The most popular racquet on the WTA Tour

by Jonas Eriksson

Is this the most popular racquet on the WTA Tour? No, probably not, but it is very popular and for a reason.

The racquet in question is the Wilson Steam 100 BLX pro stock version used by players like Emma Raducanu, Amanda Anisimova, Paola Badosa, Mirra Andreeva, Diane Parry and probably many other players on the WTA Tour. You can tell it by its four white main grommets. It is usually disguised as a Wilson Blade 98, but is actually a more powerful racquet, similar to a HEAD Speed or Pure Strike 100 from other brands.

Before we get into more information about the Wilson Steam 100 BLX pro stock, I wanted to tell you that if you want to learn more about tennis gear, what the pros use, find a more structured guide to review and so on, check out our Tennisnerd Guide to Racquets and Strings. It is completely free of charge. If you want to support the work I do, you can always join Patreon or get a YouTube membership. There is also a consultation service (50 USD at the moment), if you need personalized help via email.

Wilson Steam 100 BLX retail specifications

The pros play with racquets customized to their liking and usually painted to what the racquet brand wants to sell. However, the molds they use usually has a retail racquet that they are based on.

  • Head Size: 100 sq. in.
  • Length: 27.25 inches
  • Weight: Strung — 11 oz Unstrung — 10.4 oz
  • Tension: 53-63 Pounds 
  • Balance: 3 Pts Head Light
  • Beam Width: 23mm
  • Composition: Graphite/Basalt
  • Flex: 65
  • Grips Type: Wilson Pro Hybrid
  • Power Level: Low-Medium
  • String Pattern: 16 Mains / 20 Crosses
    Mains skip: 7T, 9T, 7H, 9H
    One Piece
    No Shared Hole
  • Swing Speed: Moderate-Fast
  • Swing Weight: 316

The Wilson 100 Steam BLX is not for sale anymore, but you can come across used racquets of course, but also find pro stocks on forums and online marketplaces.

How does it play?

You can check out our Wilson Steam 100 BLX video review here.

It plays with a lower launch angle than a racquet with somewhat similar specs like the Wilson Shift 99, for example. The ball pockets well and you feel that with the right string tension, you can control the ball well, but still get good pop on your serve. This is probably thanks to the slightly extended length. I also find that the 16/20 string pattern works well on many 100-sq-inch racquets.

Overall, a racquet that is relatively easy to use, has a good balance of power and spin, but not too much launch angle for flatter hitters. No wonder it is one of the most popular racquets on the WTA tour. I would urge Wilson to bring it back as a Blade 100 Pro.

I have not tried the retail Steam 100 BLX, but from what I heard, it plays a bit stiffer. Maybe someone can confirm in the comments below.

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