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Home GearTennis Racquets Should I Make the Switch?

Should I Make the Switch?

by Tennisnerd

Racquet testers talk about “switching” to a racquet. I’ve been looking for a new frame and I’m enjoying the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0. Should I make the switch?

I have already reviewed the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0 and thought it was a great racquet but too demanding for most players today. I don’t hold my own game up to a very high standard (but I am always working on it!), so I didn’t think playing with a 95 sq inch racquet would do me a lot of good. But after going back and forth between various frames for some time (while playing some bad tennis), I decided I just need to stick to one frame or otherwise I would go crazy (reviewing doesn’t stop, but I just want one racquet for competitive tennis). And after hitting with it extensively the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0 has started whispering questions into my ear like: Should I make the switch?

Tennis is easier with racquets like the Babolat Soft Drive, Wilson Ultra 100, and HEAD Graphene 360+ Speed MP, but I started out with 95 sq inch racquets and despite wanting to give up on them to play with something more forgiving – I keep coming back! The Dunlop CX 200 Tour 18×20 was my last 95 sq inch match racquet and that is simply a great frame. But I was lacking some depth on my shots mainly due to not being good enough, so I have been going back and forth between racquets like the Angell K7 LimePrince Textreme Tour 310, the Soft Drive I mentioned, the HEAD Gravity Pro, the Tecnifibre TF40, the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 HD, and the HEAD Graphene 360+ Prestige MP. All of them great racquets, but I always seem to stray elsewhere after a while. This is the downfall of being a racquet play-tester – you constantly get tempted by other racquets and that is no good for your tennis.

Your tennis progress plays a part

I have also been working hard on my tennis, doing fitness drills, working with a mental coach (for research purposes mainly, I am far from a pro), and trying to play as much tennis as my schedule allows. I notice that what works in practice, might completely break down during match play. It all depends on who you are as a player. One thing I have learned after doing hundreds of racquet consultations is that we’re all different and have different needs as a player based on our fitness, health, technique, level, and playing style. There are many factors to take into account when choosing a racquet, but ultimately what feels good to you should decide.

In my case, when I tense up during match play, I tend to overhit. I have no real issue to generate power, so this means I need control. If I use a light racquet, I tend to arm the ball too much, so I prefer a higher swing weight to force me to use the correct stroke mechanics. I also like a heavier frame for improved stability on volleys. I struggle with 100 sq inch racquets on my one-handed backhand and since my forehand is more on the Eastern side, I prefer hitting the ball more flat.

If I did a consultation with myself, my list of racquets might look like this (but shorter!)
HEAD Pro Tour 2.0 
HEAD Graphene 360+ Prestige MP
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 HD 
Tecnifibre TF40
Prince Phantom 97P or 93P 
Angell K7 Lime or Angell TC 97 18×20
Dahcor AK97S
Wilson Pro Staff RF97

Too many options! There are so many good, more hefty control-oriented racquets out there. These are just current frames, if we look at previous generations the choice gets “out of control”.

Weeding it down

Some racquets you give up on for some reason and then you regret it and get back to them. That could be the case with all of the above racquets. It has happened many times with my Soft Drives. All of the racquets above could work well for me in a tournament, I just need to stick with one. Just having made up your mind will free it up to think about your tennis instead of second-guessing your racquet, string, or customization. You’re in charge on the court, not the racquet.

Right now I am using the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0 frequently. It is not easy to use, it has a small sweet spot, but I like the control, the spin is good enough for my game and it just gives me exactly what I put into it. This feature in itself will help me to just focus on my game and not the specs or characteristics of the racquet. So I am now forcing myself to use the Pro Tour 2.0 for a couple of weeks (alongside the usual reviews) and we will see if the switch happens.

It is a fantastic frame, but probably out of my range. But somehow it pushes me to do better and work with what I have. I think people should use what they play their best tennis with and in my case, it might be what makes tennis more difficult.

One thing I’ve learned is that it’s definitely easier to give advice to other people! Where are you in your racquet journey? Please share!

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20 comments

Alec Wasa July 3, 2020 - 4:22 pm

Certainly an interesting topic. I have also changed racquets a bit too often the past two years. Played for 2 years with a Volkl V1 sense Pro and it was great. Could really hit as hard as I could. However I was always looking for a bit more power so this year I changed to a Yonex Ezone 100. Loved it for a few months and have never hit so many winners before. But, in match play I tend to loose some control and I really miss some control now again……I hate the feeling of having to swing less aggressively to keep control.

The never ending balance of control vs power……

Just bought the Diadem Nova FS 100 and it feels quite ok. Really looking though for that “right ” racquet that really feels like an extension of my arm…..

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Lucas July 3, 2020 - 6:59 pm

I wouldn’t switch hehe, and less likely to a 95 low powered racket.
Why don’t you try something in between?
A 98sq inch lead it up to 315g unstrung maybe.

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Tom July 3, 2020 - 7:44 pm

Jonas
Have you had a long hit with the Volkl PB 10 Mid? It’s got the 330g unstrung static mass but a very manageable 323 SW making it a very playable frame despite its 93sq inch head. It also has a 19mm beam and 61 unstrung RA. It’s a very well designed frame and in my opinion makes the 2.0 feel a bit ponderous in comparison.

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Luis G July 3, 2020 - 8:06 pm

To Alec Wasa:
Funny, I also have a Volkl Vsense V1 Pro (which I should sell) and just sold my Yonex DR 100. If you liked the Volkl but were missing some power, you could always change the strings or slightly lower the tension. The Nova is quite similar to the V1 pro but stiffer.

To Jonas:
I am confused, I thought you switched to a Semi western grip and were hitting with more spin. If you are back to eastern and playing flat again, the Pro Tour 2.0 makes sense (or the Phantom 93!) You can always bring a 98 in racket in the bag in case you are being bullied in a match…

Personally, I have played with 6 different rackets the last couple of years, but it seems that I am going to stick to the Tecnifibre TF40 305

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Lovinfun July 3, 2020 - 8:07 pm

I’m currently using 2 rackets I really like, although they are different types. Wilson Six One 95S and Burn 100LS, both customized to 350 gram static weight and 8 pts HL. They each have different requirements for me to play well, and require me to work on different parts of my mechanics. I have a big forehand, one handed bh, decent serves. As expected, I get more control with 6/1 but can’t hit bye really fast players and have to build points. Burn allows me to hit more winners but sacrifices some control. I’m USPTA teaching pro and started playing again 2 years ago after 25 year break. I’ve demoed a lot of rackets on my return to tennis, and although tempted by reviews, I’m sticking with only these 2 for now! I don’t feel I’m lacking a lot with either. I string with stiff poly’s at 62 lbs, and never have any arm issues.

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Lovinfun July 3, 2020 - 8:19 pm

Jonas, I use my 6/1 when playing higher level big hitters because of the stability. I use Burn against lesser players I can just punish. Maybe you switch to this racket against certain players and have a 2nd option racket that has different characteristics that you like when this one is not fitting against a certain opponent. Just an idea….appreciate and enjoy all Tennisnerd materials you produce!

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Anthony July 4, 2020 - 5:55 am

Very timely article Jonas. I have been going through a similar experience moving from an Ezone 98 onto the 3rd Gen 16×19 Pure Strike and now Tecnifibre TF40 in the last 18months. I am loving the control and feel with my first 18×20 frame. I have my challenge in consistently delivering depth from the baseline but I am sticking with it and working on improving technique. Back your judgement in, make a call on racquet of choice and enjoy the journey in improving your game.?

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John Brondum July 4, 2020 - 6:11 am

How different are the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0 and the new Prestige MP? It seems to me that if you like the PR2.0 but concerned about committing to 95, then the Prestige MP sounds like the right choice – maybe with some extra weight if you need a bit more swing weight

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Chris July 4, 2020 - 6:43 am

Hi Jonas,
I love your videos and fully understand your problem. The search of the holy racquet…
However, there is a reason why pros don’t change their racquets very often. They know that their have a good stick in their hand and that the sole responsible for their strokes are themselves. We are always hoping that a new racquet will improve our game, more power, more control, more speed, less errors, even if at the end the best racquet is often the racquet that we are used to. We might of course change our tools if we change our game, make great progress or start to have some health issues, however we should try to stick to our tool and simply work on ourselves. Good luck for finding your racquet!

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JR July 4, 2020 - 12:30 pm

Great article. I have recently been seduced by 100 sq inch racquets that are easier to use, but I don’t have the confidence that an Ultra Tour provides. My decision, after demoing everything, was to use and stick with the V7 Blade 16×19. It was more demanding at first, but after 2 monthes of continual use, I’m very happy. I have dialed in placement and touch shots that I had trouble with at first. My hitting buddies have commented on the improvements as I “got with” the Blade. It took some time, but I found I play better points, better tennis, but have to work harder for it. I’m resisting the urge to pull a Speed or Extreme out if the closet ?Good luck!

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Tennis Lion July 4, 2020 - 1:15 pm

I would keep the Pro Tour or other heavy sticks like the RF97 to use as a training aid, because they help you swing long and smooth on normal rally balls, which can improve your timing. But for advancing your overall game, I would go with the frame that you find best when playing against a better player than yourself, like your coach, who can give you more difficult balls. Find a frame you can trust in tight situations, rather than one that feels great on easy balls. In your list, the TF40 would seem the least Pro/Tour spec. Perhaps you should also try a few other lighter frames like the Dunlop CX200 (non-tour), Pure-Strike 100 etc. Good luck!

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steven schaeffer July 4, 2020 - 3:34 pm

I agree that the best way to choose a racquet is to see what racquet you play best with in a match not a hitting session. I have both versions of the Pro Tour but now that I am 55, they get a little heavy after 30 minutes into a match. I might consider the TF 40 305, the Yonex VCore HD or even the VCore 310 with the 16×19 since I think all of those will lead to less fatigue deeper into a match.

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Pezzer July 4, 2020 - 11:06 pm

There is a certain enjoyment in trying lots of rackets- seeing how they compare and how they differ. I too used a 95” frame for many years and sometimes a 100” racket can feel more like a frying pan! I loved the re-issued Wilson Six One 95 but at 332g unstrung it was just too heavy over longer sessions. I loved the Yonex DR98 but then seemed to discover some negatives. I have recently used a Head 360+ Speed Pro and thought it was great but again the 100” head size can feel a bit cumbersome. There are two rackets that I always seem to enjoy and gravitate back to- the first is the 2015 Blade 98 18×20, but I am now back with my trusted Pure Strike 2017 16×19 – it just seems such a comfortable solid racket, at 305g unstrung not too heavy but has a meaty swing weight and the 98” head feels compact. I have also found a string which works for me in this frame – Kirschbaum Max Power at 50lbs- which is very feel/control orientated and complements the powerful PS frame very nicely. That said I really want to try the latest Technifibre frames…..

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Shiva July 5, 2020 - 7:01 am

I started with Pro Staff 90 and then got a Pro Staff RF97. Love everything about RF97 except for the serves. Half an hour of hitting of RF97 makes my PS90 feel much lighter even though both have similar static weight. I kept going back to PS90 even after 2 years of owning RF97. Post Jonas review have now got a Phantom 93P. Feels much lighter and excited to test it out. PS90 always felt like an extension of the arm which RF97 never did.

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Leon July 11, 2020 - 9:19 pm

Great article fellow nerd…
I played my best match tennis with the Ultra Tour but when I was not fully focused on the match, ball placement and consistency then everything broke down… Mainly hitting short. I switched from that to a vcore 95 briefly as I disliked it at first because it was unstable. Then went on to a Graphene Radical MP which was too powerful but most importantly gave me wrist pain. I then went back to the vcore 95 mainly because I had kept one and at least the wrist pain was mostly gone. Leaded it up and enjoyed it for a while but was never really convinced and training with hard hitting juniors now made me realise I need stability to block shots and a bit extra power to push them around.
Enter the Blade v7 16×19, its taken a couple of days to get used to, seems real good when hitting the consistency mode button and just today it clicked with me on a more offensive game which is what I identify with the most. I think the description I see online of the Blades being a good all around frame is spot on.
I really do hope I stop switching rackets though.

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Tennisnerd July 14, 2020 - 7:49 am

Thanks! My tip is to commit to a frame and work on your game. This is what we’re all trying 🙂

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Seraphim July 15, 2020 - 6:15 pm

Hey Jonas,

Firstly, I love your channel and your reviews.

Quick question. How do you compare the Head Pro Tour 2.0 with the PT57E (iPrestige) that you demoed some time ago? Similar?

I’m a long time (many decades) Pro Staff and/or Prestige player and have several new/mint iPrestige sticks. I wonder if the Pro Tour 2.0 is so similar that there’d be no point in getting a couple.

P.S. Can you see playing with the Prince Classic Graphite OS? You gave that stick a great review other than on serve.

Thanks!!

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Tennisnerd July 16, 2020 - 7:55 am

Hi Seraphim,
Thanks. The PT 2.0 and the PT57E play very close. I would say the PT 2.0 is perhaps a bit more lively when it comes to spin, but the power levels are similar. I think you might get a bit more topspin due to the liveliness, but not sure you will get better performance than with your iPrestige.

I love the Classic Graphite OS, but I have a hard time using OS racquets and prefer staying in the 95-98 category due to maneuverability.

Cheers / Jonas

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Seraphim Marcopoulos July 16, 2020 - 6:22 pm

Thank you, Jonas.

That’s very helpful. Perhaps, I’ll wait on ordering the Pro Tour 2.0 given the similarities to my iPrestiges. Have you heard that it is truly a limited edition (for 2020) or is that just marketing speak?

I’ll order a few Prince Classic Graphite OS racquets to have some fun and remember the old days. Your review of that racquet had me very intrigued. Take care.

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Tennisnerd July 17, 2020 - 10:37 am

I think it is actually a limited edition, but not sure how limited. I have one for sale if you’re interested in L2 (wrong grip size for me).

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