HEAD SIZE: 98 SQ. IN. (98); 100 SQ. IN. (100)
LENGTH: 27 IN.
WEIGHT: 11.5 OZ. (98); 11 OZ. (100)
BALANCE: 6 PTS. HL (98); 3 PTS. HL (100)
SWINGWEIGHT: 321 (98); 312 (100)
FLEXIBILITY: FIRM (98); STIFF (100)
BEAM WIDTH: 23-24-19MM (98); 24.5-27-23MM
STRING PATTERN: 16 X 19 (98); 16 X 18 (100)
IDEAL SWING: MEDIUM TO LONG
NTRP: 4.0+ (98); 3.5 TO 4.5 (100)
The Pitch: Weapon of choice for Ana Ivanovic, the EZone Xi improves upon Yonex’s trademark construction with Extra Isometric: a retooled square head shape that cuts down on the space found outside the sweet spot in conventional, round hoops. Yonex claims this design reduces frame vibration, expands the sweet spot, and increases maneuverability. The EZone Xi also incorporates Oval Pressed Shaft manufacturing, or O.P.S. It rounds the corners of the racquet’s shaft for an ideal level of flex, as well as widens the shaft face for increased stability. The final result, Yonex says, is extended ball dwell time for greater spin and control.
How It Tested: The EZone Xi 98 should appeal to intermediate all-courters with traditional grips who like the sensation of a head-light, medium weight frame. Noted one 4.5 playtester with Eastern grips and a one-handed backhand, “I loved the weight and feel in all parts of the court. I would go out with this racquet to play a match anytime. It fits my game well.” While many playtesters said the racquet lacked stability—“it twists a bit on non-center hits,” said the same player—when hit in the sweet spot, the 98 delivers clean feedback and no bad vibes.
The EZone 100, on the other hand, should scratch the needs of baseline bashers seeking a stick with more weight in the hoop of the frame. Although its head size is only slightly larger than the EZone 98, playtesters said the EZone 100 added significant depth and spin to their shots thanks in part to a larger sweet spot. Said another 4.5 playtester, “Although the stick exhibited average accuracy at the net, it was very easy to generate pop at the baseline. Was the generous sweet spot and spin potential due not only to the racquet’s oversize head, but also to the hoop’s rounded, octagonal shape?” Other advanced intermediate echoed these sentiments. “It has a nice sweet spot,” said a third 4.5 playtester, “but I felt I had to exaggerate grips to get the touch I wanted.”
Bottom Line: For nimble, accomplished all-court players (98) and intermediate baseline bruisers (100).
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Babolat Pure Drive 107
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YONEX EZONE Xi 98/100
YONEX EZONE Xi 107