It’s about time to say goodbye to 2013, and this means it’s time for our Tennis Warehouse playtesters to weigh in with some of their favorites from the past year. First up, we asked some of our testers to pick their favorite racquets released this past year. Drum roll, please ….
It was the year of spin for our playtesters. Three playtesters chose Spin Effect racquets — those with wide open string patterns — from Wilson.
The Wilson Six.One 95S is the only racquet this year to get multiple votes. Both Jason and Chris love this one, and Chris has made the switch!
Jason: “More control than my current Steam 99S but still offers tons of spin!”
Chris: “I love this racquet! I get great spin with it and more control than most other spin racquets thanks to the 18 main strings. It offers a nice crisp feel and I can go from defense to offense with it with one swing.”
The Steam 105S is a double whammy with its wide open string pattern and larger headsize. Surprisingly this one caught the eye of Karly, who usually prefers control-oriented racquets like her Organix 10 Mid.
Karly: “The Wilson 105S specs couldn’t be anymore different than the type of racquets I usually like to play with; I tend to steer toward the more control-oriented racquets that have smaller headsizes and denser string patterns. Though with all the spin the 105S generates with its larger headsize and open string pattern, it’s by far the most fun racquet I’ve hit with. The access to spin on this racquet is unbelievable! I loved how naturally the extreme amount of spin came which made it easy to add variety to my game. Trust me, you gotta give this racquet a try. Wilson’s Spin Effect technology on this frame is no gimmick!”
On the flipside, Andy opted for tradition over new tech with his choice of the Prince Response 97.
Andy: “If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it! The Response is one of the best volleying and topspin-friendly racquets ever, and it’s nice heft and (in my opinion) perfect balance make this easy and fun to play with. It’s a classic racquet that’s still perfectly suited for the modern game.”
Michelle: “This is the first time in a long time I was seriously flirting with a racquet outside of the Babolat Pure Drive series! My heart flutters every time I pick up that solid, orange racquet with that splash of purple! I loved my playtest with this one and was smitten with the new, stiffer feel to the Radical Pro racquet. Combining the best blend of power, control, plow through and spin for my game, this racquet has definitely moved to a solid second favorite of mine and could definitely be a racquet I see myself using for a tournament. The stability off the ground is amazing and carries over to the net, I can hit my targets on a dime when serving while adding good speed, power and/or kick.”
Still in search of a new racquet since her previous Yonex was discontinued, Brittany may have found it with the Yonex EZONE Ai 100.
Brittany: “The Yonex EZONE Ai just snuck in to 2013 in November and it’s only taken me a few short weeks to fall in love with it. Now that my racquet has been discontinued (Yonex VCORE 100 S), I have been looking for a suitable replacement. And the Yonex EZONE Ai 100 might just be it! The racquet has the Yonex feel that I enjoy. It is very maneuverable with lots of power and is exactly in my spec range. I wasn’t a fan of previous version’s head shape (Xi 100), which put the sweetspot closer to the tip of the frame. The Ai does not have that Extra Isometric head shape, and the sweetspot is very similar to my VCORE 100 S.”
Tiffani again took a hiatus to become a mommy for a second time, and she found the Volkl Organix V1 Pro to help get her game back on track.
Tiffani: “I picked this one up just a few weeks back into playing after a long break after maternity leave. With my first child, I had a hard time finding my rhythm on the court, but it was easier time around. I’m not 100 percent sure if it was the racquet, but the V1 Pro surely helped. This one is so comfortable and powerful. It helps me feel like I’m playing better, which boosts my confidence and makes me want to get out there on the court more often. What more could I ask for?”