Please, come in and help me to solve this problematic...

#1
Basically, my tennis history could be summarized by constantly changing and testing racquets through buy and sell (shame on me).
At the same time, of course, I got better at the game as I always took classes with a coach and still do.

The thing is, I'm a bit bored (not sure if it's the correct word) of being permanently looking for the best frame for my game.
I want to settle down on one and keep it for at least 3 years.

My first serious racquet was the blue PD Roddick +, and from that point, I started to look for frames with better control, feel, etc. Tried frames like the BLX PS 95, TI Radical MP, Speed Pro, Radical Pro, etc.
From there, I was looking for something with a bit more power, tried a bunch of other sticks and so on.
Currently I'm playing with a V Core 98, which is a great racquet but I miss some of the boundaries that a player's racquet can offer. (Yes, I know, it's the same old storie.)

So, through all of these process, at least, I could figure out the kind of racquet that I like, and here is where you have to help me...
I guess that the racquets I liked the most were: Customized Pro Staff 95, Yonex 95 D and K Six One 90.
Then, I'm thinking about the Prince Phantom 93 P, a Six One Team to customize, or a Wilson Blade 18x20.

What do you think?

I'm 22, in good shape, and exclusively play on clay courts.
My level is between 4.0 and 4.5 approximately.
OHBH.
I like to play aggressively, trying to close points on the net.

Thank you all in advance!
 
#2
Angell tc95 sounds like a good fit. Maybe a pre-hexacore donnay pro one 97. I haven’t played with enough racquets to offer good suggestions beyond that. RF97?


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#4
Angell tc95 sounds like a good fit. Maybe a pre-hexacore donnay pro one 97. I haven’t played with enough racquets to offer good suggestions beyond that. RF97?


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Angell and Donnay racquets are hard to buy, especially here with all the added costs, so it's not an option for me.
I considered the RF 97 but I think it's too heavy, stiff and hard to maneuver and that's why I said the Six One Team, with plenty of room to add weight.

Thanks for your answer!
 

McLovin

Hall of Fame
#6
I was part of the Dunlop/Srixon play test last month, and the new CX 200 is an excellent racquet. Might be worth a look. And if you’re set on a 95 sq in, the CX 200 Tour was also positively reviewed.

Another option might be the new Pure Drive VS, which is a thinner, slightly smaller head (98) version of the Pure Drive. Haven’t hit w/ it yet, but it definitely looks intriguing.
 
#8
I was part of the Dunlop/Srixon play test last month, and the new CX 200 is an excellent racquet. Might be worth a look. And if you’re set on a 95 sq in, the CX 200 Tour was also positively reviewed.

Another option might be the new Pure Drive VS, which is a thinner, slightly smaller head (98) version of the Pure Drive. Haven’t hit w/ it yet, but it definitely looks intriguing.
Yeah, the CX 200 Tour looks great too!
I'm not so interested in Babolat racquets, and definitely not interested in that high RA.
Thank you!
 
#11
That depends....
If I see Verdasco, pretty often
Second the Dunlop/Srixon CX Tour 200 18x20. I play tested it also and am taking a long play test in the Spring USTA season. I am going to play with strings and weight differences. Loved it stock though. Give it a shot. I think people have a tendency to sleep on Dunlop for many different reasons. The new CX line may attract some new players and then you see growth, think Yonex half a decade ago,
 
#12
I play a little like you do, but I've got about a 30 year head start. I was a S&V player as a kid and then evolved into an all-courter when I got older and needed to round out my game. I was using wood racquets for a few years as a kid, but even through my "career" of play with graphite frames, I've always preferred a little bit of old-school flavor in my gear.

I agree with our pals above that the Dunlops look like they could be a great combo of old and new in one package. I haven't tried those frames, but they look like something I might enjoy.

As a happy fan of Volkl, I'll recommend a hard look at their options. Old-school frames are lots of fun, but some of those with their smaller heads or a LOT of flex just don't have the ample zing of more modern designs. I don't like a racquet that's a rocket launcher, but some old-school layouts can be a little demanding at the baseline and also have not-so-much pop around the net. The Volkls I play have moderate flex and 98" hoops, so they're comfortable, but also give me decent zip when I need it.

Yaddah-yaddah... My favorite players these days are my older Volkl Organix 10 325g's, which were built light enough in their stock form that I could tune them into a terrific setup for me. That meant a few grams on the hoop for stability and then several more on my grip to get enough head-light balance for them to swing comfortably for me. I also just got a pair of the V-Sense 10 325g's in case my O10's eventually quit (they're still doing great). These VS 10 325g's are pretty much just a more recent version of the same racquet (Volkl also offers a 295g version of these). I did the same tuning with one of these and it's also working great for me.

Volkl has some other models including their V-Sense 10 Tour, which also looks like a 98" player's sort of frame with a rather narrow beam width and what looks to be a weight that leaves room for customizing. Haven't tried this one, but I really don't need to - I also have a small bundle of Volkl C10's, too.

I find that these 98" Volkls have enough string bed area to be both lively enough and forgiving enough for me without playing too big, too clunky, or too tough to control. I tried very hard through recent years to find a Wilson model that I could at least use at work in the summers because this club where I teach carries a full Wilson line. No luck. My Volkls were far and away better than anything I bought (PS 97, Blade 98, Six One 95) or sampled from the demo fleet. Long winded recommendation, but hopefully knowledge is power.
 
#13
The 93P is an absolutely great stick, but can be quite challenging. I also wonder if it's the best option for someone playing exclusively on clay. Given the plow through and string pattern, it lends itself better to flatter shots, even if spin is relatively good given its specs.

I have no experience with the Dunlop CX 200, but it has great reviews, and would be something I would definitely look into, seeing the racquets that you like. It should be a bit easier to handle than the 93P, especially if a match gets longer, as the 330g can feel heavy when you start to tire.

Incidentally, I almost purchased a CX200, but got a Phantom Pro 100P instead, to complement my 93P while minimizing adjustment time. It has the same solid feel and control, but is more forgiving and has better access to spin due to the 16x18 pattern. Never thought I'd go to 100 sq.in. with open pattern, as I traditionally prefer midsized with 18x20, but the feel / connection to the ball is really great in this frame. I intend to use the 93P in doubles, and the PP100P in singles. Given that you play your tennis on clay, you might want to give the PP100P a demo.
 
#14
Currently I'm playing with a V Core 98, which is a great racquet but I miss some of the boundaries that a player's racquet can offer. (Yes, I know, it's the same old storie.)
Well if you want VCORE 98 but with more feel/control then DR98 is the ticket. I recomend getting the 285g version and a bunch of lead ot make it into any spec you want.
 
#15
Spend all proposed racket money on lessons and court time. Get a decent racket that is 16x19, 11oz, 4 pts HL, RA 65+/-, nice syn gut at 60lbs. Forget about rackets, strings, gear, etc. Focus on lessons, technique and practice reps.
 

McLovin

Hall of Fame
#16
Spend all proposed racket money on lessons and court time. Get a decent racket that is 16x19, 11oz, 4 pts HL, RA 65+/-, nice syn gut at 60lbs. Forget about rackets, strings, gear, etc. Focus on lessons, technique and practice reps.
Booo! Where's the fun in that?

And more importantly, if you do all that, how can you possibly blame missed shots on the racquet/strings/gear? I mean, c'mon man!
 
#18
Spend all proposed racket money on lessons and court time. Get a decent racket that is 16x19, 11oz, 4 pts HL, RA 65+/-, nice syn gut at 60lbs. Forget about rackets, strings, gear, etc. Focus on lessons, technique and practice reps.
I totally agree with you, and that's what I've been trying to do for a while.
The problem was that I stopped training as much as before (lack of time) and then I started to look for something more "tweenerish", easy to use.
The result is that I don't enjoy playing as before and my results are about the same, so I want to back to what I really like!
 
#21
I'm loving the one I'm with right now, so to speak (babolat pure control 95). After several years of trying 3-4 new frames a year, and experimenting nonstop with strings, I finally have a setup which feels "right" - which is not to say perfect, but good enough in every area that I have stopped paying attention to the racquet in my hand very much. What my journey did tell me is that I like/prefer flexi-er racquets of the mid/mid plus variety, with 18X20 string patterns. Now, I'm settled in and can focus on playing...
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
#23
Honestly, you being a serve and volleyer should make it a seamless transition if you do so choose to play with the 93P. I play on hard courts and don’t have problem using the 93P in a defensive situation and long rallies. It feels and plays bigger than the 93” would suggest, and the combination of weight/balance/maneuverability helps in those situations. It’s a great midsize frame with the forgiveness of a midplus, imo.
 
#24
I really liked the Blade 18x20 when I was play testing racquets back when. It was my second favorite, but it was very close. My favorite frame is no longer available, so I won't mention it. I think if you play on clay and tend to like a control frame, an 18x20 is a good way to go. I got a big boost in string life going with an 18x20 and I didn't find power to be an issue. You can string a little lower because of the extra control. I haven't tried the Dunlop, but if I was going to test a few frames now, I'd probably include it since it's right in line with the type of frame I like.
 
#25
Honestly, you being a serve and volleyer should make it a seamless transition if you do so choose to play with the 93P. I play on hard courts and don’t have problem using the 93P in a defensive situation and long rallies. It feels and plays bigger than the 93” would suggest, and the combination of weight/balance/maneuverability helps in those situations. It’s a great midsize frame with the forgiveness of a midplus, imo.
I'm far of being a serve and volley player but I really like to play short points, always looking for step into the court and attack the ball, closing the point on the net if possible.
Things get hard when I play against the top players of my club who compete in national tournaments, but I guess this kind of racquet will push me to improve my overall technique and force me to play as I really like, evolving in some kind of serve and volleyer, hopefully
 
#26
I am also 20+ years old and I've tried bunch of racquets. The racquet that I am currently playing with is Prokennex Ki Q+ Tour Pro 325. It has everything you could ask for, feel, comfort, control, and power. I have a feeling you like the big name companies, but you should definitely give this one a try. Cheers! :)
 
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