Solinco Pro 10X Racquet Review
Although they are a relatively newcomer to the block, Solinco is well know in tennis circles as a string manufacturer. Their latest venture is a line of high end rackets aimed at discerning tennis players.
Right away you will notice the outstanding chrome finish of the frame. It looks more like a component of a next generation fighter jet than a tennis racket. I haven't seen a modern frame with any better finish quality, the manufacturing is top notch. This is not just a flashy paint job, there is substance to back up the form.
The frame is constructed from a novel nickel fused graphite material. The use of nickel improves several characteristics including overall toughness of the frame. This is not to say that the frame is designed for a Marat Safin temper tantrums but, in normal use the frame should maintain its high quality playing characteristic for quite some time.
The grip is one of the best I have seen, a blend of comfort and feel. The butt cap is relatively small making it ideal for someone that tend to hold the racket close to the end of the grip. The shape of the grip pallet is conducive to all grip patterns and reminds me of a European frame (old school Donnay & Volkl come to mind).
The swing weight of the frame and relatively tight string pattern make this frame very potent for a skilled classic 4.0+ ball striker. It feels remarkably similar to the Wilson Six One Tour 90, with just a little more punch and a far more forgiving sweet spot. Maybe even closer would be one of Pete Sampras's Pro staff frame from the mid 90's The feedback from the string bed is quite good without being harsh. While you won't likely be able to whip this frame around like some others, I don't think that is a issue for its target audience. If your strokes are closer to Nadal's than Andre Agassi's then you will probably not be a huge fan of this frame unless you have Rafa's left arm. Surprisingly, plenty of spin can be generated and the pace and depth of shot this frame can generate make up for the loss in maneuverability due to the longer length. Solid A, A+ for strong 4.5-7.0 adult players. Whippy groundstrokes beware, this frame punishes you for swinging late.
While it has many on the characteristics of a player frame, the additional few square inches of head size make for a great blend of precision & pac with a little more forgiveness than a 90 sq in player frame . This frame is fairly demanding as far as form is concerned. You have to have a smooth service motion but if you can master that you will be rewarded. The longer length helps with racket head speed increasing spin generation. It is pretty easy on the arm considering in it being an advanced frame. I really like the way this frame transfers momentum into the ball on serves. I think with a little practice you could see 5-10 mph of improvement on your serve especially if you are under 5' 11". Another Solid A for 4.5 - 7.0 players.
Tennis rackets are a series of compromises between power, control, spin,feel & maneuverability. This frame's solid feel and excellent feedback shine for all courter singles players. The extra length helps when lunging for volleys. The only weakness might be for the sub 5.0 player at net in fast doubles exchanges. If take long swings on your volleys, it is easy get behind the ball.
The mass and stability of the frame are however great for absorbing punish passing shots. It is also one of the best frames I have used for taking the low volley from slightly behind the service line in doubles and hitting a low penetrating shot off of it. Based on this I would give this frame a B+ for 4.0 or lower, A- for 4.5 and above.
This is a great first effort from Solinco. A modern take on an old proven formula for pro level frames. If you are a clean ball striker I think you should take a look at this frame. I think that players that are fans of frames like the Prince Rebel this is frame will be in for a pleasant surprise. If you are looking for a solid performing extended length frame I think that this will be the frame for you. It will be interesting to see what Solinco has in store for us in the future.