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Yonex VCORE Pro 97

Yonex VCore Pro 97 review

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We were excited to get our hands on the new Yonex VCore Pro 97 from a brand that has been promising and delivering some of the most technologically advanced rackets in recent times.

 

Background

Yonex began life as a badminton racket manufacturer in Japan in 1946. The brand entered tennis with the T-7000, the first ever aluminium tennis racket.

Now the racket of choice for a number top pros including Naomi Osaka, Hubert Hurkacz and Denis Shapovalov.

Their VCORE series is precisely geared towards speed and spin by blending innovative technologies into one package.

 


 

“I could control the ball really well with this Yonex, solid hitting”

 


 

Technology

Like all Yonex rackets, the boxier frame shape of the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 truly stands out, a technology the brand claims increases the sweet spot by 7%.

The ‘FlexCon System’ with a box-frame composed of FlexForce and Flex Fuse graphite allows for “precise control of the ball.” Flex Force graphite also means the racket can “quickly flex and snap back for greater spin and faster ball acceleration off the string bed.” Finally, a thicker frame design “creates added frame stability and repulsion.”

 

Watch as our experienced testers try out the YONEX VCORE Pro 97

 


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 YONEX VCORE Pro 97 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 YONEX VCORE Pro 97 we have three accomplished testers with very differing game styles.

Our Tennishead play testers for this review are:

Julian – Who describes himself as a hacker, he never misses! Julian has been playing for 45 years and currently uses an older version of the Babolat Pure Drive.

Sue – Is a baseline grinder with ‘volleying aspirations’, has been playing tennis for 30 years and currently uses a Mantis 300 racket.

Austin – Likes to finish the point at the net and has been playing for 15 years, currently uses the Babolat Pure Drive 2020.

 

Yonex VCORE Pro 97Groundstrokes

Austin: “I struggled slightly from the baseline and couldn’t create much easy power with this racket. The control was nice but pace was a bit of an issue. I felt like the sweet spot was quite small, I just really struggled to generate power. Even if the shot was quite a good outcome it didn’t feel very nice off the strings.”

Julian: “I found topspin quite difficult with this Yonex. If you try to get to the ball and rip it with a bit of spin it doesn’t seem to take it. But, if you hit slice or flat it’s fine, you can control it well.”

Sue: “I could control the ball really well with this Yonex. Occasionally the ball really zipped off the strings but not every time. Good control but solid hitting, not zippy hitting.”

 

Volleys and smashes

Julian: “Surprisingly volleys were fine with this racket. I figured out that because of the square head the sweet spot on a Yonex is lower, so once I felt it a little bit more towards the hand then you’ll hit the ball out of the centre of the racket. This Yonex has more power to volley than the Babalot Pure Drive I use. Exactly the same with the smashes. As long as I located the sweet spot properly I gained power on smashes.”

Sue: “The racket felt light in my hands, it felt really good. I could just get the racket to the ball and my volleys were zipping off nicely. Smashes were the same, I could get the Yonex into position really quickly and the smash felt good as I hit through the ball. It was a nice surprise.”

Austin: “Volleys weren’t bad to be fair, easy control like with groundstrokes. Power wasn’t too much of an issue as long as I timed it nicely my volleys were going deep. Smashes were decent, as long as I hit the ball out the middle of the racket it was a really good connection, but otherwise not quite as good. In this way it felt quite similar to the Wilson Blade with a small sweet spot.”

 

Serves

Sue: “Because the Yonex didn’t feel heavy I could get it in position and pull the racket through my motion quickly. So actually the serve felt quite nice.”

Austin: “The flat serve was really nice with this Yonex. When I went for it and hit it out the middle it was a really powerful serve. However, the kick serve was the other end of the spectrum. I really struggled to get the kick serve going. A lot of them were going in the net and even when they did go in they were landing short. So yeah, not what you want from a kick serve.”

Julian: “Flat serve came off really well with this Yonex. It zings off the sweet spot but outside of that it’s slightly deader, I found you lose about 10% of power. Same effect with the spin serve. As long as you get it in the sweet spot it feels good.”

 

Hubert Hurkacz Yonex VCore Pro 97

 

Would this Yonex suit similar styles of player as yourself?

Austin, who likes to attack from the net: “No, I think this Yonex would better suite a baseline grinder. Someone with good timing on the ball, is willing to stay in the rallies and stay at the baseline and really work hard to make their shots from there.”

Julian, who is a hacker and very consistent: “Not really, I think it suits someone who is trying to hit the ball flatter, earlier and wants to come in. It felt like this Yonex is more of a serve and volleyer-type racket.”

Sue, who grinds out points from the baseline: “Definitely, if you’re not too wild. If you want to try and control the ball in court and get to the net then this Yonex is a good racket for that.”

 

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

Sue: “It reminds me of Wimbledon, green and purple. I’m not sure about the Yonex shape, it’s slightly unusual with the flat end. But all in all the look is quite nice.”

Julian: “The colour scheme is cool, I quite like it, it’s nice.”

Austin: “The colours are quite bright which isn’t my personal taste but someone else might like that. I’m also not a fan of the square head, I prefer a more rounded head for my rackets. But again, that’s just personal preference.”

 

Is $249/£240 a fair price for this Yonex?

Julian: “I think it’s a fair price in the market. Originally when I hit with it felt a little bit dead but once you hit from the sweet spot it’s going to be effective.”

Austin: “I think that’s a fair price. If you like a more stiff racket which can offer lots of control then this is the right racket for you.”

Sue: “It’s maybe a bit cheaper than the top of the range rackets. If you want to be able to control the ball well it’s a good price for that.”

 

The specifications

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

 

Yonex VCORE Pro 97 frontYonex VCore Pro 97 

R.R.P. = $249/£245 (Purchase for £194 at AllThingsTennis.co.uk)

Head size = 97 sq in

Weight = 310g

String pattern = 16/19

Length = 27 inches

 

In conclusion then…

Our testers generally agreed that this racket does what it says on the tin, making for easy control of the ball during play.

Our more consistency-minded tester was positive about how the Yonex VCore Pro 97 performed when hitting from the sweet spot, while our attack minded tester admitted that while he was left wanting more power, he agreed the control provided by the racket was good.

Finally, our baseline grinder enjoyed the racket for her style of play in particular, giving the conclusion that as long as you stay focussed on hitting the ball in the sweet spot as much as possible the racket will do its job well.

 

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 YONEX VCORE Pro 97 with an exclusive 5% Tennishead discount.

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Yonex VCORE Pro 97
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