Suggestions for UTR 7-8 Player

redace2002

New User
Long-time lurker (ever since 8th grade when I began thinking about racquets and a coaching change) but first time poster. For reference, I am an All-State tennis player who is turning down DII/DIII/JUCO offers for academic reasons and will likely be playing DI Club Tennis next year. I want a new racquet for a few reasons, but mostly as I’m entering a new phase of my life and want a change. However, my current racquet is a Third-Gen Pure Strike 16x19, and I dislike that I don’t always feel connected, and that there’s a bit of an unpredictable response; sometimes it feels dead on certain shots and sometimes it launches on me with simple rally balls.
I believe I want a racquet that is 16x19, low stiffness, thin-beam with a control-oriented feel. I have no issues generating pace and often find myself overhitting and losing consistency as the match progresses. I can take games off of TennisRecruiting 4 Stars and UTR 9-11, but lack the consistency and hours on court training to compete blow for blow. I also played football and did not want to sell my soul for a 70K a year academy when I always wanted to go to school for academics.
In short, I think I need to try the Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro, Radical Pro, and Ezone 98. I also like the Ultra line from Wilson, and the Ultra Pro looks incredibly tempting (although I’ve heard it needs customization, which I do not have time to fiddle with at Duke). I also want a very head-light balance, I dislike the feel of the Blades, for instance. For all the “racquetholics” feel free to chime in!

TL; DR: UTR 7-8, TennisRecruiting 770ish ranking, or NTRP 4.5-5.0 Level. Looking for a very control-oriented feel with a head-light balance, and I like the feel of Ultra series and Radical if it helps. I usually hit with full-bed ALU Power or Tour Bite at Low 50s tension.
 
Can you/have you measured the balance points of your pure strikes? The actual ones you play with? A table edge and a tape measure will get it done. I don't think that those are head-light frames, unless you mean that you want to move into a more head-light frame in the future. Strung and over-gripped, I think you're going to find they are 32.5 to 33.0cms, probably. That's not that far from a blade, to be honest - just something to keep in mind.

Your list looks solid, but the Ezone 98 doesn't have a very thin beam and I wouldn't call it control-oriented. The 16x19 Prestiges (mid and pro) and the Radical Pro are worth a demo. You might like the Diadem Elevate, as well, if you can find one to hit with.
 

redace2002

New User
Can you/have you measured the balance points of your pure strikes? The actual ones you play with? A table edge and a tape measure will get it done. I don't think that those are head-light frames, unless you mean that you want to move into a more head-light frame in the future. Strung and over-gripped, I think you're going to find they are 32.5 to 33.0cms, probably. That's not that far from a blade, to be honest - just something to keep in mind.

Your list looks solid, but the Ezone 98 doesn't have a very thin beam and I wouldn't call it control-oriented. The 16x19 Prestiges (mid and pro) and the Radical Pro are worth a demo. You might like the Diadem Elevate, as well, if you can find one to hit with.
I do want a more head-light feel in the future. I do agree that the Pure Strikes are not very head-light, and I want to move to something significantly more HL. I‘m definitely trying the Prestige and Radical Pros first. What do you think about the Ultra Pro? Can it be used without too much customization?
 
I used to play with the Ultra Tour 2.0 (which would now be called the Ultra Pro 18x20) and it needed some lead in the loop. Even with the 16x19 Ultra Pro version, I think you'd need some weight in the hoop to get a bit more punch. Check out this dude's reviews - here's his Ultra Pro take. I like his stuff.

 
But we're talking just a few bucks and literally five minutes to throw some tungsten, aluminum, or lead tape onto a stick. You can do it on a demo and then just take it off. As long as you stay simple, say, a gram or two at 3/9 or 10/2 or 12, I don't think that type of thing will be a huge time suck or an annoyance for you, honestly.
 
Another piece of advice - maybe set yourself a time window - say, before the summer ends. At that point, make your choice, buy your sticks, and sell everything that's not your current racquets. If you keep a couple others around, you might end up on these boards in racquetholic land like us, and your tennis results will suffer for it. Decide, move out, and never enter the racquet forums again. :cool:
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
There is an ongoing discussion in the Racquetholics Thread currently about the new and prior versions of Pro Kennex. Its main competitor is a Europe Only 100 in² version of the Pro Staff 6.1. As a disclaimer, I use the PK 7G.
 

redace2002

New User
I used to play with the Ultra Tour 2.0 (which would now be called the Ultra Pro 18x20) and it needed some lead in the loop. Even with the 16x19 Ultra Pro version, I think you'd need some weight in the hoop to get a bit more punch. Check out this dude's reviews - here's his Ultra Pro take. I like his stuff.

Very informative, thank you!
 
Some good suggestions already. If you can live with a 16x20, I'd toss the Yonex Vcore 95 in the mix. I play with the previous gen, but the new one is also nice. Less power than the Ezone 98 or Pure Strike. Despite the head size, I found the VC95 more forgiving than either the Prestige Pro or Radical Pro.
 

redace2002

New User
Thank you all for the suggestions. If it makes any difference, I forgot to mention that I play with a heavy topspin game and also rely on a heavy slice serve on many first-serves as well, although I do hit flat serves some as well. Obviously, good kick for a second serve is important as well.
 

Hulger

New User
Flexy rather low powered frames; Dunlop CX 200 Tour 16x19. Ultra pro 16x19. Maybe Gravity Pro (good spin for 18x20.)

I would avoid current and especially previous radical line - it’s pretty high powered.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
Long-time lurker (ever since 8th grade when I began thinking about racquets and a coaching change) but first time poster. For reference, I am an All-State tennis player who is turning down DII/DIII/JUCO offers for academic reasons and will likely be playing DI Club Tennis next year. I want a new racquet for a few reasons, but mostly as I’m entering a new phase of my life and want a change. However, my current racquet is a Third-Gen Pure Strike 16x19, and I dislike that I don’t always feel connected, and that there’s a bit of an unpredictable response; sometimes it feels dead on certain shots and sometimes it launches on me with simple rally balls.
I believe I want a racquet that is 16x19, low stiffness, thin-beam with a control-oriented feel. I have no issues generating pace and often find myself overhitting and losing consistency as the match progresses. I can take games off of TennisRecruiting 4 Stars and UTR 9-11, but lack the consistency and hours on court training to compete blow for blow. I also played football and did not want to sell my soul for a 70K a year academy when I always wanted to go to school for academics.
In short, I think I need to try the Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro, Radical Pro, and Ezone 98. I also like the Ultra line from Wilson, and the Ultra Pro looks incredibly tempting (although I’ve heard it needs customization, which I do not have time to fiddle with at Duke). I also want a very head-light balance, I dislike the feel of the Blades, for instance. For all the “racquetholics” feel free to chime in!

TL; DR: UTR 7-8, TennisRecruiting 770ish ranking, or NTRP 4.5-5.0 Level. Looking for a very control-oriented feel with a head-light balance, and I like the feel of Ultra series and Radical if it helps. I usually hit with full-bed ALU Power or Tour Bite at Low 50s tension.
Prestige pro in my opinion is your number one pick. That and the ezone are the ones I’ve tried, and I felt they had more control and flex than the strike. Also, I know you said you didn’t like the blade, but have you tried a leather grip? I have a leather grip on all of mine and it greatly helps maneuverability, but I can get if you just don’t like it.
 

redace2002

New User
Prestige pro in my opinion is your number one pick. That and the ezone are the ones I’ve tried, and I felt they had more control and flex than the strike. Also, I know you said you didn’t like the blade, but have you tried a leather grip? I have a leather grip on all of mine and it greatly helps maneuverability, but I can get if you just don’t like it.
I find the Blades great for a few hits, but not super reliable as I play on. Not to mention the feel as I said before. Another thing is they are so popular with the juniors and my friends that I just do not want to feed into the obsession.
 

Lorenn

Professional
In short, I think I need to try the Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro, Radical Pro, and Ezone 98. I also like the Ultra line from Wilson, and the Ultra Pro looks incredibly tempting (although I’ve heard it needs customization, which I do not have time to fiddle with at Duke). I also want a very head-light balance, I dislike the feel of the Blades, for instance. For all the “racquetholics” feel free to chime in!
Ones I would consider adding to the list...Vcore 98 and Gravity Pro. Otherwise overall I think it is a great list to look at...Prerstige Midplus might be interesting to try. Then if you try the list and have feedback it should easily help come up with a ultra shortlist.
 

Vicious49

Hall of Fame
Thank you all for the suggestions. If it makes any difference, I forgot to mention that I play with a heavy topspin game and also rely on a heavy slice serve on many first-serves as well, although I do hit flat serves some as well. Obviously, good kick for a second serve is important as well.
I would suggest the100” Eurostaff that was mentioned earlier. Its great on slices and should work well with your heavy topspin. The drawback on this one is that it was only released through 2 EU retailers so it's not the easiest to order.

As far as the Ultra Pro, the customization doesnt take long. Most of mine are setup very similarly so I or someone else could give you where we added weight and you could start from there.
 
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SavvyStringer

Professional
Long-time lurker (ever since 8th grade when I began thinking about racquets and a coaching change) but first time poster. For reference, I am an All-State tennis player who is turning down DII/DIII/JUCO offers for academic reasons and will likely be playing DI Club Tennis next year. I want a new racquet for a few reasons, but mostly as I’m entering a new phase of my life and want a change. However, my current racquet is a Third-Gen Pure Strike 16x19, and I dislike that I don’t always feel connected, and that there’s a bit of an unpredictable response; sometimes it feels dead on certain shots and sometimes it launches on me with simple rally balls.
I believe I want a racquet that is 16x19, low stiffness, thin-beam with a control-oriented feel. I have no issues generating pace and often find myself overhitting and losing consistency as the match progresses. I can take games off of TennisRecruiting 4 Stars and UTR 9-11, but lack the consistency and hours on court training to compete blow for blow. I also played football and did not want to sell my soul for a 70K a year academy when I always wanted to go to school for academics.
In short, I think I need to try the Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro, Radical Pro, and Ezone 98. I also like the Ultra line from Wilson, and the Ultra Pro looks incredibly tempting (although I’ve heard it needs customization, which I do not have time to fiddle with at Duke). I also want a very head-light balance, I dislike the feel of the Blades, for instance. For all the “racquetholics” feel free to chime in!

TL; DR: UTR 7-8, TennisRecruiting 770ish ranking, or NTRP 4.5-5.0 Level. Looking for a very control-oriented feel with a head-light balance, and I like the feel of Ultra series and Radical if it helps. I usually hit with full-bed ALU Power or Tour Bite at Low 50s tension.
The Radical and Ezone 98 are good thoughts. I think you should throw the prestige out. Also try to get a hold of one of the new Solinco 98s if you can. It's a good racket I'm currently going back and forth between it and a radical.
 

Lorenn

Professional
Thank you all for the suggestions. If it makes any difference, I forgot to mention that I play with a heavy topspin game and also rely on a heavy slice serve on many first-serves as well, although I do hit flat serves some as well. Obviously, good kick for a second serve is important as well.
It was heavily implied with your ranking:)
 

redace2002

New User
Alright so I’m seeing quite the divide with the Prestige Pro, some swear by it, and others are saying strike it off without even trying. I used a friend’s for like five minutes before I popped it (oops), and I did find a higher launch angle like a poster said, but I dismissed it to him having old/loose strings and not being a super avid player. Anyone else want to chime in more about the Prestige?
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
Alright so I’m seeing quite the divide with the Prestige Pro, some swear by it, and others are saying strike it off without even trying. I used a friend’s for like five minutes before I popped it (oops), and I did find a higher launch angle like a poster said, but I dismissed it to him having old/loose strings and not being a super avid player. Anyone else want to chime in more about the Prestige?
Most people including myself prefer MP but you said 16x19
 

darkother

Rookie
Thank you all for the suggestions. If it makes any difference, I forgot to mention that I play with a heavy topspin game and also rely on a heavy slice serve on many first-serves as well, although I do hit flat serves some as well. Obviously, good kick for a second serve is important as well.
Like the @the_faceless_player said above, I think you would like the Extreme Tour. I feel like its a softer, more headlight version of what you use now, and if you feel like you need a little more plow, just a little bit of lead at 3 and 9 will bump up the stability while still having a lighter swingweight than your Pure Strike.
 

darkother

Rookie
If you want to stick with Babolat the new Pure Aero VS is also solid and a little more headlight than the Strike
 

redace2002

New User
Like the @the_faceless_player said above, I think you would like the Extreme Tour. I feel like its a softer, more headlight version of what you use now, and if you feel like you need a little more plow, just a little bit of lead at 3 and 9 will bump up the stability while still having a lighter swingweight than your Pure Strike.
Thanks for the insight. My first four demos I’m receiving tomorrow are the Prestige Pro, Radical Pro, VCore 95, and Dunlop CX 200 Tour, and the Extreme Tour is probably next in line if I am not set on any of these four.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
Another piece of advice - maybe set yourself a time window - say, before the summer ends. At that point, make your choice, buy your sticks, and sell everything that's not your current racquets. If you keep a couple others around, you might end up on these boards in racquetholic land like us, and your tennis results will suffer for it. Decide, move out, and never enter the racquet forums again. :cool:
i violated this rule almost as soon as i started playing. now i will never financially recover
 

Deki

Rookie
Prince Phantom 100P. Despite the 16x18 string pattern, have a good directional control, feel, spin and power when needed. Bonus is that the frame is very comfy!
 

ryushen21

Legend
Long-time lurker (ever since 8th grade when I began thinking about racquets and a coaching change) but first time poster. For reference, I am an All-State tennis player who is turning down DII/DIII/JUCO offers for academic reasons and will likely be playing DI Club Tennis next year. I want a new racquet for a few reasons, but mostly as I’m entering a new phase of my life and want a change. However, my current racquet is a Third-Gen Pure Strike 16x19, and I dislike that I don’t always feel connected, and that there’s a bit of an unpredictable response; sometimes it feels dead on certain shots and sometimes it launches on me with simple rally balls.
I believe I want a racquet that is 16x19, low stiffness, thin-beam with a control-oriented feel. I have no issues generating pace and often find myself overhitting and losing consistency as the match progresses. I can take games off of TennisRecruiting 4 Stars and UTR 9-11, but lack the consistency and hours on court training to compete blow for blow. I also played football and did not want to sell my soul for a 70K a year academy when I always wanted to go to school for academics.
In short, I think I need to try the Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro, Radical Pro, and Ezone 98. I also like the Ultra line from Wilson, and the Ultra Pro looks incredibly tempting (although I’ve heard it needs customization, which I do not have time to fiddle with at Duke). I also want a very head-light balance, I dislike the feel of the Blades, for instance. For all the “racquetholics” feel free to chime in!

TL; DR: UTR 7-8, TennisRecruiting 770ish ranking, or NTRP 4.5-5.0 Level. Looking for a very control-oriented feel with a head-light balance, and I like the feel of Ultra series and Radical if it helps. I usually hit with full-bed ALU Power or Tour Bite at Low 50s tension.
EZone 98 could be a good fit. But I think you mainly want to look for 16x19 frames with 8 mains in the throat or that have a noticeably denser center.

As was also mentioned above, look for the v13 Wilson Six-One 100 from that pro site in Europe. The Eurostaff is an absolute money frame.
 

blai212

Hall of Fame
I can’t believe nobody mentioned this but here goes: vcore pro 97 310g. Has thin 19mm beam for ultimate maneuverability as well as a 7pt HL balance STRUNG (pure strike is 7pts HL unstrung, 4pts HL strung) I have both, i like both. I carry 10 sticks on me at all times; merits of a true racquetholic. VCP97 has surgical precision that’s second to none. I also use wilson shock shield replacement grip to further tail weight my sticks (similar weight to leather grip but thicker with gel cushioning). You could try that first...
 
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