Today Tecnifibre announced the Tecnifibre TF-X1, a new racquet in the comfort category and an interesting competitor to the Wilson Clash.
I often talk about the importance of adding more comfort-oriented racquets to the market. Some brands, like ProKennex and Donnay, build their whole brand around arm comfort. HEAD offer enough racquet lines to cover the comfort category with the Gravity and the Prestige racquets, Wilson has the famous Clash line, Prince has the Phantom racquets and Babolat has to go back to the past to find the Pure Control. Now Tecnifibre has launched the TF-X1.
The Tecnifibre TF-X1 comes with the technology from the Lacoste L 20 that I reviewed a while back. It’s called the X-Damp and is supposed to dampen 36% of harmful vibrations coming through the handle. My experience is that this technology works pretty well and I’ve been able to use the racquet strung with a full bed of Tecnifibre Razor Code 1.25 at 51 lbs without feeling my otherwise sensitive elbow. It’s not as plush/flexy/comfortable as the Clash, but it does give the player a bit more power and similar spin properties as the Clash 100.
Update: the full specs of the TF-X1 300 and the other two lighter models are now on Tennis Warehouse. I was a bit surprised to see the RA 71 rating. It felt more like 65 to me. I would be a bit cautious with the comfort of the frame (despite the X-Damp) considering the high stiffness. I will update my review if I start feeling discomfort. Please let me know about your experience with the TF-X1.
I’m not sure whether there will be more racquets in the TF-X line-up, but the one I tested is called the TF-X1. It weighs 300 grams unstrung, has a balance of 7 pts HL unstrung, and a swing weight of 295. The string pattern is 16×19 (quite open for a lot of spin/high launch angle) and the beam is 26 mm.
With Tecnifibre Razor Code White 1.25 and an overgrip, the strung specs were: 321g (11.3 oz), 32.5 cm balance (5 pts HL), and a 325 swing weight.
These specs are pretty much spot on in my opinion for a modern, tweener-style racquet. There is enough stability there to handle heavy shots, but you can also whip through the racquet fast.
How does it play?
The video will be available at 21:00 CET (9 pm) on July 21st.
The Tecnifibre TF-X1 is a powerful weapon. You need to hit with a lot of spin to tame the power, otherwise, your shots can easily sail long. But if this is your natural game style and you enjoying hitting heavy topspin shots from the baseline, you’ll enjoy this stick a lot. The string pattern is a bit too open for my taste and like with the Clash, it does reduce the string life. You get easy height over the net at the cost of some control, especially on flatter shots. In this, it’s very similar to the Clash line of racquets.
What this racquet does better than the Clash is adding more power to your shots, which is especially evident on serves. You can really whip the racquet through the contact point for some excellent hard-hitting serves and if you get to the net the racquet offers good stability (although not top-notch control).
It’s a frame for players who like to be aggressive from the back of the court. You can be a lower-level intermediate to advanced and still enjoy this racquet. Some more advanced players might find the launch angle and slight unpredictability at times a deal-breaker, while some will find a real weapon to take full charge of the point.
Pros and cons
– Unpredictable at times (related to the first point)
It’s a pretty extreme racquet and a fun one to use. I also think it looks nice with the all-white (with yellow/grey accents) paint job.
It’s not quite as comfortable as the Clash but offers more power. I think this is a solid choice for intermediate baseliners who want some help from the racquet without the stiffness that almost always accompanies those frames.
I am not sure when it will be launched or what the exact specs are. More to come!