It’s no secret around here that my favorite racquet brand is Babolat (I’ve been playing with some form of the Babolat Pure Drive since 2001). So when we got the new Pure Strikes in, I couldn’t contain my eagerness (to say the least) to get one of the new Babolat Pure Strikes in my hand and on the court! The racquets sat patiently behind me for a week, unstrung…taunting me with its bright pops of flourescent red and black matte paint…until finally, they were strung up and ready to go!
Where Babolat already has the power game dialed in with their Pure Drive Series, and then the spin-monster with the AeroPro Drive family of racquets — the name of the game is crisp control with the new line of Pure Strikes.
Check out our initial specs:
Babolat Pure Strike: Babolat Pure Strike Tour:
Pattern: 18×20 Pattern: 18×20
Length: 27″ Length: 27″
Balance: 5HL Balance: 6HL
Strung Weight: 11.4 oz Strung Weight: 12
Flex: 66 Flex: 65
Swingweight: 324 Swingweight: 330
I jumped on the courts at TW this morning with the Pure Strikes ready to go! Instantly, I found huge amounts of directional control. As I hit from the baseline, I was curious what this racquet could do for me…would it be like every other control frame I’ve tried to like, but struggle with because it just mutes my power and makes it difficult for me to put balls away?
Here’s what I can tell you after my first hit with these frames. What I love about it so far — first serves. I can pin point targets and hit big first serves easily and effectively. At the net, I was pleasantly happy to find a crisp response and found it very easy to place my volleys deep while having access to touch up there as well. These frames are very stable and volleying was simple. That stability also helped out a bunch with the backhand slice — stable and solid, my slices stayed low and penetrated the court.
What I like (yep, that would be a step down from ‘love’) about the Pure Strike after my first hit — it adds control to my game, but doesn’t take my power away. I was still hitting big, flat, deep balls with pace, but I found myself not having the erratic powerful misses that sometimes seem to happen with my game. I could still blast returns, but had that added control, which translates into confidence for me. I felt like I could go big and relied on the racquet to keep the ball in the court.
And what I didn’t love (yet) — for my game, I need to change the way I construct points with this one in hand. I’m excited for this playtest because it will help with my mental discipline as power isn’t as freely available as it is with my racquet of choice (Pure Drive/Pure Drive Roddick). I couldn’t just hit a big serve and a big next shot to win the point with this one.
Where the Pure Drive (and Pure Drive Roddick) may be considered my guilty pleasure, the Pure Strike may be just what the doctor ordered for my game! Love at first strike? I’ll let you be the judge of that one. But, I’m looking forward to this playtest! Keep an eye out for more info and feedback on the Pure Strikes coming soon!
Play with heart,