One of the most popular Angell racquets is the Angell Custom TC 97. It is a very versatile frame for advanced players and through the Angell Custom program, you can choose your own specs. I opted for a TC 97 18×20 in standard length, 320 grams, 10 pts headlight for my Angell Custom TC 97 18×20 racquet review.
I have reviewed a lot of Angell racquets and in an effort to summarize all of the different models and variations, I created a separate page for the brand here (I will also do this for other brands). What I like about Angell Tennis is that the racquets are really high-quality when it comes to all aspects of the product, such as build, specs, paint job, etc. Feel is always subjective, but in general, I would say that Angell racquets are quite comfortable and a bit old-school in feel and power level. If you are interested in Angell racquets, you can buy them here. For now, read this Angell Custom TC 97 18×20 racquet review.
Angell Custom TC 97 18×20 Racquet Review – Specs and tech
I rarely comment on cosmetics on tennis racquets, but the Angell Custom V3 is perhaps the most attractive paint job on the market right now. The shiny black and copper really feels and looks classy and does not chip or damage easily. So for materials and build quality, Angell deserves high praise. Here are the standard specs of the Angell Custom TC 97 18×20:
- 97inch head-size
- 66 RA prebuild stiffness
- 20mm tapered beam
- New throat box section design.
- Over frame grommet structure
- High Modulus Carbon construction
- Foam Core
- Micro Braid
When it comes to customizing your specs you can choose a length between 27-28 inches, 290 grams, and 33,5 cm balance to 330 grams and 30,5 cm balance, grip shape from rectangular HEAD style (A) to even-sided (C) Prince.
Angell Custom TC 97 18×20 Racquet Review – How does it play?
The Angell Custom TC 97 18×20 has a tight and controlled pattern, but still offers a good amount of spin. I think the specs are well balanced as the 63 RA strung gives you a nice blend of power and control without sacrificing comfort. It is kind of the classic player spec! I strung up my Angell Custom TC 97 18×20 with Kirschbaum Pro Line 2, a great, soft poly with good tension maintenance and control. I think the string and the racquet paired well and I was awarded comfort and control on all my strokes.
The spec I got is definitely for more advanced players at 320 grams unstrung, but with the 10 pts head light balance and the thin beam, the racquet still flows through the air easily. The racquet was stable at the net and on picking up deep shots from near the baseline, which are two important things for my game. It offered nice pop on serves, not as much power as larger head-size racquets of course, but with effective precision. I think the racquet does pretty much everything well, and would fit a lot of players that want to go for a frame that accentuates their game instead of changes it.
Angell Custom TC 97 18×20 Racquet Review – Summary
Since I like this racquet so much it is hard to find any flaws with it. A lot of intermediate to advanced level players will like this racquet. It does not have the room for error, like oversized racquets, but offers more control, and with decent technique and footwork you should really be able to appreciate this stick. The feel of a tennis racquet as it strikes the ball is always subjective though. Some people like a crisper response with more power transferred to the ball, others prefer a more noodle-like feel of the strings. I think the Angell TC 97 Custom is well-balanced. It plays similar (but in my opinion slightly sweeter) to a Wilson Ultra Tour or HEAD IG Prestige MP and the benefit of being able to choose your own specs is hard to beat.
Some key points:
- A racquet for players with solid technique and footwork.
- Good stability, but not stiff.
- Fantastic cosmetics.
- Not the most forgiving for beginners to intermediate players.
- Big plus that you can choose your own specs.
- Effective on slice shots.
- Not a spin-monster, it gives you the spin you put into your shots.
- Build quality is top notch.
- Wilson Ultra Tour
- HEAD IG Prestige MP
- Prince Textreme Tour 95
- Babolat Pure Control
Angell Custom TC 97 18×20 Racquet Review – Video
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I’m currently playing the TC97 V2 in the same specs as your TC97 V3. Has something changed in the playability compared to the older version?
And how does the head Graphene 360 ??speed Pro play in comparison with the TC97?
No, not much has changed. From what I have heard the V3 has a slightly lower swing weight in general.
The Speed Pro is crisper and has a more hollow (which makes it faster) feel when you strike the ball. Spin levels are about the same since they’re both 18×20, but the TC 97 has a more old-school and solid feel.
Regards / Jonas
Is it possible to order a single shaft racquet with narrow bevels … resulting in a flatter grip similar to a hockey stick?
Don’t think so, but it could be possible to order a custom pallet from Angell, but I guess it might be more expensive.
There are customization companies to help you with custom grip shapes like Ring Roll, P1, Unstrung Customs, etc.
Regards / Jonas
How Does it compare to the K7 Lime? Before I got a pair of K7 Lime (which I am loving right now) I was considering getting a pair of the TC97 18×20.I liked the fact that I could choose a lighter racquet and customize it to whatever I like later. Since adding a leather grip to the K7 Lime was all I had to do.
This one is a bit crisper and less muted. You do get more feedback, but a less plush feel. Both are great racquets and they play quite close, the K7 Lime swings a bit faster since it is not foam filled and this one feels a bit more solid since it is. Really a matter of taste.
Will you also test the 16×19 version of tc97? It would be an interesting test to compare with the 18×20 version and with competing rackets in the 16×19 standard.
Not sure, I have quite a few reviews coming up…maybe at some point. Cheers / Jonas
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Great review – all your reviews are very helpful!
In regard all the different Angell racquets you have sampled, is there one line that stands out as especially arm friendly?
I’m having minor elbow issues, after three decades of plain sailing. Changing strings hasn’t quite done the trick, so I’m considering a change in racquet. For the past 5 years I’ve played a Wilson Pro Staff 95S, weighted up by 8g head / 12g handle – string is usually Flex Infinity Grey 1.25 (it’s a soft poly from Tasmania (via Taiwan)).
Thanks for your time.
(From Sydney, Australia – and a fellow ex-chess player)
The most arm-friendly Angell line is the K7 line. Very nice racquets. The Red will give you more spin and is easier to swing, the Lime is heavier and better for flatter hitters.
Nice to hear that you are a fellow ex-chess player!
Cheers / Jonas
Just received a reply from Paul Angell too: he agreed with you.
Also trying the Prince Phantom 93P 14×18. Will let you know how they go.
Love these racquets. Any idea on the swing-weight of this particular setup? Thank you!
Just a quick question: would you rate this tested TC setup (97”, 18×20, 320g@305mm) some sort of racquet in between a 18×20 Blade 98 and RF97A? I have both, but I was looking to something with the same control and placement of the former but the same wrist action and solidity of the latter. I thought this setup would have been the right mix. Would you tend to agree, since we tried all of them?
Hi, yes I think that is an apt description. Cheers / J
Thanks a lot Jonas – right on the spot!