I’ve had my first hit with Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 and here are my first impressions about this interesting new racquet. The Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 is a new players frame from Yonex and the update to the VCORE Duel G 97 330 from 2016.
The Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 is the heavy version in the new Yonex VCORE Pro line of racquets. There is also a 310 gram version for players who doesn’t like heavier racquets and/or like to have room for customization. The Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 comes with the following specs:
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 specs
My Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 came at about 350 grams strung with over grip. It was strung with Luxilon Element 1.25, a lively polyester string that’s a little softer and more powerful than for example Luxilon Alu Power. The Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 is already packed with some power and definitely more than my HEAD LM Radical Tour in the a similar spec range, so my plan is to restring the racquet with a deader poly string, like for example Volkl Cyclone or Solinco Hyper-G.
What’s new with the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330
What’s new with the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 compared to the predecessor Yonex VCORE Duel G 97 330 is the more open string pattern and (16×19 compared to 16×20), the slightly thinner beam (20 mm instead of 20,5 mm) and the more head light balance and lighter swing weight (330 vs 334). They have simply tried to make the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 easier to use than its predecessor.
I think this makes a lot of sense, because the Yonex VCORE Duel G 97 330 was a nice players’ racquet, but more difficult to swing and to get top spin from. You really needed to have a nice swing speed to make use of it. With the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330, top spin comes easier as the racquet is easier to swing and the string pattern takes care of the rest.
What’s good and bad with the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330
I immediately noticed the power level and the launch angle of the racquet. It’s partly due to the livelier string, but here you need to control the power more than inject a lot on your own. It was easy to whip up top spin and I immediately felt confident going for my forehands.
What I didn’t enjoy as much was playing from my weaker backhand wing. The slice felt quite nice, but on the one-handed backhand something felt off. I don’t know why, but I had hard time feeling the ball and timing my shots on that wing. I had the feeling that the hoop was slightly unstable at times, which is strange for such a “beefy” racquet.
It’s going to be difficult to add lead tape to an already 350+ gram racquet without making it too much to swing, so I hope I can find my timing and feel the more I play with the racquet.
The backhand aside, it was plenty I liked with the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330. My serve and forehand felt right at home from the bat and I was confident to play attacking tennis. Volleys were also nice and crisp and I thought racquet feels less “boardy” than the Wilson Pro Staff RF97A, which is close in the spec range.
Yes, I could definitely see Roger Federer enjoying this racquet. I instantly felt like there were quite a few similarities between the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 and the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph (read the review), but the Yonex felt softer and more responsive. What I missed from the RF97 was the stability from the firmer hoop. There’s always a trade-off.
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 – Summary and next steps:
I enjoyed my first hours with the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 and my first impressions were positive. It’s a nice players’ racquet that matches well with the beloved Federer Autograph racquet from Wilson. I definitely think they’ve taken a step in the right direction with this update to make it more user-friendly. However, I would probably have aimed at a slightly lower static weight to leave some room for customization. A 320 grams version that is slightly more head-heady could have been an ideal racquet for me.
To summarize my first impressions about the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330:
- More manoeuvrable and spin-friendly than its predecessor
- Manoeuvrability comes at a cost of slightly less stability in the hoop
- The racquet resembles RF97 Autograph and old school Volkl C10 Pro.
- Great racquet for attacking tennis if you can handle the weight
- Feels decently arm-friendly despite 65 RA strung stiffness rating.
- Might be better with a hybrid or a deader poly, Luxilon Element felt too lively for me
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 – First impressions video
What do you think about the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330? Is it something you want to try?
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