Tennis Warehouse: Yonex VCORE 95, 98, 100 2021 Playtest

McLovin

Legend
It will play the same as old "Tech" fads have (Dunlop biomimetic, Head liquidmetal, etc, etc..), in the obsolete bin. Mostly gimmicks to fool new suckers, then rinse and repeat in a few years...
Normally I'd agree with this, but I'll have to respectfully disagree in this case. At least with the VC98, they changed the mold slightly (22-22-21 vs 22.5-23-21), as well as the string pattern spacing. And the VDM is most definitely not a gimmick, at least as far as 'feeling' goes. There is a distinct difference.

Now, is that difference a good thing? For me, it is. For others (@downs_chris being one of them), it is not as he thinks its too muted.
 

topspn

Legend
Normally I'd agree with this, but I'll have to respectfully disagree in this case. At least with the VC98, they changed the mold slightly (22-22-21 vs 22.5-23-21), as well as the string pattern spacing. And the VDM is most definitely not a gimmick, at least as far as 'feeling' goes. There is a distinct difference.

Now, is that difference a good thing? For me, it is. For others (@downs_chris being one of them), it is not as he thinks its too muted.
How is the string pattern spacing different between previous and new?
 

McLovin

Legend
How is the string pattern spacing different between previous and new?
I know its scientific, but here's a side-by-side w/ my VCORE 98 +:



You might not be able to see from this photo, but the bottom 4 holes line up (these are the mains), but the cross holes are 'higher' in the stringbed.
 

!<-_->!

Hall of Fame
Biomemetic was great! I helped your lead tape fly off mid swing. The changing swing weight was amazing!
The Bio 300, imo, was a pretty solid racket. But definitely had trouble w/ keeping lead tape stuck on the frame due to those bumps on the paint, aero skin?
 

topspn

Legend
@McLovin So the one on the right is new one. Are you saying the crosses are bit tighter on the new one in the center? Or which one is slightly tighter than the other in the center of the string bed?
 

taylor15

Professional
The Bio 300, imo, was a pretty solid racket. But definitely had trouble w/ keeping lead tape stuck on the frame due to those bumps on the paint, aero skin?
Yep. While I joke about it, I did enjoy my Bio200 and the 300T a lot. I wish I had kept the 300

I don’t think the aero skin did anything though.
 

McLovin

Legend
@McLovin So the one on the right is new one. Are you saying the crosses are bit tighter on the new one in the center? Or which one is slightly tighter than the other in the center of the string bed?
Yes, new one is on the right. Again, I realize this isn't scientific as I'm eyeballing it, and pics wouldn't accurately show it, but the new frame looks as if the whole stringbed is higher in the frame. When I line up the throat on both, the bottom-most cross is higher up. Additionally, if I line up the bottom crosses, the top cross on the new frame is also higher.

So, it appears that in addition to the new frame's stringbed being higher, it's also slightly more spaced out. Whether it's uniform throughout, or isolated at certain areas, I don't know.
 

!<-_->!

Hall of Fame
Yep. While I joke about it, I did enjoy my Bio200 and the 300T a lot. I wish I had kept the 300

I don’t think the aero skin did anything though.
Agreed. Similar to the aero fins of the VCore, I don't think either "technology" truly does anything for how the frame performs.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
I received the VCore 100 racquet with my preferred 4 1/4 grip size.

String and tension used for test: I used the Yonex Polytour Rev string included with the racquet. Strung at 52 lbs by my local club.

Tennis experience/background: I am a USTA 3.5C. Season is out, but I played with this racquet in my club’s 4.0 internal league. I am just the far side of 40 and have been playing for approx 6 years.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I use a SW grip and my main weapon is a topspin forehand. I use a 2-handed BH which tends to be flatter and more defensive. On low balls I typically use a slice/chip one-hander. My style is generally to force a short ball or sitter with my forehand and then move in until I have put the ball away. Against better players I end up counterpunching more and working to be more consistent than my opponent. I play doubles almost 100% of the time in 18+ league and singles almost 100% of the time in 40+ league.

Current racquet/string setups: I currently use the G360 Speed Pro, strung with a soft 17 g poly (sonic pro, vstar, cyclone, etc.) Prior to that I had a long stint with the 16x19 and 18x16 blades. Before THAT I was a Speed MPaholic.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? 10 hrs, which was about how long the strings lasted.

Comments on racquet performance.

-Groundstrokes: As I suspected, this racquet complimented my forehand. I previously demoed the 2021 Pure Drive and was amazed at how I could pop forehand winners with it. This racquet was similar, although the power level was a little lower. The strings have something to do with this, as they are stiffer/lower-powered than what I typically use. The sweet spot seemed to be huge. If I had a gripe, it would be that control isn’t quite where it is with my 18x20 speed pros. That’s the tradeoff of having a big-beamed tweener.

The SW on this racquet is almost perfect for me. I’ve found, via trial and error, that I do best with a SW in the 320-325 range. Too light and I start framing balls on my groundstrokes. too heavy and I’m late (that’s what she said).

-Serves: serves had plenty of pop. I have a little trouble generating pop on my serves typically. Doesn’t matter when I’m playing 3.5s, but if I don’t put my mind to it a good 4.0 will point out when I’m serving up sitters. This racquet was giving me plenty of oomph when I hit the ball on the screws, and I could get enough RHS to hit a good kicker on my 2nd serve. Again, control took an adjustment.

-Volleys: Volleys were very predictable and aided by the huge sweet spot on this racquet. Touch was a little less than what I’m used to, but I’d say more than offset by the pop. I could really stick a volley with this thing. I never really felt a lack of stability on off-center shots.

-Serve returns: Great racquet on service returns. Again, the SW is just right for me, so I wasn’t late on first serves and I could jump all over second serves. Stability is fine (hello SW ...)

Comments on racquet performance in each area.

Power/Control- This racquet is more powerful than my Speed Pros. Not as powerful as the PD 2021, but it is closer to the PD2021 than to the Speed Pro. Control is less than the Speed Pro ... the great tradeoff.

Top Spin/Slice- topspin is as good as any racquet I’ve ever hit with that’s as stable as this one (I can get a little more with an old graphene speed MP or Prince ESP, at the expense of stability). I have neglected my slice in my current game, but if this thing can spin one direction it can definitely spin the other.

Comfort- Comfort was very good. The racquet has a hybrid crisp/muted feel, which seems the norm these days. I would call it “sophisticated.” Sometimes I really miss the raw feedback of my graphene speed MPs, but my 40 yr old tendons don’t miss it at all.

Feel- Whoops, I may have described feel in the previous column. Lets make this comparison instead: I also have an Ezone 100. This racquet has a more direct feel than the ezone. The ezone has so much dampening it produces sort of a “THOCK” sound and feel, and (for me at least) the feedback can be vague. I prefer the VCore in this department.

Maneuverability- Maneuverability and stability are like ying and yang. The better the maneuverability tends to be, the less the stability tends to be. I think this frame strikes a near-perfect balance for a player at my level. While it could have been more maneuverable, I never felt like stability was lacking.

Stability- This racquet had as much stability as I’d ever want. I think the combination of a thickish beam and a decent SW really make this frame shine.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:

Lets see, where to begin. First, I definitely want more time with this racquet after I have strung it up with a softer poly. This playtest came at a terrible time for me due to cold weather, family obligations, and the stupid coronavirus (eff you corona). Had it been in the spring I would have spent 2 or 3 times as much court time with it.

Second, this thing has reignited my internal existential struggle between the tweener and the control frame. I really appreciate the additional pop and forgiveness this racquet gives me over the blade. whether it is a better mousetrap for me than the speed pro ... I’m not sure. Yet. I will probably never find the Schrödinger’s cat of racquets (both a tweener and not a tweener at the same time), but that won’t stop me from looking.

Lastly, this is a very high quality piece. The paint looks good, the racquet is well made, the feedback is sophisticated. There is some pride of ownership with this thing.

Lastly, lastly, this is a better racquet than the previous generation EZ100. The feel is better, and I like the slightly more rounded headshape.

Lastly, lastly, lastly, unfortunately, I still don’t like the yonex grip shape as much as the head or wilson.

Thanks a million to TW for sending me a REALLY nice racquet to playtest, and thank you the loyal readership for coming to my TED talk.

edit: just want to make sure everyone knows that my comparison to the ezone 100 is to the previous generation ezone, not the current one!
 
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TW Staff

Administrator
ATTENTION PLAYTESTERS:

Your review comments are due by tomorrow, January 15th by 5 pm PT. If you have already turned in your comments, thank you so much.

TW Staff
 

McLovin

Legend
Yonex 2021 VCORE 98 Playtest Review

String and tension used for test:

Laserfibre Native Tour 17 strung at 55lbs

Tennis experience/background:
I'm a 4.5/5.0 level player and have been playing for over 40 years. I played D3 College, USTA leagues and tournaments, coached high school, and have assisted in my local club's junior program.

Describe your playing style:
In singles I'd like to think I'm an 'aggressive baseliner', but lately I'm doing more retrieving than dictating (I need to play more people my age). In doubles I'm serve & volley off both serves, and looking to get into the net off my return.

Current racquet/string setups:
2018 Yonex VCORE 98 + with Laserfibre Native Tour 17 strung at 55lbs.

How many hours did you play with the racquet?
Unmodified: 6
Modified: 6 (and counting)

Intro:
I have been extremely excited about this release ever since hitting w/ the new EZONE 98+. While I love my current VCOREs, I really liked the addition of the VDM in the new EZONE and was hoping the next release of the VCORE would also contain the dampening material. After hitting both singles and doubles with the new VCORE in stock form, I extended mine 1/2" using the XTP Butt Cap. While I won't go into the gory details, the end result matched the static weight/balance of my current VCORE 98 +s. So I'll break my review up into 'stock' and 'extended' sections.

Groundstrokes:
(Stock) Immediately I noticed the feel of the new frame. The VDM mutes/softens the ball on contact, and it's quite noticeable in comparison to the 2018 VCORE. There is easy access to spin, and the frame felt very stable, although I did feel it was lacking a little in the power department, especially on finishing shots. It was a little 'whippy' on the forehand side, although admittedly in comparison to my 2018 VCORE 98 + (which has a SW north of 340), most frames would feel 'whippy'.

(Extended) What can I say, other than I'm in love with this frame. Extended, it has all the power, spin, stability and control that I love from the 2018 version, but with the improved feel from the VDM. I was able to successfully defend hard, heavy topspin, as well as generate aggressive shots on my own. The added swingweight gave me the finishing power I was missing in stock form, and essentially slowed the frame down a tad. I don't hit with a ton of spin (Eastern forehand, 2-handed backhand), but I did notice a slight uptick in spin off both sides.

Serves:
(Stock) Serving with this frame felt like an extension of my arm. It was quick through the hitting zone, allowing me to accelerate up & through my contact point. I felt I was getting a bit more spin than with my normal frames, but again, it was lacking a bit in the power department. At 5' 9", with a serve that tops out at 110MPH (with a stiff tail wind of 20MPH), I really can't give up anything on my serve. In my doubles matches, I was constantly 'serving uphill', struggling to hold.

(Extended) Simply sublime. I was a bit concerned as this was the one category the EZONE 98+ failed me. It felt very sluggish, and I was afraid this might follow in the EZONE's wake. However, I played 4 sets of doubles against two extremely strong 4.5 level opponents (one of whom was @downs_chris, who has done a couple stints at 5.0), and was not broken once. In fact, I'm not even certain I faced a break point. In the deuce court, I was able to consistently hit a hard flat one up the tee, or swing it out wide. In the ad, I normally prefer the kicker out wide, but was feeling confident enough to go up the tee as well. 2nd serves seemed to have a bit more bite on them, which is saying a lot given the indoor courts are extremely slick. And all this with a bad back...

Volleys:
(Stock) I really enjoyed volleying with this frame. I played 3 sets of doubles with it in stock form, and found it quick and stable at the net, with good feel. I felt confident in redirecting the ball, but felt I could use a little more weight to give it that 'finishing' pop.

(Extended) More of the same in extended form, but with the 'finishing pop' I felt was missing in stock form. As I said earlier, I played 4 sets against two extremely strong 4.5/5.0 level doubles players and never lost my serve (I serve & volley off both serves in doubles). The frame handled low & half volleys superbly, and even in extended form handled many quick exchanges at the net without issue. I simply felt extremely confident at the net.

Serve returns:
(Stock) In stock form, this is where I felt it could use some added heft. On the forehand I felt I was getting to the ball early, leaving many returns as 'sitting ducks' or into the net. Backhands were good, but I was missing more than I should (and backhand return of serve is my 'shot', especially in doubles). It wasn't that it was unstable, just underperforming.

(Extended) Even extended I felt I was getting in front of myself on the forehand, so I added ~ 3g of lead in the throat to see if I could slow my swing down a bit. Hilariously, the next return I ripped an inside-out forehand followed by an inside-in winner up the line. From there on it was absolutely perfect, and the added weight seemed to not affect any other aspects of its play (although my shoulder did tire in the 4th set...but honestly, how often will I play 4 sets in a row?).

...continued in next post...
 

McLovin

Legend
Yonex 2021 VCORE 98 Playtest Review (continued)

Comments on racquet performance in each area:
Power/Control:

(Stock) 7/10 (power), 9/10 (control). In stock form, the frame had decent power, but I wouldn't call it a powerful frame. It gives you what you put into it. With added weight, I can see it going up to an 8 or 8.5. Control was excellent, however. I felt the ball would go where I wanted it, and rarely did I over hit.

(Extended) 8/10 (power), 9/10 (control). Extended, I felt I got that added 'pop' that was missing, both off the ground and on the serve, and it did it without losing any control. One of my opponents commented on my serve being a bit 'heavier' than usual. Compared to my 2018 VCORE 98 +s, it felt similarly powered.

Top Spin/Slice:
(Stock and Extended) 9/10. One of the reasons I switched to the 2018 version was the added spin I received from the frame, and that continues with this frame. I really didn't notice much difference in topspin & slice between stock & extended. Both ways I was able to generate good topspin (which admittedly isn't a whole lot for my strokes), and slices stayed low, rarely popping up the ball. The extended may have been a bit more stable when I was stretched out (e.g., stab return of serve), but that difference was minimal. In comparison to my 2018 VCORE +, I'd say there was a slight increase in spin. It wasn't an eye-popping difference, but there were definitely a few shots I hit that I felt would have gone long with my current frame, but ended up dropping in.

Comfort:
(Stock and Extended) 9/10. This and 'Feel' are the two most notable differences between the 2018 version. The VDM is noticeable from the first hit, and for me, it's a welcome change. While not harsh, the previous version did turn a few people off, and coming from using a Fischer for the previous 5+ years, it was a bit of an adjustment. But I really gelled with this from the start. Absolutely no issues in the wrist, arm or shoulder (other than a 52 yr old guy playing too many sets in 1 day...).

Feel:
(Stock and Extended) 9/10. Again, as with 'Comfort', it is a noticeable change compared to the 2018 VCORE. It is very muted, but I didn't feel any of the 'disconnectedness' that some of my friends felt. As other reviewers have said, it feels softer, even though the RA numbers don't bear this out. I guess 'muted but firm' would be my best description.

Maneuverability:
(Stock) 9/10. As mentioned before, I felt this was a tad 'whippy' in stock form, which made for excellent maneuverability, especially at the net. I never felt as if I was behind on a shot.

(Extended) 8.5/10. Obviously, an extended frame will be a bit less maneuverable given the inherent increase in swingweight, but I didn't feel as if it affected it greatly. Yes, I'm used to heavier frames, but even after extending I had to add a little extra lead to slow myself down. And quick exchanges at the net were handled with no issues (other than my declining reaction time due to being old...).

Stability:
(Stock) 7.5/10. Maybe the one area that the frame lacks in stock form is it's stability. It's not as if it is wobbling all over the place, but I did feel a little instability off the forehand side on occasion, normally when defending a heavy topspin shot or when stretched out wide to the backhand. When I was in position or dictating, it was good, but those few occasions left me wondering if a little weight at 3 & 9 would help (and would also solve the 'whippy-ness').

(Extended) 9/10. After solving my 'early arrival' on the forehand with lead, this was one of the most stable frames I've hit with. It reminded me of the 2001 Pure Control + 'Swirly', but without being a 2x4. On contact I drove through the hitting zone effortlessly, and when stretched out wide I was able to still control the slice. During doubles I hit one inside-in forehand return so hard I felt the need to apologize for the disrespect I showed my friend's serve...seriously...

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
What can I say: I'm in love with this frame. It has everything I like from the previous version, but with improved comfort and feel. I'm not one to automatically change to the latest frame (although I do admittedly tinker here & there for fun)...hell, I used a 2008 Fischer for over 5 years before switching to the VCORE 98 +. But if they offered this in a '+', I'd be one of the first to switch. And it's somewhat ironic as my initial impression after seeing the specs was one of disappointment since they changed the mold (22-22-21 thickness vs 22.5-23-21 in the new version). The string spacing seems to have been altered as well (see my pics a few posts up), which may account for my comment on slightly increased spin.

But, with the addition of the VDM, and the apparent increase in spin, it is definitely on my RADAR. And even if they don't offer a '+' (if you're reading this, Yonex, please, please, please offer it), I may consider getting the lighter version and having it extended professionally (there are aspects of the XTP Butt Cap I don't care for...but I won't go into that here).

The paint job has begun to grow on me, although I really think the blue w/ a Galaxy Black base would look amazing (again, if you're reading this, Yonex...give us '+' users a shot at the beautiful Galaxy Black PJ).

As always, thanks to TW & Yonex for the opportunity to playtest this frame. I probably would have given this a look if/when a '+' was released, but now there's no doubt I'll be switching at some point.
 

Seth

Legend
String and tension used for test: Prince Synthetic Gut w/ Duraflex 16g (optic yellow) strung at 55 lbs. Also included was a Tournagrip XL and SampDamp.

Tennis experience/background: I've been playing for nearly 20 years (I'm 33 now) and would consider myself a solid 4.0. I play doubles mostly these days, but was playing Ultimate Tennis leagues for several years. In UT I was rate 5.0 in doubles and 4.5 in singles, but as anyone who plays UT knows, those rankings are a bit inflated.

Bonus: Here's some footage of lazy rallying from a few years ago. Shoutout to @J011yroger and the Brotherhood of the Traveling Radical.


Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I'm a 6'5" lefty who started as a power baseliner with a love for coming to net, but nowadays fancy myself as an all-courter who tries to get to net ASAP.

Current racquet/string setups: Head Pro Tour 2.0 strung with PSGD 17g at 55 lbs.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? Approximately 12 hours

Comments on racquet performance for each stroke (each section should be 3-5 sentences minimum):

-Groundstrokes: I've toyed around with many Yonex midplus frames and feel that, whether it's a 95, 97, or 98, the feel and response is pretty reliable. No different here. I really liked this racquet from the baseline - especially my forehand. I got a good amount of pop, especially compared to my usual 95"/18x20 frame. The high swingweight mixed with a reasonable 11.5oz static weight made racquet head speed pretty easy to come by. I'm used to a little heavier frame, but the 11.5oz swung heavier than expected.

-Serves: Serves were great. I loved the swingweight here, because it lets the racquet do the work. I found slice serves to have pretty good bite, but my flat serves are what really shined.

-Volleys: Easily my favorite thing to do with the 95 was volley. I love being at net already, and the experience is made more enjoyable with such an accurate frame. Punch volleys, slice volleys, and dropshots were all solid. As I said, I'm more accustomed to a slightly heavier frame, but the 95 wasn't short on stability at net.

-Serve returns: Same as above - reliable and enjoyable. I liked the crisp stringbed for sliced/blocked returns (I tend to slice backhand returns against bigger servers). Again, a very stable frame even against folks that can crack their first serves.

Comments on racquet performance in each area (should be 2-3 sentences minimum)

Power/Control- This string strikes a good balance between power and control. As I've said: More power than my current stick, which I found helpful overall (tempting, actually). The control is there, as well. Not sure how much the 16x20 contributes, but I've always enjoyed that string pattern - going all the way back to the Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.2.

Top Spin/Slice- The 95 has plenty of spin and slice "potential." I hit with a lot of spin, but I don't require a spinny frame. The 95 did both spin and slice well. I loved the bite on the slice.

Comfort- As with every Yonex stick I've tried, plenty of comfort. I can't speak to a bed of full poly, but I can't imagine it would be an uncomfortable frame.

Feel- The feel was great in general, but it definitely came through with volleys. I find that comfort and feel go together, and they are both evident with the 95.

Maneuverability- Plenty of maneuverability here. I would attribute it to the manageable static weight and healthy weight. The stick has a good amount of plow due to the swingweight, but was also easy to get around, even with quick volley exchanges.

Stability- No worries here. One thing I can't tolerate is a racquet that gets pushed around at net. Before the Pro Tour 2.0, I was using a POG OS - both EXTREMELY stable frames. The Yonex 95 held its own with no complaints from me.

Overall reaction- The new VCore 95 is an all-around great frame. Yonex delivers another high-quality stick with beautiful cosmetics and nice specs. Thanks to TW for the chance to playtest this stick.
 
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MixedMaster

Semi-Pro
Yonex VCORE 100 Playtest Review

String and Tension used for the Test:

I used three different sets of strings during the playtest: first set was Yonex Poly Tour REV 16G; Signum Pro XPerienced 17G; and NRG2 17G. All string was strung at 48 lbs. mains and 44 lbs. crosses.

Tennis Experience/Background
I've been playing about 45 years. I'm a 3.5 player that has coached high school tennis and ran a recreation program for the city. I play USTA League tennis.

Playing Style
Playing mostly Senior doubles I serve and volley when possible, hit with top spin, and have a one hand back hand.

Current Racquet and String Set-up
VCORE
100 with different string but like natural gut mains and shaped poly crosses. Lately I've been experimenting with full poly shaped string

Number of Hours used for playtest
I have managed to play about 22 hours with the 2021 VCORE 100 for the Playtest

Ground Strokes
Already being a VCORE 100 player, I found the transition to the New Racquet to be quite easy. Forehand did feel as if I had more control and pop. I didn't find a big difference in spin. I do hit with topspin, but not excessive. The backhand was comfortable and my slice did have a little more bite.

Serve
The serve remained about the same as with my older VCORE 100's. Good control and power with ample spin when needed. Comfort is the main ingredient with the 100.

Volley
I am not someone with a great volley, but the 2021 VCORE 100 seems to move around the net a little easier. Good power was available and ball direction was easy to control.

Serve Returns
Return of Serve seemed to be one area the new racquet seemed to excel. After the first couple of times playing I seemed to manage to really be able to hit my targets on Returns and with added pop. I'm not quite sure what the difference was, but it was quite evident.

Power and Control
As I mentioned earlier, there seemed to be more power and control with the new racquet. As one of my projects this winter I plan on adding more weight to the racquet until I get the pop I'm looking for without it being too heavy for me.

Topspin/Slice
I was able to produce adequate spin and slice on all of my shots. I did find that on my backhand slice I was able to produce a little more bite.

Comfort
I find the VCORE racquets to be some of the most comfortable sticks I've ever hit with right out of the box. Some have said that they are soft but I don't find it so. I find the racquet to be firm. The comfort level is extremely good.

Feel
The feel of the racquet seems to run hand and hand with the comfort of the racquet. I was able to place my shots much easier than with the new VCORE 100. I could "feel" the touch needed for drop shots and placement of shots.

Maneuverability
I mentioned earlier that movement around the net was much easier and I also found that my timing was a little off on serves. I found that I was coming through the serve faster and had to change just a little to make the serve work for me.

Stability
The only racquet that I've hit with that had as much stability was a 110sq. in. racquet. The stability of this racquet is one of the things that make it so enjoyable to hit with. Off center hits don't punish your shoulder or elbow, and you still have enough control to place your shot.

General Reaction
I have enjoyed the playtest and really enjoy the new VCORE 100. I do think I'm going to go back to natural gut and and shaped poly for my string choice. I also think I'm going to test adding weight to the hoop and handle to try and get a little more pop. I believe this racquet is a hit for Yonex.
 
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McLovin

Legend
@McLovin I normally play a wilson 4 3/8 or Head. Should I still get a VCORE same size or go down a size?
So, I prefer 4 1/2. For my current Vcore 98+s, I bought 4 3/8, but replaced the base grip w/ the Tecnifibre Wax Max, which is 2.2mm thick. Then I replaced the butt cap w/ a 4 1/2 Wilson butt cap (from TW). The yonex trap door fits perfectly, btw.

The result was perfect for me. I got a decent base grip thickness, with the flare of a Wilson.

There’s a whole thread on this somewhere. I’ll link it up tomorrow morning. It’s bed time for me...

Edit: Here is the thread I mentioned: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/wilson-buttcap-on-yonex-dr-98-works-just-fine.583125/#post-14833017
 
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Crashbaby

Semi-Pro
I have Blade Pro and Ezone tour both in 3/8 and both are fitted with the same brand of leather grip and og. Both feel the same. On the shaft section measuring with a cloth tailors tape they both have the same circumference to the mm with the same grips fitted. Hope that assists.
 

!<-_->!

Hall of Fame
Playtest Racket: Yonex VCore 95

String and tension used for test: Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.25 @ 50lbs
Tennis experience/background: 4.0C by USTA standards. 3rd party rating sites put me around 3.7x, so I'd say I'm your average 4.0 player. Played 4 years of high school, where I first started playing the sport. Did 2 seasons of junior college tennis as well. In total, 18 years on and off. Yikes.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I'd consider myself an all court player as I do like to come to net, but will also default to being a baseline counter puncher / occasional pusher depending on the level of the opponent and the level of effort and focus I put in for matches. In practice, trying to develop that heavy ground game to incorporate along with the net play. Forever a work in progress.
Current racquet/string setups: 2020 Yonex EZone 98 with a leather grip and 3.5" of lead at 2&10 each. No consistent string setup, but typically a full bed of poly.
How many hours did you play with the racquet? About 15 hours total between singles, doubles and the wall.

Comments on racquet performance for each stroke:
  • Groundstrokes: Groundstrokes felt pretty good, but my results were mixed. I enjoyed it far more on the bh side compared to the fh side as my bh is flatter and the stroke naturally goes through the ball better than my fh wing. I found that the racket, and perhaps in combination with the string pattern, worked better for the flatter stroke. However, that's not to say I didn't have problems on both wings. I felt the sweetspot was fairly high on this frame and I think this is partly due to the changes they made in having the 10&2 area wider. With my flatter bh, I tend to strike closer to the middle of the string bed so there was definite adjustments needed before I could hit a more solid shot. For the fh, where I do tend to strike a bit higher, it was fine. But I never got the shape I wanted on the ball. The launch angle was noticeably lower compared to my EZone 98, and lower than the SV95 I brought out a couple times to do a comparison with. I got good racket headspeed off both wings as the racket stock along with it being thinner than my EZone came around much quicker. All in all, not too shabby, but I think I'd want to tinker with some lead to get the sweetspot more align with where I'm typically used to striking the ball. Would give it a 7.5/10.
  • Serves: Flat serves have never been my strong suit. Being a lefty, I gravitate towards relying on spins. With the lower launch angle that I saw with from groundstrokes, that also translated to what I perceived to be less spin and movement on the serve. As a result, I did fine myself trying to serve flatter more often. That said, the racket didn't lend itself to have overwhelming power for serving. Rather, I found solid directional control when serving. I wasn't serving my fastest by any means, but found myself able to place the fall better. Going back to spin/kick serves, because I didn't feel like I was able to generate the same movement on the ball, I saw a lot of serves come back at me whereas with my usual setup, returners struggle with figuring out the spins. Again, like flat serves, spinning + placement worked far better than just outright spin. Because my game, especially my serve, is predicated on maximizing the leftiness of my serve, I didn't have the best results serving with the racket. Overall, I'd give serve a 6/10.
  • Volleys: I really enjoyed volleying with this frame. It was solid for its weight and the feel around the net is better than what I'm accustomed to with my EZone. Due to the lower power level, I was able to get away with overly swinging and not sending the ball straight to the back fence. Not really ideal, but works for my incompetency at net at times. Going back to the lower power level, I found myself focusing more on placing the volley and trying to get it out of the court rather than just trying to overpower the volley past my opponent. I will also lump in overheads into section and say that like how I focused on getting the volleys off the court w/ angles rather than sheer power, the same applies to the overhead. Between volleys and overheads, it is a very competent racket, but perhaps better suited for someone who is at a higher level and can generate the necessary power to put balls away through the court when at net. Overall, a 7/10 for me.
  • Serve returns: For me, this was where I struggled the most and found the frame to be its weakest. Admittedly, this is also likely the weakest part of my game. It felt good at contact, stable and had minimal twisting. However, it lacked the oomph behind the ball and I consistently saw my returns land short. I had more success on the bh side compared to the fh side, similar to groundstrokes, but still struggled overall. I feel like I needed to be able to swing bigger in order to generate the depth on returns I wanted, but often times found myself late if I tried to do so. Chipping the ball back was fine and got me to a neutral position. Again, the frame was solid. Compared to my usual EZone 98, the lack of extra pop from the frame just put me at a disadvantage. I'd rate it a 5/10.
  • Overall rating: 7/10 for me

Comments on racquet performance in each area:
  • Power/Control: The control of this frame is definitely one of it's high points. I'd contribute this control due to the inherent lower power level of the frame. Either full swings are needed or very good contact out in front with good weight transfer. When on the run or out of position, I definitely saw the lack of power when relying solely on trying to arm or flick the ball back into play. The 16x20 pattern also likely plays a part in creating the control. Have always found more cross strings to be beneficial in directional control and the 20 crosses here did not disappoint.
  • Top Spin/Slice: Topspin and general launch angle on this racket is quite low by modern racket standards. Thinking back to when I used a Youtek Prestige MP, I actually felt that racket gave me more spin than this VCore 95. No longer have the Prestige to compare the string density, but definitely didn't find the VCore 95 to give me much in the way of topspin. Slice on the other hand was great. Perhaps it was due to the lower power level, but I was able to keep slices low over the let. Have issues with the ball floating when playing with my EZone 98. Because both my regular bh groundstroke and the slice bh worked better with this frame, I found myself running around the fh to hit the bh quite often.
  • Comfort: Another highlight of this frame. Very easy on the arm, likely due to a combination of the VDM and low RA rating. In the ~15 hours of play, even when in chillier weather, I never felt discomfort in my arm/joints. Kudos to Yonex for creating an arm friendly frame in the era of stiff, arm wreckers.
  • Feel: Very similar to all the other current offerings from Yonex. I believe the VDM has largely homogenized the feel across all the lines, regardless of its stiffness rating , string pattern or beam width. Compared to my EZone 98, and hearkening back to my brief stint with the VCore Pro 97 HD, I can't say I can really distinguish much difference between the lot. To sum it up, it's a dampened muted feel. Will also add that when compared to the SV95, this one is infinitely softer and more plush. The SV95 is noticeably firmer and has a more raw feel to it.
  • Maneuverability: Maneuverability is right where I expect it to be for a frame in the mid 11oz range and sporting a low 320s swingweight. It was never cumbersome to wield and I was able to get around the ball quite easily. Not a super whippy frame by any stretch of the imagination, but I never struggled to get the racket to where it needed to be unless my feet failed me in setting up. Overall, neither a strength nor a weakness of this frame. Just a solidly maneuverable frame.
  • Stability: A very stable frame imo for its weight, stiffness and beam width. However, will caveat it and say outside of the sweetspot there was a propensity for the racket to flutter a bit. This is also where I will note that I found the sweetspot to be on the smaller side and quite far up in the hoop.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
Overall, I'd say this is another winner from Yonex, with the caveat the user is capable of wielding it. It performs solidly across all areas, but being a player who is not proficient in all areas of the game, I had trouble with getting truly comfortable and confident with it. Comparing it the previous version of the VCore 95, I'd say it's a nice upgrade because of the improved stability and a little bit of extra pop compared to the last iteration. It is still by no means a powerful racket though. With more playing time, I'll likely keep tinkering with it, both in weight/balance and also the string and string tension. It's a racket I would like to try to grow into. Might I also add it's quite the looker and the random blue splotches are actually much nicer in person than in pics. Lastly, great Yonex QC, as my racket weighed in right on spec. Thank you to TW and Yonex for this great opportunity to playtest another gem of a racket.
 

topspn

Legend
I have Blade Pro and Ezone tour both in 3/8 and both are fitted with the same brand of leather grip and og. Both feel the same. On the shaft section measuring with a cloth tailors tape they both have the same circumference to the mm with the same grips fitted. Hope that assists.
Yeah, I may have to replace base grip if actual handle is not larger then normal
 
Playtest Racket: Yonex VCore 100

String and tension used for test: Yonex Poly Tour REV 16 @ 48lbs

Tennis experience/background: I'm probably at 4.0-4.5 level, but I returned to tennis around the time Covid hit so no official match playing in 2020. Before that, I played through my HS and college years (outside the US). I'm thirty nineteen years old.

Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): I'm an aggressive baseliner that tries to end the points quickly. Agassi was my hero back in the day, so I have a "similar" game. When playing doubles I serve&volley every serve and usually come in on every return.

Current racquet/string setups: Head Gravity Pro customized to 32cm balance. Current string setup is Kevlar/ZX (332 SW) but I was also on the REV playtest.

How many hours did you play with the racquet? About 10-12 hours total, mostly singles hitting and also 3-4 hours of doubles.

Comments on racquet performance for each stroke:
  • Groundstrokes: This racquet plays like your typical tweener. Upon my return to tennis, the first racquet I got was a Pure Drive and the way the VCore plays reminded me a bit of the PD. It's got lots of power and it probably works best with a spinny string. While I really enjoyed the PT REV during the playtest on my GPro, I felt that this string was not a particular good match for this frame. Very often I felt I couldn't put enough spin on the ball and the high level of control this string provides often was not enough to keep the ball inside the court. I didn't feel the sweetspot was massive, but it was definitely high up on the stringbed, which adds to the power levels of the frame when hitting more flat. 7/10.

  • Serves: These days I only hit topspin serves, so the measure of a good racquet for serving for me is if you can swing it fast and you can put good spin on the ball. The VCore 100 was very easy to swing, but the issues with spin were the same I felt with groundstrokes. 6/10.

  • Volleys: Really liked the volley with the VCore 100. From the specs you already know this is a very maneuverable racquet, but it had a solid feeling when volleying. Overheads were also great. 8/10.

  • Serve returns: Good maneuverability also enters the equation here. It was easy to put the racquet in place and make solid contact. Really enjoyed the short, angled slice backhand return from the ad court with this racquet. 8/10.

  • Overall rating: I'm going to give 7/10 for overall rating. While this is a solid racquet, I felt it didn't exactly fit my game and the way I hit the ball, particularly from the baseline. I'm gravitating (no pun intended) more and more towards "player's racquets" that feel a bit more like 90's graphite, and this is a different type of racquet.

Comments on racquet performance in each area:
  • Power/Control: I felt this racquet had tons of power. Like you read above, I think I'd need some tweaking with strings/tension to make it work for me.

  • Top Spin/Slice: Not a big fan of the topspin with this racquet, but I blame the string/racquet combo. Probably with different strings the topspin on this racquet would pop! A bit surprising to me but slice backhands were really good. Still puzzled about this...

  • Comfort: This is a pretty comfortable racquet. While I felt it played a bit like my Pure Drive (2018), the level of comfort is a lot better.

  • Feel: The VCore is pretty muted, which I think takes away a bit of feel. It was hard to "feel" the ball in shots like drop-shots or half-volleys.

  • Maneuverability: This is a very maneuverable racquet, which helps a lot with return of serve, volleys, overheads, but particularly in defensive situations. This racquet is a great defensive racquet and makes a real difference when you're scrambling to get the ball back.

  • Stability: Maybe because I'm used to playing with higher twistweight, usually by adding lead at 3/9 o'clock, I didn't think this racquet was particularly stable. I'd definitely like to try 4-6g at 3/9, I think it would help with increasing stability and maybe open up the sweetspot a bit lower in the stringbed.

General reaction/comments on overall performance:

I get the impression this racquet is Yonex's PA/PD counterpart. If that's true, I feel the big plus is the level of comfort this racquet delivers, for very similar levels of performance. It definitely didn't feel like a 67-69 RA racquet.

From a personal perspective, this is probably not the best racquet for my game. It was the first time playing with a Yonex and the overall feeling I got was that I need to stick to "control" racquets. I could never just freely hit with it and kept missing the control I get from my current racquet and the spin I get from the Kev/ZX.


Lastly I want to thank Tennis Warehouse and YONEX for the opportunity! I feel I got a lot from reading previous playtests and I'm definitely pumped I was on the other side this time. Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
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Jay Sean

Rookie
Even if they don’t, you’d probably see it soon on longbodies ;)
True! But they modify that after and it's a different feel compared to one that is molded and cut at a different length than different materials added at the end.

They use boat wood and mold material to extend. I'd prefer it just be longer oem.

It also is a different stiffness. It says the same but the layup and actual stiffness have to change a bit to still measure the same, if that makes sense.

So it isn't just as simple as making the handle longer. I mean you could but it won't feel the same as the retail version.
 

Jfrost361

New User
The new Yonex Vcore 95 is the real deal! I was fortunate enough to play a few sets with it, it's going to be my new racquet without a doubt. This racquet stock is taking place of my beloved Ezone DR 98 plus, which is a really good frame IMO. The Vcore 95 loses in comparison to some power to the DR98+, but it out performs the DR98+ in every other area drastically, and the power level difference isnt really an amount significance.

What I personally liked:
-Amazing control, like really good.
-Solid & Stable through impact, redirecting power
-Very accessible & controllable power
-Extremely manueravible
-Good Plow through
-Great accessible spin
-Flat first serves unreal, control & power
-Volleys are great, racquet does the work, very stable.
-The balance is perfect imo
-OHBH is buttery smooth through impact

Personally it checks every box. I have never played with a 16x20 string pattern before and I absolutely love it. It definitely promotes a lower launch angle with controllable power and heavy spin, additionally my first serve percentage went up drastically, which made a big difference in matchplay. My favorite part was how accessible all of its attributes were, it doesn't feel like your playing with a 95, it's forgiving, good feedback, doesn't require amazing footwork lol, and was easy on the arm. Mines ordered, it's worth the price!



I'm rated 4.0 ntrp
Offensive player
6"2" 220lb
 

firepanda

Professional
Headshape of the new VCore looks more conventional (rounder) than in previous iterations. Has anyone here noticed much of a difference in that regard (e.g. smaller/lower sweetspot?) What about the thicker beam?

It's good to hear that people seem to like the newer version overall (at least the 98 and 100). But I'm curious if anyone has noticed any of the specific/tech changes.
 

MixedMaster

Semi-Pro
Headshape of the new VCore looks more conventional (rounder) than in previous iterations. Has anyone here noticed much of a difference in that regard (e.g. smaller/lower sweetspot?) What about the thicker beam?

It's good to hear that people seem to like the newer version overall (at least the 98 and 100). But I'm curious if anyone has noticed any of the specific/tech changes.
The only major difference that I've noticed is that the newer version seems to come through the ball a little faster and the sweet spot may be a little (not too much) bigger. Like I said in my report earlier, I really enjoyed the new blade. Played this morning and still like it as much if not more than my older VCORE's. Trying to decide if I want to sell my older versions and buy one more 2021 version.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
Headshape of the new VCore looks more conventional (rounder) than in previous iterations. Has anyone here noticed much of a difference in that regard (e.g. smaller/lower sweetspot?) What about the thicker beam?

It's good to hear that people seem to like the newer version overall (at least the 98 and 100). But I'm curious if anyone has noticed any of the specific/tech changes.
I wouldn't say it's rounder it's just a bit wider at 3 and 9 or 10 and 2 to me when I overlay my 2018 and 2021 VC95 on top of each other. Sweet spot is about the same, maybe a bit higher up which is good for me. Didn't notice the beam being much thicker, it's a very small amount.
 

jangotango

Semi-Pro
Jangotango's VCore 98 Review
Playtest Racket: Yonex VCore 98
String and tension used for test: Wilson Natural Gut 16 mains w/ Yonex Poly Tour REV 16 Crosses @57x55lbs. Also tested with Yonex Poly Tour Air 16L @53x51lbs.
Tennis experience/background: High school senior, going onto my fifth year of "serious" tennis now. Stuck in limbo between UTR 5-7.
Describe your playing style (i.e. serve & volley): Transitioning all-courter. While I prefer to be at the baseline, exchanging groundies and moving the opponent around, I also enjoy stepping in for the cheeky mid-court volley and net game. My serves tend to be more neutral, and I focus more on "the next shot" rather than hitting an ace. My forehand stroke is decent, but not a weapon. My one-handed backhand on the other hand, is much better. I can really power through shots and open up the court with a nice cross court ball.
Current racquet/string setups: Wilson BLX Six.One Team 18x20 weighted up to 305g unstrung, strung with Ashaway Crossfire ZX @53x43lbs. 10% prestretch on the Zyex crosses.
How many hours did you play with the racquet?: Around 22 hours, 15 of that with the gut hybrid and remainder with Poly Tour Air.

Comments on racquet performance for each stroke (each section should be 3-5 sentences minimum):

-Groundstrokes: Plays like a controlled tweener, however I had much more success on my forehand wing than my backhand. On my forehand side, I tend to come under-over the ball quite a bit, and don't flatten out as much. The VCore 98 definitely had me shift to a more linear, driving swingpath, while still giving me the same launch angle and definitely more spin. On my one-handed backhand (my favorite shot), I drive through very well and tend to flatten it out. This is where I had issues. When driving through the ball, it ended up dumping into the net. Brushing up on it gave me a short topspin ball. I really had to "lift" with my legs and come around the ball to get decent consistency. The weighting of this racquet really threw me for a loop the first session I hit with it. It feels beefy on the prep and static, but once the swing is initiated, it cuts through the air well. The sweetspot is pretty large, definitely more so than my Six.One 95 Team. The placement of the sweetspot was also closer towards the tip of the racquet, whereas my Six.One has is right at the PWS. RATING: (7/10)

-Serves: Serving with the VCore 98 was a mixed bag. Again, due to the strange weight-placement, I had a difficult time finding my groove. While flat serves are definitely not my specialty, I didn't find the VCore 98 to offer anything more in the flat department compared to my Six.One. Where is really shined was with topspin, slice, and kick serve control. Fast swing, open string pattern, moderate beam, everything is set-up to give really good serve control. I definitely was more consistent with the serve once I realized this, although lost out on some speed. It makes sense that someone a la Nishioka would have good success with the 98. RATING: (7.5/10 because of consistency boost).

-Volleys: Really pleasant net racquet. There's a good amount of weight in the head, and the large sweetspot is still pretty stable. Even off-center reaction volleys weren't an issue. The 98 was also easier to maneuver than my Six.One, and oddly enough was lower-powered at the net. This meant that control and placement were much more important than say blasting the volley at the baseline or the net person. I really liked how I ended up using my legs and center much more on the volleys with this racquet. It inadvertently made my volley form better! On overheads though, the same issues with the serve knock it down a bit. Instead of slamming it down or through the court, it was better suited to placing it away from the opponent to win the point. Definitely missed the power from my Six.One, but appreciated the control. RATING: (8.5/10)

-Serve returns: One word: Mediocre. Again, the sluggish take-back really hindered this racquet, even with my short poor-Agassi imitation serve return form. While it felt good at contact (very stable, good ball feel, and forgiving sweetspot), the feeling from the racquet did not translate into the resulting serve-return. Overwhelming majority of serve-returns landed short with a lot of height and spin, especially on the forehand side. I guess a positive aspect would be that the stability and feel was actually pretty good for my backhand return (although bh groundies sucked), but is cancelled out by the forehand performance. Doing a little chip back was actually really nice, and was what I ended up doing with this racquet most of the time. I'll elaborate on the slices in below sections. RATING: (5.5/10)

Comments on racquet performance in each area (should be 2-3 sentences minimum)

Power/Control- Going back to prior sections, it has characteristics of something between a Blade and Pure Strike (controlled tweeners). I rarely had balls that would rocket long. To achieve depth with the VCore 98, I often times used net clearance and spin instead of driving, deep, flat strokes. The VCore 98 had more power than my Wilson Six.One Team, but not by much. Stretched out on the run, it was easier to get the ball back and reset the point. Out of position on the baseline, I didn't have many issues picking it up for a neutral ball. However, I was missing the precision of a 95in. 18x20 racquet with the VCore 98. Going for small targets isn't this sticks strength. It's much better suited for large targets and pushing the opponent back, rather than off court. RATING: (8/10)

Top Spin/Slice- This is a VCORE, not the VCore Pro, and not the Ezone. The marketing spiel on spin is pretty justified. High and heavy topspin isn't an issue, at times actually a bit excessive. The weighting of this racquet allows for some serious head speed and thus RPMs, so if you're in the "big spin" category, this one is for you. I personally don't care much for topspin, but it was nice having some jumping topspin forehands and exploding kick serves. One of the most stellar aspects of this racquet was on the slice. Sooooooo nice, better than any other racquet I've used. Need a slice low and skidding? No problem. Playing defense with a high, dying slice? No problem. RATING: (9/10)

Comfort- To preface, I've never had arm problems from tennis. The comfort of this racquet to me was very similar to the new Blade v7, although having more flex in the mid-lower hoop instead of the throat area. Although I didn't try this racquet with any stiff strings, I don't see setups like 4G or Max Power being an issue. There is little shock that travels to the grip area, even on off center hits. Although not as flexy as my Six.One Team, it is definitely more comfortable than a Pure Aero or Wilson Burn. RATING: (8/10)

Feel- I likened the feel of this racquet to a refined Countervail Blade. Although muted and solid, you could still really feel where the balls were on the string bed, as well as the sinking-into-stringbed contact and repulsion. It's very consistent throughout the stringbed, and an overall unique feel. I prefer it to the new Ezones that have come out (which I thought felt clubby), but rank it below my Six.Ones, which are far crispier. RATING: (7.5/10)

Maneuverability- Pretty run of the mill given its 305g tweener class. The weight-placement gave me issues at first, but I settled in alright. There seems to be quite a bit of polarization in this racquet, with lots of substance in the hoop and under the grip. Not a whip by any means, but not a thundering club either. Fits nicely into the Blade-Pure Strike category here. RATING: (7/10)

Stability- Above average in its class. There is virtually no twisting on groundstrokes, at least in my experience. Volleys are easy to punch back as well, even against heavier driving groundstrokes or low slices. Near the corner of the racquet (where the isometric "ends"), however, exist some deadspots. Here, the racquet flutters quite a bit and the ball loses all speed and spin. Good thing is that you *should* rarely be hitting in this area. RATING: (9/10)

General reaction/comments on overall performance:
The new VCore 98 is a definite step-up from its predecessor, attaining a more substantial, solid feel and upping the control while keeping really good spin and moderate power. It might feel heavy, but swings lightning fast, helping to generate some serious RPMs. Aim for big targets and be rewarded, I can see this stick being a winner for people who may need something less taxing than the Ezone 98 while being more controlled than the 100. Outside of Yonex, it fills a gap between the Wilson Blade and Babolat Pure Strike. The shape is noticeably more rounded than previous Yonex - I hope the Isometric shape isn't going away! One last thing to look for, if you care about the condition of your racquet, is knocking it on the court! The matte paint is fragile and super easy to chip, just like the last interation of the VCore.

A Texas-sized thank you to @TW Staff and Yonex for providing this playtest. I hope to do more in the years to come.
 
Not on the official playtest, but I did an A/B test of the old and new Vcore 95 last night. I wanted to get an apples to apples comparison, so I used the same string (Lynx Tour @ 53#) and same customization (a couple grams at 3 and 9) for both frames. Thanks to Yonex QC, the two were within 0.5 mm in balance and 0.1 g in weight. I measured swingweight using the TWU calculator to the best of my ability, and they came out similar there as well.

As far as the actual frames go, they swing pretty similar. The string pattern is identical as far as my eye and ruler can discern. The most noticeable difference is that the hoop of the '21 VC95 is a few mm wider, and the widest point has been moved higher on the frame. As others have mentioned, the paint job looks better in person.

In play, I think the '21 VC95 is a bit more user-friendly. The sweet spot feels slightly larger, and the wider/stiffer beam makes it a bit easier to generate power. I wouldn't say that the power difference is huge, and I definitely wouldn't consider the new version a power frame. Perhaps also because of the new beam, the '21 version felt more stable at net. I agree with other assessments that the '21 is in less need of customization, although I still think it handled weight nicely.

I may be in the minority here, but I actually like the feel of the new version. I don't think the dampening tech makes it feel numb, and I still felt connected to my strokes. Despite being slightly stiffer, I think the new version might be the more arm-friendly frame.

All that said, the most important feedback comes from across the net. My hitting partner said that I unequivocally hit a heavier and more dangerous ball with the old version. Subjectively, I felt more dialed in and able to hit my spots with the '18 frame. I wish I could provide an exact reason why, but some combination of the flex and feel work better for me personally. The two areas of my game where I think the '21 might come out on top are serves and volleys, where the stability and extra pop pay dividends. Even then, I was more confident placing the ball with the '18.

I definitely don't think Yonex has "ruined" the frame, and I wouldn't be mad about using the new one. I have many more hours logged with the '18, so I may warm up to the '21 more over time. I'll keep hitting with it for a bit, and I may try some other string setups. For now, however, count me among the cadre that will be sticking with the previous gen.
 

Crashbaby

Semi-Pro
Not on the official playtest, but I did an A/B test of the old and new Vcore 95 last night. I wanted to get an apples to apples comparison, so I used the same string (Lynx Tour @ 53#) and same customization (a couple grams at 3 and 9) for both frames. Thanks to Yonex QC, the two were within 0.5 mm in balance and 0.1 g in weight. I measured swingweight using the TWU calculator to the best of my ability, and they came out similar there as well.

As far as the actual frames go, they swing pretty similar. The string pattern is identical as far as my eye and ruler can discern. The most noticeable difference is that the hoop of the '21 VC95 is a few mm wider, and the widest point has been moved higher on the frame. As others have mentioned, the paint job looks better in person.

In play, I think the '21 VC95 is a bit more user-friendly. The sweet spot feels slightly larger, and the wider/stiffer beam makes it a bit easier to generate power. I wouldn't say that the power difference is huge, and I definitely wouldn't consider the new version a power frame. Perhaps also because of the new beam, the '21 version felt more stable at net. I agree with other assessments that the '21 is in less need of customization, although I still think it handled weight nicely.

I may be in the minority here, but I actually like the feel of the new version. I don't think the dampening tech makes it feel numb, and I still felt connected to my strokes. Despite being slightly stiffer, I think the new version might be the more arm-friendly frame.

All that said, the most important feedback comes from across the net. My hitting partner said that I unequivocally hit a heavier and more dangerous ball with the old version. Subjectively, I felt more dialed in and able to hit my spots with the '18 frame. I wish I could provide an exact reason why, but some combination of the flex and feel work better for me personally. The two areas of my game where I think the '21 might come out on top are serves and volleys, where the stability and extra pop pay dividends. Even then, I was more confident placing the ball with the '18.

I definitely don't think Yonex has "ruined" the frame, and I wouldn't be mad about using the new one. I have many more hours logged with the '18, so I may warm up to the '21 more over time. I'll keep hitting with it for a bit, and I may try some other string setups. For now, however, count me among the cadre that will be sticking with the previous gen.
Nice review! I don’t suppose you ever got to hit with the Sv95 and could throw that comparison into the mix?
 

Crashbaby

Semi-Pro
Sadly not. My impression is that the SV95 was pretty crisp and powerful, but I never got to play with one.
Thanks again for your comparison, I’ve got the Sv and the 2018 and have been pondering getting the new one, but all this muted talk has me thinking I won’t like it. It took me ages to get used to the muted feel of the 2018 and would love it if the 2021 had a more responsive feel. Some say the 2021 is crisper than the outgoing, most say more muted but firmer.
The sv is pretty crispy, non clean contact is not friendly. Sweet spot on a clean hit is great though.
Sounds like a 2nd 2018 on sale is a smarter move than a full price 2021?
 
Thanks again for your comparison, I’ve got the Sv and the 2018 and have been pondering getting the new one, but all this muted talk has me thinking I won’t like it. It took me ages to get used to the muted feel of the 2018 and would love it if the 2021 had a more responsive feel. Some say the 2021 is crisper than the outgoing, most say more muted but firmer.
The sv is pretty crispy, non clean contact is not friendly. Sweet spot on a clean hit is great though.
Sounds like a 2nd 2018 on sale is a smarter move than a full price 2021?
I'd say more muted but firmer is accurate in my experience. I guess it depends how you interpret "crisp" — the '21 is a little stiffer, and it felt like the ball popped off the strings more quickly (my hitting partner commented on this, too). But there's definitely more dampening in the '21, and the '18 feels more direct, even if it's also softer. Hard to come up with the right words to describe these things. I could definitely see some folks liking the '21 more, especially if you're looking for a firmer response, a little more power, or extra forgiveness.
 
My VCORE 95 came in a few days ago and has an unstrung swingweight of 281 (310 strung with 1.21 poly). This is way lower than @TW Staff published specs. Did I get a way under spec frame or is there a mistake in TW's published specs? Weight and balance were very close to published specs and SW was measured with a calibrated Dunlop machine.
 

Jay Sean

Rookie
Anyone have answers as to why Yonex frames are getting more round? Starting to wonder if they can even still call it isometric.
 

leojramirez

Rookie
Confirming the ball pocketing aspect on the 98, just a tad more powerful or maybe its the feeling because its more stable. Serves better than the previous version, serious bombs. My mods are 2 grams each at 3 and 9 and 5 grams in the butt cap same as my previous vcore98.
Definitely an improvement on the previous version, i felt a lot more confident going for some shots and the comfort is great.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
Have you hit the Ezone 100? How do they compare.?
i have the previous gen ezone100. in a nutshell, the vcore has a more direct, crisp feel. id give the power edge to the ezone, it has a bit more pop. but i prefer the connected feel of the vcore
 

Angelface

New User
My review of the new Vcore 98.

String and tension used for test: I initially strung this at 52 lbs. with the 16G Yonex Poly Tour Rev that was provided. I later strung it with Tourna BHB17 and a synthetic 17G cross at 53 lbs. I liked the YPTR and plan to try it in a thinner gauge.
Tennis experience/background: Former college player, now in my mid-50’s. I play several times a week when healthy.
Describe your playing style: In my singles days I would consider myself an aggressive baseliner, but now I play mostly doubles so I have an all-court game and prefer to volley.
Current racquet/string setups: I have been playing with the Babolat Pure Aero strung at 51 lbs with Hyper-G 17 soft but am moving on due to some discomfort. The ability to test the new Vcore 98 comes at a perfect time for me.
How many hours did you play with the racquet? 10+

Overview: I played a lot with the previous Yonex Vcore 98 and it was my racquet exclusively for part of 2019/20 so I can compare the new to the old. I liked the previous VC98 but it was missing something for me and I ultimately wanted something super easy to play with and a stick that had a higher power ceiling. I like the performance of the Aero but I’ve struggled with comfort issues and have subsequently put it down. My son plays in college and uses the previous VC98 (albeit with a total of 3-4 grams of lead at 3+9) and he hit briefly with the new one also. I will try to sprinkle in his impressions as well.

Just looking at the specs of the racquet (shape, beam, swingweight) I was expecting the new VC98 to have a bigger sweet spot and incrementally more power – and it did. I found it to be a better racquet than the previous version in every single category but not in any monumental way. It was more of an incremental improvement across the board and that was a good thing in my opinion. If you liked the previous version, I think you will really like this one. If you found the previous version to be a spin machine but slightly lacking in some area like weight of shot or stability, I think you’ll love the improvements here.

-Groundstrokes: 9/10. I was really impressed with the racquet’s performance from the first hit. The racquet is really comfortable, super stable, and the sweet spot was quite big. I liked that it retained the great spin capability of the previous version but the new one seemed to produce depth and weight of shot a little easier. I found groundstrokes to be 9/10 in terms of comfort, stability, depth and my overall trust factor was really high when hitting competitively. The added swingweight was great and I thought in stock form it was nearly perfect for me. I liked that there were no surprisingly errant shots (like the Aero can produce from time to time) and I was super impressed with its dependability. A couple of the TW play testers indicated the racquet didn’t have finishing power from time to time. I would agree it’s not uber powerful but I never felt particularly hindered. My son really liked the new one as well but felt like he did not get the same power off the ground that he gets from his modified Vcore 98.

-Serves: 8.7/10. The previous racquet was a really dependable serving racquet and this new version did everything well and perhaps a bit better. I felt really confident serving and found weight of the serve or heaviness to be improved. I don’t hit a big flat serve that often and mostly rely on spin and location so the racquet’s capabilities suited me well. Despite the added swingweight I didn’t have any issues overhead or getting the racquet moving. My son quite liked serving with it and found it to serve as well or better than his modified Vcore 98

-Volleys 8.5/10: The racquet was solid and stable on volleys and I thought maneuverability was great. It had just enough weight to withstand heavy balls and is just mobile enough to get it into position consistently. The racquet seemed to handle mishits well and I didn’t feel any flutter if I was in a bad position. Pace was good and I didn’t ever feel disadvantaged, but it wasn’t necessarily adding a bunch of oomph for me. The change in feel due to the dampening mesh didn't really impact my volleys, certainly not negatively. Interestingly, my son thought the racquet performed its best in this category.

-Serve returns 9/10: This is my best shot so it’s reasonable that I would give it high marks here. The same traits on groundstrokes were evident on returns. Maneuverability was good, but stability and predictability were the standout features. I got good results even when hitting up near the tip of the frame. Power was good, better than the previous version. I felt confident hitting a variety of returns and can’t identify any shortcomings in this area.

Comments on racquet performance

Power/Control- The new Vcore 98 strikes a good balance of power/control. Power was good but not overwhelming. I thought it did have modestly more power than the previous version for sure. For my swing speed and game, the new VC98 generated power similar to a Pure Strike but offered a bigger sweet spot, and just plain felt better in my hand and at contact.

Top Spin/Slice- This retains the same excellent spin capabilities as the previous version and I think the spin would be fairly equal if tested side-by-side. Kick serves and slice shots had great bite and I could see a good bounce produced on high heavy balls. I would give the new VC98 higher spin marks than nearly all racquets I have tested in this same category including the Blade 16x19 V7 and TF300RS.

Comfort- Coming from the Aero I was hoping for a lot more comfort and this didn’t disappoint. I had no discomfort no matter what shot I hit and mishits didn’t wake my arm up either. No complaints on comfort at all. The feel, however, has changed due to the dampening mesh which was totally helpful in terms of providing overall comfort - but it did change the feel in ways that weren’t just subtle.

Feel- Feel is subjective of course, but I thought the feel of the previous version was really great. The new VC98 has a different feel that is more muted and I got the sensation that the racquet felt softer even though it’s not (on paper). So, thumbs up that they created a comfortable, soft feeling/impression but (like Jason) I prefer the more direct feel of the previous version. The previous VC98 has a bit more feedback to me. But the feel wasn’t bad per se’ and it’s something that I could easily adjust to. If a previous VC98 married a BladeV7 16x19 this is the offspring feel-wise to me.

Maneuverability- They added a little swingweight to this version and I found it to feel just perfect to me in the hand. There’s nothing more for me to add than that. It struck the perfect balance of mass and maneuverability. Loved it.

Stability- This was the stand-out feature for me. Super stable and predictable in the hand from anywhere on the court. A definite improvement over the previous version and one of the most stable racquets I have hit in this category. Racquets in this weight class (305 grams etc.) usually have to have 330+ SW to offer this stability.

General reaction/comments on overall performance: At the risk of being repetitious this is an improvement over the previous version in incremental but meaningful ways, and in every category I believe. Stability, power, predictability, weight of shot, and balance. Maybe its mental, but I do like the more rounded shape of this new frame and I think it contributed to me playing more confidently with it compared to the previous one. Lastly, I would add that in person the racquet looks great. In some images the blue accents looked a little wonky but in person I really do like it. This is a great performer and I think this is a racquet I can play with happily.

Yonex Poly Tour Rev 16G: Overall I found it to be reasonably soft and comfortable and it played with good predictability and consistency. I cut it out before it really needed to be in order to test the stick with another string set up. I can’t comment on string life but can say my experience was positive and I plan to try it in a 17G which I prefer.

Thanks to TW and Yonex for giving me the opportunity to playtest the new Vcore 98!
Great review! Thank you. I'm awaiting two VC98 2021 and I'm really eager to test them, coming from the previous version.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
My VCORE 95 came in a few days ago and has an unstrung swingweight of 281 (310 strung with 1.21 poly). This is way lower than @TW Staff published specs. Did I get a way under spec frame or is there a mistake in TW's published specs? Weight and balance were very close to published specs and SW was measured with a calibrated Dunlop machine.
310 is pretty low, I doubt Yonex would be THAT far under spec even if it was. Also what kind of string did you use. I believe TW uses a 16 or 17 gauge poly. If you used a thinner/lighter string that could affect it slightly.
 
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