By Bruce Levine and Richard Pagliaro
Head Size: 98 square inches
Length: 27 inches
Weight: 10.4 oz.
Balance: 6 points headlight
Ideal Swing: Medium to long
String Pattern: 16 mains/20 crosses
Beam Width: 21 mm/21 mm/21 mm
How It Tested: Babolat is to spin doctors what steel is to skyscrapers—a strong framework supporting upward ambition. The Pure Storm GT may be the best balanced and most proficient stick in the brand’s series. The 2011 version offers a revised cosmetic and GT Technology, a combination of graphite and tungsten that enhances control and stability. The beauty of the Pure Storm GT is it retains the best of Babolat—spin production—while enabling flat-ball hitters the opportunity to rip shots without worry of over-hitting. Play-testers praised the racquet’s calm sweet spot in furnishing plenty of depth on drives. The Pure Storm GT’s stability, minimal vibration and responsiveness on finesse shots made it one of the most fun frames to hit with.
Likes: This is a more comfortable and responsive racquet than its thicker-beamed brothers in the Babolat family. Stability, solid feel and comfort are all assets of a frame that both heavy-spin and flat-ball hitters found effective.
Dislikes: Babolat makes five variations of the Pure Storm GT, but there is not a dramatic difference in the cosmetics of the various frames. Players, stringers and collectors might benefit a clearer distinction. Some play-testers felt the frame was not as forgiving on off-center hits as other Babolat racquets.
Bottom Line: When it comes to expressing a varied vocabulary of shots, the Pure Storm GT may well be Babolat’s most fluent frame. Some play-testers felt it would benefit from being slightly head-lighter, but vibration is minimal and overall this is a well-balanced, responsive frame. An excellent all-around stick, the Pure Storm scored highly in all aspects of the game.
TENNIS racquet advisor Bruce Levine is a former touring pro who has coached on both the men’s and women’s tours. Bruce is the general manager of Courtside Racquet Club in Lebanon, N.J., has worked as a full-time teaching pro for 30 years and lectures nationally on racquets and equipment.