!
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
I'll just name a few frames that come to mind:

Wilson Blade 98 16x19
Wilson Pro Staff 97
Pacific X Feel Tour
Yonex EZONE Ai 98
Head Graphene Radical Pro (careful, this one's uncomfortable)
Head Graphene Speed MP
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Volkl has some really good frames that are execellent for all court playing styles... good feel and ball control, with a nice flex to most models.
 

Pleb123

Semi-Pro
Prince Classic Graphite 100 is stable, has excellent feel, 16 x 18 pattern for spin (while retaining good control), 100 sq inch head size and is lower powered than the APD. Add lead at 3 and 9 as desired for increased plough through. I suggest giving it a try.

I think TW is out of stock at present but their Australian partner store has been selling them at a discount recently. I bought 3.
 

Ramon

Legend
I used to play with the APD and have since moved on a Pro Kennex, which is lower powered and easier on my arm. I had my share of problems with the APD, but volleying wasn't one of them. I actually think it's a great racquet at net, and I probably go to the net as often as you do. I prefer a solid, precise feeling racquet at net so I can place the ball with accuracy, and the APD fits the bill. I also think the APD has pretty good feel for a modern racquet, better IMO than the Pure Drive. Maybe your volleying style is different from mine.
 
Good info. Been reading about Yonex Ezone Ai100... Probably gonna demo it soon. Seems comparable in specs with my APD with more touch I'm hoping. The Ezone Si 100 seems good too.

My APD is fine with volleys but remember I have 9 grams at the top of the hoop ( not at 9:00 & 3:00 alone but along the hoop, hence rather polarized & more for baseline top) and lately I've been playing these " live drills" at my club that involve nothing but rapid fire volleying. A head-heavy APD I wouldn't think is ideal for that

I'll be checking out the others mentioned.
Gracias por all the input.
 

djkahn86

Rookie
try the yonex tour G 310... and AI98... if you really want stability at net.. why not go with a little heavier stick.... i use a tour HG 330 and a RF 97.. love them both.. beasts on the baseline and rock solid at net.. need quick hands in doubles though to move them around.. Im 6'3'' 230lbs so the weight seems ok... good luck and demo a ton !
 

YarikA99

Rookie
Try the Yonex Ai 98 and 100. I would also recommend trying the new Wilson Burn racquets when they come out. I have only tried the 100s and i thought that it was a great racquet. Strung with Wilson revolve it has very nice feel for a tweener and a lot of spin and power, but depending on how much power you want it might be a little bit too much for you.

I thought that the Burn was better than the Yonex SI racquets, more touch, but i didn't hit with the SI racquets that much so i don't know a lot about them.
 
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zncognito

New User
People seem to say that the APD and PD are more similar than different. I've played a lot recently with a PD and many different string variables. Recently got an Ai98 to try from a friend and OMG, what a difference! Of course the Yonex isn't as powerful. but it truly is amazing. Great balance, solid all around the court, superb feel. Just buy one you will not be disappointed, IMO.
 
K, djkahn, ill check them out. My issue with volleying with my APD is partially due to the heavy topspin baseline setup I have/ head heaviness along with the lack of feel/ touch. I will definitely depolarize my setup a bit with whatever racket I end up going with. So I'm looking for touch/ feel and the stability will come when I rip off some of that lead tape at the hoop. The APD is stable enough.

The Ai 98 could work too. I don't imagine playing with a 98 will be that diff. from a 100. Plus, I'd rather try the 16 x 20 str. pattern of the 98, since I happen to have extreme top type strokes already and may not need the very open pattern of the 100
 

Toyo

Rookie
I also, like many others ditched my APD for the Yonex AI 100 after demoing both the 100 and AI 98.

I did find a difference that the 100 was easier to hit with but both were excellent sticks. You won't be disappointed with stability in either.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
Demo:

1. Volkl SG10 325 or Volkl SG10 295
2. Volkl V1 Pro
3. Wilson PS97

Since you current APD has 9G across the top of the head, you will likely need to add some lead to all of these.
 

RalphJ

Banned
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the 2015 Pure Drive. It has the stringbed tighter toward the top of the racquet and should give a little more control than the APD.
 

KYHacker

Professional
I would start with demoing two frames:

Youtek IG Extreme Pro 2.0: great all-around frame with a lot better feel and touch than the APD. Slightly less power than APD and slightly more control. Extra mass makes this an exceptional stick for volleying. FWIW, Pat Cash is using the Extreme Pro on the seniors tour.

Youtek IG Prestige S: super deal on these right now and it's a great frame with just a tiny bit of lead at noon. Pattern is very open and it generates a tremendous amount of spin. 95 head size and thin beam offer great control. A little underpowered at stock specs. With lead to make it 325 SW it's pretty darn good. Great stick for volleying.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
My APD is fine with volleys but remember I have 9 grams at the top of the hoop ( not at 9:00 & 3:00 alone but along the hoop, hence rather polarized & more for baseline top) and lately I've been playing these " live drills" at my club that involve nothing but rapid fire volleying. A head-heavy APD I wouldn't think is ideal for that
It sounds to me as though your tuning has made your APD more stable against the ball, but you've made it less head-light by adding that weight up there. I also like to go to the net when I can, but I tend more toward a heavy and head-light layout.

Not saying that you need this too, but a head-light rig is often preferred for doing business around the net. A 12+ oz. racquet with 10 pts. HL balance can be both quick handling and stable around the net, but it's going to swing differently than your Babolat. If you try some demos, there are a few options to consider that offer a bit of a departure from the APD, but might have something to offer.

Feel is a tricky thing to nail down, but it may easily be the case that the feedback you get through the handle of a softer racquet will be different than the APD. Better or worse is up to you, but you might also find that a softer racquet without a little more heft than your APD may seem more dead than you want. Maybe not. Just don't limit your list of trials to racquets with specs that are really close to your racquet. Good hunting!!
 

Jameson21613

New User
Try Babolat Pure Control. 98 square inch headsize and good feel from all areas of the court. 16 x 20 string pattern. Strung with an overgrip comes in weighing around 11.2-11.3 ounces.
 

KYHacker

Professional
Try Babolat Pure Control. 98 square inch headsize and good feel from all areas of the court. 16 x 20 string pattern. Strung with an overgrip comes in weighing around 11.2-11.3 ounces.
I was thinking of recommending that one as well. I had a light hit with it and found it to be very nice. I like the feel of the Pure Control a little better than the Prestige S, but the Prestige S definitely hits with more spin.
 
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