PRINCE Tour 98 Tennis Racquet Review
Similar to the Rebel 98, the Prince Tour 98 sticks with EXO3 technology to create an expanded sweet spot and a responsive feel. Built for comfort, control and spin, this frame is great for players with longer, loopier swings.
The Tour 98 gave me good control on my groundstrokes. The 16x20 string pattern really helped with creating just the right amount of spin. Even though this racquet is flexible (flex rating of 59) and geared primarily toward providing control, I got a sufficient amount of depth as well. I can attribute that to Prince’s EXO3 technology, which gives a nice trampoline effect on contact. The flexibility of this racquet definitely helped make it more arm friendly compared to some stiffer frames on the market, but make sure you’re comfortable with a racquet weighing over 11 ounces before you buy.
Volleys & Serves
I thought the racquet was pretty easy to maneuver around the net (4 points head light), so it performed well on my reflex volleys. The only downside was the stability. The racquet twisted in my hand on slightly off-center volleys on fast incoming shots, which is somewhat expected. I think a little more weight at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions could give it a more solid feel – an easy fix with a little lead tape.
The low flex rating, while great in the comfort department, made it tougher to get pop on my flat serve. I often caught myself going for more than I normally would to make up for the soft feel. On the other hand, it was relatively easy to generate spin. If you’re okay with that tradeoff, this could be an ideal frame for you.
The square-feeling, 21.5mm straight beam throat felt very nice in my hand. It had a sleek look to it with the yellow and black paint job. This racquet has the potential to be a great tweener option for players who can handle the 11.1-ounce strung weight.
Prince has provided a very solid racquet with good feel and spin potential. I found that it plays similar to the Head Radical MP and Wilson Blade 98 16x19, and with the low flex rating, the racquet was very easy on the elbow. This racquet is best for 3.5+ players with power to spare.
About the Reviewer: Steve Roberts is the Co-Head Pro at Brookside Club of Saratoga in California. He is a graduate of the Professional Tennis Management Program at Ferris State University in Michigan. While there, he played for their national ranked division 2 tennis team. Steve is also a USPTA certified Elite Professional.