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Babolat Pure Drive Tour review

Babolat Pure Drive Tour (2021) review

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This French brand are steeped in tennis history but renowned for modern racket design and technology. The updated Babolat Pure Drive Tour is unashamedly targeted at decent players and we couldn’t wait to get the racket onto the testing court.

 

Background

It’s great to see a manufacturer openly communicating when their rackets are specifically designed for a certain level of player, rather than saying “anyone can use this racket”.

And that’s definitely the case with the Pure Drive Tour. Weighing 315 grams this frame should suit a quality player looking for ‘extreme power and stability’ if you are to believe the marketing blurb, so we decided to see if a racket used by Fabio Fognini and Garbine Muguruza could ‘walk the walk’.

 


 

“This racket is a good combination of power and control and even if I hit a slight shank it still felt under control”

 


 

Technology

This racket has been updated in 2021 to incorporate a ‘cutting-edge vibration filtration system integrated in the lay-up composition that provides an unrivalled feel at ball impact and a unique sound on every shot.’

Babolat also (rather boldly) state that the racket features a ‘High Torsional Rigidity (HTR) system. A new lay-up composition in the hoop of the racquet for increased rigidity to produce explosive winners at will.’ That would be something special!

 

Watch as our experienced testers try out the Babolat Pure Drive Tour

 


Buy this racket…

To help you feel confident when purchasing this racket we’ve teamed up with a trusted retail partner, AllThingsTennis.co.uk, to make sure you get the best price combined with free premium tennis balls, next day delivery (UK only) and fantastic advice from tennis equipment experts.

To take advantage of all these benefits simply follow this link to purchase the Babolat Pure Drive Tour (2021) with an exclusive 5% Tennishead discount.


 

The play test

Testing rackets can be down to personal opinion so it’s important to remember that not every racket is right for every player and one person’s discomfort can equally be another’s joy. This is why we try to test rackets with a variety of players and for the Babolat Pure Drive Tour we have three accomplished testers with very differing game styles.

Our Tennishead play testers for this review are:

Julian – Who is an out and out hacker (in other words he never misses!), has been playing for 45 years and currently plays with the Babolat Pure Drive (an older version).

Sue – A player who sees herself as a ‘baseline grinder with volleying aspirations’, has been playing tennis for 30 years and currently uses a Mantis 300 racket.

Austin – Who ‘likes to win the point at the net’, has been playing for 15 years and currently plays with the Babolat Pure Drive 2020.

 

Babolat Pure Drive TourGroundstrokes

Sue: “I found this Pure Drive added a lot of spin to the ball. I was trying hard to work the ball and this racket seemed to create a weighty, spinning groundstroke.”

Austin: “The extra weight in this racket combined with the bigger sweet-spot helped me create even more easy power which was really nice, even when I was on the move out wide or not quite perfecting the shot.”

Julian: “I currently play with an older version of the Pure Drive and this is a better version because it’s more stable. The older version is more flexible whereas the added stability in this new version enables you to hit it firmer.”

 

Volleys and smashes

Sue: “My volleys with this Pure Drive were fine. Solid and clean. Initially on smashes it was an effort to get the racket in the right position but the ball came off the strings quite fast on the hit.”

Austin: “This racket is a good combination of power and control and even if I hit a slight shank it still felt under control which was nice. On my smashes I found the power so easy to create and I was booming it down thanks to the extra weight in the racket.”

Julian: “It compensates the sweet spot allowing you to hit a volley slightly off centre and still get a good shot. On smashes there is a tendency to think you can get away with bad technique with this racket because you can still hit a good smash without the correct technique.”

 

Serves

Sue: “I found it quite an effort to get the ball over the net on serve with this Pure Drive and it took my a bit of time to work it out. Maybe the extra weight forced me to adjust my technique to get the ball over the net.”

Austin: “My shoulder felt a little sore with this racket maybe due to the extra weight. Hitting spin was slightly harder but hitting power on my flat serve was easy.”

Julian: “I can feel a little more power than the earlier versions of this racket when hitting my serves out of the middle. As with most Babolat’s this frame naturally helps you generate slice and topspin on serve.”

 

Fabio Fognini Babolat Pure Drive Tour

 

Would this Babolat suit similar styles of player as yourself?

Sue who is a baseline grinder with volleying aspirations: “Yes it would suit my style because you can easily manoeuvre the ball around the court and it feels quite lively.”

Austin, who likes to win the point at the net: “This racket suits my style of play down to the ground because you can hit big groundstrokes and nice volleys, so it’s perfect.”

Julian is a hacker and never misses: “Yes because I feel this racket lets you control the ball well but still gain power so you can hit it heavy and still keep the ball in.”

 

What are your thoughts on the design and style of this racket?

Sue: “It’s a typical Babolat design which is what you would expect.”

Austin: “I like how Babolat have changed the white to black but it still looks like a classic Pure Drive.”

Julian: “This new version is much more turquoise blue than the old version so it’s quite cool.”

 

Is $229/£210 a fair price for this Babolat?

Sue: “It’s a comparable price to all the top rackets so if it’s the one for you then you’d pay that price.”

Austin: “It’s a fair price which is in line with the other top of the range rackets”

Julian: “I particularly like Babolat so I’d be happy paying that for this racket.”

 

The specifications

For a detailed explanation of each racket measurement criteria below have a read of our guide.

 

Babolat Pure Drive Tour 2021

Babolat Pure Drive Tour

R.R.P. = $229/£210 (Purchase for £171 at AllThingsTennis.co.uk)

Head size = 100 sq in

Weight = 315g

String pattern = 16/19

Length = 27 inches

 

In conclusion then…

Often readers ask if we feed answers to the testers but we can 100% guarantee that’s not the case, otherwise it wouldn’t be a fair review and Tennishead would lose the trust we’ve built up over the years, which is why it was encouraging to hear our testers comments which pretty much matched the claims of the manufacturer for this updated Babolat Pure Drive Tour.

Power and stability came through in bucket loads and it’s obviously a racket that can suit all types of player no matter the style. However it’s important to note that all three of our testers are experienced and advanced competitive players and the racket is designed for their ability.

Anyway, well done Babolat as you’ve created a racket that can definitely ‘walk the walk’, but don’t be under the illusion this is an ‘easy’ racket to play with as it requires strength and expertise to get the best out of it.

 

Buy this racket

To help you feel confident when purchasing this racket we’ve teamed up with a trusted retail partner, AllThingsTennis.co.uk, to make sure you get the best price combined with free premium tennis balls, next day delivery (UK only) and fantastic advice from tennis equipment experts.

To take advantage of all these benefits simply follow this link to purchase the Babolat Pure Drive Tour (2021) with an exclusive 5% Tennishead discount.


Babolat Pure Drive Tour review
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