Yonex updates Denis Shapovalov’s racquet of choice in the new VCore 95. The fiery red paint is instantly identifiable as is the Isometric head shape. The frame keeps the 95 square inch head, a strung weight just under 11.5 oz, and a grippy 16 x 20 string pattern. The new VCore line has been engineered by Yonex to create the most spin-friendly racquet with softer feel to their catalog. My experience with the VCore 95 was enjoyable to say the least.
- Yonex upped the ante on the Aero Fin technology from the previous version by adding them on the sides of the bridge (in addition to the Aero Fins at the head).
- At the top of the hoop, the Aero Trench is comprised of recessed grommets lower into the frame for less air resistance and more racquet head speed.
- Namd graphite is now present at the bridge allowing for a more flexible response, increase in spin and superior torque. Yonex toutes the new VCores at 7% more flexible than the previous VCore SV’s.
- New Liner Tech reduces the angles of the strings as they enter the grommets in an effort to horizontally elongate the sweet spot.
There are less and less 95 head sizes realized these days. Though I was worried about the VCore’s small head and potentially small sweet spot, I found the opposite to be true. I enjoyed this racquet from the baseline as much as any racquet in 2018. The sweet spot felt surprisingly forgiving, and access to spin was readily available. If you have an aversion to less than a 97 or 98 head size, the VCore 95 is a racquet to convince you otherwise. The frame rewarded big cuts at the ball with a good balance of pace and depth and it flexes nicely without feeling unstable. The 16x20 string pattern offers strong versatility for heavy spin players or flatter hitters. I had no muscle fatigue in my arm even though the racquet was strung at 55 pounds with polyester string.
The VCore 95 is an attacking players’ Excalibur. The soft flex provides pin point control on deep and firm volleys or shorter touch volleys. The ball seems to stay on the string bed a touch longer for last second change of direction shots or quick reflex volleys. The focus up at net for the VCore 95 is control. Players that are looking for a stiffer, more powerful response should check out the VCore 98 or 100.
Serves & Returns
At times, when a racquet has noticeable flex, it loses a bit of stability when returning heavier first serves. This is slightly true with the VCore 95, but it also should be noted the frame is a control racquet. Returning second serves is a dream because you have more time to create racquet head speed and punish the ball. If more stability is required on first serve returns, I suggest adding a little bit of weight at the 3 and 9 O’clock positions (it won’t take much).
There is something about serving with a 95 square inch racquet. The frame cuts through the air easily and there is enough weight to provide some good pop. Flat first serves can be produced with smooth swings by letting the racquet do the work, and tons of kick can be had when going after second serves to get your opponent out of position. The VCore 95 has some nice flex to it and is elbow and shoulder friendly for those with arm issues.
My biggest take away from the VCore 95 is that it feels much faster and more forgiving than a typical midsize racquet. The 95 plays like todays 98 or 100 square inch racquets. The flex of the frame is a call back to the softer frames of the past, but has more power than the 95 square inch frames of old. Anyone who considers themselves an attacking player and shot maker should demo the VCore 95 right away.
Note: The playtest racquet was strung with Yonex PolyTour Pro 125 at 55 lbs.
About the Reviewer: Sam Jones currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Southwestern University, taught tennis for 10+ years and earned his Master Racquet Technician Certification in 2011. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player.