The Tennis Warehouse playtesters are choosing their favorite gear of 2015 after a year of reviews. Today they weigh in on their favorite racquets of the year.
Considering the popularity of the EZONE Ai models, it comes as no surprise that Yonex scored well with the EZONE DR 98 and EZONE DR 100. Three playtesters chose an EZONE DR model as their favorite of 2015.
Andy on the Yonex EZONE DR 98: “Yonex took a racquet that was already my favorite on the market and made it EVEN BETTER!”
Brittany on the EZONE DR 100: “The update to my racquet of choice was excellently executed. Great combination of power and control, and I loved the spin potential and feel!”
Jason couldn’t pick just one, also choosing a Wilson Ultra model: “Yonex Ezone DR 100 or Wilson Ultra 100. The Yonex DR version offers a bit more stability than the Ai model, which is already my racquet of choice. It feels like my weighted up version without the additional weight added. And the Wilson Ultra 100 was a real surprise to me. It felt great from the get-go. Maneuverable, plenty of pop, spin friendly. What’s not to like?”
A longtime favorite, Babolat’s Aero line received an update this year, and the Pure Aero Tour in particular caught attention from our review squad.
Both Mark and Chris chose the Babolat Pure Aero Tour. Chris: “Rock solid stability, great power and exceptional spin. What’s not to like!? Every time I pick up this heavier version of the Pure Aero it feels like a natural fit for my game.”
Not to be ignored, the Pure Drive line also garnered a vote for its powerful response. Troy on his choice, the Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus: “This racquet packs a ton of power, especially on serves! I love the extended length handle for my two-handed backhand and added range on my returns. The added mass in this Tour version satisfies my craving for plowthrough in a racquet. I really enjoy how this 2015 update, with the FSI string pattern, amped up the control to tame this beast of a racquet!”
Prince’s Textreme line also drew plenty of praise from the TW playtesters. Two players switched to the Textreme Tour 95 this year.
Sebastian: “My current racquet of choice is the Prince Textreme Tour 95 because of its solid and control-oriented feel. I also appreciate the overall comfort I get out of this Prince racquet. To maximize the performance of my racquet of choice, I would string it with a hybrid setup. To get the best possible blend of power, spin and feel, I would use Babolat RPM Blast 17 gauge in the mains and Babolat VS 16 gauge in the crosses.”
Karly: “I can’t say enough good things about the Prince Textreme Tour 95 — it’s a traditional playing racquet with extreme amounts of control, comfort, stability and maneuverability.”
Tiffani was also a fan of the Textreme Tour racquets, making the Textreme Tour 100P her pick: “I synced so quickly with this racquet. The racquet is comfortable on my arm, and the balance of power and control is just the right mix for my game. I just feel more confident during points when I’m playing with this racquet.”
Jason chose the Wilson Ultra 100 as one of his favorites, but other Wilson racquet families got some love, too.
Marco switched to the Wilson Blade 98 16×19 this year: “The blend of comfort, control, power, and precision is spot on for me in this racquet and it fits my game well.”
Although Michelle uses the RF97 Autograph as her go-to, she found a spin frame she liked. Michelle on the Wilson Pro Staff 97S: “This is the first Spin Effect racquet I really enjoyed hitting with as the spec falls into that of a ‘player’s frame’ and the string pattern doesn’t create any erratic launches off the stringbed but rather generates spin right when you need it. With a bit of customization, this was one of my guilty pleasure racquets of the year!”
With a new year comes new playtesters! If you haven’t noticed on some of our more recent racquet and shoe reviews, Sebastian Hafner has joined our playtesting team in January 2015. He played college tennis at Fresno State and then transferred to Rollins College in Florida. Sebastian is currently in our Web Editing department helping create content for Tennis Warehouse and Tennis Warehouse Europe. Sebastian grew up and played junior tennis in Germany.
October has begun! And while we are all enjoying pumpkin flavored everything, another great thing that happens this month is the explosion of pink things and Breast Cancer Awareness. An annual campaign starts every year on October 1 to not only help create awareness of this disease, but also work on finding cures and raising money to do so.
In a sport like tennis that is dominated by strong women at every level, this cause hits home for tennis players all over the world. There is a good chance you know someone who has fought a battle or had a scare with breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Behind skin cancer, it effects the highest number of women. However, since 1989, the death rates from breast cancer have been declining as a result of better treatment and earlier detection through screening and increased awareness. Right now, according to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.