Prince Phantom 97P (2020) Specs
Head Size:97 in² / 625.81 cm²
Length:27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.8oz / 335g
Balance:12.5in / 31.75cm / 8 pts HL
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 18 Crosses
When a racket promises speed, spin, feel, and control, I tend to get excited and that’s exactly what Prince seems to be offering with the Phantom 97P. We’ve loved the Phantom rackets in the past, admiring the control and feel they offer, and hopefully, this new Phantom 97P will live up to expectations.
With a 97 square inch head, the 97P is geared towards precision, but it’s the open 16 x 18 string pattern that’s piqued our interest. This should allow for plenty of spin potential, and combined with the traditional feel of the Phantom and high-levels of control, could create a serious weapon!
This stick has a really low stiffness rating, which is great for players who enjoy buttery feel and an easy ride on the joints, but it still packs a punch. The signature Anti-Torque System helps keep the racket stable during contact, making sure your racket head speed is converted into power, spin, and control.
Weighing in around 315g unstrung, the Phantom 97P should be a good weight for many strong intermediate and advanced players, with its easy maneuverability making it that bit more accessible. All in all, it looks like a racket that spin and control lovers can really get behind, and we were pretty excited to get it out on court.
For this playtest, we strung the Prince Phantom Pro 97P up with Wilson Revolve at 50lbs, helping us maximize that spin and control potential.
Groundstrokes – 8.5/10
This racket really makes you feel like you could put the ball on a dime from anywhere on the court. You’ve got so much feel and control, and when you add the spin in, it just gives you even more ability to put the ball exactly where you want it.
I was able to use this combination to get some great angle on my shots, dragging my opponents out of the court and allowing me to take control of the point. The one difficulty I did have though, and where I found the 16 x 18 string pattern difficult to get on with was when I was stepping into the court and trying to flatten the ball out.
The 16 x 18 string pattern is great for players who need to add a little bit more spin to their game, but for players who naturally play with a lot of topspin, it can make things more complicated. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s something to be aware of, and there are certain game styles that are going to suit this stick much better.
What I did love about this racket was the stability and feel. You feel like you’re always going to win the collision with the ball with this stick, and when you hit the ball out of the middle you get such buttery feel. I’m a big fan of the drop shot, and this racket certainly made you want to hit more of them!
We thought the Prince Phantom 97P did extremely well from the back of the court, and there were few negatives we could come up with. For people looking for spin and control, it’s got everything you would want – we gave it an 8.5 out of 10 from the back of the court.
Volleys – 8.5/10
When you combine feel, control, and stability, you’ve got all the ingredients for good volleying. That was certainly the case with the Phantom 97P and boy did we enjoy it.
When you’re working with the right stick at the net and you’re on form, there are few things more satisfying. It didn’t matter what kind of volley I was hitting, easy or hard, high or low, the 97P gave me what I needed and I was able to make the most of it.
As someone who doesn’t venture to the net too much in singles I didn’t get to test it out too much, but when it came to doubles, all that changed. I felt extremely comfortable at the net with the 97P, looking to attack the net and put my opponents under pressure. More often than not it paid off and we were able to win a ton of points.
The 97P is solid on contact and allows you to control the ball back to your spots. There’s not much more you can ask for at the net, and it earned a very solid 8.5 out of 10.
Serve – 8/10
Again, I struggled slightly with the extra spin potential of the 16 x 18 string pattern on the serve, but other than this, I couldn’t find any faults with the Phantom 97P.
The maneuverability helps you keep your racket head speed, and when you get to your contact the stability helps turn that racket head speed into power. It doesn’t offer too much easy power, but if you can get enough racket head speed, then you will find you can hit some big serves with this stick.
On the second serve, this racket makes it easy to find the kind of spin that helps give your serve extra margin for error. It was just on the first serve where I struggled with the spin potential, I always seemed to get more spin than I wanted which caused me to lose some control.
However, I don’t think this is anything I couldn’t adapt to, and the Prince Phantom 97P still gets a good 8 out of 10 for the return.
Return – 8.5/10
The Phantom 97P has a great blend of characteristics when it comes to the return. It’s got plenty of stability and control to help you guide the first serve back into court and when you want to lay into the second serve it can help with that.
It’s normally a combination of speed, stability, and control that I find works best on the return and luckily that’s exactly what you’ve got with this racket. I still had to work a bit to tame the open string pattern, but I found it a little easier on the small swings of the return than I did with the bigger swings on groundstrokes.
We really enjoyed the feel of the Prince Phantom 97P on returns and gave it an 8.5 out of 10.
Overall – 8.5/10
If you’re looking for a magical mix of spin, control, and feel, then look no further than the Prince Phantom 97P. As you can probably tell, we really enjoyed this racket and found it did everything it promised.
The string pattern does take a little bit of getting used to if you’re not used to it, and the extra spin potential won’t compliment everyone’s game, but other than this, we couldn’t find anything to dislike about this stick.
From the back of the court, you get wonderful spin, control, and feel, which leaves you feeling like you can do anything you want with the ball. This is backed up by great performance at the net, and good characteristics for serving.
All in all, we very much enjoyed testing the Prince Phantom 97P and gave it an 8.5 out of 10.
Review by: Will