As 2015 gets off and running, Babolat brings a revised lineup of Pure Drive racquets to the table. With fresh graphics, the frames also sport new technology in Frame-String Interaction (FSI). FSI was developed by analyzing data from the Pure Drive Play and it creates a denser string configuration high in the bed for better response and control in the most likely contact point. I recently took the court with the Pure Drive 107 to see how the slightly oversize model performs.
With a 23/26/23 beam width and fairly stiff construction, there is no shortage of power on tap. After all, the 107 is still a Pure Drive. The 107 square inch head has a large sweet spot and offers plenty of forgiveness off center. I found the extra real estate handy when pushed into defensive shots as well. At 10.5 oz strung, it swings fast and can generate pace, but it does lack the weight of shot of the heavier versions. It gets a bit of help by having a bit more weight in the head but I still found my shots lacking the same depth. The increased head size and 16 x 19 pattern led to easy spin generation, allowing me to stay in points by playing with increased margin. Stability can be an issue against bigger hitters but again, the extra balance toward the head helps with that. I found FSI more helpful on this model as shots high on the bed were better controlled and the string bed responded more predictably at the top.
Volleys & Serves
The Pure Drive 107 has plenty of room to reach a lot of balls at the net. Its inherent power makes quick work of high volleys. The manageable weight allows it to position quickly and I found myself able to get it into position during exchanges with little issue. Touch volleys and ones where I did not play aggressive enough tended to float a bit more, allowing opponents to stay in the point.
Serving was a typical Pure Drive experience with the 107. Flat serves had good pop as I was able to accelerate at the top through contact. The added head size benefited serving with spin. I saw solid action on kick serves and produced a nice, high bounce out of my opponent’s strike zones. Directional accuracy was a little lacking. I had a little difficulty hitting the spots I wanted when going for corners, but I was still able to move the ball around effectively.
The Pure Drive 107 plays with predictable feel and response. The large sweet spot, FSI and Cortex system all work together to produce a predictable string bed with a clean feel on contact from anywhere on it. I found a need for adjustment when executing touch shots as the racquet still has a slightly disconnected feel to it. The racquet played very comfortably during my time with it. Its size, moderate weight and slightly less stiff construction than standard Pure Drives make it play easier on the arm.
The Pure Drive 107 is a very solid entry in the OS / Game Improvement category. It retains the hallmark power and offensive mindset of the Pure Drive family, while adding in extra hitting space and a lighter, maneuverable weight. It represents another strong example that Babolat continues to make a Pure Drive for every play style.
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.