How It Tested: The latest release from Yonex aims to reinforce the Japanese brand’s reputation for playability while broadening its appeal to a wider demographic. The V Core line consists of the 95 D (endorsed by Lleyton Hewitt), the 98 D (Juan Monaco’s racquet of choice) and the stiffer 100 S, which earned international attention when world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki switched to it at the start of the season. Of the trio, the 98 D had the broadest appeal among play testers, who said it offered the optimum range of power, clarity and control. The open string pattern offered enhanced spin, while flat-ball hitters said the head size enabled them to drive groundstrokes without sacrificing feel.
Likes: The racquet offers enough clout to withstand blows from baseline bashers while sustaining control. Play-testers who are regular Yonex users said this stick was sharper than prior models, and several preferred the V Core to the E-Zone.
Dislikes: While the frame was maneuverable around the court, some play testers said they were consistently challenged when snapping the racquet through contact on serve and overheads. Players accustomed to playing with a more rounded racquet head may experience some adjustment to the more rectangular shape of the Yonex hoop.
Bottom Line: If you’re an aggressive baseliner who thrives with a smaller head and heavier frame, the 95 D may suit your needs. Players who enjoy a larger sweet spot and more face space in a lighter spec may prefer the 100 S. This is also a good choice for players seeking to transition up from a tweener frame to a higher-performance player frame.