Yonex hasn’t forgotten about players who want a bit of extra forgiveness in their update of the VCore Pro line for 2019. The VCore Pro 100 also gets an update for 2019 and it goes beyond the stylish green and gold paint scheme. In the handle, the graphite is layered with Vibration Dampening Mesh. This material generates a 30% reduction in vibration. Lock Booster grommets continue to provide higher spin and energy transfer thanks to improved string contact. Yonex also continues to use Namd material in the layup, providing flexibility without sacrificing power and responsiveness. Having tested the 97 inch VCore Pro family, I was eager to see how the slightly larger VCore Pro 100 would measure up.
From the back of the court, the 100 exhibited the hallmark VCore Pro DNA with its blend of power and control. The 21 mm beam was slightly thicker than the 97 inch models and gave the frame a good amount of pop on groundstrokes. The 11.2 oz strung weight and swingweight around 320g also ensured that it had solid punching power. While it wasn’t built to be a power centric frame, I found it easy to generate pace off both wings. It was easy for me to ratchet up the pace when I found the right opening while not having to fear overhitting the ball. The 100-inch Isometric head had a generous sweet spot and a consistent power level. While it wasn’t quite as scalpel like as its 97 inch brother, I still found the Pro 100 to be a very accurate frame. The thin beam and moderate flex gave me excellent control over the ball. I was able to hit to small targets and attack with confidence on both forehands and backhands. Spin production was equal to the previous model but I felt the slightly higher swingweight on the new version gave it better court penetration than last year’s version. The previous version had ample spin, but the ball frequently landed too short in the court. The new VCore Pro 100 hit a more penetrating ball that still offered the same level of bounce off the court. While not quite as stable as the smaller head size models, the 100 did an admirable job of deflecting and redirecting pace with minimal flutter or twist.
Volleys & Serves
Despite its slightly larger head size, the VCore Pro 100 still exhibited classic sensibilities at the net. The controlled power level let me make quick work of high volleys. Even with a compact swing, volleys went back with plenty of pace. The racquet was maneuverable enough to stay in any rapid fire exchange at the net. Directional accuracy was also solid for volleys. While I couldn’t drop them on a dime like I could with the 97s, I still felt that I could place volleys in the right spots consistently with the 100. Whether driving into the corners or angling the ball off the court, this was one of the best volleying 100 inch frames I’ve hit with in recent memory. Stability at net was improved over the previous version, with it being able to fend off body and hard hit shots. The mid 60s flex gave it just enough softness to work touch volleys in reliably. I enjoyed being able to switch from driving volleys through the court to delicately feathering a drop volley just over the net.
On serve, the VCore Pro 100 held its own in admirable fashion. It accelerated easily through the top of my motion, allowing for ample pace to be applied to first serves. The mass provided solid court penetration, though I felt the heavier 97s drove the ball through the service box a bit more effectively. Accuracy continued to shine as a strong suit of the racquet. I was able to serve to multiple locations in both boxes, giving me a variety of targets to choose from. Spin was easy to come by with the 16 x 19 string pattern and easy head speed. I was able to get kick serves to jump up and away from opponents and keep my slice serve relatively wide and low. Having this versatility at my disposal made it easy to identify returner weaknesses and consistently exploit them to my advantage on serve.
Yonex was so impressed with the VDM material that they chose to update the VCore Pro line after only a year. For fans of soft feel and more muted response, that update has paid off. The VDM did an impressive job of absorbing vibration and giving the frame a soft feel at impact. Yonex wisely did not make the 100 too flexible as that could have numbed the response too far. In my experience, the feel was pleasantly soft while retaining enough connection to the ball. Response was uniform across the string bed with no noticeably increase in harshness outside of the center. The racquet was also very comfortable and should compare favorable in that respect to most other 100 inch frames on the market. It’s moderate stiffness level should allow it to be paired with firmer or softer string setups depending on player preferences with minimal comfort issues.
Players looking for a control frame in an easy to use, forgiving package have a winner in the VCore Pro 100. It boasts power that is easy to tap into and control, enough spin to penetrate the court and nimble responses at the front of the court. All of these attributes come together in a frame that is also clean feeling and comfortable to wield. The Yonex VCore Pro 100 (300g) is an outstanding choice for players looking for a fast and responsive control frame that doesn’t skimp on precision or feel.
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.