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Friday, August 02, 2013 Racquet Review of the Week - Babolat Pure Drive Plus

babolat pure drive plus

Italian player Sara Errani hovered around No. 45 in the world from 2008 through 2011. Then, at the beginning of 2012, Errani paid $30,000 to get out of her racquet contract so she could switch to the Babolat Pure Drive Plus. Just over six months later, she had reached her first Grand Slam final and entered the top 10. Clearly I needed to give this racquet a try.

From the Baseline

I’m around the same height as Errani (read: short), so I found myself really enjoying the Pure Drive Plus’s extra half-inch in length. As a lifelong user of a 27-inch frame, I wondered how a longer racquet would affect my game. Not only was it easy to get used to, but I also immediately saw the benefits. I loved having a little extra reach on wide balls! Of course, the racquet also provided me with the pop and spin-creating potential I’ve come to expect with Babolat frames. At over 11 oz. strung, it was heavy enough to help me accelerate up the back of the ball.

sara errani babolat pure drive plus

sara errani babolat pure drive plus

Serves and Volleys

I seemed to lose a bit of maneuverability at net with the Pure Drive Plus. The extra length is great on reach volleys, but I felt it also slowed my reaction times. That said, when I had time to set up, my volleys felt solid. I also loved how this racquet felt on overheads. I got great pop, and more control than I was expecting.

After hitting a few overheads with the Pure Drive Plus, I was really looking forward to testing out my serve. I loved the extra reach and the fact that I was easily able to create racquet head speed. I remember having issues with serve control when I tried the first iteration of the Pure Drive several years ago, but perhaps the addition of new technologies like Graphite Tungsten (GT) have helped to stabilize the frame.

Conclusion

After giving the Pure Drive Plus a thorough test run, I can see why Sara Errani made the switch. It’s a sturdy frame with loads of pop and considerable feel. Every once in a while, you’ll get balls that seem to fly out for no reason, but it’s worth the marginal amount of unpredictability to gain the considerable benefits this racquet offers. It’s definitely worth a try!

babolat pure drive plus


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