Though he came up short in the Roland Garros final to the undisputed Claytest of all time, Dominic Thiem has emerged as a clear threat to win major titles. He hits the ball consistently huge off both wings, and shows subtle finesse using drop shots and creating angles.
Throughout the event, Thiem was crushing tennis balls with the unreleased 3rd Generation Pure Strike 18×20 Tennis Racquet. It was marketing gold for Babolat, as Thiem blasted his way to his best result of the season.
This is the third generation of the Babolat Pure Strike racquet family, and the racquet brand aims to improve on the popular line with some technological tweaks, and a vibrant new design.
Babolat keeps the racquet lineup the same for the most part. The Pure Strike 100, Team, 16×19, and 18×20 all return, and a new, heavier Tour model rejoins the group.
Previous versions of the Pure Strike incorporated Hybrid Frame Technology, a blend of square and elliptical beam shapes to give users a powerful, but precise feel at contact. With the 3rd Gen Strikes, the tech gets an update and name change to Control Frame Technology.
Additionally, the new Strike series gets a new version of the Pure Feel technology used in the Pure Aero and Pure Drive series frames. C2 Pure Feel infuses the head with a vibration filtration system powered by SMAC for a controlled and comfortable response. With the addition of C2 Pure Feel, players can expect the most comfortable Strike frames to date. The Strikes’ new design is just as eye-catching as the Project One 7 (2016 Pure Strike), but with a much bolder look. You will see the term “Sharp Control” and a cross-hair (think Call of Duty) theme with the bright mark at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions.
Now a bit more about the individual frames in the 3rd Gen Strike Family:
Pure Strike Tour
The newest entry in the silo is the Pure Strike Tour. Babolat’s stability-enhanced Strike Tour is a perfect choice for a physical beast that times the ball very well, and loves to create their own pace.
Though the weight is a substantial 11.9 ounces, Babolat kept a more open 16×19 string pattern so players can create plenty of spins and angles. The Tour will not get pushed around easily, and will reward those who hit through their shots with penetrating depth. The ninety-eight square inch head size keeps the Tour mobile and nimble enough for serve and volleyers looking to end points quickly.
Pure Strike 18×20
Next in the series is Thiem’s choice, the 3rd Gen Pure Strike 18×20. The frame offers increased directional control with the more dense string pattern, but in a fairly accessible 11.4 ounce weight. Throw in the head light balance and 98 square inch head, and you get an excellent platform racquet for players to tweak to their liking. With the 18×20, players can experience a precision racquet that maintains solid mobility in contrast to the nearly 12 ounce Strike Tour.
Pure Strike 16×19
The Strike 16×19 offers the same weight, head size, and balance as the 18×20, but with a more powerful and spin-friendly 16×19 string pattern. The 16×19 will be a bit more explosive than Thiem’s version because of the wider string spacing.
Deciding between the 18×20 and 16×19 should come down to how often you break strings. If you’re breaking strings every few hours, go with the 18×20. If breaking strings is not a problem, grab the 16×19 for a more powerful and spin-friendly feel.
Pure Strike 100
The next frame in the Strike series opens the idea of Sharp Control to players needing a larger headed racquet with slightly more mobility. The Pure Strike 100 is just over 11 ounces strung, and maintains the same string pattern as the 98 square inch version. However, since the hoop is slightly larger, there is more space between the strings for greater spin and power. While still a sturdy frame, the Strike 100 will not have the same stability as the heavier versions. For a player who loves the feel of the Pure Strike, but needs more assistance in the power and forgiveness departments, the Strike 100 is a must demo.
Pure Strike Team
The easiest racquet in the Strike family to play is the Pure Strike Team. At only 10.7 ounces strung, the Team gets through the air quickly, and is very fast feeling frame. The Strike Team represents a lighter version of the Strike 100, and is best suited to a player beginning to develop a longer stroke path, and more racquet head speed. Good candidates for the Pure Strike Team would be a junior player looking for their first 27 inch racquet, or a 3.5-4.0 league player that wants a more precise frame that doesn’t skimp on power and spin.
Pure Strike Bags and Shoes
The 3rd Gen Pure Strikes launch will also feature some notable changes to Babolat’s bag lineup. They have a completely redesigned 6 pack bag, which takes the shape of a duffel, and a new 12R bag for tournament players that has a cool transparent window for one of the compartments.
Babolat’s shoes are also getting Pure Struck (ha) with the Pure Strike colorway of the Jet Mach II. All the new Strike Products ship August 22 from Tennis Express!
For More on Racquets