Racquet Review: HEAD YouTek IG Prestige (Pro, MP, Mid)
HEAD SIZE: 98 SQ. IN. (PRO, MP); 93 SQ. IN. (MID)
LENGTH: 27 IN.
WEIGHT: 12 OZ. (PRO); 11.9 OZ. (MP); 12.2 OZ. (MID)
BALANCE: 6 PTS. HL (PRO); 8 PTS. HL (MP, MID)
SWINGWEIGHT: 321 (PRO); 310 (MP); 317 (MID)
FLEXIBILITY: STIFF (PRO); FIRM (MP, MID)
BEAM WIDTH: 21MM (PRO; MP); 19MM (MID)
STRING PATTERN: 16 X 19 (PRO); 18 X 20 (MP, MID)
IDEAL SWING: LONG
NTRP: 4.5+ (PRO, MP); 5.0+ (MID)
The Pitch: The HEAD YouTek IG Prestige has been the racquet of choice for a litany of champions—from Thomas Muster to Marat Safin, and now Gilles Simon and Robin Soderling. Now in its 25th year of production, the Prestige has been further modernized with Innegra, the world’s lightest high-performance fiber. Innegra is integrated into the frames’ carbon composite, which HEAD claims increases strength without adding significant weight. The result is reduced shock, improved stability, and more control.
How It Tested: The iconic Prestige continues to deliver outstanding control and feel all over the court. “Solid would be how I’d describe playing with the Prestige Midplus,” one 4.5 playtester explained. “Off center hits don’t so much wobble the frame as feel dead. There’s not a lot of play in the stringbed. It’s very dependable.” Playtesters who preferred more control gravitated toward the mid-plus’ dense string pattern, while those looking for more spin opted for the Pro’s more open pattern. The Prestige is designed for players with long, fast swings. This is especially the case with the scalpel-like Prestige Mid (pictured). At twelve ounces plus, the Prestige remains stable against wicked pace. And a razor-thin beam provides great feedback. All of which gives highly experienced players the ability to put the ball on a dime. But of course, there’s a price to be paid: a tiny head size and niggling sweet spot—a challenge to be met only for those with the most superior of technique.
Bottom Line: For proficient all-courters who expect absolute reliability and control.
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