Prince Phantom 100X 18 x 20 (2020) Specs
Head Size:100 in² / 645.16 cm²
Length:27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.8oz / 335g
Balance:12.4in / 31.5cm / 9 pts HL
String Pattern: 18 Mains / 20 Crosses
The Prince Phantom range is one we love to recommend to all sorts of players so we were excited to get our hands on this Prince Phantom 100X 18 x 20.
We found the previous version of the Phantom Pro 100 18 x 20 to be really strong in all areas of the court, so we were hoping it would be more of the same with this latest release.
Phantoms always do a great job of being arm friendly and offering plenty of feel, and with this 18 x 20 string pattern, you’ve got the added bonus of great control. Prince has also added a slightly thicker beam to give a little bit more stability, which should give players some more pop.
With a strung weight of 317g, this stick is perfectly weighted to play some strong tennis, combining the performance of the heavier rackets with the maneuverability the lighter weight gives you. Add to this the flexible feel of the racket, and you’ve got something that’s really easy on your arms and wrists, and can keep you swinging through the ball even in those long, tough matches.
As ever with a new update of a racket we love, we were a little bit anxious for this playtest. Would the Prince Phantom 100X live up to our lofty expectations, or would we be left disappointed?
Groundstrokes – 8/10
How you feel about the new version is probably going to come down to your feelings about 18 x 20 string pattern rackets. If you’re a devout 18 x 20 string pattern user who craves control over everything else, then you might be a little bit disappointed with this new version.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who is in the middle of 16 x 19 and 18 x 20 and likes control, but still with a bit of pop then the the Phantom 100x is going to be right up your alley.
For me, I fall into the category of devout 18 x 20 user, and while I still enjoyed the racket, I much preferred the older version. I think it’s the slightly beefier beam that made the difference. It just doesn’t quite have the same levels of feel and control which took a little something away from my game.
What you do get in place of the control is a little more easy power, which other players will enjoy. While it’s still by no means a power racket, it does give you a little something extra, which could open it up for players who seek control, but still with that little bit of pop.
If you are that kind of player, then you’re going to benefit from the renowned comfort of Phantom rackets, and a racket that’s nice and easy to play with. For its weight, it’s not the most stable racket out there, but perhaps that’s a small sacrifice in order to get that flexi, comfortable hit and some solid feel on the ball.
We gave the Prince Phantom 100X 18 x 20 an 8 out of 10 for groundstrokes, a good score, but not quite as good as the old version.
Volleys – 8/10
The old Phantom 100 18 x 20 was exceptional at the net, whereas I would say this new version is good. Again, the changes in the frame have just taken away a bit of control and you can see the difference when it comes to the volleys.
I wouldn’t say the 100x is bad at the net by any means, it’s just not quite as good as the old version. It’s still got pretty good control, and is fast and comfortable through the swings, which makes it a useful weapon for both singles and doubles.
One of the things I love about these Phantoms is that you always know you’re going to get something that’s comfortable and easy to play with. When you turn up at the net, it’s easy to get the racket into position, and even when you mistime it, you’re still not going to suffer from bad vibrations.
I volleyed pretty well throughout this playtest, and wasn’t worried about attacking the net. I felt confident that the Phantom 100x could handle whatever was thrown at me, and that was normally the case.
Overall, an 8 out of 10 at the net is a good score, and it’s certainly not an area where the Prince Phantom 100X 18 x 20 lets itself down.
Serve – 8.5/10
If there was one area where we preferred the new version then it was on the serve, where the extra pop really made a difference.
The old version did have a tendency to feel a little bit underpowered on the serve, but the new stick allows you to turn your racket head speed into good power. You won’t struggle to create that racket head speed because this stick moves nicely through the air, helping you extract the most from your serve.
On the second serve, the control kicks in, allowing you to be aggressive but still get plenty of consistency. We all found we put in good serving performances with this stick, particularly on the second serve, where we all felt particularly confident.
There wasn’t too much more you could ask for from this racket on serve, and it helped us win a lot of service games. We gave the Prince Phantom 100X 18 x 20 an 8.5 out of 10.
Return – 8/10
This Phantom has a great setup for the return, combining speed with the control of the 18 x 20 string pattern. It’s ideal for the short swings you need when returning a big first serve but also offers a little bit of pop for when you want to step into the second serve return.
The return is one of those shots you never seem to practice that much, and so, you don’t spend as much time evaluating a racket in this area, but it’s vitally important. If you don’t get on with a racket on the return it can make your life so much more difficult, so it’s important to find one you gel with.
The Prince Phantom 100X 18 x 20 was one of those rackets I gelled nicely with on the return, and we gave it an 8 out of 10.
Overall – 8/10
All in all, the Prince Phantom 100X 18 x 20 is a very good racket, even if we might have slightly preferred the old version.
It’s great for players who want a comfortable, maneuverable racket with an emphasis on control. With a little bit more pop than some other 18 x 20 rackets, it’s one that people who are somewhere between the 16 x 19 pattern and the 18 x 20 can find a good balance.
For a racket around 315g, it’s very easy to play with and this translates into a good blend of control, spin, and power from the back of the court. It’s got plenty of feel, which combined with the control allows you to target pinpoint spots on the court to get your opponent moving side to side.
When you follow the ball into the net, the good performance continues and you won’t find this stick lacking in the volleying department. Again, the comfort and feel shines through, helping you to effortlessly guide the ball back into court.
The serve was the main area where we preferred the new racket to the old one, with the extra bit of pop giving it more potential.
Throughout the playtest, we got a picture of a racket that is well rounded, and that will suit a lot of players. We gave the Prince Phantom 100X 18 x 20 an 8 out of 10.
Review by: Will