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Video Review

Racquet Specs

  • Head Size: 100 sq. in MP
  • Length: 27 inches
  • Weight: Strung — 11.1oz Unstrung — 10.6 oz
  • Tension: 55-62 Pounds
  • Balance: 7 Pts Head Light
  • Beam Width:23-26-22 mm
  • Composition: Graphite/Tungsten
  • Flex: 72
  • Grips Type: Syntec
  • Grips Size:
  • Power Level: Low-Medium
  • String Pattern:
  • 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
    Mains skip: 8T, 8H
    Two Piece
    No Shared Holes
  • Swing Speed: Fast
  • Swing Weight: 327

Babolat Aeropro Drive GT Racquet Review


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100 Sq Inches 16 x 19 string pattern, 11.1 ounces (strung)
 
Wow! you know what happens when you braid tungsten fibers into a graphite weave? Magic at least when it is used a tennis racket. This stiffer version of the topspin friendly Aero Pro Drive is a significant step forward for this frame. Unlike the small difference of the cortex anti-vibration band addition in the previous update, this update makes a big difference in the playing characteristics. The entire frame is stiffer but it is especially more stiff in the upper head. This means a little more power but a big gain in precision and feel without the loss of the other great characteristics of the racket. It is also a great help when you are at a full stretch hitting defensive shots.
 
 
The open string pattern bites the ball with ferocity. This makes it obvious why Rafa, Caroline Wozniacki, Francesca Schiavone chose this as their frame. But the all court capability of this frame is why someone like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga would choose it over the Pure Drive. Over time this frame has evolved much like the player most often associated with it, Rafael Nadal.
 
Spin, Spin, Spin and more Spin. I am a hard hitting heavy topspin player so I am biased but I don’t think I have hit with another racket that is more spin friendly. There are a few that are close (The Head Youtek Speed Pro MP 16/19 comes to mind) but none that are more so that I have play tested. This is especially true of the player frames. What is better versus the earlier versions of the frame is that it is more linear in response the older frame was a little tricky to use on touch shots. It was a little like the opposite of what 3dO provides head frames. It seem that the racket generated a little to much pop on touch shots. Now things are different, it excels at everything off of the ground. The sweetspot is very large and it responds well to off center hits.
 
The moderate weight if the racket and its aerodynamic shape make it easy to generate racket head speed at will. It may take a few minutes to adjust to how fast this racket cuts thru the air if you are a big hitter. I was enjoying pinning my hitting partner well behind the baseline with balls hitting near the baseline and jumping up well over six feet after bouncing. I was also able to hit biting slice backhands quite well. That was an improvement over the earlier frame, which hit defensive slice backhands well, but could be tricky hitting hard slice backhands. The only thing that may bother users of thin beam frames is that when you mis-hit, the wide frame will not be as forgiving. You can pretty well guarantee that a mishit will not land in the court. But hey, we aren’t supposed to be using the graphite as a hitting surface right :)

Groundstroke rating A+
 
With the spin racket speed and feel of this frame it is little wonder it serves very well. It has excellent spin good power and accuracy. If you have been using a heavy player frame before you may need a few minutes to get you timing down. Once you adjust I think you will like the feel of the frame. What stood out to me is that 3/4 pace serves require very little effort to hit. In a long grueling duel on a clay court that can be a godsend. You can hit all the spots in the box if you have the serving skill, but even if you do not have great technique you will have adequate serves with this frame.
 
This racket is a slice and kick servers dream, the spin and moderate power are perfectly suited to this. Flat serves can really be effective as well. I felt that I gained another 5 mph over the 90 sq inch player frames.
 
This racquet’s stiffness and small sweetspot did not appeal to me, as I like a more flexible racquet, but that’s just my opinion. If you enjoy playing the net and blasting serves past your opponent, then the (K)Surge may be what you’re looking for. Because its sweetspot is not particularly large, I would recommend this racquet to players of the 3.5 level and up

Rating  A.
 
This is where I feel the stiffness and feel changes really shined on this frame. I love volleying with it. It provides adequate touch and spin for consistent drop volleys on hard and clay courts. Good pop to punch away high volleys. The light weight makes it very maneuverable, great for rapid fire exchanges. A real dream at the net compared to its predecessor. Half-volley pickups are easily controlled and guided deep when necessary. There are a few rackets that may volley a little better but this is a very good frame at the net.

Volley Rating A-