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Video Review

Racquet Specs

  • Head Size: 100 sq. in MP
  • Length: 27 inches
  • Weight: Strung — 11.1 oz Unstrung — 10.6 oz
  • Tension: 52-62 Pounds
  • Balance: 2 Pts Head Heavy
  • Beam Width: 20mm
  • Composition: d3O/Graphite/Innegra
  • Flex: 57
  • Grips Type: Hydrosorb Tour
  • Power Level: Low-Medium
  • String Pattern:
  • 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
    Mains skip: 7T,9T, 7H, 9H
    One Piece
    No Shared Hole 
  • Swing Speed: Medium-Fast
  • Swing Weight: 313

Head Youtek IG Speed MP 300 Racquet Review


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The original Speed family of frames were a leap forward in feel and control with harnessed power. For spin and power hitters, the 16 x 19 was an ideal choice.  What was so amazing is that this frame was so versatile. It works extremely well across the entire spectrum of shots. 
 
I have a mixed doubles partner that uses the Elite version and she refers to it as the White Knight. It’s a really good description. When you are battling on the court this warrior frame is steadfast and noble. It is one of those rackets that you never look down at when missing a shot. It simply won’t let you down. So when the IG series was announced, I was worried that they might just disturb this delicate balance of the old frame. I was eager to play test the frame and find out for myself.  
 
 

The 300 in the name refers to the weight, 300 grams. This racket is designed to increase the ease of generating high racket head speed for intermediate players. For  more advanced and even tour level players that hit massive topspin, this design is outstanding as well to accommodate for massive plow through. While lighter than the original, there has been no loss in stability and in fact a gain overall.

First a little bit about the new technology. Head engineers are always looking for ways to improve their products and the latest addition is a relatively new fiber called Innegra™. Innegra™ is a synthetic fiber with properties making it ideal for the racket industry. It is an improvement over another similar fiber called Spectra. Both owe Mother Nature so major props for their inspiration, Spider Silk.  Spider silk turns out to be an engineering masterpiece of filament that is roughly six times stronger for a given weight ratio compared to one made of steel. Even more impressive is its damage tolerance. Spider silk can withstand punishment that would leave a carbon or steel fiber broken. When teamed up with Carbon fiber in a tennis racket you end up with a longer lasting lighter and more durable frame. And thats not all, Innegra™ damps vibration as well. To round out the mix 3dO is still used to improve the frames dynamic response.

Groundstrokes

This racquet is a baseliner’s dream. Driving groundies on both forehand and backhand are easily produced. The open string pattern allows access to extremely heavy topspin as well. Biting slice shots are also relatively easy to produce. With the spin capability, drop shots that back up to the net are possible.
If you go back to my review of the Speed MP 16 x 19 last year, you would find that I thought this frame was a power baseliner’s dream a great combination of spin and control with just enough pop to keep those heavy topspin strokes deep in the court .
I noticed that I made a few more of the lunging  returns because the upper portion of the head  gives you a little more power than last years model. The old frame would still put the ball where you aimed on this type of mishit , it just didn’t give much authority on the return. I believe this is the Innegra™ along with some tailoring of the graphite plies and orientation at work. You will be hard pressed to find a better frame if you are a baseliner with variety. All courters will likely be very happy with the play of this frame.

Serving

I was able to do A/B comparison of the new and old frame with the exception of the strings.  Head Sonic Pro in the new IG frame and Babolat RPM Blast in the original YouTek Speed MP.  The frames felt very similar but the IG was better damped without any loss in feel. This frame is great for servers that have good spin variety. It still has great accuracy on flat serves but the extra bite of the more open string pattern makes spin serves even more effective. This frame produces player frame accuracy with the pop of a tweener frame.


Volleys

Just the right balance of swing weight and maneuverability. This racket is ideal for 4.5 + doubles action. It will work well for 3.0-3.5 players as long as you don’t take to big a swing at volleys. It has precision and punch. I was able to hit a couple of winning shoestring volleys off an opponents overhead smash. The only frame that I would say is this good at net is the Wilson BLX  Six-One Tour. With the larger sweetspot and bigger head, and better maneuverability  the IG Speed wins overall. One liner if you don’t volley well with this frame, take a lesson on volley technique from a good pro, it is not the racket.

Zen shots

Sinster drop volleys , tweeners and defensive squash shots are a hidden talent that this frame has. Even with the open string pattern this frame is very accurate and consistent over most of the string bed. The spin capability of the frame amplifies your shot making ability.

Novak’s new Head Youtek IG Speed MP 18x20 Tennis Racquet is a refinement to the already great initial version. What is amazing is that none of the feel & playability from the original was lost in the update. Its just a little better in every way.