Prince TeXtreme Warrior 100L Tennis Racquet Review
Players looking for the ultimate in lightweight power frames will want to thank Prince when they get their hands on the new Prince Textreme Warrior 100L. The lightest model of the new Warrior series, the 100L takes full advantage of the incorporation of Textreme into the construction. This material, originally designed for aerospace use, creates additional power and stability without sacrificing maneuverability and feel. With the promise of power, spin and speed on tap; I took the court with the Warrior 100L recently to see how it would measure up.
Speed was the key for groundstrokes with the Warrior 100L. The light 9.5oz strung weight made this one incredibly easy to whip through contact for maximum pace and spin. I was able to create ample racquet head speed from both sides. While pace was high, the light weight lacked the heaviness of shot that the other models possess. This should not cause any issues for juniors and developing adults who need the reduced weight to generate the speed necessary for pace and spin. I found this version to have a bit less accuracy than the heavier frames in the Warrior line. I still kept the ball inside the lines with ease, I just choose a bit less aggressive targets. There was plenty of spin on tap thanks to the fast feel and 16x18 string pattern. I felt the 100L had the highest natural launch angle of any of the Warrior series so there was plenty of margin on my shots. The reduced mass made it a bit more challenging to flatten out short balls but I got dialed in after a bit of an adjustment period. The stability was surprisingly solid for a sub 10oz frame. This was largely due to the head heavy balance putting more mass in the head to compensate for the light static weight.
Volleys & serves
At the net the easy maneuverability was the biggest asset for the Warrior 100L. The low weight made it easy to snap the racquet into position during volley exchanges. When I attacked volleys, the power of the frame made quick work of the ball. On shots I played a bit more casually, the ball floated a bit too much and sat up for opponents to take advantage of. As with all of the Textreme racquets, the Warrior 100L had plenty of feel on drop volleys. I was able to surprise opponents by mixing in delicate volleys. At beginner and intermediate levels the head heavy balance should provide adequate stability but the racquet was still susceptible to wobbling when faced with big hitters.
On serve, the Warrior 100L exhibited solid power for its weight class. It was so fast through contact that I took me awhile to get dialed in on my first serve. Once I found my range, the racquet was capable of solid pace on flat serves, even if it didn’t quite have the same drive through the court of other models. Kick serves were my most effective weapon. The open pattern and easy racquet head speed produced good action on my serve and I was able to keep the ball moving away from my opponents on a consistent basis. Directional control on serve was average for me. I placed the ball in the general spot I wanted but it was a bit tougher to hit precise targets than with the other versions of the Warrior.
Feel was an unmistakable strength of the Warrior 100L, just like every other Textreme frame I have used. The racquet had a plush but solid feel on contact. Even with the dampened response, I never lost connection to how the ball was exiting the string bed. The heightened feel provided tremendous confidence to execute touch shots from anywhere on court. Comfort was also a highlight of the racquet. The soft feel should please players with sensitive arms and be conducive to lots of string and tension combinations.
Players who want to experience the power and feel of the Textreme Warrior series but need a lightweight option that still packs a punch have a winner in Prince’s new offering. The racquet creates a strong combination of pace, spin and speed from all areas of the court. For beginners and intermediates looking for the best feeling lightweight frame, the Prince Textreme Warrior 100L definitely deserves strong consideration.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.