It’s always welcome to find a 95-square inch frame that keeps the (endangered) head size relevant. The Yonex VCORE SV 95 doesn’t have the meatiness, precision and plush response typically associated with more traditional models that share its size. But its quickness, crisp feel and ability to produce spin and pop are welcome traits in today’s game. And being endorsed by rising star, Denis Shapovalov, certainly won’t hurt its popularity.
The smaller head, thin beam, Aero Fin grooves along the racquet, and head light balance help the frame jet through the air, making it a breeze to generate swing speed. A 16x20 string pattern in a 95-square inch frame would seemingly be a recipe for retarding spin production. But only six of the main strings are running through the throat, resulting in adequate spacing. There’s also different shaped grommets for the mains and crosses (dubbed BT Hybrid) designed to promote more string movement. Combined with its quickness through the hitting zone, and like the other models in the SV line, the 95 is no slouch in the spin department. Throw in plenty of pop for a midsize, and my forehand was really jumping.
However, I didn’t find quite the same level of effectiveness on my backhand. It wasn’t a disaster, as my shots were mostly reliable. But I struggled to get completely dialed-in, particularly when I upped my aggression and tried to attack the ball. Keeping the ball inside the baseline became challenging, and the lack of heft in the hoop caused some instability issues. Slices also tended to float more than they penetrated. The smaller margin for error at contact than a mid-plus also led to a few more mishits.
As with many frames of this head size, I really enjoyed serving with SV 95. It was so quick and easy to manipulate through the hitting zone. The added pop it supplies over a more classic 95 really showed up here, as I could rear back and deliver heat on flat first serves. And I garnered enough control that I felt confident moving the ball all around the box. Kick serves and slices had plenty of movement, helping to neutralize my opponent on second serves.
The overall feel at contact was generally crisp and clean—even with a full bed of Yonex Poly Tour Fire at 50 lbs., it didn’t feel harsh or unfriendly. The frame has more flex and comfort than the bigger SV 98, yet like that racquet there’s still some brassiness outside the sweet spot. Adding some weight to the head could be an option to give the SV 95 a more solid feel and enhance the stability.
Which would be a welcome modification for serious net players as well. Again, the speed and fine control offered by the frame led to assured volleying. I also felt a good connection with the ball at impact and had success playing short or creating sharp angles. But there were instances when the frame buckled handling incoming pace, especially when contact was off-center. A little more mass in the head may slow the frame down, but it would give it a sturdier response and help punch the ball through the court with more authority.
However, aggressive, free-swinging baseliners may be satisfied with the VCORE SV 95 in its current form. It’s not a slugger like the Wilson Burn 95, but it does provide a boost of power and spin to compete in the modern game. Players who still prefer the agility, feel and control of a compact head size, but wouldn’t mind a little more help from their racquet should definitely give this one a look.