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Yonex VCore Pro 97 330g Green Tennis Racquet Review

Racquet Specs

  • Head Size: 97 sq. in. MP
  • Length: 27 inches
  • Weight: Strung — 12.2 oz Unstrung — 11.6 oz
  • Tension: 45-60 Pounds
  • Balance: 7 Pts Head Light
  • Beam Width: 20 mm
  • Composition: H.M.Graphite/ Black Micro Core/ Namd
  • Flex: 65
  • Grip Type: Yonex Super Cushion
  • Power Level: Low
  • String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses 
  • Shared Holes: None
  • Main Skip: 8T, 8H
  • Swing Speed: Fast, Long Swing
  • Swing Weight: 330

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Intro

 

The saying “when you’ve got it, flaunt it” could easily apply to Yonex as of late. They’ve been making inroads across the tennis scene with an update to the VCore Pro line that they feel is so good, they didn’t want to wait. The heaviest new model, the VCore Pro 97 330g sports the latest innovation from Yonex. A stretchy material called Vibration Dampening Mesh has been integrated with the handle’s graphite for improved vibration reduction and enhanced feel. Yonex carries on the use of Namd carbon for high flexibility and responsiveness. For improved energy return and spin, Yonex continues to use the Lock Booster System grommets which promote better string contact. While I may not hit the ball like Stan The Man, I was eager to log some court time with the most advanced member of the new VCore Pro family.

 

Groundstrokes

 

From the back of the court, the VCore Pro 330 came to deliver beatdowns and lollipops and it’s fresh out of lollipops. This racquet was able to absolutely tear the cover off the ball from either side. The 12.2 oz strung weight offset the relatively thin 20 mm beam and ensured that there was plenty of mass to drive the ball through the court. If I was timing the ball well, the frame could end the point from either wing with ease. The racquet was consistently able to penetrate deep into the court, making it hard for opponents to get a foothold during points. The frame also had exceptional control and accuracy. I was able to play the ball to any area of the court and quickly take control of points with aggressive targeting and shot selection. Spin production was solid from the 16 x 19 pattern. Over time as I got tired, I lost a bit of racquet head speed and spin as a result. The frame is heavy despite its headlight balance, so whipping it through contact consistently was more difficult than my regular racquet. The racquet was supremely stable and the extra mass had no trouble absorbing heavy shots and redirecting them with interest. While the added weight made it harder to hit running winners, it was so easy to play offensive tennis, that there weren’t many situations where I needed the frame to be strong in that department.

 

Volleys & Serves

 

Net play with the VCore Pro 330 felt like cruise control for me. The compact nature of volleys made the weight of the frame easier to manage and position. If the racquet was in the right spot when I cam forward, it was pretty much game over at that point. The mass of the frame drove volleys through the court and left opponents’ little opportunity to play another shot. The thin beam also gave me great control over my volley placement. I could drive the ball into the corners just as easily as I could angle off a sharp cross court volley. Anything I took out in front of me, I felt I could place anywhere I wanted to. The softer flex made touch volleys easy and I found this model to have better ball connection than the lighter 310 version. Not sure if it was a function of the extra mass, but I felt more connected and able to judge how to feather the ball over the net better. The racquet’s high level of stability was also a welcome attribute at the net. It fought off body shots and hard-hit balls with ease and with little to no fluttering on contact.

 

I’d describe serving with the VCore Pro 330 as a labor of love for me. It was work for me to get the full mass of the frame moving but when I did, the payoff was fantastic. While my arm was still fresh early in matches, the racquet produced first serves with incredible pop and court penetration. I was able to push returners off the baseline and force them into more passive returns. As I got a bit more fatigued from not being used to the racquet’s weight, my swing speed dropped, and I didn’t win as many free points. The lighter 310 model also had a better kick serve for me. With the 330, I found it harder to get the racquet head speed I needed to make kick serves really jump off the court. My favorite serve was the slice serve out wide. The mass of the frame kept the ball ridiculously low and the ball would swing way out across the doubles alley. I found a good rhythm using this serve and hitting an aggressive first ball in order to keep points short.

 

Feel/Comfort

 

The update to the VCore Pro line this year was most focused on feel and comfort. I immediately noticed the more dampened feel that the VDM wrapped handle provided over last year’s version. The racquet has usually been softer and low flex anyway, but the new handle material really was impressive at soaking up vibration on contact. With the 310, I had felt disconnected from the ball at times, but this was less evident on the 330. I think the extra mass inherently gave a weightier, more connected feel to the frame. I enjoyed being able to work a variety of more touch-oriented shots into rallies with confidence. The soft flex and dampened response made the racquet comfortable and easy to use. I preferred the feel and comfort level of this racquet over similar, firmer options (Wilson RF97A for example). Players need to have the strength to swing this racquet, but it is soft enough to play comfortable even with a stiffer string setup.

 

Overall

 

Advanced players should enjoy this update from Yonex, even if they just bought a VCore Pro last year. It brings the same finishing power, control and response to the court, just in a more dampened, softer package. While it is on the heavy side for modern frames, it has a unique ability to both hit people off the court and carve them up with delicate shot making. This versatility makes the Yonex VCore Pro 97 330g a strong option for strong advanced players looking to take control of points quickly.

 

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.

 


 

 

 


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