BABOLAT 2013 Aeropro Team Tennis Racquet Review
The AeroPro Team shares much in common with its heavier siblings, the AeroPro Drive and Drive +. The frame geometry puts a premium on spin generation and the Team is no different. I found it easy to generate a high level of spin off of either wing on groundstrokes. The light frame makes it easy to accelerate the racquet through the hitting zone. This allows for a nice combination of topsin shots with the ability to flatten the ball out when desired. I also found it easy to bring the racquet through quickly when I was stretched out and needed to get a quick defensive shot back. I found the racquet capable of a solid amount of pace, however it didn’t quite have the same weight to the shot as the heavier models.
The standard AeroPro Drive hits a heavier ball than the Team variation, most likely due to the Team’s reduction in mass and swing weight versus the standard models. This also shows up in a slight reduction in stability against bigger hitters. This could be remedied easily however, as the lower static and swing weights make this frame a potential platform for customization. The addition of Active Cortex for 2013 dampens the frame a bit more than its predecessors. Altogether, it is still a frame designed for modern baseline tennis just like the other frames in the Aero line and gives players the ability to play both offense and defense from the baseline.
The AeroPro Team can perform capably at net. It is light enough to maneuver around and flip into position on reflex volleys. The Team can also put away high volleys, but it does take a bit more effort than the standard APD. I was able to create good angles off of volleys and had no trouble getting the racquet into position to play volleys that had dipped below the level of the net. Much like other AeroPro racquets I have tested, my difficulty with volleying was in adjustment to the feel of the frame. There is a bit of a disconnected feel, which resulted in a little bit of a struggle with drop and touch volleys while I adjusted to it.
I prefer heavier frames with a headlight balance so some of my difficulties are due to adjusting to this frame’s difference. Overall, I felt that the AeroPro Team performed solid, if not spectacularly at the net, which is pretty good considering it is not exactly built for the serve and volley game.
Serving was enjoyable with the AeroPro Team. The frame geometry and light weight combine for a fast feel. It is easy to whip the racquet through the hitting zone when serving. I felt that this fast feel served me best when I was working kick and slice serves around the box. I found good ability to add varying amounts of spin to my serve while still maintaining solid directional control.
Flat serves were solid, but not quite the bombs that other Babolat frames can produce and are known for. Again, the lightness of the Team just keeps it from having the same weight of shot that the heavier models possess on serves. This racquet is great for someone who focuses more on disguise and variation on their serve as opposed to raw power.
The lighter weight of the 2013 AeroPro Team makes it more accessible and easier to use for smaller adults and juniors who want the easy access to spin and power that the Aero line offers. More advanced hitters will also find room to customize the Team to their desired spec. Overall, the Team lives up the Aero line’s reputation as a power and spin frame that is versatile enough to be used by a wide variety of different levels and ages.