After a few weeks of intense and enjoyable play-testing, here is my Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 Racquet Review. It is the update to the Yonex VCORE Duel G 97 330 and there are a few noticeable differences between the two frames.
I have already written the “early impressions version” of the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 Racquet Review that you can find here, and you can read about the other racquets in the Yonex VCORE Pro series here. But this post goes into more depth about the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 racquet, that you can buy here. There is also a video review of the racquet below.
The Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 is heavier than most of the racquets you find today. There are not many sticks that go above the 325 gram (unstrung) mark. Most notably is the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph (buy it here) (read my review here) which I created a specific comparison post for here, but otherwise it is a diminishing market for heavy racquets. The Volkl C10 Pro is a similar racquet that comes to mind, but otherwise I can not really think of any except for the re-issued Wilson Six One 95.
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 Racquet Review – How does it play?
The Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 felt good from the first hit. At 65 RA I thought it would play stiffer, but it was nice and comfortable. The thin beam (20 mm compared to the previous versions 20,5 mm or the RF97As 21,5 mm) does improve manoeuvrability, but does decrease stability somewhat. What I usually enjoy with heavier frames is the ultra-stable response, but here I felt I had sacrificed some stability for the sake of making the frame move through the air better.
Some players will love this trade-off and some will not. Personally, I am not so sure. I really enjoy rock-solid frames such as the RF97 Autograph or my own Liquidmetal Radical Tours and have gradually moved away from racquets that have significant flex. I tend to almost always add weight at 3 and 9 as I prefer a high twist-weight from a more spin-friendly polarized setup. But I was still surprised that I needed to add some lead tape (I use Tourna lead tape) to make the 330 gram unstrung frame play more solid.
With or without lead tape, the frame excelled on being able to create heavy spin. It was more lively with the 16×19 string pattern over the predecessors 16×20 and it is clear that Yonex wanted this update to be easier to use, and to play with more spin and power.
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 Racquet Review – Let's break it down
Power: 7/10 – The RF97A packs more punch than this racquet, but it is powerful enough to satisfy most players.
Control: 7/10 – The string pattern is a little livelier than I would have liked personally. Think 16×20 would have still been a good choice.
Comfort: 8/10 – For 65 RA it definitely feels comfortable. Did not notice any discomfort despite stringing with stiff poly strings such as the Solinco Hyper-G.
Spin: 9/10 – Spin production was easy with the thin beam and the open string pattern.
Touch: 8/10 – Nice racquet on touch shots. Think the RF97A is a little better though.
Groundstrokes: 8/10 – This racquet enjoys the baseline. Especially when you stay aggressive.
Volleys: 7/10 – I would have liked a bit more stability on my volleys. Lead tape at 3 and 9 helps, but this obviously makes an already heavy racquet even heavier.
Slice: 8/10 – Thin beam makes it nice, but again a little more weight in the hoop would have made it divine. Not a knife like the RF97A though.
Serve: 9/10 – Good manoeuvrability makes it easy to snap your wrist down on the serve and get some good action on your shots.
Returns: 8/10 – Easy to get your racquet in place, but with more weight the block shots would be even more effective.
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 Racquet Review – Summary
The Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 is an excellent racquet and I would consider it one of the best frames of the year. My only issue is the lack of stability in the hoop for such a heavy frame, but the benefits are that it plays like a lighter racquet and is easy to whip around for extra spin. I could potentially switch to this racquet, but I would need to add some lead tape at 3 and 9.
Since this racquet is so easy to swing despite the weight, I personally would not consider the 310 gram version. It would simply require to much customization for me to make it play stable enough. I also think there are so many frames on the market around 305-310 grams unstrung which would make the competition quite tough for the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 310. The recently reviewed Prince Beast 98 being one of them.
What do you think of the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330? Would you be keen to try it? Please comment below.
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What strings and tensions would you recommend for this racquet? I am predisposed to tennis elbow, which is why I can’t play with the RF97A unfortunately, and I mentioned in your TFight 315 thread about how I am considering switching because it has too small of a sweet spot for unpredictable loose clay courts… I’d love a few recommendations, at different stiffness levels, because as I customize upping the weight, the increased weight reduces shock allowing me to play with slightly stiffer strings. Haha, though there is definitely a limit, I have no idea what the heck my friend was thinking, but he had a new set of Yonex VCORE SV 95, that I asked to try, and just hitting a few balls it literally destroyed my elbow and shoulder. I then asked him what he had it strung with, and it turned out to be Luxilon 4G at 58 pounds, which is insane! He must have joints made of titanium…
Wow, playing the stiff SV 95 with 4g at 58 pounds, that’s putting some strain on the tendons! But some people can handle it.
If you like the RF97A and want a softer alternative, I think the VCORE Pro 97 330 is an excellent choice. I still consider it highly switchable since I’m kind of in between racquets at the moment. It has a pretty large sweet spot and really good spin potential. I liked it strung with Solinco Hyper-G at 22,5 kg.
But if you go with the VCORE Pro 97 310 weighted up, I’m sure you’ll be happy too. I think your demo list looks fine, but my hunch would be you’d like the 310 or 330 VCORE Pro over the DR and SV.
Good luck! Cheers / J
What racquet do you use now in match ?
I had to cancel two tournaments in May due to my knee injury. I would likely have played with the HEAD LM Radical Tours. But the RF97A and the VCORE Pro 97 330 are both tempting options. I’m definitely back with heavier sticks again.
Regards / Jonas
How does it compare to the countervail blades other than the dampening in the blades?
For me personally, the feel in the stringbed is much more responsive on the VCORE Pro 97. I have had a hard time knowing where I hit the ball on the CV Blades. Might not be the case for everyone since I know a lot of people love the new Blades, but I think the 2015 Blades were the best edition in this line.
What about stiffness, plow through, overall power, stability?
Well, since the Blade 98 CV is far lighter than the VCORE Pro 97 330 I tested, I would say it’s pretty much all in favour in of the VCORE Pro 97.
I would say they’re about the same when it comes to stiffness/comfort. Plow-through, power and stability I would go with the VCORE Pro 97 330. Definitely my preferred racquet of the two.
How much weight did you add to the hoop and where? Thanks!
I added 4 grams of lead at 3 and 9. It was enough to increase stability. Cheers / Jonas
Are you going to review the Yonex Vcore Pro 97 (310)?
Not sure! There are so many racquets here to review and it’s not in the current line-up, but you never know. I’ve heard from quite a few people that the previous editions, both the VCORE Tour G and the VCORE Duel were better than this one, but I would have to see this for myself of course.
I’d always recommend a demo in any case, but will keep you posted!
Regards / Jonas (not Dave 🙂
Hi Jonas, I wanted to ask if you experienced any vibration in your vcore pro frames especially when you tried to flatten out your strokes? I demoed this frame (shared my experience in the vcore series article, sorry) and while I thought it swung fast with decent power my control was lacking on groundstrokes unlike with the duel g 330 though serving was easier (esp kick serves) I wish I had tried it with a stiffer poly but the vibration was surprising to me and a show stopper, and many others have reported it. Pity since the frame has great specs but I’m sticking to my duel g.
I actually had no vibration with my racquet, but I felt like I couldn’t completely trust it on flat strokes either. It simply seems that 16×20 is a better pattern for my game with this kind of racquet. I think there might have been some quality control issues here or it is VERY string sensitive. It played fine with both Luxilon Element and Solinco Hyper-G for me.
You are fine with your Duel G I think! Cheers / Jonas