Yonex Ezone DR 100 Lite Tennis Racquet Review
Fans of Yonex’s previous Ezone AI series should find no disappointment in its replacement, the Yonex Ezone DR. The DR 100 Lite utilizes the same technology as its heavier 100 inch sibling in an easy to swing setup. Nanometric DR Carbon construction provides a boost in ball speed. The frame uses an Oval Pressed Shaft for greater flexibility, yielding more spin and control. Comfort is addressed by the inclusion of Quake Shut Gel for removing unwanted vibration. Players who want the capabilities of an advanced frame without losing maneuverability should consider the DR 100 Lite. Here’s a breakdown of how this model stacks up on court.
Speed is the name of the game with groundstrokes and the DR 100 Lite. The 10.7oz strung weight and head light balance made it easy to generate racquet head speed for a high level of pace. I was able to hit powerful strokes on both the forehand and backhand wing. The reduction in weight did seem to make my shots a little less penetrating. The tapered beam and flexibility in the shaft did a good job reigning in the power level, ensuring I could take full cuts at the ball with confidence. The trademark Isometric head produced a sizeable sweet spot and I found the power level to be pretty uniform, especially at the top of the hoop. The added ball pocketing from the Oval Pressed Shaft also provided excellent directional control, allowing me to open up the court. Spin production was impressive, with the combination of quick acceleration and open 16x19 pattern making it easy to put air under the ball. At times, I struggled a bit to flatten the ball out with authority and found myself playing with a bit too much loop. I found stability to be surprising good for its weight class and I was able to play effective defense and keep myself in points when I was stretched out.
Volleys & serves
The quickness of the DR 100 Lite shines through at the net. It is highly maneuverable, making it easy to snap off reaction volleys and finish balls aggressively. I found myself needing to be aggressive as more passive volleys floated a little more without the extra weight behind them. It is definitely a frame that rewards offense at the net. While a bit stiff feeling compared to the DR 98, there was still enough feel for executing delicate volleys and surprising opponents with drop volleys.
It took me a bit of time to establish a groove serving with the DR 100 Lite. The easy racquet head speed made adding pace easy but I struggled to control my flat serves. A less powerful string would be desirable in order to tame the power of the frame. Accuracy was solid as expected and I used a mix of wide and down the middle serves to keep opponents off balance. Kick and slice serves were easy to use with the fast feel and open pattern yielding high bouncing kick and skidding slices when I wanted to serve out wide.
The stiffness of the DR 100 Lite was a bit softer than the 100 while feeling slightly firmer than the DR 98. It offered a pleasantly crisp feel on contact with only a slight increase feedback on off center shots. The way the throat flexes gives this entire model line excellent feedback on contact and the confidence to execute a wide variety of shots from anywhere on court. The comfort level was on par with the other models. The Quake Shut Gel does a very effective job tuning out harsher vibrations, making this an arm friendly option for players.
The Yonex Ezone DR 100 Lite shares a lot of the capabilities of its weightier brother. It blends controlled power, spin and feel into a frame that is incredibly easy to swing. Players after a light weight performance frame and those who want a racquet with room to customize will find the DR 100 Lite to be an exceptional all court performer that adapts to their style of play with ease.
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.