BABOLAT 2013 Aeropro Drive GT Tennis Racquet Review

Racquet Specs

  • Head Size: 100 sq. in. MP
  • Length: 27 inches
  • Weight: Strung — 11.2 oz Unstrung — 10.6 oz
  • Tension: 55-62 Pounds
  • Balance: 4 Pts. Head Light
  • Beam Width: 23/26/24mm
  • Composition: Graphite/Tungsten
  • Flex: 71
  • Grips Type: Syntec Pro
  • Power Level: Low-Medium
  • String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
  • Shared Holes: None
  • Mains Skip:  8T, 8H
  • Swing Speed: Fast
  • Swing Weight: 327

BABOLAT 2013 Aeropro Drive GT Tennis Racquet Review

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The Aero Pro Drive is a classic “tweener,” weighing in at 11.2 oz (317g) strung, about normal for this segment. A 4-point head light balance combines with a strong swingweight of 327 to provide power and “plow through” potential form the baseline with (hopefully) added maneuverability at net. A solid flex of 71 implies power with a little less feel, and the 100 square inch Aero Pro head size uses Babolat’s standard, spin-friendly 16x19 string pattern.

Wow! With the first swing, the purpose of the Aero Pro Drive was clear: power with serious spin! The racquet is quite firm in the head, which improves control and spin application on shots hit anywhere near the sweet spot. Being head light, there is a loss of power on balls hit near the tip, but feedback on these shots is very good. The light head’s main benefit is how it really helps you “whip” the racquet up and over groundstrokes, providing an excellent margin of error from the baseline.

The Cortex system combines with Babolat’s Woofer technology to do a pretty good job of absorbing shock and vibration, and should allow most players a wide range of string and tension options: I’ve strung a lot of Aero Pro Drive frames at pro tournaments, and have seen tensions ranging from 42 to 66 (yikes!) pounds.

The head light balance, stiff shaft and head also make the Aero Pro Drive a solid serving stick. It’s easy to swing quickly overhead, and the open pattern helps apply good spin to slice and kick serves. The same can be said for overheads, where the Aero Pro Drive is maneuverable and fast through the air, as well.

Volleys and Serves
The AeroPro Drive is a powerful weapon in the hands of the server. It is very versatile, allowing you to keep your opponent off balance. Its fast feel allows you to really drive through the contact zone and hit flat serves with authority. The open pattern and aerodynamic profile make it easy to add slice and kick to your serve as well. I enjoyed being able to go from a high kicker to slicing a serve out wide and moving in behind it. Directional control was very good with this racquet, allowing you to use your full array of serves anywhere in the service box.

In Conclusion
None of us are, or ever will be, Rafa Nadal, but we can be more like him if we use his Babolat Aero Pro Drive frame. Firm and fast, it’s meant for high racquet speed, topspin play. Its playing characteristics allow for a wide range of string and tension options to fit almost anyone’s game, and it’s capable enough at net for even advanced doubles play if touch is not your strength.


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