Prince Phantom 100X 290 Specs

 

Head Size: 100 in² / 645 cm²

Length: 27in / 68,5cm

Strung Weight: 306g / 10,8oz

Unstrung Weight: 290g/10,2oz

Balance: 33,02cm / 4 pts HL

Swingweight: 319

String Pattern:    16 Mains / 18 Crosses

 

Our Review

 

We love a light racket with plenty of feel and control, and that’s exactly what you get with the Prince Phantom 100X 290. Prince has updated the whole Phantom range, giving this already brilliant racket range yet more stability and feel.

With the 100X 290, you benefit from Prince’s signature Anti Torque System which gives you lots of stability for a racket in this weight class. However, the 100X backs this up with wonderful feel that really allows you to pick your spots.

Of course, being the lightest racket in the Phantom range, you’ve got that extra maneuverability to help you with your swings, making this an ideal racket for intermediate players who love to attack the ball. However, this stick also has enough stability to work for more advanced players who are looking for a slightly lighter, arm-friendly option.

There are lots of great rackets around the 290g weight, with the Wilson Blade 98L, and Yonex Vcore Pro 97 (290) being two of our favorites, so we were interested to see how the Phantom 100X would compare. Like these two rackets, the Phantom offers plenty of control, so we were hopeful we would perform well with it.

We took this playtest with Wilson Revolve strung at 50lbs. This helped get plenty of control and spin from the Phantom 100X 290 without losing too much feel. For more information on your string setup, check out our Tennis String Tension Guide.

So, could the Prince Phantom 100X 290 live up to the competition?

 

Groundstrokes – 8/10

 

This stick does exactly what you want it to do from the back of the court. It’s got maneuverability, spin potential, feel, and control, and that’s a terrific blend to have. It allows you to take responsibility for generating the power, but gives you the tools to control aggressive swings, which resulted in some pretty lethal shots.

For a 290g racket, we were particularly impressed with the stability we got from the 100X. Often when we play with the lighter rackets, we find we really struggle to get the right contact, but this was never a problem with this stick. In this sense, it has a lot in common with the Blade 98L and the VCore Pro 97 (290).

The other aspect we particularly enjoyed, and we always find this with Phantom rackets was the feel. It sounds silly, but you just feel right hitting the ball with this racket. You feel like you’ve got the ball on a string and you’re completely in control of where it lands.

Whether it was forehand or backhand, topspin or slice, we all felt extremely comfortable with the Phantom 100X and played some nice tennis with it. The light weight made it easy to play with, but you still got good performance, and that’s what’s important to us when we’re dropping down to a slightly lighter racket.

All in all, a very impressive performance from the Prince Phantom 100X 290 from the back of the court and we gave it an 8 out of 10. It doesn’t get much higher than this for rackets under 300g.

 

Volleys – 7.5/10

 

Control and feel are two qualities you always want to have at the net and the Prince Phantom 100X 290 has plenty of both. This allows you to block the ball back and hit your spots with plenty of confidence, even when the ball has some extra pace on it.

Stability-wise, this stick does an excellent job for its weight and this really helps at the net when the ball’s coming at you with a lot of power. The 290g racket is never going to have the stability of the heavier Phantoms, but it does really well with what it does have.

Often we would be quite cautious coming to the net with a lighter racket, because they’re not always very predictable, but we had no such concerns with the Phantom and would have no problems playing doubles with it.

Although it’s pretty close between the three rackets, the Phantom, the Blade L, and the 290g V Core Pro, we all agreed that the Phantom was probably our favorite at the net, which is high praise indeed!

We gave the Prince Phantom 100X 290 a 7.5 out of 10 for volleys.

Serve – 7/10

 

The serve is one area where some people can find the Phantom rackets to be a little bit underpowered, and we did feel this was the case with the 100X 290. It’s just missing a little bit of pop and we felt we didn’t serve quite as well as we did with the VCore Pro 290 or Blade 98L.

The upside of this is it really encourages you to be aggressive with your swings and keep improving your technique. It’s not necessary to have a super-powerful racket, it’s more important to get the most out of your swings, and you can do that with the Phantom 100X 290.

You’ve also got plenty of control when it comes to the second serve, meaning you feel confident to keep swinging through. One of the big problems people have with the second serve is that they drop the racket head speed when they get nervous, but with the Phantom, you’ve got the control to allow you to keep attacking the ball.

We used the control of the Prince Phantom 100X 290 to put in a consistent serving display, but we would have liked a little bit more pop. Still, we gave it a good score of 7.5 out of 10 for the serve.

 

Return – 7.5/10

 

We often find that when a racket works well for volleys it tends to do pretty well on returns as well. This was much the case with the Phantom 100X 290, and we generally had a pretty good time when it came to the returns.

It’s always a little bit difficult returning a big serve with a 290g racket, because they tend to get pushed around a bit, and we did find this with the Phantom. However, it’s hard to fault it for its stability. For its weight, it does a tremendous job, which allowed us to make plenty of returns and get a foothold in the point.

This racket swings through beautifully, allowing you to contact the ball out in front of your body and guide it back deep. The excellent feel also comes in handy as you try and push your opponent back behind the baseline.

On second serves, where you’re looking to attack the ball a little bit more, it’s got plenty of control so you can take a few risks, and we all found we did pretty well at this.

We enjoyed the Prince Phantom 100X 290 on returns, where it gave us good stability for its weight, plenty of comfort and lots of feel. It scored a 7.5 out of 10.

 

Overall – 7.5/10

 

Overall, this is an excellent racket around the 290g weight for players who like control and feel. It’s perfectly weighted for developing players and really encourages you to swing through and be aggressive with your strokes.

Like most modern rackets, the Phantom 100X 290 is most comfortable from the back of the court, but that doesn’t stop it doing a good job at the net. This makes the Phantom a good option for both singles and doubles in the hands of a variety of styles of players.

The one thing to note with this racket is that it’s not an all-powerful weapon. If you’re looking for a power boost, you’re not likely to find it with this stick because that’s not what it’s designed for. It’s there to give you the control and feel to swing through aggressively and create your own power, and it does an extremely good job of this.

The Prince Phantom 100X 290 is certainly on a par with the Wilson Blade 98L and the VCore Pro 97 (290), and is well worth a try if you’re looking for a racket in this weight category. All three of us greatly enjoyed this playtest and gave the Prince Phantom 100X 290 a 7.5 out of 10.

 

Review by: Will