I challenge Tennis Warehouse on a daily basis to find a racquet that I will love as much as my Babolat Pure Drive GT (I just can’t imagine loving anything more). I’ve been trying my hand at several different frames (Wilson 99 S, Head Graphene Speed Pro, Wilson Juice 100, Babolat Aero Pro Drive, etc.), a lot that I can understand why people gravitate toward, but nothing that I have to have, or better yet, nothing that has elevated my game…yet. Finally, I found something I can possibly entertain as a new favorite racquet, the Donnay Formula 100.
Spec wise, this racquet could be the long lost twin to my Pure Drive GT. Most of our playtesters even seem to favor this Donnay over the ever so popular Pure Drive. Dare I say, it may even outshine the Pure Drive in one area – the net. My volleys feel so precise and crisp with this racquet no matter whom I am hitting against. I often struggle on my backhand volley to keep my racquet out in front and end up hitting a bit of an inside-out backhand chip volley, which while it is very effective, it is frustrating since it’s caused by late preparation. With this maneuverable Donnay in my hands, suddenly the issue has disappeared.
At the baseline, I found this racquet to be similar to my Pure Drive, but it didn’t offer the exact same crisp feel the Babolat produces. It performs really well with my big, flat groundstrokes and offers a little more control. It seems like I have to work a little harder to really get my shots to penetrate through the court, but I am also excited to play around with strings in this Donnay, and I think that may be the key to make this racquet even more killer. This may be a blessing in disguise, though, because when I miss, it’s usually long and not by much. I have been struggling a bit to gain depth with it off my two-handed backhand, but again, this is more mental, so I can’t blame the racquet.
It serves quite well. At first, I felt like it was lacking some of the juice that I seem to find when serving with my Pure Drive. But after playing with it again today in doubles I was able to up my first serve’s accuracy with extra pop and it took some pressure off my shoulder.
Alas, I am hopeful. It performs well at the baseline and so far my experience with it at the net has been awesome. I’m excited to continue to give this racquet a go and really want to continue using it in some doubles matches to see if it can make a big difference in my net game. If I can gain a bit of confidence on my volleys, I know it will add to my excitement and eagerness to poach and take over the net with no fear (I’m sure my partners will enjoy that too)! I definitely recommend taking this racquet for a spin. It has been years since I have picked up a new frame and loved it with the first strike of a ball and the Formula 100 has quickly become part of my staple of go-to racquets that I bring to the courts right now.
Play with heart,