Best suited racket for Advanced (4.5-5.0) aggressive baseline player

Best suited racket for Advanced (4.5-5.0) aggressive baseline player

  • Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP

    Votes: 8 7.4%
  • Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro

    Votes: 17 15.7%
  • Head Radical MP

    Votes: 11 10.2%
  • Head Gravity Pro

    Votes: 21 19.4%
  • Angell TC97 18x20

    Votes: 6 5.6%
  • Wilson Pro Staff RF97A

    Votes: 9 8.3%
  • Babolat Pure Drive

    Votes: 7 6.5%
  • Babolat Pure Aero VS

    Votes: 20 18.5%
  • Yonex Vcore 95

    Votes: 18 16.7%
  • Yonex Ezone 98 Tour

    Votes: 10 9.3%

  • Total voters
    108

buttercluck

New User
Please add any recommendations. This is what I’ve narrowed it down to from personal experience and forum reading.

preferred specs:
Headsizs: 95-98
String pattern: 16x19
Weight: 330-350
Swingweight: 325-335
Stiffness: 62-68RA

thanks in advance!
 
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galapagos

Professional
Please add any recommendations. This is what I’ve narrowed it down to from personal experience and forum reading.

preferred specs:
Headsizs: 95-98
String pattern: 16x19
Weight: 330-350
Swingweight: 325-335
Stiffness: 62-68RA

thanks in advance!
You can check this thread :p

 

socallefty

Legend
Please add any recommendations. This is what I’ve narrowed it down to from personal experience and forum reading.

preferred specs:
Headsizs: 95-98
String pattern: 16x19
Weight: 330-350
Swingweight: 325-335
Stiffness: 62-68RA

thanks in advance!
The real answer that TW and most posters don’t want you to know is that any racquet with these specs (maybe SW above 330 and add beam width below 21mm) is good enough for almost all advanced players. You can take any racquet with these specs and tune its performance tremendously experimenting with strings and tensions till it ‘sings’ on the court just as you want it to. Personally, I find it funny that people think there is a lot of variability between how racquets perform when tennis racquets are a very low-tech product with little innovation in 25 years. Once you know the spec range you like, just buy a racquet that looks aesthetically pleasing from the brands you like and then start experimenting with various strings and tensions until it sounds like your own ‘Stradivarius’ Violin.

Don’t get too hung up on string patterns as some brands make dense patterns at the center in open string patterns and others do the opposite. It is pretty easy to adjust to different string patterns in a few weeks if you are an advanced player.

The more interesting question is which racquets in this spec range look the best! I vote for the Gen 1 Pure Strike Tour which looked splendid in red/black.
 
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time410s

Semi-Pro
The real answer that TW and most posters don’t want you to know is that any racquet with these specs (maybe SW above 330 and add beam width below 21mm) is good enough for almost all advanced players. You can take any racquet with these specs and tune its performance tremendously experimenting with strings and tensions till it ‘sings’ on the court just as you want it to. Personally, I find it funny that people think there is a lot of variability between how racquets perform when tennis racquets are a very low-tech product with little innovation in 25 years. Once you know the spec range you like, just buy a racquet that looks aesthetically pleasing from the brands you like and then start experimenting with various strings and tensions until it sounds like a ‘Stradivarius’ Violin.

Don’t get too hung up on string patterns as some brands make dense patterns at the center in open string patterns and others do the opposite. It is pretty easy to adjust to different string patterns in a few weeks if you are an advanced player.

The more interesting question is which racquets in this spec range look the best!
Wouldn't it make more sense to say the lighter SW rackets are more tuneable?

I agree rackets are very low tech but I think tennis is a game with a lot of variety in style and strengths. So these little variables that seem simple on paper can actually matter a lot.

Flex, beam thickness, head size, weight, balance, string pattern. Then you have strings...gauge, material, tension. Hybrid or not. Even stringing techniques matter a bit.

These things are all both really often over and under rated.

Personally, I think I'm at a point where I'm really good and I have to accept that my growth from here is going to come more so from my own self than my racket. That's always true but it seems more true the better you get. Until... You're like as good as you can possibly get.

But it's fun to experiment and I still do. It's a slightly guilty pleasure but I hope to find "my" racket soon. It's been a while since I've felt that.

18x20 is really cool. Or 16x20. So many 16x19 and it's hard to beat the control on touch you get with a slightly denser pattern. If you can find a 20 cross pattern you like, I'd go for it.

Loved the gravity pro for a while and try to try the vcore95 but will buy one soon. Have an angell tc95 on the way this week. Maybe that'll be the one. Kinda hope so. But I feel pretty done with 19 crosses as I generally feel the thing I don't like about those rackets often has something to do with the string pattern acting a little reckless here and there.

Really nice to get a dense pattern and drop tension like 7 lbs. You get the comfort and still get the control. It's really nice.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
Black Ace Pro strung full poly (RPM Blast 17G) around 45lbs. Awesome stick for hitting accurate and heavy ground strokes.

Also, maybe the Blade Pro 18x20 for its heavy, accurate & penetrating strokes.
 

slipgrip93

Semi-Pro
just an extra wilson consideration, wilson steam 100 blx, or steam 100 prostock if can be found.

Head size: 100 sq. in. / 645 sq. cm.
Length: 27.25 in. / 69.2 cm.
Unstrung weight: 10.5 oz. / 299 gr.
Unstrung balance: 317 mm
Stiffness: 64
Balance: 3 Pts Head Light
Grip type: Wilson synthetic white
String pattern: 16 mains / 20 crosses
Swing Speed: Moderate-Fast
Swing Weight: 316


(wta players using steam 100)

For 95's, some older wilson models:

2007 k SixOne Tour 95
2008 kTour 95
2011 Tour 95 BLX
 
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1HBHfanatic

Legend
4.5 - 5.0 is to big of a gap. You should be one or the other. At 5.0, you basically can play at open level.
Assuming that you are a 5.0, probably shouldn't even be asking here, as you are a better player than 99% of the forum.
-i had someone/club-player tell me they were "5.0", (when i asked)
-turns out he was "a cop", but played like a 3.0 o_O:eek:(n)
-came back to the club 1week later saying tht his arm hurt, because the string i put was too tight (poly)
-word of advise to people, dont lie to your stringer!! :rolleyes::sneaky:
-the "5.0" ended up switching to all multi strings from that point on
 
4.5 - 5.0 is to big of a gap. You should be one or the other. At 5.0, you basically can play at open level.
Assuming that you are a 5.0, probably shouldn't even be asking here, as you are a better player than 99% of the forum.
Not sure thats true people around here could be more knowledgeable than most 5.0+ players but unable to actually physically play tennis at a very high level
 

BlueB

Legend
Yeah both can be true. You think 5.0 people are stringing for the pros on tour? Nah. My buddy strung for wawrinka and sinner recently and he's like... almost 70.
Good for your buddy. However, they TOLD HIM what they wanted, didn't come to him for advice what string and tension they should play.
The OP wasn't about the strings, BTW.
 

time410s

Semi-Pro
Good for your buddy. However, they TOLD HIM what they wanted, didn't come to him for advice what string and tension they should play.
The OP wasn't about the strings, BTW.
I get ya. But my point is that even being really knowledgeable isn't necessarily relevant. Best case, really, you can kinda point someone in the right direction (maybe better than some) but it's really hard to tell what's going to be best for someone.

I really don't see a reliable way to get through or avoid the rabbit hole except to just decide you're done. That takes a lot for some and not much for others.
 

buttercluck

New User
ezone 98
vcore 95 (perhaps with a bit of lead)
speed pro

the gravity pro is a honey, but ive only seen it sing in a 5.5 player’s hands …
I come from a history of highly demanding frames (Angells, Wilson RF97 etc.) so the gravity pro would simply be a continuation of that. Got a demo of the speed pro so I’m hoping that’s a bit more forgiving. Only reservation is regarding the serve power from what I’ve seen on reviews but won’t know until I hit with it later this afternoon!
 

buttercluck

New User
You should elaborate more on your playstyle. Do you hit with a lot of spin, for example? That matters a lot with these selections.
So I’m a big serve + 1 player and often hit out with aggression looking to find opportunities to dictate points and stay on the front foot.

My weapons are forehand and serve, weaknesses are defensive play and volleying.

I generally drive my shots through the course with a kicking topspin effect upon landing but my ground strikes certainly aren’t loopy.

I also have a one handed backhand. From the poll results people seem to feel the speed pro and VS are most appropriate. Demos the speed pro for the week
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Which Vcore pro are you using? Seems like the 97D would be right up my street too
I like the H, but it's right at the limit of my swing weight. So no lead or leather grip - I play it completely stock other than an overgrip.

If I wanted to customize, I'd go with the lighter one.
 

buttercluck

New User
4.5 - 5.0 is to big of a gap. You should be one or the other. At 5.0, you basically can play at open level.
Assuming that you are a 5.0, probably shouldn't even be asking here, as you are a better player than 99% of the forum.
Fair point!
In practice and my technique overall is that of a 5.0 and it’s what people at my club feel I am. Unfortunately, I’m lacking a lot of recent match practice so I naturally play a bit more tense and so I drop down to a 4.5 sort of level during league matches and tournaments in singles especially.
 

TennisManiac

Hall of Fame
What stand out features made you go with that selection? I’ve demod one myself
Compared to the 2014 Pro Staff 97. The 360+ Speed Pro was the only frame that had a similar solid feeling to it and had a tad bit more power and a ton more control. It was exactly what I had been searching for since 2016. Imo the 360+ Speed Pro has everything a serious competitor needs in a frame and has zero weaknesses.
 

BPlain

Rookie
So I’m a big serve + 1 player and often hit out with aggression looking to find opportunities to dictate points and stay on the front foot.

My weapons are forehand and serve, weaknesses are defensive play and volleying.

I generally drive my shots through the course with a kicking topspin effect upon landing but my ground strikes certainly aren’t loopy.

I also have a one handed backhand. From the poll results people seem to feel the speed pro and VS are most appropriate. Demos the speed pro for the week
Based on what you described here, I’d suggest checking out the PK Q+Tour 315. It’s 98, 16x19, and should land right in your preferred range on static weight, swingweight, and RA.

I play a similar aggressive style game (4.5 as well) and have also played ProStaff and Angells in the past. This frame has that Angell comfort but still plenty of plow and power for being a control oriented frame.

If you really wanted to play up the serve and forehand combo, you could also try the 2019 PK Q+5 Pro - it’s 310g, 16x20, 100sq, about 328 SW - or the 2021 PK Q+5X - 305g, 16x20, 100 sq, about 330-ish SW, 27.5 inches.

I started with the Q+Tour 315 (and 300 model) before switching to the 2019 Q+5 Pro. It’s lighter, more maneuverable, and stiffer (67 RA unstrung) than I’m used too, but you can just bomb away on serves with it. The extended length I’m told is more the same with just a little more plow. If you’re staying at the baseline and mostly playing singles, the extended length could be a great option.

And regarding the higher RA on the two latter frames, PK’s Kinetic system is the real deal. I’ve had elbow and wrist issues since my college days and I’m able to play their 67 RA frame strung with a full bed of poly at 52lbs with no arm issues or fatigue.
 

time410s

Semi-Pro
So I’m a big serve + 1 player and often hit out with aggression looking to find opportunities to dictate points and stay on the front foot.

My weapons are forehand and serve, weaknesses are defensive play and volleying.

I generally drive my shots through the course with a kicking topspin effect upon landing but my ground strikes certainly aren’t loopy.

I also have a one handed backhand. From the poll results people seem to feel the speed pro and VS are most appropriate. Demos the speed pro for the week
Honestly maybe also throw the vcore 97 310 in the list. That's a great one and I have had some of the rackets you had highly voted and really love this one in similar ways to those but it offers a feel and stability and precision that those might not. Especially compared to the ezone 98. Very comfortable. If you check it out let me know. It's a very unique racket.
 

buttercluck

New User
Honestly maybe also throw the vcore 97 310 in the list. That's a great one and I have had some of the rackets you had highly voted and really love this one in similar ways to those but it offers a feel and stability and precision that those might not. Especially compared to the ezone 98. Very comfortable. If you check it out let me know. It's a very unique racket.
Thanks for your recommendation, I'll check it out. Would you ever recommend the Vcore Pro 97 HD? I hear it's very stable but also quite demanding and what I'm trying to move away from.
 

Tranqville

Rookie
Thanks for your recommendation, I'll check it out. Would you ever recommend the Vcore Pro 97 HD? I hear it's very stable but also quite demanding and what I'm trying to move away from.
Second the recommendation for the new VCORE PRO 310, you will need to add some lead at 12 to bring it to your desired specs, 1-2g will do. If you hit flat attacking shots and have great timing on your 1HBH, VCORE 95 (2021) will work even better for you. Add some lead at 3 and 9.
 

time410s

Semi-Pro
Thanks for your recommendation, I'll check it out. Would you ever recommend the Vcore Pro 97 HD? I hear it's very stable but also quite demanding and what I'm trying to move away from.
It might be demanding. Certainly more so than the 310. It's a bummer to me that it's heavier just because they think the pattern means the player wants that but I think it limits the market to someone already looking for something at or above that weight class, which cuts a lot of people out! But I used to be the guy that was against customizing your racket so I can still relate to that perspective. Putting lead on here and there kinda sucks since it can get hit or has to go under grommets and that's super hard to change later on.

I could probably handle it but only because I'm used to swinging around lighter but much longer rackets, so the swingweight for me would be similar, if not easier. But it's certainly a notch up. That being said, I feel like many people scare away from heavier weights very early when they can often just improve their tennis by switching to it if they make the right adjustments, namely to clean up their strokes. Especially on the takeback. Many 4.0 ish players waste a lot of energy and power at this stage of the swing but it's all good because their racket is lighter and their opponent isn't hitting hard enough to exploit this flaw in their technique.

I went really heavy for a while and then started hitting with 5.5/6.0 level and up players and realized that it's way too heavy to keep up this pace with people at that level and I changed my mindset. I decided that I got through my growing pains with the heavy racket and was now at a plateau relying on the the weight for stability and power. So I went back like half an oz or so and focused on technique for power/stability as opposed to a super heavy/stable racket for that. I literally just couldn't afford the time to swing it up to speed against players of such a caliber for very long. It was around 13oz, the Autograph pro-staff. Custom painted so it was a little heavier with other stuff going on...

All these trade-offs change priority as you grow in some way. Some rackets offer more of this or that and some are just going to offer you both things. You're getting a ton of racket suggestions here and there's no way you can really try all of them. Hopefully you weed it down to a few worth trying and go from there.

the ezone 98 and vcore 97, those two might be really productive to test out because they are quite different but both really high quality. I'd also throw in the vcore 95 with that as it's also kind of in it's own category but closer to the 97. These are all easy enough to swing without being a twig. They are respectable weights for any level. I stand by yonex a bit because thier QC is quite a cut above the rest on Retail. Angell is better in this way but that's another rabbit hole. Pro stocks are not maybe worth talking about here.
 

Tranqville

Rookie
Thank you for sharing your insight, @time410s It's a bit of a revelation for me that playing with a lighter frame is more difficult and requires better stroke production. I had a simplistic conception that a heavy racquet means a better player.

I'm happy with 310 overall but feel it's slightly light for me. I wonder if I should keep working on my game with 310 or get a heavier racquet, like a D. I like the 16x19 formula. I don't really want to add lead to 310, because the balance is so perfect and I'm afraid to mess it up.
 

YCata

New User
As someone has already mentioned above - Extreme Tour, but you will need lead.

I do not use dampeners and need to feel in touch with my shots, Extreme Tour or a leaded up TF 300 RS does that for me, even though they feel different since RS has foam. I have a PAVS in the closet that I enjoy forehands and serves with, but the feel is hollow/meh, slicing is downright bad, and OHBH is average. The PAVS is less comfortable than the ET with sub-par feel, and much less comfortable than the RS.

I am sure you slice quite a bit as a one hander, the ET is the best 16x19 slicing racquet I have ever tried.
 

Mischko

Rookie
after describing your play style, because of the one handed backhand, vcore pro 97 and 97D. 97 with a bit of lead though. described in a very long post in the vcore pro thread. string them low.

Gravity Pro maybe too much weight at 12 and too wide for one handed backhand, but otherwise fabulous and you should definitely demo it. Great on everything really, on serve particularly. PA VS will be too stiff for one hander. If you hit hard Speed Pro 360+ will have too much flutter and rough vibration in the hoop, and isn't that suited to attacking play. Vcore 95 will force you to play like Shapovalov, meaning just hitting winners non stop, you have to be ultra fast on your feet and hit everything in the sweetspot flat full speed swing always, so it's too demanding in that sense, but a nice racquet to try, needs lead.
 

time410s

Semi-Pro
Thank you for sharing your insight, @time410s It's a bit of a revelation for me that playing with a lighter frame is more difficult and requires better stroke production. I had a simplistic conception that a heavy racquet means a better player.

I'm happy with 310 overall but feel it's slightly light for me. I wonder if I should keep working on my game with 310 or get a heavier racquet, like a D. I like the 16x19 formula. I don't really want to add lead to 310, because the balance is so perfect and I'm afraid to mess it up.
Hard to say! I cleaned up my strokes going heavier because I HAD TO! And that was good for me and it helped me when I eventually went back to something a little lighter. My rackets, heavy, were around 350-360 grams when strung. Maybe higher. It can be back and forth but if you think your strokes are really clean then maybe you are good. But that also means you could benefit from extra weight as long as it doesn't slow you down too much to play at your level. And if you have room to get stronger or clean up the swings, the weight can actually show you where you need to clean up if you have the self awareness to catch that kinda thing.

I film myself playing so I can watch this stuff. I have a youtube where that is uploaded but editing and recording myself gives me insight into myself that I won't get from anyone but me. It's great! I'd do that as well if you want to see how you play in more depth.
 
OP the answer is Prince Legacy 110. Cause if you think you can already hit hard as a high level 4.5-5.0 just wait until you see the ridiculous power shots you're making with this racquet ;)
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
So I’m a big serve + 1 player and often hit out with aggression looking to find opportunities to dictate points and stay on the front foot.

My weapons are forehand and serve, weaknesses are defensive play and volleying.

I generally drive my shots through the course with a kicking topspin effect upon landing but my ground strikes certainly aren’t loopy.

I also have a one handed backhand. From the poll results people seem to feel the speed pro and VS are most appropriate. Demos the speed pro for the week
Second the recommendation for the new VCORE PRO 310, you will need to add some lead at 12 to bring it to your desired specs, 1-2g will do. If you hit flat attacking shots and have great timing on your 1HBH, VCORE 95 (2021) will work even better for you. Add some lead at 3 and 9.
Vcore 95 should be demo'd by most 1 handers in my opinion. I'm using the Vcore pro D, but the 95 certainly was tempting to stay with using a 1 hander.

There is nothing horrible about adding weight to the 95, but I'd just use the D or H instead, the wow factor of the 95 is the lower SW with about 95% of the stability of the heavier sticks, adding weight in my opinion is chasing something it isn't designed to be, but maybe some people play better with the added weight.
 

TennisManiac

Hall of Fame
If you hit hard Speed Pro 360+ will have too much flutter and rough vibration in the hoop, and isn't that suited to attacking play.
This is of course just one person's opinion. I actually disagree with this. I hit hard and attack all short balls and didn't find this frame to flutter at all and had no problem when attacking. I think the 360+ Speed Pro is pretty much as good as a frame can get. Very good at everything. Weak at nothing. If you're a good player.... 4.5 to 5.0.... then you'll experience no issues at all with this frame.
 
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