Tennis Warehouse Playtest: Babolat Pure Drive 2021

topspn

Legend
i dont have a 2015 pd but i believe others have said it is. Babolat opened up the patterns for the pa and and pd. This is why some people still use the 2013 pa for example. The string pattern on the pd opens up rather quickly compared to other frames, so just measuring the 2 mains doesnt tell the whole story.

at the end of the day the string life will answer the question more than calipers or anything else. If i can get decent life out of my strings i will be happy. The first set didnt fare too well (4 hours), but so far the second is going better.
Correct the 2013 APD is far more controlled in the center over PA
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I just hit with this and the Pure Strike Gen 3. I dont think my demo needs any lead. I ended up removing the 2 grams I added to 12 after a while. I normally prefer a higher SW than what is listed on TW, but the balance of this PD is already pretty head heavy and it plays fine for me in stock form.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
I just hit with this and the Pure Strike Gen 3. I dont think my demo needs any lead. I ended up removing the 2 grams I added to 12 after a while. I normally prefer a higher SW than what is listed on TW, but the balance of this PD is already pretty head heavy and it plays fine for me in stock form.
I agree, no lead necessary. I actually had to tailweight mine quite a bit to get it to what I expect. It now feels like a Pure Drive Tour.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I agree, no lead necessary. I actually had to tailweight mine quite a bit to get it to what I expect. It now feels like a Pure Drive Tour.
I seriously cant tell if the sw is 320 or 330 but i finally decided i dont care and it plays fine for me as is. Definitely a great tweener, maybe a future classic in that category.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
I seriously cant tell if the sw is 320 or 330 but i finally decided i dont care and it plays fine for me as is. Definitely a great tweener, maybe a future classic in that category.
To be honest, mine feels about 330. I almost can’t tell the difference between this or the Pure Strike Tour. I must have gotten one way above spec.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
To be honest, mine feels about 330. I almost can’t tell the difference between this or the Pure Strike Tour. I must have gotten one way above spec.
Same. It swings pretty close to my gen 3 Pure strike 16x19. I was alternating those two today and didn't really have any problem adjusting.
 

pyrokid

Hall of Fame
Absolutely agree.
Same. I keep pulling out a PA I was given to try in hopes it'll be an APD replacement and it's just not the same. I have the same feeling of super-high margins vertically I got with the APD because of the spin, but I have lower margins horizontally and that makes a lot of short-angle stuff I liked with the APD riskier.

That said, I've been getting similar match results to my APD with this new PD lately, playing a bit of a different game. It's not a game I like as much, but if I had to switch I'm pretty sure I could do it without a massive ego-blow. Coming up on 25h with the frame and the returns and and slices just keep getting better.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Same. I keep pulling out a PA I was given to try in hopes it'll be an APD replacement and it's just not the same. I have the same feeling of super-high margins vertically I got with the APD because of the spin, but I have lower margins horizontally and that makes a lot of short-angle stuff I liked with the APD riskier.

That said, I've been getting similar match results to my APD with this new PD lately, playing a bit of a different game. It's not a game I like as much, but if I had to switch I'm pretty sure I could do it without a massive ego-blow. Coming up on 25h with the frame and the returns and and slices just keep getting better.
I agree. I am getting a 2013 APD vibe from this racquet. Makes me wonder if Babolat incorporated anything from the APD into this new Pure Drive.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
Hit briefly with one and feels very clubby 13in Bal. 325gr strung with overgrip... Definitely more head heavy than 2018 version.
Does have slightly more muted feel but in a good way. It feels solid now like foam filled racquets.
Had it strung with vs gut rpm at 60 and it's perfect.
 

JonnyAbs

Semi-Pro
Played with it on Tuesday and similar result against same opponent. Lost first set 6-4 with new PD. Exhausted by the end of that set. Missing shots i normally make.

Changed to my 2015, which has a leather grip and two overgrips and 340 gram weight with dampener. Won that set easily 6-2 and was hitting shots I couldn't for the life of me with 2021.

One thing I noticed is that the twistweight of 2021 is 15.62. Very high. 2015 is 14.9 but honestly doesn't feel that stable. 2018 strangely is 14.35. That must be more polar because it doesn't lack power and to me has more power than 2021.

I assume a heavier twistweight means more weight at 3 and 9? That could be what the HTR system achieves because it says it results in more torsional stability. That also could be why me and many others struggle a bit with spin and getting under the ball.

This talk of the apd makes me want to get one again. I used to use it, but that has a low twistweight of 14.05. Thats probably why I felt it got pushed around by bigger hitters. I like my 2015. Hits a nice linear and controlled ball. I wish it had a bit more spin. That racquet with 2012 PD drill pattern might be perfect.
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
Currently in contact with them for a warranty service.

Just wondering what you guys think of the crack, paint or structural?
The location of that crack would have me concerned that it’s structural, rather than just paint.

I’ve seen that exact issue, in the same location, on other Babaolat frames. One way I suspect that can happen (although probably not the only way) is the stringer over tightening the 6 and 12 supports on a 6 point mount stringing machine.
 

stevelim89

New User
The location of that crack would have me concerned that it’s structural, rather than just paint.

I’ve seen that exact issue, in the same location, on other Babaolat frames. One way I suspect that can happen (although probably not the only way) is the stringer over tightening the 6 and 12 supports on a 6 point mount stringing machine.
Thank you so much for your feedback!

The racquet was strung with RPM Blast Rough 17 @ 55lb, so it's not like I went over their recommended tension...

Hopefully my replacement racquet won't endure the same damage!

Thanks again.

Steve
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Thank you so much for your feedback!

The racquet was strung with RPM Blast Rough 17 @ 55lb, so it's not like I went over their recommended tension...

Hopefully my replacement racquet won't endure the same damage!

Thanks again.

Steve
Yeah, that tension is fine. Generally Babolat frames are really tough - typically able to withstand much higher tension than that. Possible you got a defective racquet (which does happen). Otherwise I’d be concerned about how the racquet was strung - as I outlined in my first response.
 

psardain

New User
Well. A full bed of (soft ish) poly and this PD has me contemplating switching from Wilson after 13 years. So. Good job Babolat?
What tension did you use?
I am thinking Babolat RPM Rough 17 at 48 to 50 lbs
Would love to hear more about your setup.
Thanks!
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
What tension did you use?
I am thinking Babolat RPM Rough 17 at 48 to 50 lbs
Would love to hear more about your setup.
Thanks!
I had my original setup of xcel/rpm strung at 48 because I was concerned about the stiffness of the frame - when I switched to full poly I opted to go 2lbs lower to try and preserve comfort, and because the poly would be lower powered anyways. So my current setup is Yonex Polytour Air @46 and it feels outstanding. Given how soft PTA is, and how comfortable I've found the PD to be so far, I would feel comfortable with this setup at a higher tension. If I were using something stiffer like RPM, I expect it would probably feel just fine at a higher tension, but personally I would start out carefully and go for the 48. I'm sure others will be happy to chime in, though.
 

kvan

Rookie
Broke my set of RPM after about 8 hours of singles and doubles. Restrung with PP Cyber Power 16 and PP Concept 17 at 53 lbs. I’m familiar with this hybrid in my usual stick and it’s a good baseline for me.

Did some doubles drilling with it and considered cutting it out—it felt particularly boardy and I found a longer than expected break in period.

Fast forward a couple days to tonight, and I absolutely demolished my serves playing some 4.5 doubles sets. Like I said before, it took me a couple sessions to adjust due to the how relatively head heavy it is, but by now the PD has allowed me to loosen up on serve more than any other frame I’ve played with in a while. Volleys and overheads are rock solid.

I think I got too comfortable with the frame and was going for a bit much on returns, but this frame gives you the confidence to go for broke, and rewards you a lot of the time.

This PD continues to pleasantly surprise me during match play (particularly doubles).
 

fundrazer

Legend
Warmed up and started a match tonight with mine. Felt fine during warmup, getting consistent depth with good pace and spin. Match play started off well too, or at least I was serving well. Really like the t serve on the ad side with this stick. Easy to get the slice serve going too.

Then I started struggling though. I'm not sure if it was a psychological thing, but I was launching a lot of forehands, and I could not hit a running forehand for the life of me. Again, I think it's that lack of whippiness that's really hurting me at times. Running forehand is often one of my better shots, particularly when I just smack it down the line. With my 97HD it comes through so fast that I can hit these lasers down the line. Unfortunately I'm not able to replicate that with the Babolat. Imo I would definitely need to customize, probably with a leather grip or weight in the handle. I ended up going down a break, switching to my 97HD at 3-4 or so, and coming back to win in a tiebreaker (7-4). Had set points on his serve too but couldn't convert those.

Anyway... will do a quick breakdown

The +s
  • Again, serves are still great. I was trying to take it easy tonight with relaxed service motion, and I was getting some easy power and good spin on the serves. Also able to place the ball pretty well
  • Really like backhand slice. My 1hbh is okay on topspin or flatter shots too, but it does feel a bit off compared to my usual stick
  • In a neutral rally for me, very easy to get good depth on the forehand
  • Volleys pretty well too. For the most part feels very maneuverable at net, but not on a lot of groundstrokes. Although lately I've also noticed a few times where it does feel clunky or clubby and I have a hard time getting the racquet head in the right position
The -s
  • Forehand... Probably doesn't make sense since this is a stick that's infamous for bombing forehands. I'm struggling a lot with it when I want to inject pace or when I really need to whip through the ball for topspin.
 

kvan

Rookie
Warmed up and started a match tonight with mine. Felt fine during warmup, getting consistent depth with good pace and spin. Match play started off well too, or at least I was serving well. Really like the t serve on the ad side with this stick. Easy to get the slice serve going too.

Then I started struggling though. I'm not sure if it was a psychological thing, but I was launching a lot of forehands, and I could not hit a running forehand for the life of me. Again, I think it's that lack of whippiness that's really hurting me at times. Running forehand is often one of my better shots, particularly when I just smack it down the line. With my 97HD it comes through so fast that I can hit these lasers down the line. Unfortunately I'm not able to replicate that with the Babolat. Imo I would definitely need to customize, probably with a leather grip or weight in the handle. I ended up going down a break, switching to my 97HD at 3-4 or so, and coming back to win in a tiebreaker (7-4). Had set points on his serve too but couldn't convert those.

Anyway... will do a quick breakdown

The +s
  • Again, serves are still great. I was trying to take it easy tonight with relaxed service motion, and I was getting some easy power and good spin on the serves. Also able to place the ball pretty well
  • Really like backhand slice. My 1hbh is okay on topspin or flatter shots too, but it does feel a bit off compared to my usual stick
  • In a neutral rally for me, very easy to get good depth on the forehand
  • Volleys pretty well too. For the most part feels very maneuverable at net, but not on a lot of groundstrokes. Although lately I've also noticed a few times where it does feel clunky or clubby and I have a hard time getting the racquet head in the right position
The -s
  • Forehand... Probably doesn't make sense since this is a stick that's infamous for bombing forehands. I'm struggling a lot with it when I want to inject pace or when I really need to whip through the ball for topspin.
Agree that this version of the PD is definitely not whippy.

I’ve been contemplating adding a leather grip as I do with most of my frames, but I’m a bit hesitant since the frames already has so many strengths in stock form. Might give it a go for my next session later this week.
 
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Chezbeeno

Professional
Again, I think it's that lack of whippiness that's really hurting me at times.
Definitely agree that this version of the PD is definitely not whippy.
Did you guys measure balance point and sw? Mine actually feels really whippy, but the impression I'm getting is that my frame might be an outlier, specs-wise. My balance point sits at 32cm, and sw is probably close to 310 or something.
 

pyrokid

Hall of Fame
Did you guys measure balance point and sw? Mine actually feels really whippy, but the impression I'm getting is that my frame might be an outlier, specs-wise. My balance point sits at 32cm, and sw is probably close to 310 or something.
That's where my balance is as too, but it's definitely not 310SW. It feels like it's not too far off of my APDs when they have ~4g at the 12. The high TW impacts the whippyness too I think.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
That's where my balance is as too, but it's definitely not 310SW. It feels like it's not too far off of my APDs when they have ~4g at the 12. The high TW impacts the whippyness too I think.
I think the beam width/shape also affects things - my Blades honestly feel almost as whippy, even with one of them with sw in the 340's lol
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
That's where my balance is as too, but it's definitely not 310SW. It feels like it's not too far off of my APDs when they have ~4g at the 12. The high TW impacts the whippyness too I think.
agree. Swingweight is higher for me. Ive been happy with it in stock form.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
Even with the lower sw on mine I have been really pleasantly surprised with the stability all around - it feels worlds more stable than my Clash 100, despite a very comparable sw. I'm really happy hitting the PD stock, but if I ever wanted to hit at a proper high level with the Clash it would need some substantial weight added. Overall I've just been super impressed with the PD, props to Babolat, I could see this being an even bigger hit than previous PD's.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
My 2021 Pure Drive was so head heavy that I had to add 20 grams to the handle to get it to 4 pts head light. It now weighs more static than my Pure Strike Tour. For anyone considering a purchase, it is more demanding to swing than you would think.
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
My 2021 Pure Drive was so head heavy that I had to add 20 grams to the handle to get it to 4 pts head light. It now weighs more static than my Pure Strike Tour. For anyone considering a purchase, it is more demanding to swing than you would think.
Sounds like when I was on the Blade playtest and strung, my racket was like 1pt headlight!
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
Won't be playing for the next week, so might as well have at it!

String and tension used for test: Volkl Cyclone 17g 48lbs

Tennis experience/background: 4.0/4.5 league player in my early 40s. Played a bit as a kid and high school varsity, revisited the sport in my early 30s.

Describe your playing style: Grinding baseliner, though I’ve been playing more dubs than singles, and I’m aggressive at net once I’m up there. Compact flat two handed backhand, with a bigger semi western forehand.

Current racquet/string setups: Prince Phantom Pro 100 with various poly at 45-50lbs

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 15

Comments on racquet performance for each stroke:

-Groundstrokes:
The previous 2018 PD promised increased spin, power, and a softer feel, but I think the 2021 version delivered on these claims even more-so, particularly regarding the latter. I found a more predictable response and launch angle with this latest iteration, coupled with a more muted feel. And despite the similar specs, I felt the 2021 swung more smoothly and naturally, while I found the 2018 to be a bit clunkier. Though I definitely had to make adjustments coming from my headlight, thin beamed, low powered Phantom Pro. I had to be more deliberate with my forehand strokes to get the racket to come around as intended. I found the Pure Drive to be loaded with power, while possessing pretty good spin to match. But initially my forehands were sailing high and long, which ultimately led me to slightly altering my swing path and the openness of my racket face. Consistent results with my compact two handed backhand came much more quickly. Once I grew more acclimated to the racket, its ease of use and forgiveness made me question my affinity for flexy, thin beamed rackets. Power and depth came rather effortlessly, and I could see my balls jumping off the court on the other side of the net; I was hitting a pretty big rally ball relative to my standard rally shot. Unfortunately, when I decided to swing out and step on the gas, it was difficult for me to harness the power, and my errors racked up. Though I found directional control to be quite on point. And I found slices to be my favorite aspect of this racket, which I’ll touch upon later.

-Serves: Serving is the weakest part of my game, especially coming off of a 9 month injury layoff, but even I could tell how much potential this racket possessed in this department. Similar to groundstrokes, the 2021 PD swung more naturally on serves than its predecessor, which greatly aided my hitchy serve. Power and spin came easily, especially compared to my Prince, and I could see an instant bump in mph and height on spin serves. In the right hands, I’m sure this thing is a serving beast!

-Volleys: I really enjoyed volleys with this racket. It felt maneuverable, solid, and stable, and gave my volleys really great punch. I felt similarly about the 2018 model, but the 2021 felt even more stable, a tad more maneuverable, and added that softer feel. My touch volleys were clicking for me as well, which isn’t what I’d expect from a thicker beamed stiff racket.

-Serve returns: Serve returns with this racket were a mixed bag, but for the most part pretty good. It felt solid and stable, and I could make deep returns with minimal effort. Chips, slices, and defensive block returns were a real virtue, and I was able to make some outstanding stretched two handed backhand returns just by making a stab at the ball. However where things suffered are when I wanted to unload on second serves, or similarly when I wanted to crack a return on a big first serve landing right in my wheelhouse; I was missing too high of a percentage of these returns.

Comments on racquet performance in each area:

Power/Control-
Without question, this racket has power in spades. This pertained to every aspect of the game: groundstrokes, volleys, and serves. Harnessing this power was more of the issue, which was further exacerbated by my slight difficulty getting the racket to come around as quickly on my forehand side. However this same power also bailed me out on a number of occasions, and made it easy to turn defense into offense. But I struggled with overhitting, especially when trying to maintain higher intensity against bigger hitting 4.5s. As previously mentioned, I found directional control to be quite good, allowing for sharp cross court angles and some confidence on down the line shots.

Top Spin/Slice- Top spin was good, though I think that may be partially attributed to there being so much power on tap, which allowed me (sometimes forced me) to hit in a manner that really emphasized topspin. Nonetheless, I saw I was getting both penetrating and high bouncing topspin with the Pure Drive. Slices were the cat’s pajamas! Normally my slices float a bit and lack bite, but I was able to hit some low, penetrating backhand slices with the PD, turning a liability into an offensive option. And the available power and slicing capabilities also shone through on stretched out squash shots, allowing me some ridiculous defensive shots pulled out from my derriere. Who knew a Pure Drive would be one of my favorite rackets for slices?! This quality also translated to great drop shots.

Comfort- Comfort was quite good, particularly for a racket with a 71 RA rating. A definite improvement from the 2018, and a vast difference from earlier Pure Drives which I found to be hollow and harsh. Though still probably not for those suffering from tennis elbow and other ailments. I could feel it in my ultra sensitive wrist after some hitting sessions, which is why I was hesitant to bump up the tension of the strings to harness the excess power. Though I didn’t notice any discomfort in the context of playing sets, when you’re getting less reps in.

Feel- The 2021 has a more dampened, comfortable feel, though not overly dampened or too muted by any stretch. This may be a slightly antiquated comparison, but in a way it reminds me of the old Head IG Extreme Pro 2.0: The Pure Drive gives you the response and performance of a stiff racket, juxtaposed with the sensation of a softer offering, but I didn’t feel disconnected from the frame in the least bit.

Maneuverability- A big complaint I had with the 2018 Pure Drive was it felt clubby and swung a bit heavy, belying its static and swing weights. The 2021 feels more maneuverable and more natural to swing, but still feels more head heavy than I’d prefer. This is particularly apparent coming directly from the svelte, head light Phantom Pro, even though the rackets sport similar static weights and swing weights. Maneuverability was not an issue at all at net.

Stability- The stability of this racket was very impressive, punching above its weight class. I never felt the frame flutter or get pushed around, which made the racket even more forgiving. The stability was most apparent on my backhand which has slower racket head speed. It also shone through when on the defensive and when up at net.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
The 2021 still keeps the Pure Drive DNA intact, while offering a few tweaks. In the end, power remains the name of the game, coupled with a more muted feel and an uncanny aptness for slicing. It’s my favorite standard Pure Drive I’ve tried to date (I haven’t hit with anything pre-2010), and its ease of use is giving me a tennistential crisis, with me pondering why I don’t adapt to a less demanding frame. However in very competitive match play where consistency is key, and capitalizing on every opportunity is paramount, I don’t have the confidence to play with the Pure Drive. Ultimately the frame is a lot of fun to play with, and particularly efficient when playing more casually. Maybe if I bumped up the tension and tried the much ballyhooed Hyper G string combo, I could make the jump to match play with it, though I don’t think my joints would let me.
 

Hotpockets

Rookie
I recently tried the new Pure Drive and really liked it. It felt a little heavier to swing but overall it felt stable. My current racquet is 2018 version and I find this new one to slightly be a bit more livelier than 2018, but still overall pretty muted compared to older Pure Drives.
 

WhiteStripes

Semi-Pro
PART 1

String and tension used for test: Solinco Hyper G 1.25, 53 lbs.

Tennis experience/background: 30+ years of playing tennis. Spent some time at Bollettieri's as a kid. Competitive junior. Ex-USPTA. Unfortunately, age is catching up at a rapid rate, as well as various injuries from wear and tear over the years, so my game has been in a steady decline. Last played USTA at 4.5.

Describe your playing style: Baseliner. Grinder/counterpuncher.

Current racquet/string setups: Babolat Pure Aero (2019) / Solinco Hyper G 1.25, 53 lbs. Do have a history with the Pure Drive – used the 2nd gen (Swirly) and 3rd gen (Team / block letters) for 4+ years, and then the first gen PD Roddick for a little. Since then, have not used the PD as my main racquet of choice, but I have tried almost every version that’s come out.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 17

Groundstrokes: If you’ve played with a Pure Drive before, the 2021 version doesn’t deviate much from that lineage. Basically what you would expect in a Pure Drive - good power with minimal effort, spin friendly, fast-swinging/maneuverable, decent stability given its weight, and a firm feel. Compared to the prior two versions of the PD, the PD 2021 I received from TW felt quite a bit more stable in stock form and held up extremely well in high powered exchanges off the ground without any need for additional weight.

I didn’t notice any significant change in the sound of my shots at ball contact that Babolat touts and what I’ve read some other playtesters have claimed, but I will say that compared at least to the prior two versions, the PD 2021 is less “pingy” even without a vibration dampener. The racquet still feels very muted overall, but I do think there’s an improvement in ball feel compared to the last two versions. That said, it’s certainly not like the old, pre-Cortex PDs where you’d feel every vibration, good or bad.

Compared to my Aeros (2019), which actually are over-spec’d and swing heavy, and also my prior Aero Tours (2016), the PD 2021 actually plays a bit more control-oriented in comparison. Those Aeros, especially my 2019, have quite a bit more power and spin than the playtest PD 2021, and every one of my hitting partners easily noticed the difference in power/depth of shot and how big I was hitting switching from my Aero 2019 to the PD 2021. I did have one hitting partner comment that he thought I was getting more spin with the PD 2021 though, which is odd because I felt it was pretty clear (at least on my end) I was getting more spin/bounce off the court with my Aeros. I do feel that power/spin can always be tweaked a bit through string choice, although I can’t imagine many people complaining about the power/spin level of the PD 2021.

The one thing that was very noticeable though and took a little bit of time to get used to was the lower ball trajectory coming off the stringed than my Aeros. At first, I really struggled to hit with the PD 2021 because of that. As I got more acclimated to the racquet, I started to appreciate that lower ball trajectory when flattening out/driving groundies, which I like to do a lot especially taking shoulder-height balls on the rise. It’s perhaps not as fun to hit with as my Aeros, but after about 4 or 5 hours, I felt I was actually hitting with better consistency overall that my Aeros, with still plenty of easy pop from what you’d expect in a Pure Drive. Because of that, I found myself actually wanting to use the PD 2021 more and more, and enjoying the racquet a lot. The PD 2021 also swings very fast, and it does very well when I’m stretched out wide or otherwise on defense as it is very easy to get around and generate racquet head speed.

I didn’t feel there was a noticeable difference in the sweetspot of the racquet, which is still very generous, from the 2015 or 2018 versions. It’s not quite as large as my Aeros, where the sweetspot feels like the entire racquet head, but unless I was hitting at the very top of the stringbed, I still felt I had good ball contact and pop off from the frame. Once I got dialed in with the ball trajectory, I thought the racquet was very versatile, with very good (and surprising) touch for a stiff tweener frame, and extremely easy to play with.

Serves: The PD 2021 has very good pop and spin potential on serves, and overall is a very nice serving stick as you’d expect from a Pure Drive. The playtest frame I got swings very fast, and it’s very easy to generate racquet head speed. I particularly enjoyed hitting flat serves up the T on both sides with the stick. There was a little bit of an initial adjustment period since the racquet was coming through a little faster on my swing and I was catching a lot of my serves off the upper portion of the string bed. Aside from that, there’s not much that I could complain about on the serves, other than that it’s not my Aero, which (for whatever reason) is one of my favorite racquets to serve with ever. Switching to the Aero, the pop and spin of the PD 2021 on serves gets amped up even more and dialed to 11. Not just overall power, but much more weight and bounce behind my serves with the Aero. Even on flat serves, it seemed like the bounce was 6 inches to foot higher with the Aero.

Volleys: Although many wouldn’t think of a Pure Drive as being a good racquet at the net, I really enjoyed volleying with the PD 2021. Given the power of the racquet, I could stick volleys really well with the ball driving through the court nice and low, with much better depth control than my Aero where the ball can just come off the stringbed a little hotter and fly on me. I do think the lower trajectory off the stringbed of the PD 2021 compared to my Aero helps in that regard. It is much more controllable to me at the net than the Aero. In addition, the racquet is very maneuverable, particularly compared to my Aero which has a lot of weight in the head and can feel a little clumsy at the net on quick exchanges or reflex volleys. The racquet feels rock solid with no instability facing good power, and most surprisingly, I thought the racquet was excellent on drop volleys despite the stiffness/very firm beam and very muted feel.

Serve returns: The PD 2021 was solid on returns. The maneuverability is obviously a benefit in being able to quickly get the racquet into position. Also easy to generate racquet head speed and be very aggressive on the returns. Like with groundies, I particularly like taking balls early off high balls/second serve kickers and ripping them flat with the PD 2021. On the other hand, I do think that the maneuverability/lighter weight was a little bit of a downside as well though. While the racquet was very stable even against high pace, on blocked or chipped returns, my shots were landing quite a bit shorter than I’m used to with my Aero, where oftentimes just getting the ball cleanly on the stringbed would be enough to at least get those blocked/chipped returns deep enough to get the rally in neutral rather than leaving them midcourt and on the defensive.
 
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WhiteStripes

Semi-Pro
PART 2

Power/Control: While not as powerful as my over-spec’d Aeros, there is plenty of easy power on every stroke as you’d expect from a Pure Drive. While it’s certainly not as scalpel-like precise as something like the old Babolat Pure Control Ltd or Fischer MPro 1s like I used to hit with many years ago, I also found that power quite controllable. Had no problems ripping balls off the ground with pace into corners, and didn’t feel like I had to aim for bigger targets. I particularly like defending when stretched out wide on either side with the racquet, as it swings fast and I could whip offensive shots from a defensive position and have excellent control over where exactly I’d like to place the ball. With my Aeros, I could go from defense to offense from those positions as well, but it would usually be with overwhelming sheer power and depth in a general direction. With the PD 2021, the targets are much more precise, and I can hit shorter angles better.

Top Spin/Slice: The racquet has good spin potential as you’d expect from a Pure Drive. The spin potential isn’t overwhleming, however, and I think there are quite a few racquets out there that I tried over the years that are just as spin friendly, if not more so (e.g., Clash, eZone 100, many of the Prince’s w/ really open 16x18 patterns). It’s not quite my Aero, and the lower trajectory off the stringbed makes it more friendly to flattening out balls compared to my Aero. Although I know some of the TW playtesters and other playtesters in this thread have praised the racquet on slices, I didn’t think my backhand slices were otherworldly with the racquet. It’s very good, but there are other racquets, including my Aero, where I liked hitting my slice even more. I think a major part of that is the lighter weight/swingweight of the PD 2021 compared to those racquets, so there isn’t quite as much weight and drive behind those slices to make them particularly nasty in skidding through the court.

Comfort: I’ve never had any arm problems in the past hitting with a Pure Drive, so I’m maybe not the best person to assess the arm-friendliness of the racquet. If you’re looking for any flex at all, you’re not going to find it here. Switching to my Aero, I could feel that racquet flexing on impact in comparison with the PD 2021. Still, for a very stiff racquet, the racquet feels very comfortable and dampened to me. In comparison to a lot of the older Pure Drives, which have that hollow feel, the racquet feels so dampened that it almost feels like it’s foam-filled.

Feel: Very firm and muted, not much ball pocketing at all from the stringbed. But as I mentioned before, perhaps a little better ball feel compared to the last several versions. I have much better ball feel and pocketing with my Aeros. Nevertheless, I didn’t find the feel of the PD 2021 to be detrimental in any way, and I thought touch shots and hitting short angles were surprisingly good with the stick while still having the inherent power you’d expect from a Pure Drive.

Maneuverability: I did not measure the specs of the playtest racquet I received, but as I mentioned above a number of times, the racquet was very maneuverable to me, especially compared with my Aeros. With the exception of returns and slices where I feel some additional weight behind my shots would be a benefit, I really like the maneuverability of the racquet, particularly at net. Off the ground as well, I enjoyed how easy it was to generate tons of racquet head speed without any effort and how quickly the racquet came around. I have not tinkered with adding any weight to the racquet at the moment, as overall (even with a few small downsides) I’m liking how the racquet plays in stock form.

Stability: While it’s not going to feel like the RF97 or some 330g unstrung frame, the racquet still feels rock solid despite the lighter weight. Even against big hitters, there is simply no give in this frame and it re-directs any power thrown at it without flinching at all. Other playtesters in this thread have noted the high twistweight of the racquet, and I can only join in the chorus in saying I didn’t have any stability issues whatsoever. Aside from the very top of the stringbed, which still feels firm/stable, I also didn’t feel there was any substantial power drop off with the frame.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, despite a little bit of an adjustment period, I’ve enjoyed the PD 2021 a lot. I’ve had quite a bit of experience playing with the Pure Drive line and other similar sticks, so perhaps that’s not surprising. The racquet plays very much like what you expect a Pure Drive to be – it’s still that powerful, spin friendly racquet, with a tweak in the feel, perhaps a little boost in the solidity of the frame, and a pretty sweet new paintjob… probably my favorite Babolat paintjob in recent memory. I’ve been rotating playing with the PD 2021 and my Aero. I think overall I find the Aero more fun to play with, although some days I play better with the PD 2021, some days the Aero. I do feel like there’s always a caveat that needs to be made with these playtests, since the QC of the frames can vary quite substantially which will affect how they play. It seems like some of the other playtesters in this thread have PD 2021s that swing pretty hefty, which was not my experience at all with my playtest frame.

As always, thanks to TW and Babolat. Been very, very lucky to have been a playtester a number of times over the years, I believe the majority of them on Babolat gear. Totally appreciative of how customer-friendly TW is, and we Talk Tennis members are so fortunate to have these awesome opportunities to try out tennis gear at no cost.
 
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Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
PART 2

Power/Control: While not as powerful as my over-spec’d Aeros, there is plenty of easy power on every stroke as you’d expect from a Pure Drive. While it’s certainly not as scalpel-like precise as something like the old Babolat Pure Control Ltd or Fischer MPro 1s like I used to hit with many years ago, I also found that power quite controllable. Had no problems ripping balls off the ground with pace into corners, and didn’t feel like I had to aim for bigger targets. I particularly like defending when stretched out wide on either side with the racquet, as it swings fast and I could whip offensive shots from a defensive position and have excellent control over where exactly I’d like to place the ball. With my Aeros, I could go from defense to offense from those positions as well, but it would usually be with overwhelming sheer power and depth in a general direction. With the PD 2021, the targets are much more precise, and I can hit shorter angles better.

Top Spin/Slice: The racquet has good spin potential as you’d expect from a Pure Drive. The spin potential isn’t overwhleming, however, and I think there are quite a few racquets out there that I tried over the years that are just as spin friendly, if not more so (e.g., Clash, eZone 100, many of the Prince’s w/ really open 16x18 patterns). It’s not quite my Aero, and the lower trajectory off the stringbed makes it more friendly to flattening out balls compared to my Aero. Although I know some of the TW playtesters and other playtesters in this thread have praised the racquet on slices, I didn’t think my backhand slices were otherworldly with the racquet. It’s very good, but there are other racquets, including my Aero, where I liked hitting my slice even more. I think a major part of that is the lighter weight/swingweight of the PD 2021 compared to those racquets, so there isn’t quite as much weight and drive behind those slices to make them particularly nasty in skidding through the court.

Comfort: I’ve never had any arm problems in the past hitting with a Pure Drive, so I’m maybe not the best person to assess the arm-friendliness of the racquet. If you’re looking for any flex at all, you’re not going to find it here. Switching to my Aero, I could feel that racquet flexing on impact in comparison with the PD 2021. Still, for a very stiff racquet, the racquet feels very comfortable and dampened to me. In comparison to a lot of the older Pure Drives, which have that hollow feel, the racquet feels so dampened that it almost feels like it’s foam-filled.

Feel: Very firm and muted, not much ball pocketing at all from the stringbed. But as I mentioned before, perhaps a little better ball feel compared to the last several versions. I have much better ball feel and pocketing with my Aeros. Nevertheless, I didn’t find the feel of the PD 2021 to be detrimental in any way, and I thought touch shots and hitting short angles were surprisingly good with the stick while still having the inherent power you’d expect from a Pure Drive.

Maneuverability: I did not measure the specs of the playtest racquet I received, but as I mentioned above a number of times, the racquet was very maneuverable to me, especially compared with my Aeros. With the exception of returns and slices where I feel some additional weight behind my shots would be a benefit, I really like the maneuverability of the racquet, particularly at net. Off the ground as well, I enjoyed how easy it was to generate tons of racquet head speed without no effort and how quickly the racquet came around. I have not tinkered with adding any weight to the racquet at the moment, as overall (even with a few small downsides) I’m liking how the racquet plays in stock form.

Stability: While it’s not going to feel like the RF97 or some 330g unstrung frame, the racquet still feels rock solid despite the lighter weight. Even against big hitters, there is simply no give in this frame and it re-directs any power thrown at it without flinching at all. Other playtesters in this thread have noted the high twistweight of the racquet, and I can only join in the chorus in saying I didn’t have any stability issues whatsoever. Aside from the very top of the stringbed, which still feels firm/stable, I also didn’t feel there was any substantial power drop off with the frame.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, despite a little bit of an adjustment period, I’ve enjoyed the PD 2021 a lot. I’ve had quite a bit of experience playing with the Pure Drive line and other similar sticks, so perhaps that’s not surprising. The racquet plays very much like what you expect a Pure Drive to be – it’s still that powerful, spin friendly racquet, with a tweak in the feel, perhaps a little boost in the solidity of the frame, and a pretty sweet new paintjob… probably my favorite Babolat paintjob in recent memory. I’ve been rotating playing with the PD 2021 and my Aero. I think overall I find the Aero more fun to play with, although some days I play better with the PD 2021, some days the Aero. I do feel like there’s always a caveat that needs to be made with these playtests, since the QC of the frames can vary quite substantially which will affect how they play. It seems like some of the other playtesters in this thread have PD 2021s that swing pretty hefty, which was not experience at all with my playtest frame.

As always, thanks to TW and Babolat. Been very, very lucky to have been a playtester a number of times over the years, I believe the majority of them on Babolat gear. Totally appreciative of how customer-friendly TW is, and we Talk Tennis members are so fortunate to have these awesome opportunities to try out tennis gear at no cost.
Nice detailed review. Thanks for posting.

Interestingly, if you want to know just how much free spin you get from a Pure Aero, this guy was coming from a Pure Aero and thought the Pure Drive “wasn’t overwhelming” when it comes to spin.
 
PART 2

Power/Control: While not as powerful as my over-spec’d Aeros, there is plenty of easy power on every stroke as you’d expect from a Pure Drive. While it’s certainly not as scalpel-like precise as something like the old Babolat Pure Control Ltd or Fischer MPro 1s like I used to hit with many years ago, I also found that power quite controllable. Had no problems ripping balls off the ground with pace into corners, and didn’t feel like I had to aim for bigger targets. I particularly like defending when stretched out wide on either side with the racquet, as it swings fast and I could whip offensive shots from a defensive position and have excellent control over where exactly I’d like to place the ball. With my Aeros, I could go from defense to offense from those positions as well, but it would usually be with overwhelming sheer power and depth in a general direction. With the PD 2021, the targets are much more precise, and I can hit shorter angles better.

Top Spin/Slice: The racquet has good spin potential as you’d expect from a Pure Drive. The spin potential isn’t overwhleming, however, and I think there are quite a few racquets out there that I tried over the years that are just as spin friendly, if not more so (e.g., Clash, eZone 100, many of the Prince’s w/ really open 16x18 patterns). It’s not quite my Aero, and the lower trajectory off the stringbed makes it more friendly to flattening out balls compared to my Aero. Although I know some of the TW playtesters and other playtesters in this thread have praised the racquet on slices, I didn’t think my backhand slices were otherworldly with the racquet. It’s very good, but there are other racquets, including my Aero, where I liked hitting my slice even more. I think a major part of that is the lighter weight/swingweight of the PD 2021 compared to those racquets, so there isn’t quite as much weight and drive behind those slices to make them particularly nasty in skidding through the court.

Comfort: I’ve never had any arm problems in the past hitting with a Pure Drive, so I’m maybe not the best person to assess the arm-friendliness of the racquet. If you’re looking for any flex at all, you’re not going to find it here. Switching to my Aero, I could feel that racquet flexing on impact in comparison with the PD 2021. Still, for a very stiff racquet, the racquet feels very comfortable and dampened to me. In comparison to a lot of the older Pure Drives, which have that hollow feel, the racquet feels so dampened that it almost feels like it’s foam-filled.

Feel: Very firm and muted, not much ball pocketing at all from the stringbed. But as I mentioned before, perhaps a little better ball feel compared to the last several versions. I have much better ball feel and pocketing with my Aeros. Nevertheless, I didn’t find the feel of the PD 2021 to be detrimental in any way, and I thought touch shots and hitting short angles were surprisingly good with the stick while still having the inherent power you’d expect from a Pure Drive.

Maneuverability: I did not measure the specs of the playtest racquet I received, but as I mentioned above a number of times, the racquet was very maneuverable to me, especially compared with my Aeros. With the exception of returns and slices where I feel some additional weight behind my shots would be a benefit, I really like the maneuverability of the racquet, particularly at net. Off the ground as well, I enjoyed how easy it was to generate tons of racquet head speed without no effort and how quickly the racquet came around. I have not tinkered with adding any weight to the racquet at the moment, as overall (even with a few small downsides) I’m liking how the racquet plays in stock form.

Stability: While it’s not going to feel like the RF97 or some 330g unstrung frame, the racquet still feels rock solid despite the lighter weight. Even against big hitters, there is simply no give in this frame and it re-directs any power thrown at it without flinching at all. Other playtesters in this thread have noted the high twistweight of the racquet, and I can only join in the chorus in saying I didn’t have any stability issues whatsoever. Aside from the very top of the stringbed, which still feels firm/stable, I also didn’t feel there was any substantial power drop off with the frame.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, despite a little bit of an adjustment period, I’ve enjoyed the PD 2021 a lot. I’ve had quite a bit of experience playing with the Pure Drive line and other similar sticks, so perhaps that’s not surprising. The racquet plays very much like what you expect a Pure Drive to be – it’s still that powerful, spin friendly racquet, with a tweak in the feel, perhaps a little boost in the solidity of the frame, and a pretty sweet new paintjob… probably my favorite Babolat paintjob in recent memory. I’ve been rotating playing with the PD 2021 and my Aero. I think overall I find the Aero more fun to play with, although some days I play better with the PD 2021, some days the Aero. I do feel like there’s always a caveat that needs to be made with these playtests, since the QC of the frames can vary quite substantially which will affect how they play. It seems like some of the other playtesters in this thread have PD 2021s that swing pretty hefty, which was not my experience at all with my playtest frame.

As always, thanks to TW and Babolat. Been very, very lucky to have been a playtester a number of times over the years, I believe the majority of them on Babolat gear. Totally appreciative of how customer-friendly TW is, and we Talk Tennis members are so fortunate to have these awesome opportunities to try out tennis gear at no cost.
Great review, thanks.
Woud you say that spin- and control-wise PD 21 is better than PD 18 or not ?
 

WhiteStripes

Semi-Pro
Great review, thanks.
Woud you say that spin- and control-wise PD 21 is better than PD 18 or not ?
No noticeable difference in spin potential from the '18 to' 21 to me. Power level overall also not too much difference b/w the two versions. I don't think the string spacing has changed from the '18 to '21, so there really shouldn't be any significant difference in spin. If you've played and like the '18, I would think you'd like the 2021 PD as well. I will also say both the '18 and '21 that I've played are fast to swing/maneuverable, and I found them pretty whippy and easy to generate racquet head speed. It seems some of the other play testers have gotten sticks that are heavier overall in static weight or more head heavier than normal spec, which could potentially affect spin potential if you're not able to generate as much racquet head speed.
 

Hotpockets

Rookie
I think @sanister measured one on RDC and shared specs in this thread earlier. Strung specs for him with overgrip & dampener were 324g, 33cm balance, 318 swingweight and 70 RA stiffness. It seems after reading posts here that there is definitely quite a variation going on in terms of QC
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
Part 1:

String and tension used for test: 1st – Xcel 16 mains/RPM Blast 17 crosses @48lbs 2 – Yonex Polytour Air @46lbs
Tennis experience/background: Played for about 20 years, Texas superchamp in juniors, and played 4 years for a ranked men's D2 university
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): Attacking all-court player, big serve, heavy forehand, one-handed back hand, very comfortable at net & in doubles
Current racquet/string setups: Blade 98 16x19 CV w/ Volkl Cyclone 16g @50lbs
How many hours did you play with the racquet? 15

-Groundstrokes: Flat and slice backhands felt great right away. The racquet is light, but still has enough mass and stability that it hits through the ball really well. Heavy topspin groundstrokes were a problem at first – I had to put a ton of work and racquet-head speed into the stroke and even then it felt like the ball was only barely clearing the service line or, if my stroke was off at all, the ball would sail into the fence. Stringing with a full bed of poly totally fixed that. Even with a round poly like Polytour Air I was getting adequate spin, I could use a little less racquet-head speed, I was getting much better depth and control – the only time the ball would sail on me was if I was lazy or super late and had too slow and open of a swing. You can get so much power that aggressive play from the baseline is super easy and really fun – I definitely lost some degree of precision coming from my Blades, but not so much that it was really a problem. Once the string bed loosened up a little bit, I was definitely launching the ball more, but the increased string movement also made it easier to get heavy topspin, so I just had to be deliberate in hitting with more spin.

-Serves: Spin and power were both really easy to generate on serve. Flat bombs felt incredibly clean and more powerful than with my Blades (though with less precision, again). With spin serves it was incredibly easy to generate angle on slice serves, and enough spin on kick serves for my serve to get kick up to head height on my hitting partners. At times it was difficult to get as much pace on slice and kick serves as I do with my Blades, which makes some sense, given there just isn’t as much mass there with the PD. Towards the end of the playtest I was starting to get better pace on kick serves, but hitting more powerful slice serves still eluded me. I think a bit of lead would solve that problem, but my racquet also seems more headlight than those of the other playtesters. I’m sure that, over time, I would also adjust to get slightly better results on slice serves even without some additional weight, but it feels like that would probably expedite the process.

-Volleys: This PD is incredibly maneuverable at net, and it feels surprisingly solid. Despite its low weight, I never felt like I was getting pushed around at net, even against heavier hitters. I loved the feel of the racquet on volleys, and really enjoyed hitting volleys, but I did occasionally have some trouble handling the ball at net. I had a hard time fully controlling balls that dipped below net height – when I had to open up the racquet face to lift the ball a bit, it felt like the open string pattern just lofted the ball a little too high and deep. Putting away higher volleys definitely felt better, but I did have a hard time sticking higher volleys with the same precision and aggression that I could with my Blades. In the doubles sets I played I didn’t ever feel 100% confident moving forward aggressively, since my volleys off of low balls were floating a little bit, and I had some difficulty placing higher volleys exactly where I wanted.

-Serve returns: I absolutely loved hitting returns with this racquet. Once again it felt remarkably solid, despite the low weight. I was able to take a short backswing and basically block the ball back and the end result was a return every bit as effective (if not more so) than a much more aggressive swing with my Blades. When I wanted to be more aggressive on first-serve returns it came really easily – the low swingweight made it easy to get the racquet in place no matter where I had to hit the return, and I was still able to hit with enough spin and control that even my most aggressive returns didn’t sail long. I was perhaps most pleased hitting backhand returns. I have a tendency to hit backhand returns a little late, but the light weight helped me avoid that issue, and the amazing stability and power allowed me to block returns in, while still starting points well. A lot of my blocked-in returns dipped and landed just inside the baseline, where the same returns with my Blades would’ve landed around the service line, immediately putting me on defense against more aggressive players. Towards the end of the playtest when the strings were getting kind of springy, I lost a bit of confidence attacking high sitting second serves with my forehand. I just had a hard time controlling the ball and not sending it long. Even with a looser stringbed I found returning harder serves to be really enjoyable and easy to control, though.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
Part 2:

Power/Control- For the first couple of hours of hitting, I was struggling to generate much pace on “nothing” balls and sitters. On groundies in general it felt like I was either getting no pace at all, or I was launching the ball. After the first couple of hours, things started clicking and I was able to get better power, though I was still occasionally launching the ball to the fence. After switching to a full bed of soft, low-powered poly, everything changed. I was getting outstanding power, and I was able to control the ball super easily. The only time I lost control was when I was so lazy (which, admittedly, did happen somewhat more often with the PD, since it was so easy to use) or out of position that I really deserved to miss the ball anyways. The one caveat to this was with controlling volleys, at times, as discussed above.

Top Spin/Slice-
I expected monster topspin right off the bat, and when I wasn’t getting it I was a little annoyed. Changing string setups fixed the problem, and I was getting as much topspin as I wanted. The launch angle of the ball was pretty low, so it didn’t always seem like I was getting that much topspin, but the ball still had a pretty pleasant shape, and I was easily getting enough spin to control the ball and pressure my opponents. Backhand slices felt amazing, even before the string change. Traditionally I enjoy slicing most with racquets that have a good amount of mass in the head, but this felt every bit as good on slices as my Blades. The slice was maybe slightly “floatier,” but that makes sense, given the more open string pattern. I suspect that stringing at a higher tension and adding a bit of lead at 3 and 9 would give this stick the edge over my Blades in the slice department.

Comfort-
Comfort was really the area where I expected to have the most problems with this frame. Almost any time anyone talks about the PD, some comment is made about potential arm discomfort. I am generally healthy, but will occasionally get some minor wrist and elbow problems (if I’m hitting harder or more frequently than usual), but I never experienced any sort of discomfort using the PD. In fact, going into the playtest I was having some issues that actually got better over the course of the playtest. You can absolutely feel how stiff the racquet is, but it didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. There was very little vibration, without the racquet feeling too muted. Granted, I might have a higher tolerance for muted frames than some others, since I absolutely the CV Blades. In fact, the level of vibration dampening of the PD felt closer to that of the CV Blades than most other racquets I’ve tried (though I did end up using a shock absorber with the PD, which I have never felt necessary with the CV Blades).

Feel-
I don’t think this racquet will be winning any awards for feel, but it isn’t bad in that department either. The open string pattern makes it kind of difficult to control things like low drop volleys and hard-to-manage half-volleys. That being said, the open face makes it easy to generate a lot of spin, so drop shots felt nice, they were just a little hard to control. I tend not to hit a lot of “feel” shots, though, so take my input in this area with a grain of salt.

Maneuverability-
Maneuverability a little bit (or a lot) depends on quality control – I know a lot of playtesters got relatively more head-heavy frames, but mine was incredibly head-light. It was incredibly easy to use on tougher returns where I had to make some quick adjustments with my wrist, and whipping on-the-run forehands crosscourt felt outstanding. Reflex volleys were easy to get a racquet on, though they were difficult to control at times. Making adjustments on returns is really where I appreciated the maneuverability most. The PD does have a pretty big beam, so I’m sure it doesn’t feel quite as whippy as a similarly weighted racquet with a thinner, flatter beam would, but all in all I very much enjoyed the maneuverability.

Stability-
Despite the low weight and swingweight, I was very impressed by the PD’s stability. Historically I have used fairly heavy racquets, largely because stability is one of the areas that matters most to me for a racquet. The feel of the PD is certainly not on the same level as the 330+ sw frames I have used for most of my life, but the results weren't much, if any worse with the PD. There wasn’t any shot or area of the court where I felt stability was an issue. Any area where I struggled with control, it was totally un-related to stability.


General reaction/comments on overall performance:
Over the years I have predominantly been a Wilson player, largely because of my preference for hefty racquets with substantial swingweight and unparalleled stability (K90, BLX 6.1 95 18x20, Juice Pro, RF97). The CV Blade was one of the first lighter racquets (sub 330sw) that still felt stable enough for my liking, while the additional power and maneuverability helped my game substantially. Hitting with this new PD was a kind of like re-living that first transition to the Blades. I enjoyed an incredibly satisfying sense of stability, while the power and maneuverability allowed me to hit better shots in certain areas than I was able to hit before (namely I was able to be more aggressive on defense in the forehand corner, and I was able to be more aggressive on first-serve returns).
Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is that the stability of this new PD was adequate for me not to be turned off of it, and the power (and spin, to a lesser extent) was so intoxicating that it had me considering switching for a minute. At the end of the day, my game is built around placement and precision just enough that I plan on sticking with my Blades, but I enjoyed the PD a LOT, and if I were any less happy with my Blades, or if I were more of a baseline player, I would switch in a heartbeat.

Thank you SO much to Tennis Warehouse. This was my first racquet playtest and I loved every second of it.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
This didn't end up impacting my impressions of the racquet at all, but I noticed on the occasional slice backhand or backhand volley what felt like one edge of the butt cap kind of giving way or something? It's difficult to describe, happened kind of infrequently, and I had a hard time reproducing it by pushing around on the edges of the butt cap, but did anyone else experience anything like this? Whether on the playtest PD or any other frame? I don't want to start a whole new thread for such a trivial thing lol
 

vodka

New User
Coming from tge 2018 PureDrive I was so looking forward to this update. Went out to buy a pair of 2021 PureDrive and strung them identically with Yonex Poly Tour Pro 120 at 50 lbs as my 2018 PDs. Both my PD 2021 sticks are more headlight compared to my 2018 PureDrives (so I don't believe its a QC issue), and it starts to show its weaknesses against big hitters where the racquet is not as stable and causing weak returns back to such players. For me this 2021 update is in between the 2019 PA and 2018 PureDrive in terms of whippyness (was playing PAs till I switched to PDs) The 2018 PD is definitely more powerful and has better sweetness on plow through. I am adding 4 gramsm weight at 12 to see how it fares. Overall I am disappointed with this update but hope to sort out the issue with weights on the head as some of you did.
 
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