Yonex has steadily been pumping out increasingly popular frames in recent years, boosting both their visibility on the pro tour and with recreational players. Players improving rapidly and juniors looking for a responsive frame that’s easy to handle have a new option in the Yonex V-Core Pro 100 Lite. Replacing the Duel G Lite, this model brought some next technologies to the table. The frame is now built with Namd carbon in key areas, providing more flex and power return on impact. Yonex hallmark Isometric head shape created a large sweet spot and the new Lock Booster grommets delivered improved power and feel. Having tested the other V-Core Pro models, I was anxious to see how this speedy member of the family handled between the lines.
One word to sum up groundstrokes with the Pro 100 Lite would be: fast. The 10.4oz strung weight and thinner 21mm beam cut through the air with ease. I was able to dial up plenty of racquet head speed from either side, adding pace to the ball. The light weight of the frame didn’t have the same amount of bite as the heavy models but developing players should find plenty of power on tap to hang deep into points. I was also impressed with the amount of spin this frame produced. Yonex switched this model to a 16x19 pattern (instead of the previous 16x20). The slightly more open pattern as well as the almost spring loaded feel of the Namd construction produced noticeable spin that kicked up off the court. I was able to play all my groundstrokes with plenty of margin and use spin to create openings in points. My slice moved well but didn’t have as much bite as it did with the higher weight models. I had a bit of trouble flattening the ball out in the mid court, something that a bit more mass likely would have helped with. Stability was solid for its weight class due to Yonex moving more of the weight to the head of the frame. It had some noticeable flutter when playing defense against big hitters but was something that could be addressed with customization as a player developed.
Volleys & Serves
Volleying with the V-Core Pro 100 Lite was a bit of a mixed bag. This was really where the reduced mass of the frame was noticeable. Balls I attacked aggressively were generally put away easily. Balls I took more casually or was reaching for floated more regularly, giving opponents the chance to hit another ball. The speed of racquet made it a breeze to maneuver into position during quick exchanges at the net. Accuracy was a strong point of this frame at the net as I felt I could hit just about any area of the court I wanted to volley to. Defensive volleys could have benefited from more mass re-directing the ball. The slightly firmer feel of the 100 Liter took me some time to dial in touch and drop volleys. While not as effective as with the other models in the line, eventually I was able to use touch shots as a change up to more aggressive net play.
I had to be a little more deliberate when serving with the V-Core Pro 100 Lite. The racquet had plenty of acceleration at the top of my motion for adding pace to the serve. The ball just didn’t move through the court as well as with other models, leaving me vulnerable to aggressive returners who took the ball early. I had more success using the easy swinging nature and spin production to hit off speed serves. My kick serve leapt off the court and stayed out of returners strike zones. On the ad side, I was able to slice the ball wide enough to open up the court for the next ball. Accuracy was above average for this class of frame. While not as pin point as other V-Core Pros, I was still able to target multiple areas of the service box with a high degree of success. Being able to leverage spin and multiple locations proved to be much more effective than trying to blast returners back with this racquet.
The entire V-Core Pro line played with a crisper response than the previous version and the 100 Lite was true to that trend. It had a firm feel on contact with just enough flex in the right spots to add some ball pocketing to the feel. The response was pretty uniform across the string bed and I didn’t find any major hot spots or off center areas that generated more vibration on contact. The frame’s 66 RA is still more flexible than many frames on the market, so most players should be able to play the frame without any comfort concerns. It played with limited vibration and when paired with softer strong should yield a clean feel that is easy to play with.
Developing players and juniors who want a fast feeling frame that can grow with them will have a lot to love about the new Yonex V-Core Pro 100 Lite. It offers plenty pace and spin production from the baseline and makes a smooth transition to the net. It’s balance of spin and control make it a versatile option when serving. The V-Core Pro 100 Lite should appeal to players seeking the responsive attributes of a player frame in a package that swings easy and offers plenty of all court sensibilities.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.