Yonex has been answering the call for fans of extended length frames for years and 2020 is proving to be no exception. The new Ezone 100+ takes all of the fast, big punching ability of the 100 and adds an extra 1/2 inch of length to the mix. This extended length raises the swingweight and gives the frame more leverage on groundstrokes and serves. Yonex incorporates their new M40X graphite in the 100+ layup, offering improved flexibility and feel over the previous version. They’ve also ported over the Vibration Dampening Mesh (VDM) that made its debut in the VCore Pro line. Integrated into the handle, VDM offers superb vibration reduction without compromising the feel of the frame. Yonex again uses Liner Tech grommets to reduce string friction and provide improved responsiveness. Having enjoyed my time with the standard length Ezone 100 update, I was excited to see how this + model would perform.
The Ezone 100+ immediately produced some heavy hitting form the back of the court. With a slightly thicker and firmer build than the 98+, it had readily available power on hand from either side. The 100 inch Isometric head shape had a juicy sweet spot and impressive power, even off center. At 11.1 oz strung, I was able to bring the frame around quickly for maximum pace and depth. The 100+ had a swingweight similar to the 98+ but its slightly lower overall weight made it feel a bit easier to use, especially in long matches. It was insanely easy to just sit at the baseline and hit deep, penetrating groundstrokes loaded with pace and spin. Similar to the standard 100, I was impressed with the level of control the 100+ offered. I was able to hit really aggressively and go after lines and tight spaces with high confidence. Spin was also no problem to generate with the 16 x 19 pattern. While the dense middle of the pattern offered solid control, it was still easy to put air under the ball and vary my shot margins. I found I could hit balls with big, arcing topspin while the extra swingweight of the 100+ also allowed me to step in and crush anything short in the middle of the court. The Ezone 100+ took the impressive stability and defense of the standard 100 and turned it up a notch. It easily absorbed big hitting and delivered it back with interest. The added length was beneficial on the run as I could find just enough to get a frame on balls and extend the point.
Volleys & Serves
Net play was probably the weakest part of the 100+ for me and even then, it was still really good. The frame had power that was still easy to control so I found it a breeze to make short work of volleys that were left sitting for me. My biggest struggle was that the racquet felt slightly cumbersome to maneuver. My preference for sub 100 in heads and the increased length and swingweight made the 100 a bit slow to react at times. If I wasn’t hyper focused from the outset, it was harder for me to make up ground if I fell behind during volley exchanges. The 100+ was not quite as precise as the 98+ but I was still impressed by its directional accuracy. It easily found the corners and I was also able to angle the ball off the court and put opponents in difficult positions. Against big shots, the heightened stability of the 100 + was a big advantage. I was able to block back hard struck balls and put enough on them to not be compromised in the point. Despite the 70 RA, I felt the frame had better feel than the last model and gave me better capability on touch and drop volleys. I definitely felt more confident executing a variety of volleys when I came forward.
It was a blast to serve with the Ezone 100+. The added leverage at the top of my motion gave some serious pop to my first serve. At a slightly lower overall weight than the 98+, I found it easier to keep hitting big serves deeper into matches. I was also able to put the serve in all four corners of the box, which kept returners from being able to cheat into their favorite positions. My second serve was also dangerous thanks to the extended length. My kick serve jumped off the court and really caused problems for returners. The meatier swingweight also gave my slice serve extra bite. I enjoyed driving it low and wide in the ad court, setting up an easy opening to attack the first ball.
Feel & Comfort
Even though the new 100+ was still a firm frame, it was a noticeable improvement over the last Ezone generation. It had a more consistent response across the string bed and didn’t suffer from the harsh upper hoop of the last model. While it didn’t have the same level of ball pocketing, I still thought it provided good feedback on what the ball was doing on the strings. The addition of VDM in the handle also worked well. It absorbed a lot of vibration and only every once in awhile felt too watered down. The overall feel was smooth and responsive. Yonex seemed to have found a good recipe with M40X and VDM that allowed it to build a firm frame that was still impressively comfortable. While it played crisply, I found it to be a very comfortable frame that didn’t exhibit any undue harshness. While cautious players may still experiment with string and tension, most players shouldn’t have any issue playing comfortably with the Ezone 100+.
I was already impressed by the new Ezone 100, and the 100+ has given us even more to love. It boasts heavy firepower from the baseline, solid net skills and a rocket ship delivery on serve. All of this comes in a package that is easier to swing than the 98 + and has plenty of comfort and feel on offer. The Yonex Ezone 100+ is an outstanding choice for players looking for an extended frame that can control the court in a variety of ways while swinging smoothly from start to finish in a match.
Note: This racquet was strung with Yonex PolyTour Spin 16L at 50 pounds.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke formerly served for 3 years as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho. He is a PTR certified coach and is an active USTA 4.5 League and Tournament player.