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Racquet Review: Yonex VCore Tour (89, 97)

Thursday, July 26, 2012 /by

VCORE_89MSRP: $240
AVAILABLE: Now
HEAD SIZE: 89 sq. in. (89); 97 sq. in. (97)
LENGTH: 27 in.
WEIGHT: 12.1 oz. (89); 12.3 oz. (97)
BALANCE: 7 pts. HL
SWINGWEIGHT: 311 (89); 306 (97)
FLEXIBILITY: Firm
BEAM WIDTH: 20-19mm
STRING PATTERN: 16 x 20
IDEAL SWING: Long
NTRP: 4.5+ (89); 4.0+ (97)

*NOTE: Values represent strung frames.

The Pitch
Racquet of choice for Sabine Lisicki and Stanislas Wawrinka, the Yonex VCore Tour is replete with technology and innovation. For starters, both 89 and 97 versions feature MicroCore, a high-density urethane foam that’s injected into the hoop of the frame. According to Yonex, MicroCore dampens vibrations and increases the stability of the racquet’s face, especially on off-center hits, resulting in greater power and control. The VCore Tour also includes Yonex’s trademark Isometric construction: A square head shape that cuts down on the space found outside the sweet spot in more conventional, round hoops. Yonex claims this design reduces frame vibration, expands the sweet spot, and increases maneuverability.

How It Tested
Weighing in right above 12 ounces, the VCore Tour 89 and 97 performed surprisingly friendly for flexible, thin-beamed players’ sticks. Playtesters with long, fluid swings were especially intrigued at how forgiving the Tour 89 performed relative to other similar mid-sized racquets. Said one 5.0 playtester with a semi-Western forehand and two-handed backhand, “There was more power than expected with the 89, particularly on ground strokes. It had a solid feel, and I felt the sweet spot was fairly large considering the head size.” On the other hand, younger playtesters accustomed to a larger head size relished the Tour 97’s extra eight square inches, which they said allowed them a little more room for error.

Otherwise, playtesters expressed approval at the racquets’ versatility. While the 89 may be slightly more agile—and inversely, slightly less powerful—than the 97, both versions showed their chops knifing balls at the net as well as ripping shots from behind the baseline; the sticks have enough heft for pop, but are balanced such that they remain maneuverable. Such a versatile construction suits the VCore sticks to all-court players, and perhaps even some serve-and-volleyers and doubles specialists. Baseline grinders, however, would do best to look elsewhere. Some playtesters who relied on heavy spin, in particular, found the VCore’s 16 x 20 string pattern to be a bit dense for their tastes.
 
How It Looks
Like a Canadian flag, honestly. I wonder how many Mounties play tennis.

Bottom Line
The Yonex VCore 89 and 97 should feel comfortable in the hands of nimble, full-swinging players with accomplished, all-court games.

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