Building on the positive response to the TFlash PowerStab, Tecnifibre updates the model line with the introduction of the new TFlash 300 CES. This new version uses a Cubic Edge Shaft, which has a thicker, more angular cross section in the throat for improved power and stability. It also utilizes a Progressive String Pattern, with tighter spacing in the center for control and wider spacing at the edges for more forgiveness. Rounding out the innovations is an HD Fuse grip. This wraps the racquet’s handle in absorbent silicone for vibration reduction and enhanced comfort. I appreciated the easy playability of the previous TFlash so I was looking forward to how this CES model would stack up.
POWER is the name of the game from the baseline with the 300 CES. Its stiff, 25/26.6/24.7 mm beam provided incredible power on groundstrokes. It was incredibly easy for me to juice up groundstrokes off either wing. If anything, there was a bit too much power at times. If my swing path was too linear or I overswung, the racquet would send balls sailing long. I needed to ensure I really got over the top of the ball in order to reign in the power of the frame. Players with shorter strokes or a heavy spin game will enjoy the easy power the racquet offers. The 11.1 oz strung weight put solid mass behind shots and made it easy to keep balls deep in the court. I found the sweet spot on the 100 inch head size to be large and forgiving, with no real power drop off outside the center of the pattern. Precision targeting was not necessarily the 300 CES strong suit. If I picked too small of a target, my margin for error was much slimmer than when I was using Tecnifibre’s more control oriented TFight and TF40 lines. Spin was easy to come by thanks to the 16 x 19 pattern and easy to generate head speed. I was able to get my forehand to jump off the court high and deep, keeping opponents from getting a foothold in the court. I was also impressed with the stability of the frame for its moderate weight level. The thicker beam and throat made it easy to soak up pace and re-direct heavy balls with little to no flutter. I enjoyed the easy power on defense as I was consistently able to stretch out and get enough pace and depth on my scramble shots to extend and reset points.
Volleys & Serves
It may not have been built with net play as its top priority, but the 300 CES was still a capable performer in the front of the court. The explosive power made quick work of anything left up for me to pounce on. The racquet was reasonably quick to maneuver although I found its chunky beam to feel sluggish at times. The frame was stable enough to deflect hard shots and block volleys effectively. I missed a bit of touch and responsiveness when trying to execute delicate volleys. Instead, I focused on being as aggressive as possible and attacking anything I could as quickly as I could. This mentality paid off as the raw power of the racquet finished off points without the need for protracted exchanges at the net.
Serving with the TFlash 300 CES was a bit like trying to ride a bucking bronco. The power was so big and so easy to tap into that I initially struggled to rein it in. My first few service games were filled with flat serves blasted way too long. As I adjusted, relaxed and let the frame provide the power, I found a comfortable rhythm. The racquet had plenty of speed at the top of my potion and I was able to hit big first serves that either scored free points or pushed opponents onto their heels. It lacked the precision targeting of more control oriented models. I picked big targets and leveraged the easy pace to make up for the lack of pinpoint precision. My kick and slice second serves were very effective with this racquet. Kick serves jumped up high and stayed out of returner’s strike zones. My slice serve could have used a bit more mass behind it to drive it down, but it was still effective at opening up the court for me to hit a big first ball.
As expected from the thick, stiffly constructed beam, the TFlash 300 CES played with a firm, modern response. The ball exited the string bed quickly, with excellent exit velocity. I thought the wider string spacing at the outside of the pattern helped reduce harshness on off center contact. The firm response was excellent for baseline play, but all court players may miss a bit more flex necessary for more delicate shotmaking. Even with an RA north of 70, I found the frame to play quite comfortably. The HD Fuse grip did an impressive jump absorbing shock and minimizing vibration on contact. It is still a stiff frame so arm sensitive players should play close attention to using softer strings and/or lower tensions in order to maximize comfort in this racquet.
Baseline players looking for easy power and spin have a new option with this latest update from Tecnifibre. It boasts intoxicatingly easy power, great spin production and enough maneuverability to be dangerous at the front. While it might lack a bit in the more delicate aspects of shotmaking, it makes up for with plenty of brute force for dominating points. The TFlash 300 CES is a strong choice for players looking to dictate baseline rallies with spin and power from a frame that provides above average comfort.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke formerly served for 3 years as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho. He is a PTR certified coach and is an active USTA 4.5 League and Tournament player.