BABOLAT 2013 Drive Max 110 Tennis Racquet Review
The Drive Max 110 weighs in at 9.2 oz. (260g), the same as its stable mate Drive Max 105. Balance is even at 349mm (13.75”), corresponding to a solid strung swingweight of 311. Flex is a firm 71. Beams measure out at a constant 27mm along the length of the 27.5” frame. A moderately dense 16x20 string pattern should make for solid and consistent feel on all shots.
From the Baseline
The Drive Max’s extra length is evident from the first hit, both in a “weighty” feel and added power. When combined with the large head and wide beams, the Drive Max 110 sends the ball effortlessly from baseline to baseline. I did notice the stiffness right away, and was glad out TE test frame was strung with a softer string (Babolat Addiction).
The sweet spot is generous and seems a little higher in the string face than the Drive Max 105, but still a little below center. The wider beams and oversize head make mishits high on the face more powerful and easier to control, and the string pattern, while not overly spin-friendly, doesn’t stop you from spinning the ball if your swing is right. Like the 105, the Drive Max 110 is probably best used by a flatter hitter, but does provide more than ample power from the backcourt.
At Net and Serving
The Drive Max 110’s length doesn’t help it at net, but its light weight makes up for it somewhat, and maneuverability is fine for all but the fastest volley exchanges. Feel and touch, as you’d expect with a stiff frame, are not the best, but it powers away swing volleys and floaters with ease. Ditto for overheads, where the added length provides ample leverage to drive away almost any lob you’ll be confronted with.
On serve, the Drive Max 110’s stiff upper hoop is a great aid in serving power, showing great stability on balls hit up high. The great spacing of the string bed gives fine control, as well, and not bad spin on slice and kick serves. It does, however, seem best-suited to bashing flatter deliveries deep into the opponent’s service box.
Babolat has done a fine job expanding their Drive series of frames for 2013, and the Drive Max 110 is a fine choice for players of all levels looking for an easy-swinging power frame for singles or doubles play. A solid, lightweight frame with an ample sweetspot, it provides excellent power form all areas of the court, especially on serve.