Hey mate good luck to you and hope it's not a honey moon period. I tried this racket for a month but struggled with my forehand big time and found it to be string sensitive. In 1 month I changed strings 3 times. But I thought it was a great racket I was going to change but I could not dial in my forehand. I thought my ohbh was on fire serve was great volleys precise but just struggled on my forehand. So good luck with it. It did however cause me to change to a. More stiffer racket.So, I played the EZone XI98 till a couple of years back, when TE sidelined me and kept me off for 2 years. Only a few months back I returned, but couldn't play with my racquet, without pain the next day. So, opted for the most arm friendly racquet I could find, a customized Prince Tour 98ESP, NG 15L/ZX with a tension of 59/57. Arm was fine, play was OKish, but my slice was simply MIA.
So, started a few threads on comfortable racquets and Jack1B recommended I try the Ai98, as it is softer than the Xi98. Just tried it today, with Wilson NG/ZX at 53/49. AMAZING!!! I only hope that I have no pain tomorrow, as this is without doubt the best racquet I've ever played with.
So, first funny thing was that as soon as I took it out of my bag, the coach I had a session with said "Now you have a good racquet." He is an ex ATP, with a high ranking in the 600s. Actually was a hitting partner for Tomic. Apparently, while in a challenger in South America, he saw the racquet and tried it. In his words, as soon as he hit with it, he felt like he wanted to keep on hitting forever. He says the only other racquet he felt the same with is the H22. He also told me that players, who play with Yonex never switch to another brand? (Anyone knows a contrary example?)
For me personally, what I loved are two things
- solidness: on FH and 1hbh, the racquet is just solid. With my swing, it dominates the collision easily
- plush feel: no vibrations I could discern and believe me, with my arm, I'm very sensitive.
Play wise, we started with mini tennis and at first my timing was completely off (shanked multiple times). However, started to get it right, then moved back. I don't know if I was honeymooning, but I couldn't miss long. Everything was going in the last quarter of the court. For those who say launch angle is low, in general, yes. However, if you want a loopier stroke, easily achievable, with a more pronounced low to high and WW. Coach was very surprised with quality of my ball and on a FH that I unwided on with a flat, he started laughing and said he needs to start playing seriously.
I'd also say that whoever said it is the same as Xi98 doesn't know what they are talking about. It is much more plush and even more solid. It is like they took the weight and redistributed it in the hoop in a better way.
I really hope that my arm can manage this racquet.