There is no shortage of heavy-hitting frames on the market, but it can be a challenge to find options that marry ready power with arm-friendly comfort. Often the frame delivers the pop, but with a stiff, brassy response, especially on imperfect contact. One of the reasons the Yonex EZONE DR attracted followers was because it has the potential to deliver big pace combined with a softer, plush response. Looking to accentuate those favorable traits, Yonex will soon release an update, dubbed simply the EZONE.
According to the company, this next generation boasts the widest sweet spot in the line’s history. The frame has a reengineered isometric shape that allows for a broader trampoline effect for greater support on off-center hits. It also enhances dwell time on the strings for better feel and ball speed. The frame employs a higher-grade, stiffer graphite (Hyper-MG) incorporated in the racquet’s head and throat for increased power and flexural strength. Although now firmer with less flex at the top of the hoop, Yonex claims the frame deflection is the same as the DR, retaining that soft feel at impact.
To improve comfort further, the EZONE also has the newly designed Micro Offset Layout grommet system. By offsetting the grommets, the strings sit flush against the holes to minimize vibrations. Plus, Quake Shut Gel Air—three distinct layers (hard, soft, hard) of vibration-dampening material—is injected in the handle to lessen harsh sensations at impact.
There will initially be eight models in the EZONE family: 98, 100, Lite, 108, Feel, Rally, 26, and 25. Expect to see several of the Yonex tour players unveiling select models in upcoming tournaments. The blacked-out frame Victoria Azarenka has been playing with is the EZONE 100, CoCo Vandeweghe will be swinging the 98 and Martina Hingis will use the Lite. The frames will be available to consumers globally on August 25. Check back here for more information and reviews on several of the models.