Wilson Clash 100 V2
At this point the Clash doesn’t really need any introduction.
It’s pretty incredible that a racket so different in feel, performance and target audience managed to become such an instant success in a notoriously picky industry. But that’s exactly what Wilson accomplished with the release of the V1, and the V2 is just as popular.
Sequels are infamously difficult to perfect. How much do we change it? Do we simply give it a new fancy paint job? Do we try to make it better? Well, Wilson has passed all those tests with flying colors.
They haven’t changed the Clash too much. The shape and string pattern is the exact same, and the softness, comfort and ease of use is very similar to that of the V1. So everything that made the Clash V1 so popular, is still here on the V2.
What has changed?
Wilson has improved the actual feedback and feel of the technology within the graphite. Many advanced players complained that the Clash V1 was too mushy and unresponsive. The sweet spot didn’t exactly feel “sweet”, and it rendered that racket a bit obsolete for the biggest of hitters. While the Clash will never feel like a “classic” racket, it is now far more connected to the ball, complementing its comfort and power to a tee.
Yonex VCore Pro 97 310G
This edition of the Yonex Vcore Pro 97 flew a bit under the radar since its release in early 2022. Stanislas Wawrinka has been carrying the line for the better part of a decade so its popularity has waned a bit with his recent decline.
The racket’s performance, however, has not.
This edition marks the most drastic change for Yonex’s control line since the 310 gram version switched to a 16 x 19 string pattern, back in 2018. Yonex has played around with the actual mold of the Vcore Pro, thickening up the beam by half a millimetre (21 mm) and widening the throat of the racket. Think V-shaped vs Y-shaped in the throat, and for those uber-technical tennis nerds out there, think H22 vs H19 pro stock molds. Both these changes have made the racket noticeably more powerful and forgiving, opening it up to a wider range of players. The sweet spot is bigger, and with that comes a slight drop off in precision and top end control, but it’s a change for the better as the racket is much more playable especially in its stock form.
With those changes in mind, it’s still a classic, controlled player's frame. Yonex has even softened up the flex (60 RA) to counteract the increase in power, so it still oozes control and feel like the Vcore Pro always has.
Head Auxetic Boom Pro
The Boom came out as Head’s first racket to feature Auxetic technology.
With it, the brand made a marked step in the right direction from the already successful Graphene 360+ to a softer, more connected Auxetic feel. The Boom Pro is a comfortable racket, but beyond that, it features a thin, constant beam, giving it that classic Head feel the brand had been missing for the past few years.
At first glance, it is obvious that the Boom Pro has a different shape to most rackets. The upper hoop is squared off making that portion of the stringbed extremely forgiving, due to the wide spacing between the strings. Here, the racket is powerful, and sometimes even a little bit wild, but the true sweet spot is actually a bit farther down. In the sweet spot, the stringbed is tighter and offers more control, allowing you to press on the gas with full confidence that your shots will fall between the lines.
Because of this stringbed variance, the Boom has a unique capability to respond differently for different shot selection. If you want to hit a powerful, lower percentage winner, use that upper part of the stringbed; the ball will launch off with loads of energy. If you want a more consistent rally ball, hit it right in the middle of the sweet spot.
Yonex Ezone 100 V7
The Ezone 100 isn’t talked about enough. I, myself, am a culprit as is the general tennis industry of exalting its 98 square inch cousin so high to a point of almost forgetting this racket exists.
All of the characteristics that make the Ezone 98 so special also apply to the Ezone 100. The undulating, thick hoop and its relatively thin throat pair together in making the 100 feel softer and more connected to the ball than you would expect from a racket marketed for power and ease of use. (I bet you didn’t know the EZ in Ezone stood for “easy”.) Compared to those rackets, namely the Pure Drive, Instinct and Ultra, the thin throat slices through the air more aerodynamically, which does well to complement the modern groundstroke.
It also has that classic, Yonex isometric head shape, making it feel more forgiving than its head size, without losing out on any precision. Because of its 100 square inch head size it is more powerful, and more spin friendly than the 98. It also has a higher launch angle, but its spinny nature helps control the ball and bring it down before the baseline. It is the most forgiving racket on this list, so for those of you that want a user friendly, but still very rewarding frame, it ticks all the boxes.
Dunlop Srixon CX 200
The Dunlop CX series has become a cult classic amongst tennis aficionados. It is the least popular brand we carry at Rackets & Runners, but Dunlop has decided to focus most of its attention on players' frames.
Their FX and SX lines are good, but their CX line truly stands out for having some of the best control rackets on the market.
Earlier this year, I overviewed the CX 200 Tour and described it as the perfect modern classic racket. Take the 95 square inch Tour, add 3 more square inches of real estate in the hoop, and you have the CX 200.
In general, this racket is more powerful and forgiving than its 95 square inch cousin. It has a thicker beam (21.5 mm), a more open 16 x 19 string pattern and a stiffer flex (64 RA). All that being said, the racket still has incredible control and that classic connection to the ball. No unnecessary technology, just the good ol’ feel of graphite, and the response we’ve come to know and love from traditional rackets. It’s more user friendly and powerful than its demanding “Tour” counterpart, and is, quite honestly, a more viable option for the modern game.
Compared to other rackets in its class, it adopts the “less is more” school of thought. Fewer gimmicks, more feel. The Blade, Radical and Pure Strike might be more dampened and technologically advanced, but they simply can’t compete with the classic connection and feel you’ll get on the Dunlop CX 200.
There is a racket out there for everyone.
I’ve often referred to the “spectrum” of offerings in the tennis industry. Now more than ever, there are frames littered across that spectrum, rather than polarized on each end.
These are just some of the newer rackets that make up the Rackets & Runners tennis wall. To get a better understanding as to the playability of each one, do your best to visit us in store and take out some demos. If you know what you want, or can’t make your way over, you can buy your racket on our website.