Versatility has been a trademark of the Yonex Ezone lineup for years and the newest update seeks to continue leading the way in that realm. For 2020, Yonex looks to retain the speed and offense of the outgoing model while bringing back some of the feel and comfort of the Ezone DR generation. The Ezone 100 is a player favorite model in the line and gets a full upgrade. A new elastic graphite called M40X is used in the throat to provide enhanced flexibility and stability. Fresh from the Vcore Pro, Vibration Dampening Mesh (VDM) lines the handle to provide enhanced dampening without impacting the feel. Yonex again uses Liner Tech grommets to reduce string friction and provide improved responsiveness. Having been impressed by previous versions of the Ezone 100, I was eager to hit the courts with this latest version.
Off the ground, the Ezone 100 had plenty of power on tap. With a slightly thicker beam than the 98 inch version, the 100 produced easier power from both wings. The 100 inch Isometric head shape had a large sweet spot and impressive power, even in the top of the hoop. At 11.2 oz strung, I found plenty of depth on my groundstrokes and was able to keep my shots deep in the court. With a 4 pts headlight balance, the racquet had plenty of head speed for accelerating through contact on big groundstrokes. I felt the 98 was a bit easier to control and a bit more accurate, but I was impressed with the level of directional control the 100 offered. It was one of the most adept 100 inch frames I’ve used recently when it came to hitting to targets and aggressive spots on the court. Spin was no problem to generate with the 16 x 19 pattern. Although it was dense in the middle for solid control, I still found it easy to put plenty of air on the ball and vary the spin on my shots as needed. The fast swing speed and string pattern paired nicely for both big spinning groundies and being able to control flattening out mid court balls. The Ezone 100 was impressively stable and it soaked up pace and redirected it with ease. I also enjoyed the extra forgiveness when stretched out on defense. The 100 made me feel like I was still in the point anytime I could still get a racquet on the ball.
Volleys & Serves
The Ezone was an impressive performer at the net. I generally don’t enjoy the larger head sizes as much at net, but I was surprised at how well the 100 made the transition to the front of the court. Its easy power allowed me to finish off anything close to me with ease. If anything, I had to make sure to play aggressively as the extra power tended to float balls if I was careless. The quick handling of the 100 also allowed me to quickly position the frame and control rapid exchanges at the net. While not as precise as the 98, the 100 still had more than enough control to be dangerous. I was able to volley to the corners and angle balls off the court quite easily. The Ezone 100 was also impressively stable at the net. It absorbed big blows with very minimal twisting. This new version also had improved touch and feel over the outgoing variation. I was able to mix drop and touch volleys in on a regular basis and found good success utilizing softer volleys.
The Ezone 100 brought the heat on serve. I found it very easy to ramp up the racquet head speed and generate some serious pace on my first serve. Although lighter than the 98, I felt the 100 generated pace more smoothly and I was able to snag more than my fair share of free points as a result. The frame wasn’t a scalpel when it came to accuracy, but there was enough control for me to vary serve locations and not get too repetitive. Kick serves were my most effective option for second serve. The easy acceleration and spin friendly pattern created serves that jumped off the court and were hard to attack for all but the most aggressive returners. I always enjoy more mass for my slice serves so I found the 100 didn’t have enough bite or skidding action to make them as dangerous as heavier models.
Feel & Comfort
As noted in other Ezone reviews, Yonex greatly improved the feel of the 2020 Ezone 100. The last version had an incredibly firm upper hoop that was not very pleasant on contact. The new model did a tremendous job rectifying the issue and creating a more uniform, responsive string bed. The racquet felt crisp but still a bit softer than the outgoing generation. The VDM in the handle did an impressive job absorbing vibration on contact, although at times it left the feedback a little vaguer than I wanted. Even with a high 60s RA, I thought the Ezone 100 was very comfortable and did not experience any arm issues while playing with it. The racquet’s firmness was well balanced by the VDM and the more flexible M40X graphite utilized in the shaft. The Ezone 100’s comfort level should please a variety of players and allow them to use a wide variety of string and tension choices.
The Yonex Ezone line continues to be one of the most well balanced “tweener” lines on the market. The 100 boasts smooth power that is easy to control and plenty of spin for baseline domination. Its admirable skills at the net and defense make it an incredible all court weapon. The 2020 Yonex Ezone 100 is an excellent choice for the player who wants power, control and comfort in a mobile and forgiving design.
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.