2011 Favorites: Racquets

It’s the end of the year, and you know what that means? “Best Of” lists, of course! Here is the first in a series of our favorite products of the year. So just who picked them? We’re all familiar faces on the playtest team, and our jobs put us in contact with all of the newest products that go up on our web site.

For starters, let’s see our favorite racquets of 2011.

Slazenger Pro Braided

Slazenger Pro Braided

Chris and Jason both picked this re-issue of Tim Henman’s racquet. It must be good, right?

Chris’: “I was amazed this classic racquet still ranks right up there among the best of them. With its light weight and beam stiffness, it goes up against the likes of the Babolat AeroPro Drive and Pure Drive racquets, yet brings more control from its 95 square inch headsize. It’s also a great serve and volley stick.”

Jason: “It’s an oldie but goodie. I loved the spin, control and maneuverability. And it’s surprisingly powerful for a control-oriented racquet.”

Yonex VCORE 100 S

Yonex VCORE 100 S

This was Brittany’s pick. Once she joined the playtest team, she did what all of us did: went on a search for a new racquet. She went through several before deciding this one fit her game the best.

Brittany: “I liked it so much that I switched to it! I love the combination of power and spin I receive from it. It feels effortless to swing through the ball and hit a deep aggressive shot whether I am on the offense or defense. I love my forehand, backhand, volley, serves and returns. I could keep writing about this racquet for pages and pages!”

Tecnifibre Rebound Pro

Tecnifibre Rebound Pro

This new offering from Tecnifibre got Tiffani’s vote. It’s eye-catching with its pink and white cosmetics, but the racquet is more than just a looker.

Tiffani: “I made the official switch. I like that it is whippy at 11 ounces strung, and it also has moderate power and great control coming from the 95 square inch headsize. The comfort, consistent response and clean feel were attributes that helped push me to make the decision to switch. I was looking for more control while maintaining the comfort and fast swing I got from my Yonex RDS 003, and the Rebound Pro delivers.”

Prince EXO3 Tour 100 16×18 and Dunlop Biomimetic 400 Tour

Jason would love that Spencer chose two racquets. As quoted from Jason’s “Meet The Playtesters” interview, “Sure, that might seem like a lot of racquets, but wait ’til you see Spencer’s list.” Spencer, perhaps unfairly, has the reputation in the office as the guy who is going to switch racquets every time he playtests.

Dunlop Biomimetic 400 Tour

Spencer on the 400 Tour: In the video review, he praised the racquet in stock form. It helped him when on the run and helped him gain depth, allowing him to be more aggressive in his game.

Prince EXO3 Tour 100 16x18

Spencer on the EXO3 Tour 100 16×18: This is his current racquet of choice, and in the review he praised the arm friendly aspects as well as his ability to hit spin. While he praised the 400 Tour for its power, he noted the great control he found from the EXO3 Tour 100.

Please share with us your favorite racquets of 2011. We’d love to hear which models and why!

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Check in Monday for our picks for shoes of 2011, and be sure to be on the lookout for Jason’s third annual T-Dubbys highlighting his picks for the best played points of the year. There were probably enough in the US Open final between Rafa and Djokovic to fill any Top 10 list if you ask me.

Happy hitting,
Tiffani, TW