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Wilson Pro Staff V14 (2023) review

Tennishead’s guide to the best 6 tennis rackets of 2023 for most spin through to best value


Ross Batten is the owner of AllThingsTennis.co.uk, an online tennis business which also has shops in a number of tennis clubs, including Windsor and Winchester. We asked him to recommend six rackets to suit all types of player and all requirements

 

**Best for spin**

Yonex VCore 98 2023

YONEX VCORE 98 (2023)

YONEX are growing rapidly in terms of popularity amongst both professional and club players. This is partly because some top players, including Nick Kyrgios and Elena Rybakina, have made notable breakthroughs using a YONEX. However, it is also because this Japanese brand has produced some high-quality frames in recent years that suit the modern spin-focused style of play.

ROSS BATTEN’S VERDICT

“We’ve thoroughly tested this new YONEX VCORE 98 frame and the swing speed feels fast, with a superb ability to create topspin. The new technology features a wider frame at the two o’clock and 10 o’clock position, which should increase the ball contact area, therefore producing a higher launch angle.
“A new throat design utilising T-shaped and H-shaped cross-sections aims to help stabilise the racket and reduce power loss. Silicone oil has been used in the grommets to allow the frame to quickly flex and snap back into its original position, helping generate more spin.

“The new YONEX VCORE 98 still has the unique ‘square-shaped’ isometric head which YONEX have always stated creates a seven per cent larger sweet spot compared to normal ‘round-shaped’ frames. The Japanese attention to detail is prominent as always in this racket. We even weighed all the frames in our shop and they came out exactly the same.”

  • RRP £220/$270
  • Head size 98 sq in
  • Unstrung weight 305g
  • String pattern (cross x mains) 16 x 19
  • Length 27 in

Buy the YONEX VCore 98 with a 5% discount and premium string upgrade when using coupon code TENNISHEAD5 at the online checkout

 

 


 

**Best for feel**

Solinco Whiteout 305

SOLINCO WHITEOUT 305

You may not have heard of this new American firm but they have forged a strong reputation for the quality of their strings and have now come to market with two quality rackets.

ROSS BATTEN’S VERDICT

“Solinco’s WHITEOUT 305 offers an impressive combination of control and feel. With its traditional 21.7mm straight beam and 98 square-inch head, this racket provides excellent ball feedback and precision for experienced players. Not to mention, the sleek white design is sure to turn some heads on the court. With integrated technologies to give you a smoother game, the WHITEOUT 305 is great for experienced players.”

  • RRP £165/$205
  • Head size 98 sq in
  • Unstrung weight (+/-5g) 305g
  • String pattern 16 x 19
  • Length 27 in

Buy the Solinco Whiteout 305 with a 5% discount and premium string upgrade when using coupon code TENNISHEAD5 at the online checkout

 

 


 

**Best for power**Babolat Pure Aero 2023

BABOLAT PURE AERO 2023

This game changer of a frame has been around for a while now and is still delivering what most spin-heavy baseliners tend to want: power.

ROSS BATTEN’S VERDICT

“The Babolat Pure Aero (2023) is a great weapon on the court. It suits advanced players who are looking for a powerful racket that can produce heaps of spin without compromising on stability. The Pure Aero is known to be one of the best rackets for topspin, partly due to the aerodynamic design of the frame and throat, which allows us to whip the racket through the air quickly and generate speed, as well as a spin-friendly balance.

“When we tested this racket we were really impressed by the stability that the frame gave us. This is something that can be difficult to achieve with a spin-friendly racket, as there is sometimes a compromise that needs to be made between spin and stability. By managing to combine these two desirable features, Babolat has created a racket that really stands out from its competitors.

“One of our testers who had been using the Pure Aeros for years found that one of the big differences between the Babolat Pure Aero (2023) and its predecessors was the comfort of the new model. Babolat rackets are known to be quite stiff and, as a result, very powerful. Babolat has managed to keep the power and stiffness while implementing improved shock absorption technologies at the same time, thereby improving the comfortability.

“Our testers noted that the added speed and spin really improved their serves and volleys, making this a great racket for singles and doubles players alike.”

  • RRP £165/$205
  • Head size 100 sq in
  • Unstrung weight (+/-5g) 300g
  • String pattern 16 x 19
  • Length 27 in

Buy the Babolat Pure Aero 2023 with a 5% discount and premium string upgrade when using coupon code TENNISHEAD5 at the online checkout

 

 


 

**Best for an all-court player**

HEAD RADICAL MP 2023

HEAD RADICAL MP 2023

HEAD have invested heavily in technology in recent years, including the use of their ground-breaking Auxetic material. This latest version of the Radical, endorsed by Andy Murray, should suit all styles of play.

ROSS BATTEN’S VERDICT

“This racket suits intermediate and advanced players who are looking for a versatile racket that provides great stability and an incredible feel.

“We were lucky enough to try the HEAD Radical range before its release. We loved how we were able to switch up our game with the Radical MP. With its weight of 300g, we found it to be heavy enough to put some weight behind the ball while providing great stability. Compared to the heavier version, the HEAD Radical MP was slightly easier to manoeuvre. The HEAD Radical MP (2023) was the most popular of all the rackets in this range as it appealed to a wide range of players with different abilities.

“We found it impressive on groundstrokes, volleys and serves. We were able to generate good topspin and got a good amount of control as well. Our experienced doubles players really enjoyed how varied this racket is. This is commonly referred to as ‘the people’s racket’ and we can see why. We really enjoy this new design, as it does give off that traditional, legendary Radical look. It is also slightly more discreet than its predecessor and we think it will speak to a larger group of players.”

  • RRP £170/$210
  • Head size 98 sq in
  • Unstrung weight (+/-5g) 300g
  • String pattern 16 x 19
  • Length 27 in

Buy the HEAD Radical MP 2023 with a 5% discount and premium string upgrade when using coupon code TENNISHEAD5 at the online checkout

 

 


 

**Best for value**

Head Extreme Tour 2022

HEAD EXTREME TOUR

Price is important, which is why our final choice is an excellent racket that will not break your wallet.

ROSS BATTEN’S VERDICT:

“The ultimate spin-machine for tournament players, the Extreme TOUR has been upgraded with state-of-the-art Auxetic technology, helping you to spin big and create chaos.

“Endorsed by Matteo Berrettini and featuring a bold new design, this racket is upgraded with Auxetic technology for a crisp impact feel and is ideal for advanced players looking for ultimate spin and power. This TOUR model is slightly lighter than the PRO version and has a thinner beam for greater control. The whole Extreme range also benefits from specially designed spin grommets, allowing for the strings to move more upon impact with the ball, improving the grip of the ball. This, along with the open 16 x 19 string pattern, makes for a topspin-friendly racket.”

  • RRP £139/$170
  • Head size 98 sq in
  • Unstrung weight (+/-5g) 305g
  • String pattern 16 x 19
  • Length 27 in

Buy the HEAD Extreme Tour with a 5% discount and premium string upgrade when using coupon code TENNISHEAD5 at the online checkout

 

 


 

**Best for control**

Wilson Pro Staff V14 (2023) review

WILSON PRO STAFF 97

This was the weapon of choice for Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, among others. The 14th version of this racket is unashamedly designed for experienced players who do not need much help with power but want the ability to be able to place the ball on precise spots on the court.

ROSS BATTEN’S VERDICT

“The Wilson Pro Staff series has long been a legendary racket. The V14 builds on that legendary status with an amazing new look and updated technologies. Here at ATT we love the new feel. With the heaviest in the line now being 315 grams, we didn’t notice any lack of stability, but enjoyed more control due to the string mapping in this model, and increased comfort and feel thanks to the new ‘Paradigm Bending’ technology.”

  • RRP £252/$310
  • Head size 97 sq in
  • Unstrung weight (+/-5g) 315g
  • String pattern 16 x 19
  • Material graphite

Buy the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V14 (2023) with a 5% discount and premium string upgrade when using coupon code TENNISHEAD5 at the online checkout

 

 

TOP BUYING TIPS
Ross Batten says that no one should buy a racket without testing it out first. That is something he recommends to everyone who comes to his shop. The other key point he makes is that strings make a lot of difference, so he suggests you should always buy a racket frame without strings and then have the new frame strung to your favoured tension with your usual strings.

 

TO BUY ANY OF THESE RACKETS
Go to AllThingsTennnis.co.uk Tennishead readers can claim a five per cent discount by entering the discount code TENNISHEAD5

 

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