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Home GearTennis RacquetsRacquet Reviews Yonex RD7 Classic Racquet Review

Yonex RD7 Classic Racquet Review

by Tennisnerd

The Yonex RD7 was famously used by Marcelo Rios and Sergi Bruguera. It’s a true classic in the racquet market with its heft and beautiful feel.

The Yonex RD7 had a really open 16×19 string pattern and Yonex rightly called it the “Spin Doctor”. This is a great racquet for crafty clay-court players who can handle the weight and like a racquet that flexes almost towards a wooden racquet. I really enjoyed hitting with the RD7 for this classic racquet review, but the flex and high launch angle was a bit difficult to get used to for my game.

Yonex RD7 Specs and Tech

The RD7 came with Yonex’s standard Isometric head shape which is supposed to offer a 20% bigger sweetspot and IPS (Integrated Power Weight System), which is similar to Wilson’s PWS. Meaning just weight in the head of the racquet for better stability and power.

The specs of the Yonex RD7 are (thanks to Racquetfinder)

As you can see the swing weight of the TW measured racquets was pretty high, but the one I tested was around 330, which made it more maneuverable. I strung it up with MSV Focus Hex and took the racquet for a SPIN.

How does the RD7 perform?


There is something about the Yonex head shape when it comes to the one-handed backhand. I just find it offers easier access to spin thanks to the bigger sweet spot. I really think the Isometric head shape makes a difference, especially when playing with 95 sq inch racquets and the one-handed backhand is a stroke where I need a little bit extra forgiveness.

The Yonex RD7 is called the “spin doctor” for a reason. Being more of a flat hitter, I found the spin potential and launch angle from the string bed to be a bit too much. Yes, the ball often dipped inside the line, but the flexible response really made it difficult for me to gauge my shots. It was one of the few criticisms I had of the Angell K7 Red (the first batch had a similar flex rating to the RD7), the flex of the racquet can mute the connection to the ball too much.

But other than that, I could really see why the RD7 was so popular. Nice feel, some decent power thanks to the weight of the racquet, excellent spin potential, solid sweet spot size for a 95 sq inch racquet. It is pretty much all there for players who like to hit with a lot of topspin. Flatter hitters might find themselves a bit frustrated with the high launch angle though.

Marcelo Rios racquet

I don’t have Marcelo Rios’s exact specifications, but I know he used an extended 28-inch version of the RD7. At the beginning of his career, he used a full bed of natural gut string at really high tension, but at the end of his career, he moved to hybrids and full beds of polyester strings like pretty much everyone else on the tour.

Sergi Bruguera also used the RD7 for a period in his career before he moved to other racquets. He was known for his massive spin generation, which when measured by RPMs actually matches Rafa Nadal’s. They both use smaller grips than they “should”, which seems to aid their spin generation.

Summary

The Yonex RD7 is a nice racquet. Usually, 95 sq inch racquets from the 90s are extremely controlled, but this one actually packs some power and spin for such a flexible racquet. I couldn’t quite gel with this frame from the back of the court, but I definitely enjoyed hitting with it. If you want a modern equivalent to this frame, I would check out the Angell K7 Red.

 

 

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1 comment

Tennis Lion July 24, 2020 - 9:26 pm

I see what you mean about losing some power because of the low flex, but you did look like you were getting some nice spin with this classic racket. I wonder if such low flex frames, similar to previous wooden types, are probably best strung with multis or gut to get sufficient power. I mean, stringing a flexy frame with a loose poly to achieve some power would probably be too noodly. The RD7 might work well with something like Sensation or Gossen syn-gut around 56lbs, since that would be standard in the late 90s.

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