I've just received a Tecnifibre T-Rebound 298 IGA as a demo from Tennis Warehouse. It's Iga Swiatek's signature racquet after she switched.
It's interesting to change your racquet after winning a Grand Slam (French Open 2020), but I assume Iga Swiatek is confident enough to pull it off. She has won two titles in 2021 (Adelaide and Rome), but she's not really performed as well on the bigger stages, although well enough to be ranked at 7 in the world in the WTA rankings. I tested her signature Tecnifibre T-Rebound 298 IGA today and found it an enjoyable first hit.
You always need to beware of the infamous honeymoon period for racquet testing though. What feels amazing at first, might change drastically over the next couple of hits. Just looking at the specs of this racquet, it doesn't look like it would fit my style: light and stiff (71 RA strung!). The first hit did not reveal any harshness though, but I will need more time to understand what is going on with this frame. Tecnifibre uses Dynacore XTC, a material that is supposed to help reduce harsh vibrations. They have also filled portions of the racquet with foam to create a more solid and comfortable hitting experience (and I'm a fan of foam-filling for comfort purposes).
First, let's look at the specs of Iga's signature racquet.
Tecnifibre T-Rebound 298 Iga
Why not call the racquet 300 like everyone else? Well, I don't think it's due to specs because you always have the quality control variance, but more of a marketing thing. It perhaps stands out more.
|Head Size: 98 in / 632.26 cm|
|Length: 27in / 68.58cm|
|Strung Weight:11oz / 312g|
|Balance: 12.99in / 32.99cm / 4 pts HL|
|Beam Width: 23mm / 23mm / 23mm|
|Power Level: Low-Medium|
|Stroke Style: Medium-Full|
|Swing Speed: Medium-Fast|
|Grip Type: Tecnifibre Synthetic|
|String Tension: 50-55 pounds|
The stiffness is the main thing that raises eyebrows here, but like I said, it felt more comfortable than the RA rating suggests. It would perhaps have been interesting to also see the X-Damp technology from the TF-X1 here. My friend and hitting partner Matthew suggested that because he preferred the performance of the TF-X1.
How does it play?
I felt the racquet to be whippy, yet balanced. Decent stability despite the weight (my swing weight was measured at 327 with a dampener, which is closer to what I like). The racquet came with the demo string from Tennis Warehouse, it does look and feel like Tecnifibre Black Code though, but I can't say for sure.
The power is there, similar to a Babolat Pure Drive VS, but I felt like this racquet offered better control from the string bed and a more dampened feel thanks to the foam filling. Like Matthew noted, this is not a racquet that wows you straight away, but a solid performer that works well for all-court players who like a stiffer/crisper feel from the frame.
Both serves and returns worked well for me and I could hit the one-handed backhand with relative ease. I always struggle a bit with the rectangular Tecnifibre grip shape, but in L2 it works okay for me after some time getting used to it.
This is just an overview and my very first impressions about this racquet. It's definitely something I'd like to keep playing with and I'll happily report back after a few more hours. Usually you find these types of first impressions posts on my Patreon page, so please consider subscribing if you like to get my early takes on racquets.
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Tennis Warehouse Europe
Tennis Only (this racquet is still not available at Tennis Only)
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I am demoing the Swiatek now and I find it a little to whippy due to the low swing weight. I added some lead at 3and 9 and in the throat and it is playing with better balance, control and plow. Nice frame!
i think the REAL Ika stick it’s softer, she always said to like playing with soft racket and RA 71 isn’t exactly “sogt” !
Was really interesting listening to her TW podcast interview about this racquet and hearing say that one of the things she loves about it is the flex/softness of it! It’s fsscinating what different people interpret as a ‘good feel’.
Thanks for the great info as always! Could you say a few words about how the play experience of this racquet compares to the T-Fight RS 305? How close is this one to a 16×19 305?
@FC I have the IGA model, and it’s nowhere as stiff to play as the RA rating and vibration frequency would indicate. It actually feels plush – and solid.
Just got my IGA, but not play with it yet.
Nice paint job it is!