Racquet Review of the Week: Yonex VCore Tour F 97 Tennis Racquet

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With a deep roster of rising talent representing the brand, Yonex is looking to continue making waves in the tennis industry. Building off of the well respected V Core Tour line, the V Core Tour F 97has now debuted. Retaining the construction of the previous model, the new line features Aero Fin Technology at the top of the hoop for increased swing speed and an extra cross string over the previous model for added control. I recently took to the court with this model to take a look at how it performs.

The racquet plays very solid off the ground. The 310g (unstrung) weight allows it to hit a heavy ball from either side. It accelerates nicely through contact, providing excellent racquet head speed for aggressive shots. I found it a little low powered and at times had difficulty generating the proper depth on my groundstrokes, leaving me vulnerable to having to play defensively. Directional accuracy was exceptional and the 16×21 string pattern offers confidence inspiring control. Yonex’s distinct Isometric head shape yields a generous sweet spot and makes the frame feel like a bigger head size than it is. Spin was solid but the tighter pattern keeps it from generating the eye popping topspin of other frames. My best strategy was to pounce on mid court balls and use the weight and acceleration of the frame to flatten out the next shot to the corners.

Volleys & serves
Much like its smaller brother, the Tour F 93, this racquet is an excellent weapon at the net. It maneuvers very rapidly and makes easy work of quick exchanges. The weight also allows it to finish high volleys off with minimal effort. The racquet also has excellent feel and response and I had no trouble performing touch and drop volleys. The tighter pattern provides additional control over volleys and there is little tendency to float volleys with this racquet. I had high confidence that I could put away and ball and it inspired very aggressive net play.

The Tour F 97 is a versatile performer when serving. The solid weight and easy acceleration combine to create flat serves with plenty of pop. The 16×21 pattern made it a little more difficult to generate the same spin on kick and slice serves as other frames but there was enough spin on tap to keep opponents off balance. The racquet also has exceptional directional accuracy. I moved my serve around to all areas of the service box and placement became as strong of a weapon as pace when serving.

Players who favor a crisp, classic feel will enjoy the racquet’s feel. It offers a direct, connected response. The string bed plays predictably and does a good job allowing you to feel the ball exit the strings. The feel also provides excellent capability for all court shot making. I easily transitioned from baseline slugging to slices and drop shots when the situation presented itself. Comfort was about average for a frame with an RA in the mid 60s. It plays firmly but is still fairly comfortable overall. I did find it to be a little harsh on shots out of the sweet spot but that could also be due to the combination of frame and string type.

Overall Aggressive players who want a bit more forgiveness than the midsize option will enjoy the V Core Tour F 97. It offers solid weight and stability, allowing advanced players to wield it confidently. Its slight lack of power makes it a little tougher to get back to offense when put on defense but the confidence it inspires makes up for it. The fast feel, high control and versatility make it an attractive option for all court players. Yonex has provided players with an excellent option for playing a wide variety of styles and shot making.

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.