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Yonex Percept 97D Review

by TN

This is the most controlled racquet in the new Percept line. Is it as good as the VCORE Pro 97D? Check out our Yonex Percept 97D Review.

Who is the Yonex Percept 97D for?

The Yonex Percept 97D is a control racquet with old-school playability and characteristics. Still, the Isometric head shape of the frame and the slightly stiffer layup help a bit with power and forgiveness. You need to bring your own power and use your full kinetic chain to play well with this racquet. I would say it is made for more advanced players, but some intermediate players just love the dependability you get with this type of racquets, so it is more about style and taste in the end. Play with the racquet that puts a smile on your face. Kind of.

Technology

What’s new in the Percept 97D compared to the outgoing generation of VCORE Pro racquets? Besides the name, there is something called Servo Filter, which is supposed to filter out vibrations. Most racquet brands have focused on vibration dampening in recent years to increase comfort and avoid a further rise in injuries like tennis elbow, wrist injuries, etc.

The racquet is comfortable to use, but a little dampened/muted in feel. This has been common with Yonex frames of late.

Specifications

At 320 grams unstrung weight, this racquet is heavier than most new racquets on the market. You need to be a player that enjoys a heavy weight and swing weight to shine with this frame. The 18/20 pattern does not provide much in terms of spin and power, but allows you to swing out with full confidence.

The Percept 97D specifications come from the average listings on Tennis Warehouse.

Head Size: 97 in / 625.81 cm
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.9oz / 337g
Balance: 12.59in / 31.98cm / 7 pts HL
Swingweight: 329
Stiffness: 62
Beam Width: 21mm / 21mm / 21mm 
Composition: NAMD-2G/H.M.Graphite
Power Level: Low
Stroke Style: Full
Swing Speed: Fast
Racquet Colors:Mint
Grip Type: Yonex Synthetic
String Pattern:
18 Mains / 20 Crosses
Mains skip: 8T,10T,8H,10H

My test racquet was pretty much spot on with the above specifications. I strung it with Toroline Wasabi Carbon 1.24 at 53 lbs in the mains and Toroline Enso 1.24 in the crosses at 51 lbs. Ps. You can get 25% off Toroline strings using the code TENNISNERD Ds. I felt like the tension was a little high and I would string it lower next time to open up a larger sweet spot, more ball pocketing and free depth. In our Babolat Pure Strike 2024 review, we used 48 lbs as the main tension and for a 97-98 sq inch racquet, I think that makes sense.

Playability

I tested this racquet with my friend Daniel, a high-level player who regularly competes in the German league. He is a much stronger player than me, who, in the past, used control-oriented racquets like the Prince Phantom 93P and the Angell TC 97 Custom. But he has since moved on to the Babolat Pure Aero VS (customized) to get more free power and spin. He especially struggled with the control racquets on clay courts and needed more free depth and forgiveness on defensive shots. He felt like the 97D brought him back to his old control racquets and he enjoyed the precision the racquet offered, but he also said that he won’t return to this type of racquet again as they require you to be fully invested in every stroke and makes tennis more difficult.

I agree. This racquet plays great. It is stable enough at the net, gives you the control required to paint lines, but on defense these types of racquets are difficult to use. I love control racquets with denser patterns, but in recent years, I’ve realized that I can’t make the most of my tennis with them. I simply win more points with power racquets and feel in enough control as long as they have denser patterns.

However, that does not take anything away from the Percept 97D. The racquet is excellent for players looking for control, stability, and heavier racquets. There is no need to customize; pick up and play. Marcos Giron recently switched to this one, and I think aspiring pros can find a lot to like in this stick.

Summary

If you are a player who wants the racquet to give you exactly what you put into it and you don’t mind the extra weight, the Percept 97D is a great frame. It competes with racquets like the Blade 98 18/20, Solinco Whiteout 18/20 and Pure Strike 97 and the Prestige Pro (closest in specs). It gives you a bit more power than the Prestige and plays more in line with the Blade or Whiteout, but the extra weight makes it a bit more demanding than those racquets.

Let me know in the comments if you have played the Yonex Percept 97D and what you think of it. You can check it out from our friends at Tennis Warehouse, Tennis Warehouse Europe or Tennis Only.

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