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Home GearTennis Racquets Play-testing Period – Prince Phantom Pro, Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus

Play-testing Period – Prince Phantom Pro, Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus

by Tennisnerd

My game is all over the place right now since I’m in a period where I’m play-testing a bunch of racquets: the Prince Phantom Pro 100P, the Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus and the Angell K7 Red.

And there are other racquets on my wish-list to try, especially the Tecnifibre Tflash 300 PS and the Srixon Dunlop CX 2.0 Tour (not yet available in Europe). I’m pretty sure the Tecnifibre Tflash 300 is too powerful for my game, but I’ve heard so many good things about it that I’m curious to try it. The Srixon Dunlop CX 2.0 Tour however seems to be spot on in my wheelhouse of tennis racquets – heavier, control-oriented and good for the arm.

The Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus doesn’t really fit the description of the racquets I’m currently playing with. Like its younger brother, the Babolat Pure Drive (which I review here), it’s a power stick and the extended length and extra weight doesn’t make it any less powerful. Unless you play a baseline game with a modern swing and lots of spin I can’t see this racquet make a lot of sense for your game. Potentially a serve and volley player could benefit from the extended length and power since this frame is especially good on serve.

I’ve already written about the Prince Phantom Pro 100P and I’m really enjoying my tennis with this racquet, however I’m still unable to find the forehand that comes relatively effortlessly both with the Angell K7 Red and the HEAD LM Radical Tour. On touch shots and serve I love this stick, but without my main weapon it’s not a potential switch-racquet just yet. Maybe I’ll dial it in later, remains to be seen.

I’ve definitely not given up on the Angell K7 Red. It’s such a lovely and flexible frame, but it does feel a little bit too powerful despite stringing it tighter. The string bed feels slightly mushy to me, although I really love the racquet from the baseline. Maybe I just need to find the right string setup, Currently playing with yellow Volkl Cyclone at 24 kg.

The HEAD LM Radical Tour is of course always in there as the benchmark racquet for my game. It doesn’t give me everything, but lifts my strengths enough and handles pretty much every shot really well. I’m maybe just a 95 sq inch guy? And for now I enjoy it best with Solinco Hyper-G in it, but I all the recent strings I’ve tested have been quality strings: Luxilon Alu Power Ice (post here), the MSV Focus-Hex Ultra (review here) and the RS Paris Octagon (review here). Next is to play around with hybrid strings such as RPM Blast + Babolat Natural Gut.

Here’s a video from a session where I was playing around with all four racquets. Needless to say: chaos for the brain and arm!

Now I’m curious to hear what racquet you’re playing with? Are you settled or testing? Which racquet of the four in the picture would you choose to play with or are you most keen to test?

***

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4 comments

Alex January 22, 2018 - 4:55 pm

Hi Jonas! Thanks for an excellent blog, I really enjoy reading it.

I’ve been struggling with tennis shoulder lately (on overheads and serve mainly) and playtested tons of racquets and string setups to find something comfortable yet competitive.

My “department” is around 98 sq.in. relatively flexible 16×19 frames 310 to 320g unstrung. I ended up with Pro Kennex QTour 300 which I leaded up to my desired weight without changing the balance. I have no clue how Pro Kennex does it, but I feel considerably less pain in my shoulder with this frame. String-wise, I prefer stringing it with full bed Yonex Poly Tour Spin. I break it quite fast, after 3h of play on average, but for that 3h the performance is steadily good. The second best racquet for me after all these playtests was the Blade 98 (2015). But it’s a bit stiffer and the shoulder hurts more with this one.

Do you have in mind any frame with aforementioned specs that I should try? I am more than happy with the PK, but racquetoholics never stop trying, right? 🙂

Cheers,
Alex

Reply
Tennisnerd January 23, 2018 - 9:35 am

Hi Alex,
Thanks a lot for your kind words and sorry to hear about your shoulder injury.

I have a perfect frame for your department – the Angell K7 Red. It’s a supremely arm-friendly frame, 305 grams unstrung and hits a great ball. Put some lead in the hoop and you’re ready to go. I agree that the Blade 98 is a great frame, but like you say, it’s not the most comfortable.

I really think you should give the Angell a try if you can! But I do agree also that ProKennex produce much underestimated frames.

Good luck! Cheers / Jonas

Reply
M.P January 23, 2018 - 6:27 pm

Hi Tennisnerd!
I my Opinion, when you testing a few Rackets in one session you mostly like the easiest Frame, and thats how i think is the Angell K7. Besides that it is a Racket that i can give my Students an they play well with it from the Start.
I think the mushy feel you have is also a point because you play the Radical mostly this time, with the denser Pattern. I think when you play only the K7 for weeks you are in,for the livelier feel and higher launch Angle.
Cyclone is a good value, for a shaped poly it has a lower launch Angle. But perhaps the deader black Cyclone fits it a little better!?
I also tested many Rackets this Year, and at this Point i am at the Ultra Tour, K7, Blade 2015/18/20.
But with all these Rackets you have pros and cons…
Many Thx for your Racket Reviews. I hope you will let us be a Part of your Knowledge with these Beautiful Rackets in the Future!
Btw, at your style of play, perhaps you gave the Ultra Tour not enough Time!?

Reply
Tennisnerd January 23, 2018 - 6:45 pm

Hi MP,
Good comments! I agree with you that I should have gone with an even deader poly and that the yellow Cyclone isn’t that. We seem to have the same taste in racquets! The Ultra Tour, K7 and Blade 2015 18×20 are all great.

You’re right that I should probably have given the Ultra Tour more time. I just wanted to make a commitment to one frame and since I already had so many Radical Tours and played well with them, it seemed like the logical choice.

Now I’m back to testing again so we’ll see what happens. Definitely going to give the K7 and Phantom Pro more time, the Pure Drive Tour Plus is too much power for my game.

Cheers / Jonas

Reply

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