Yonex VCore Pro 97D 320 Racket Review
Yonex VCORE rackets are aimed at heavy hitters. Their weighty, spin friendly nature makes them ideal for players that want to generate as much power and spin from the baseline as possible, without skimping on control. The VCORE Pro 97D brings more precision to the party with its dense 18x20 string pattern, helping advanced players control their shots and keep them in the court. The two tone blue and green design stands out from the crowd and the racket feel stable on contact without being too harsh on the arm.
9out of 10
This more control friendly version of the Yonex VCORE does a great job of taming the natural power of those best suited to using it. Yonex has sought to make this version of the VCORE more user friendly, flexible and comfortable without sacrificing any of that signature control or spin.
97 sq in head sizes have become more and more popular in recent times. This is a control focused head size that aims to dial in precision and accuracy.
The smaller head size of the Yonex VCORE 97D 320 combined with the dense 18×20 string pattern ensures a super consistent response from the string bed, along with more control over the ball.
Yonex have made a few tweaks to make this latest version of the VCORE Pro more accommodating to a wider audience.
They have thickened the beam slightly to add more power to the racket, as well as altering the shaft design slightly to allow for greater flexibility. This ensures power and comfort can be increased in tandem, something that many manufacturers tend to struggle with.
What’s more, Yonex has incorporated a range of technologies into this racket. 2G-NAMDand Flex Fuse technologies help improve the racket’s stability and snapback for optimum spin potential.
The VDM vibration dampening mesh does a great job of ensuring comfort is still a priority with this racket, despite the added power. These innovations culminate in a racket that is a very solid all rounder for an aggressive baseliner looking to stamp their authority on the court.
From the baseline, the racket feels very solid on contact and you can hear that classic Yonex thud as you strike the ball. One area that surprised me was how much spin I could generate for a dense string bed.
The work Yonex has done to ensure spin is a priority in this racket has really paid off. You can feel the strings brushing the ball and catching it as you make contact, without the usual inconsistencies of an open string pattern.
This is a best of both worlds situation, as you get the characteristic control, feel and predictability of a closed string pattern, whilst also benefiting from plenty of spin.
Considering the Ezone line of rackets from Yonex are generally considered the more comfortable and playable rackets, I was surprised to find this version of the VCORE Pro so supple.
It does a great job of redirecting powerful shots without upsetting the contact point, and is very adept at placing the ball exactly where you want it.
The swing weight is solid but not overwhelming. You can definitely feel that you are swinging a reasonable amount of mass when you play with the Yonex VCORE Pro 97D 320, but it is not sluggish or slow through the air by any means.
That being said, you do need to get the racket back early and use it like a pendulum to get the momentum going if you want to string a clean, hard shot. It is not the sort of racket that you can just flick at the ball and it will give you easy power, you do have to work for all the pace and spin you generate.
The VCORE is very rewarding when you catch it right on a fast swing though. It may be slightly intimidating for a beginner player, but an intermediate to advanced player would likely appreciate the reassuring heft of the racket.
The racket seems pretty well judged from a weight perspective, especially for those with long and fast paced swings.
The touch and feel of the racket was again surprisingly good considering it is a bit of a beast! It feels very solid on slices and you get a good sense of connection with the ball when looking to thread the needle on passing shots or when approaching the net.
All in all the Yonex VCORE Pro 97D 320 was a surprisingly versatile racket to play with. What could have been a bit of a baseline slugger actually turned out to be a well balanced, comfortable and feelsome racket.
It of course has additional power, spin and control thanks to its natural attributes, but Yonex has done a great job of rounding out this racket to make it a jack of all trades!
8out of 10
Up at the net, the Yonex VCORE Pro 97D 320 was incredibly solid and surprisingly pliant. Its 18×20 string pattern made the racket very predictable and controlled.
I could still knife the ball with venom when I needed to thanks to the snap back Yonex have engineered into the frame.
This, along with the damping technology makes this racket great for touch volleys and taking pace off the ball. You can simply soften the grip and absorb powerful shots with ease to stun your opponents.
The racket is very solid thanks to its weight, but it is reasonably easy to swing considering its mass. Less experienced players may not agree, finding it a little bit hefty and maybe even cumbersome.
However, if you have sound volley technique and are physically strong enough to handle the weight the VCORE Pro is very rewarding to attack the net with. If you crunch a solid one out the middle it feels great!
8out of 10
Naturally, as a weightier racket that aims to supplement powerful strokes, the Yonex VCORE Pro feels very solid on serve. The supple frame makes it a very comfortable stick to hit bombs and the thicker beam adds a little bit of power.
The accuracy and consistency from the 18×20 string pattern and 97 sq in string bed make hitting your spots on serve easy.
This is definitely a racket that rewards your inputs though. Just like from the back of the court, if you have a slower swing and don’t have the strength to hit your serves with power yourself, you may find the VCORE Pro 97D a bit sluggish.
Again, there is a surprising amount of spin considering the string pattern, which is great for carving out slice serves and adding heavy kick spin to second serves.
There wasn’t necessarily a major stand out feature of the Yonex VCORE Pro 97D 320 on serves. It was a solid performer and rewards big hitters with accuracy, spin and control.
8.5out of 10
Returns with the VCORE Pro were better than expected. When you get a hold of one and time it right, the ball comes flying out the middle of the string bed with vapour trails!
The weight of the racket means power is easy to find if you time your returns well and make solid contact.
The racket can be a little unforgiving if you don’t find the centre of the strings however, and the heft of the stick can make it difficult to time the ball on faster serves.
This is a racket that you really have to be on your game to get the most out of. Like in the other areas of the game, you really have to put the effort in with this stick for it to reward you. But, when you do, boy does it pay dividends.
The suppleness and feel of the racket was pretty impressive too for such a sledge hammer. The racket was well damped and nifty angles were easy to find when I needed them.
Again, the closed string pattern really helped with my confidence when returning. The consistency and predictability adds to the sense of calm you can feel when stepping up to return with the VCORE Pro 97D.
8.5out of 10
Overall, the Yonex VCORE Pro 97D 320 is a heavy player’s racket that suits a big baseline hitter.
Yonex has rounded the racket out really well by adding flex and damping to the VCORE, making it more accessible to more players.
Intermediate and advanced players will love the breadth of its abilities, especially when looking to pull the trigger and hit accurate winners from the baseline.
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