Racquet Preview: Yonex VCORE

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With touring pros like Denis Shapovalov, Caroline Garcia and Angelique Kerber swinging some version of the frame on the pro tours, the Yonex VCORE SV enjoyed a steady rise in popularity. While crisp and powerful, it’s major design feature was to take players into a Spin Vortex. The next edition of the franchise, due out this summer, loses the addendum to its name—it’s simply the VCORE—but Yonex claims it’s the most spin-capable frame in the company’s history. 

The increased spin potential is thanks to three technological improvements. The first is new Aero Fins—grooves along the frame to reduce air resistance. The previous model had them at 10 and 2 o’clock on the inside and outside of the hoop, and the update carries that over along with additional Aero Fins on the shoulders. With less wind drag, swing speed can be higher.

Along those same lines, the frame has a new groove or trench along the inside of the top of the frame. These sunken grommets also reduce air resistance to create a mobile, quicker handling racquet. Also, structurally new, is the addition of Namd to the bridge of the frame. First seen the VCORE Pro frames, this new graphite creates more flex and torque at contact to increase spin. Yonex claims it makes this VCORE 7% more flexible than the SV.

Finally, there’s a new grommet layout that allows strings to have a more vertical entry angle into the frame so there’s more string movement and a wider sweet spot. This helps increase spin on off-center hits. But it also encourages deeper ball-pocketing so the ball stays on the strings longer which creates a higher potential launch point—which means better net clearance—and more of an opportunity to apply spin. The 98, which previously had a 16x20 string pattern, will also now have a more open 16x19 configuration.

Add it all up and you get a frame designed to put a lot of work on the ball. As Yonex continues to unclutter the family names of their franchises, it seems they’re streamlining their intentions as well. The EZONE is friendly and powerful, the VCORE Pro has the most feel and control, and the VCORE is crisp and loaded with spin.

The initial launch of the VCORE will contain seven different models including 95, 98 and 100 square-inch frames. Future releases will include extended versions of the 98 and 100 racquets. Check back for reviews in the coming weeks. 

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