The market for a great tweener frame in today’s powerful game is very competitive. Players love the versatility that a tweener frame provides, and manufacturers know that this market has the most potential to continuously grow. The Ultra 100 CV is a perfect example of how Wilson wants to capture that market potential. I believe this is one of their best racquets yet and it replaces their previous model, the Wilson Juice 100. Countervail is an added technology to this line, giving the racquets a lighter weight feel and allowing players to play longer. As a previous user of the Juice 100, I was excited to take to the court and see what this racquet had in store.
The power level on groundstrokes will help all players hit opponents off the court. You will have no trouble hitting deep strikes into the court no matter your swing style. What I liked the most about the racquet is its ability to control the ball from going long. Whether you are hitting with spin or flat, you can play powerful without worrying about the ball going past the baseline. Players that have fast, long swings may feel uneasy at first due to the power level, but this racquet works well in controlling those power shots. On defense the power level comes in handy to get balls back with a little bit of interest and make the opponent uncomfortable. The 100 square inch head size had a generous sweet spot and I felt the frame had plenty of pop from all areas of the string bed. The only downside to this racquet is stability. Sometimes the racquet becomes unstable with harder shots due to its relatively light swing weight and lighter mass.
This frame was a great asset for me at the net. While at net, I could easily maneuver this racquet into position during fast volley exchanges. You can easily direct the ball where you want to without much effort. The quick nature of the frame also gave me the opportunity to attack balls aggressively and finish anything left up high. However, as a previous user of the Juice 100 I felt the control and stability at net was lacking. Anything hit fast at me was easy to put in play, but I felt like there was no control on where the ball would go. If I was out of position at all the ball seemed to go out. To combat this I put some lead tape on the sides of my racquet head and it made it big difference.
Serves & Overheads
Serves and overheads were my favorite with this racquet because I could hit hard with spin or flat to keep my opponent on defense. Serves and overheads with this racquet felt almost identical to the 2015 Babolat Pure Drive. This racquet gave me a little extra power and spin without going out of control. My flat serves were moving fast through the court and always made my opponent react. Slice and kick serves seemed to get extra spin thanks to the 16x19 string pattern. Since this racquet is very maneuverable, it was very easy to get in position for overheads and hit them with force. The light weight makes it feel effortless on the swing and will make you want to hit overheads or serves all day long.
Long-lasting feel is definitely the main focus for Wilson with this racquet. Although this racquet has an RDC of 72, I didn’t feel like it was super stiff. Due to the thicker beam on the racquet head this makes the racquet seem like it would be stiffer. However, the Countervail and High Performance Carbon Fiber really work in your favor to make this racquet comfortable and lightweight for a longer playing period. Only on fast rallies do you feel a little disconnected from the ball. On normal rallies the ball seemed to stay longer on the string bed, giving me more of a connection. Slice and underspin players will enjoy the comfort level with this racquet due to the long connection with the ball.
Overall, I feel that this frame is a true winner for Wilson to compete in the tweener racquet market. The combination of power, spin and control on most shots make it ideal for all levels of players. The Countervail and High Performance Carbon Fiber really do make a difference for adding feel/comfort into this stiffer frame. The thinner beam cross section makes it very easy to maneuver and still provides all players with plenty of power. Advanced players may want to experiment with some lead or tungsten tape in the racquet head to give it a little more stability on fast ball rallies. Otherwise, the Ultra 100 CV is a strong choice for all levels of players and styles.
About the Reviewer: Chris Virk-Brown currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Neumann University and coached at the collegiate level for 3 years. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player.