A good secret is hard to keep and for Yonex, the secret to updating their VCore Pro line was too good to hold back on. Having updated the line just last year, 2019 brings a new revision to the VCore Pro line. Sporting an impressive new matte green and gold paint scheme, Yonex also brings some new tech to the fold. Vibration Dampening Mesh is now bonded with the graphite under the grip, resulting in a 30% reduction in vibration. Yonex’s Namd material carries over for enhanced flexibility and response. The Lock Booster System grommet design is also utilized again to promote string contact for increased spin and energy transfer. Being a fan of as much feel as possible in racquets, I was excited to test out this new update from Yonex on court.
The VCore Pro 310 showcased its controlled nature off the ground. The 20 mm beam and 11.5 oz strung weight combined to offer a power level that I found easy to control from either side. Against big hitters, I found myself wishing for a little more juice off the ground so that I could dictate a little more during rallies. The headlight balance made it easy to generate racquet head speed and squeeze as much pace as possible out of my groundstrokes. The sweet spot felt on par with other 97s, not massive but also not unforgiving. The Isometric head shape also seemed to help open the top of the hoop a bit more, which was a positive as I tend to contact the ball high on the string bed. Directional control was the major highlight of groundstrokes with the frame. The thin beam and high maneuverability gave me exceptional directional accuracy. I was able to consistently pick aggressive targets and attack the lines during points. Spin production was solid from the 16 x 19 pattern. The racquet was easy to whip through contact and generate the necessary margin as needed. I enjoyed the easy lift on the ball I was able to get on my backhand side especially as I hit a pretty flat shot on that side. The racquet struggled a little bit defensively and I would have preferred a bit more mass in the head to help with stability against heavy hitters. The flip side was that when I was stretched out on defensive, it was a breeze to flick shots back thanks to the speedy nature the frame had.
Volleys & Serves
The classic attributes of the VCore Pro 310 started to shine through in net play. The controlled power level allowed me to attack volleys and make quick work of anything left up for me. I never worried about over cooking a volley, the frame simply put the ball wherever I asked it to. The inherent accuracy was also a lot of fun to leverage at the net. I was able to carve out nasty angles and direct volleys deep into the corners, putting opponents on the run. The soft flex of the frame also helped with touch volleys although the new version felt a little more muted and at times, I felt a little too disconnected from the ball. The racquet’s fast reflexes allowed me to fight off a lot off body shots, but I would have liked a bit more mass in the head to add a touch more stability when redirecting big shots at the net. Overall, the more I kept an aggressive mindset at net, the more I was rewarded using the VCore Pro.
Versatility was the first word that came to mind when I thought about serving with the new VCore Pro 310. It had a big toolkit of options for me to choose from when serving. The easy acceleration made it incredibly easy to ramp up the pace on big first serves. While it lacked some of the court penetration of heavier frames, I still found enough speed to snag some free points. Much like ground strokes, the accuracy of the frame was a huge positive on serve. I was able to target the corners and consistently shift my serve placement with ease. The fast feel and spin friendly nature also paid off on second serves. I was able to get my kick serve to jump off the court and make returners uncomfortable. Slice serves stayed low and my ad side slice serve proved incredibly effective at opening the court and shortening points.
Feel was the department where the update from last year’s VCore Pro to this new model was most evident. The VDM material integrated into the handle provided a noticeable increase in vibration absorption. The racquet had a more muted feel than the previous version on contact. While this was a general positive, there were some times where I wanted a bit more direct feedback in order to really feel like I was connected to the ball. The dampening material and lower 60s flex gave the racquet plenty of ball pocketing and I felt like I was able to hold the ball on shots for a long time, forcing opponents to guess on directions. Even strung with full poly, the racquet was very comfortable and had consistent feel across the string bed. Off center shots had not negative increase in feedback and the racquet should be easy to use for any player concerned with comfort.
Yonex has an update to the VCore Pro line worth talking about. The racquet offers an impressive blend of controlled power, accessible spin and comfortable feel. Its easy maneuverability and strong accuracy should suit attacking players who want to control shot placement. The Yonex VCore Pro 97 310 is a strong choice for players looking for a frame that can spot the ball anywhere on court while playing with a responsive and comfortable feel.
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.