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Racquet Review: Donnay Pro One 16 x 19

Monday, March 05, 2012 /by

Donnayproone97MSRP: $249
HEAD SIZE: 97 SQ. IN.
LENGTH: 27 IN.
WEIGHT: 11.5 OZ.
BALANCE: 5 PTS. HL
SWINGWEIGHT: 318
FLEXIBILITY: STIFF
BEAM WIDTH: 21MM
STRING PATTERN: 16 x 19
IDEAL SWING: LONG
NTRP: 4.0+
 
The Pitch: Now James Blake's weapon of choice, the Donnay Pro One’s reasonably-thin 21-millimeter beam represents a new direction for the storied brand, which was re-launched in 2009 and has since made a name for itself producing ultra-thin frames as narrow as 15mm. Still, like all Donnay models of late, the Pro One is injected throughout with “XeneCore,” a proprietary tubing that yields racquets with solid-core constructions. Donnay claims that—compared to most conventional sticks, which are hollow—solid-core racquets return more energy to the ball and better absorb shock in the hoop for a rare combination of power and comfort. The result, Donnay says, is more winners and fewer arm injuries. The Donnay Pro One is inspired by the frame that helped Andre Agassi and Conchita Martinez claim Wimbledon titles in the 1990s.
 
How It Tested: In the right hands, the Pro One is a lightning rod: when struck right, sparks fly. Strong intermediate and advanced playtesters reported that the Pro One added significant pop to every one of their shots from the backcourt, including serves—but only if they found the sweetspot and swung with authority. Said one 4.0 playtester with a semi-Western forehand and two-handed backhand, “The ball flew when I didn’t swing long and hard.” While slightly unwieldy and board-like at net, the Pro One exhibited granite-like stability from the backcourt, never jarring or twisting in playtesters’ hands, even on off-center hits. “There were no bad vibes,” said another 4.5 playtester, “On mishits, the ball just died and the racquet felt dead…Needless to say, groundstrokes felt very crisp.”
 
Bottom Line: A very solid racquet for strong, hard-swinging baseliners.


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