Yonex VCore Pro 97H (330g) Racket Review
Yonex VCORE rackets are designed for players that love to strike the ball with power. The control, spin and precision of these rackets are why some of the best players in the world like Denis Shapovalov and Stan Wawrinka love them. The most performance focused of the bunch, the Pro 97H (330g) is a beast of a stick that is a challenge to wield in itself! This is an advanced player’s racket that requires strength and great technique to master. Get it right and you’ll be blasting your opponent’s off the court!
8out of 10
The heaviest and most demanding of the VCORE range, the Pro 97H 330g is the racket endorsed by Stan the man Wawrinka! This is a bit of a beast and should be handled with caution by anything less than an experienced player.
It is a weighty racket that will reward big hitters with plenty of control, spin and heavy shots. This is the sort of racket that can take a good player’s game to the next level as they unlock a level of performance that a mid plus racket simply won’t be able to match.
Compared to previous versions of the VCORE Pro, Yonex has taken steps to give this racket a little more pop and feel. They have done this by thickening the frame slightly and adding their Flex Fuse, 2G NAMD and vibration damping mesh technologies.
These, along with just a 61 stiffness rating, work together to dial out some of the harshness of a performance stick like the 97H. The upshot is a better rounded racket that has a wider range of abilities than previous versions.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking the VCORE Pro 97H has become a softened down, accessible, easy racket to play with. It still demands just as much respect as ever!
The first thing to note about the playing experience is that this is by no means an easy racket to swing. Seriously, if you are not used to playing with rackets with this sort of mass, then it is probably worth trying one of the lighter versions like the VCORE Pro 100 for example.
For beginners that lack the technique to utilise this racket to the max, it will most likely feel sluggish and unresponsive. The weight of the stick can make it feel like a sledgehammer at times.
Whilst this is a great attribute for baseline bashers, if you have more compact swings and need a bit of help generating power from your racket, it is definitely worth looking elsewhere.
Much like the Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph, the VCORE Pro 97H is a control focused racket that will give you a lot of plough through from the back of the court.
You can feel the immense weight of the racket travelling through the ball as you make contact, generating a satisfying thud. If you are an advanced player that is comfortable generating your own power and likes to take big cuts at the ball, this racket will deliver the goods.
One thing that the heft of this racket really helps with is redirecting pace from your opponent.
The rock solid stability of the Yonex VCORE Pro 97H 330g means you can half volley or even block back fast incoming balls and the balance of the racket is not upset one bit.
Unlike the D models (formerly known as HD for high density), the H variant comes with an open 16×19 string pattern. This enhances its spin producing credentials, helping the racket produce ultra heavy balls from the baseline.
The high launch angle gets the ball ripping over the net on both the forehand and backhand swing.
Bear in mind, you need to prepare very early and give yourself time to take a full cut at the ball when using this version of the VCORE Pro. If you don’t you may find yourself stuck with an uncomfortable dead weight swinging at the ball!
The swing weight can actually be quite tough to manage at times. If you manage to prepare early enough and time the ball well, the ball will rocket off the strings.
However, this is something that is only realistic for advanced players that are used to this type of weight. If you are more accustomed to playing with a mid plus level racket then this will likely be a bit overwhelming.
7.5out of 10
Up at the net, the Yonex VCORE Pro 97H 330 was rock solid but also offered more feel than I was expecting. The low stiffness rating helps absorb the pace of fast balls and the racket is also very well damped.
The 16×19 string pattern helps produce extra spin on the volleys which, combined with the 97 sq in head, helps with accuracy and control.
However, the mass of the racket did again take its toll. It is simply too hefty for my liking on the net and it is actually quite difficult to manoeuvre.
This is not so much of a problem if you are hitting a solid approach shot and have plenty of time to punch through the ball with pace. In this situation the racket feels very crisp and the weight helps you crunch those higher, floating volleys with authority.
The downside of this is when you need to react quickly and hit more than one volley the racket can feel a bit like a dead weight. This is exaggerated even more at the net compared to at the baseline, since you have so little time to prepare.
Again, if you are used to this weight of racket and have the physical strength to handle this level of swing weight, then the racket will probably feel great. However, for the majority of players, the Yonex VCORE Pro 97H 330 will most likely be a bit too demanding to volley well with.
8.5out of 10
Following the theme of the 97H being a demanding racket to swing, on serve it rewards your inputs but doesn’t give you much help!
If you have the strength to time the ball right on serve, you will experience a very heavy ball with loads of spin and power thanks to the open string pattern, weight and slightly thicker beam.
The racket is pretty comfortable if you middle it too as the 61 flex rating and superior damping helps dial out unwanted vibrations and harshness.
That being said, the racket can wear you out if you aren’t used to swinging this amount of weight above your head. The accuracy and momentum of the racket when you get it moving will really help performance players get the most out of their serve. But, for me the weight meant the high levels of performance were short lived!
7.5out of 10
Returning serve with the Yonex VCORE Pro 97H 330 is an interesting experience. The mass of the racket travelling through the ball produces some absolute zingers when you time the ball well!
The open string pattern helps with spin generation so you can access some acute angles when returning both first and second serves.
The suppleness of the racket makes it pretty comfortable which is an unexpected feeling with a racket that is focused on performance.
However, again the swing weight being so high plays a major role in the overall experience of the racket. When you middle it, the racket feels great. Crisp, responsive and a bit of a powerhouse!
But, because the racket feels so weighty it can be difficult to time the ball consistently, leading to more off centre hits than I would like. The smaller frame also makes it difficult to strike the ball cleanly on a regular basis and this can be a bit of an issue when trying to get the racket out in front early to block back big first serves.
8out of 10
Overall, the Yonex VCORE Pro 97H 330 is a very demanding racket that needs an advanced level player with solid technique to make the most of.
If you love taking big cuts at the ball and can handle the immense swing weight of this beast, you’ll likely fall in love with it!
However, for mere mortals that are more comfortable with a slightly more forgiving stick that is easier to swing and has a bigger sweet spot, the 97H will likely come across as a bit unforgiving.
The beauty is in the eyes of the beholder with this racket, with most of the benefits and drawbacks really coming from how well you are able to wield it!
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