One of the more versatile tweener frames on the market gets updated for 2020, the Yonex Ezone 98. It gets a slew of enhancements to help players of all levels and push this racquet into the 21st century. This sixth generation Ezone has a new strong, yet elastic material in the throat called M40X which improves the racquet’s flex and maintains tour level stability. Comfort is upgraded thanks to the addition of Vibration Dampening Mesh (VDM) in the racquet handle which filters out unwanted vibrations. Yonex carries over their signature Isometric head shape and Liner Tech string technologies for increased power, comfort and sweet spot. Fans that were true loyalist to the Ezone DR 98 model may find this updated version even better, but let’s see how they compare.
Right from the start I could tell I was going to enjoy this upgraded Ezone 98. Although the specs are still similar to previous versions, I could feel a true difference in control and flex when I was hitting and it made me fall in love. The flex is a little firmer than before which gave me extra help when I needed it most. There is a great balance of power and control which allowed me to comfortably blast my shots deep into the corners and take offense right away. Compared to its predecessor, I felt there was more directional accuracy when I wanted to go for aggressive targets and put away balls. Racquet head speed felt even easier to generate and left me in winning positions on court.
Volleys and Serves
I was very surprised by my net play with the new Ezone 98. With the last version of the Ezone’s, I didn’t have much success coming to net and hitting comfortable volleys. However, this updated version I found a completely different result and it reminded me of the DR version. It has great stability and flex on contact thanks to the added M40X technology in the throat. Power was easy to generate thanks to the slightly firmer flex, and it doesn’t lose out on touch or feel. The frame was never sluggish in quick exchange volleys and I always felt confident getting the upper hand on my opponent. No matter the pace of the ball hit directly at me, I felt at ease hitting volleys with this frame.
Serves felt very effortless with this frame and allowed me to commanded the court. The solid weight and easy racquet head acceleration gave me plenty of pop and penetrating through the court on my first serves. Slice and kick serves were also painless to generate thanks to the fairly open 16 x 19 string pattern. It still has a more controlled feel on serve which allowed me to pick my spots and help keep returners off balance. Those wanting a little more free serving power may want to hit with the Ezone 100.
Similar to the VCore Pro line, this racquet has improved in feel and comfort. The new VDM mesh in the handle did exactly what it was advertised to do soaking up a ton of shock. Off center and frame hits were much more bearable helping me play longer without any elbow troubles. The racquet feels smoother across all areas of the string bed without any hint of buzzing or jarring. Although the flex rating is higher, players should not shy away from trying this frame out.
All in all, the new Yonex Ezone 98 truly is an upgrade from its predecessors. There is improved control, flex and shock absorption making it easy for any advanced player to command the court from the baseline to the net. The unique innovative technologies improve the overall performance of the frame and will make you want to switch. Those who are die-hard fans of the buttery feeling Ezone DR 98 will love this newly updated Ezone 98.
Play Tester: Chris Virk-Brown
Weight: 205 lbs