Yonex V Core Tour F 97 Light Tennis Racquet Review
The market for tennis racquets is a game of mass appeal. Take a solid racquet and offer it in several different variations to appeal to the widest audience. Yonex does this to great effect with the introduction of the V Core Tour F 97 Light. It packages the solid construction and performance of its heavier siblings in a lighter, easier to use setup. The Tour F adds new Aero Fin Technology at the top to increase swing speed and adds an additional cross string to the pattern for improved control. Here’s a look at how it performs on the court.
The racquet is very quick off the ground. Its reduced weight of 290g (unstrung) makes it incredibly easy to generate a high level of racquet head speed. This translates to solid pace off both sides but the shots lack the heavy impact of the versions with more weight to them. The Isometric head provides a sizeable sweet spot and makes it play with the forgiveness of a larger head. The frame’s whippy nature is tempered by its impressive control. The 16x21 pattern offers a high level of control and directional accuracy and I had no trouble moving the ball to all areas of the court. Spin production is average and the frame is a bit better suited to flattening balls out with authority. The racquet is a bit unstable against bigger hitters but there is plenty of room to customize if so desired.
Volleys & serves
When serving with the Tour F 97 Light, I found variety to be my biggest advantage. The reduced weight just did not produce enough pace of weight behind my flat serve for me to dominate with it. However, its’ excellent acceleration through the top of my motion made it easy to apply a wide variety of spins and speeds to the ball. Combine this with the racquet’s exceptional accuracy and players are able to move the ball around and keep their opponent guessing.
Like the rest of the line, the Tour F 97 Light is a nimble weapon at the net. It has lightening quick positioning and I was able to get the best of most rapid fire exchanges. The reduced weight makes put away volleys require a bit of extra effort but it still drives through the ball nicely. I also found a bit less stability when dealing with hard hit shots. Feel is excellent, making touch and drop volleys a breeze to pull off.
The racquet has a crisp, clean feel. It offers a responsive string bed that performs well in all court play. Feedback on contact is high without being overly harsh. I always had confidence that I knew what the ball was going to do as it exited the string bed. I did not find any hot spots around the frame. Comfort was in line with other frames with stiffness in the mid 60s. It plays firmly and was a little more jarring outside the sweet spot. This is minimized by the fact that the size of the sweet spot is pretty generous, so any negative impact on comfort is negligible.
Intermediate players who want a fast all court frame that offers exceptional control should enjoy the Yonex V Core Tour F 97 Light. More advanced players will struggle with stability without adding weight. The combination of control, high racquet head speed and excellent feel allows the frame to keep players in the point until they can jump on an opportunity to ratchet up the aggression. Yonex has an impressive offering that provides many “player” frame attributes in an easy to swing, user friendly package.
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.