Yonex’s EZone racquet line have always been great at giving players flexible and powerful racquets. The Yonex EZone 100+ was my favorite to playtest and is a little different from the other EZone frames. Similar to its predecessor, the EZone 100+ is made with Nanometric DR and HM Graphite material giving the frame more resilience and snapback. New to this model is the Micro Offset Layout so grommets can align the strings precisely and reduce vibrations. The new model has a slightly thicker beam and a heavier swing weight to give players more plow through from the baseline. Fans of the EZone’s will be in for a shock to see a big difference in play with this new frame.
Power and spin were both great benefits in this racquet. Although the extended length and heavier swing weight made it a little more cumbersome to get your swing started, the added power and spin made up for the heavier feel. Off both wings I felt very confident from the back of the court. When stretched out on defense, I appreciated the frame’s extended length to reach that one extra shot and send the ball back with interest. One drawback with this racquet was the control. Many times when I would try to hit hard and put the ball away I found more balls sailing just long. Players that use this racquet will want to add a little more topspin so the ball doesn’t always go long. The 100 inch head size felt much larger than stated and helped me hit the sweet spot more frequently.
While at the net, I was surprisingly pleased with how well I could control my volleys. Like most extended racquets, this was harder to use at net due to its lack in maneuverability. However, this racquet forces you to slow down and not swing as much at the net which is a great thing. Minimal movement with the racquet made it easier to position during volley exchanges and simple to put back hard hit shots. The power and spin levels still were high enough so I could put volleys away or keep the ball deep. I also enjoyed the extra length to intimidate my opponent. I felt like I could get more volleys back by just extending my arms. The racquet did a good job with off-center volleys, but I felt it needed a little more weight at the sides to reduce the amount of twisting I experienced on some shots.
Serves & Overheads
Hitting serves and overheads was my favorite aspect of this racquet. The heavier swing weight with added power and spin made it ideal for my aggressive style game. I could feel a little more pop with both strokes and it helped the ball move fast through the air. Kick serves got an extra bounce as they came down into the service box. Slice overheads seemed to take off as soon as the ball touched the court. These are the two shots that control didn’t seem to be issue. This frame has a great combination of power and control so players can hit hard without needing to slow down.
Although more technology has been added to provide better comfort levels, I felt that this racquet was stiffer than the previous model. With an RA at 70, it is rigidly built and is one of the stiffest racquets in the EZone line. This stiffness level is what helps translate to power, but makes it less arm friendly for players with previous elbow problems. The string bed takes a little bit longer to loosen up for players. I would recommend stringing this racquet with a soft string and at the lower end of the tension range so you can get more feeling. As the string bed loosened up, I started getting a good connection with the ball making it easy to generate topspin.
This was my favorite EZone racquet to play with even with the higher stiffness level. This racquet gives players a great combination of power and spin. Aggressive baseliners will love this racquet to dominate the court on both forehands and backhands. The extra length is great to track down the extra ball that you didn’t think you could reach. It’s serving and overhead strengths will enable players to control play from start to finish. Players that like extended racquets with a little extra swing weight will enjoy the Yonex EZone 100+.
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.