Wilson Clash 98 Specs
Head Size:98 in² / 632.26 cm²
Length:27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.5oz / 326g
Unstrung Weight: 10.95 oz/ 310g
Balance:12.4in / 31.5cm / 9 pts HL
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
So far, we’ve had an up and down time with the Wilson Clash rackets. We were suitably impressed with the Clash 100 but left a little disappointed with the Clash 100 Tour. The Wilson Clash 98 has all the kind of specs we like though, so would it be able to move to the top of the tree in this Clash lineup?
The Clash 98 weighs in at 310g unstrung, a nice middle ground between the stability of a heavy racket and the maneuverability of a lightweight racket. To back that up, it’s got a solid 326 swingweight to help convert your swing speed into power, spin, and control, and what’s most impressive about the Clash rackets is their flex rating.
Creating a tennis racket that combines performance with comfort isn’t easy, but Wilson has put a lot of effort into the technology in the Clash to help make it that bit softer on the joints. We found it worked well in the Clash 100, but how would it work with the slightly more control-oriented Clash 98?
To get the Clash 98 playing the right tune, we strung it up with Wilson Revolve to enhance the racket’s spin potential whilst maintaining a strong focus on control.
We were looking for the Clash 98 to build on the comfort of the Clash 100 by adding a little bit more stability and control. These rackets clearly tick the box when it comes to comfort, but can they give players the kind of performance needed to play at the highest level?
Groundstrokes – 9/10
The back of the court is where the Clash 98 was born to perform. With a little bit more control than the other Clash rackets, the 98 gave us a little bit of everything and we couldn’t have asked for much more.
This racket swings fast, converts your strokes into controllable power and does it all without that stiff feel that puts pressure on your joints. The result of this is a racket that’s going to allow you to play some very good tennis.
We found the Clash 98 rewarded aggressive strokes with plenty of power, spin, and control, but on the more delicate shots, it offered plenty of feel too.
I always find that one of the things that distinguish the good rackets from the rest is that it benefits both my forehand and backhand. These are very different shots with different strengths and weaknesses, so I need a racket that gives me a little power boost on the backhand side, but lots of control for the forehand side. The Clash 98 got the balance just right, and I was able to play some very good tennis with it.
There was nothing to criticize this racket for from the back of the court. We liked the weight and enjoyed the balance of power, control and spin.
We gave the Wilson Clash 98 a 9 out of 10 for groundstrokes.
Volleys – 8/10
While we found the Clash 98 to be at its best from the back of the court, it also does a good job at the net. This certainly isn’t a racket I’d be scared of turning up at the net with, and it’s a stick that would work nicely for doubles.
The Clash 98 has the three ingredients I enjoy at the net, maneuverability, stability, and feel, allowing me to come to the net with confidence and put my opponents under lots of pressure.
Whether I was turning up at the net on a wing and a prayer and having to dig difficult balls off my feet, or coming in behind a strong approach that left me with an easy volley, the Clash 98 did everything I needed it to. It wasn’t as good as my all-time favorite volleying racket, the Wilson Pro Staff, but it did very well nonetheless.
At the end of the day, the Clash 98 is well equipped for modern tennis. The majority of players play their singles from the back of the court and come into the net off strong approaches, and that’s what this racket is good at.
A score of 8 out of 10 at the net is a pretty good score from the Wilson Clash 98.
Serve – 8/10
Some people spend more time at the net, some people spend more time playing from the baseline, but we’ve all got to serve! In line with the rest of this playtest, the Wilson Clash 98 gave us great performance in this area too.
I found the blend of power and control was just right for what I wanted on the serve, which really enabled me to attack the ball with confidence. It can be easy to get a bit bogged down on your serve if your racket is too control-oriented, but with the Clash I felt I still had a little bit of pop to give me the boost I needed.
There was also plenty of spin available, which meant I was able to control the second serve into the court with plenty of topspin and make life uncomfortable for my opponent. The serve is your first opportunity to take control of the point, which is invaluable, and I really felt like I was able to make the most of it with the Wilson.
Once again, it was difficult to find any negatives for this racket. It’s got a little bit of everything – power, control, spin, feel, and comfort.
We gave the Clash 98 an 8 out of 10 on the serve.
Return – 8.5/10
The Clash was quick through the air and offered good stability on the return, helping us to get those precious breaks of serve. The other thing we particularly enjoyed was the great feel when you hit the ball out of the middle.
This racket is great at absorbing power, giving you the control to place the ball back exactly where you want it. This is vitally important when you’re up against a good server, and every return is a battle to keep yourself in the point.
We particularly enjoyed stepping into the court and taking the second serve on with this racket. You’re rewarded for your aggressive shots and that feel comes in handy.
The last area of our playtest, and we weren’t let down. We gave the Wilson Clash an 8.5 out of 10 for returns.
Overall – 8.5/10
Overall, we couldn’t fault the Wilson Clash 98. While it probably appeals more to experienced intermediate and advanced players, it does everything well, so it’s going to suit a lot of people.
For comfort and feel, it’s a brilliant racket, but it also has good performance, offering a nice blend of power, control, and spin. We all enjoyed this playtest and found we played some very good tennis with the Clash 98, which at the end of the day, is the ultimate goal.
In true modern fashion, this racket is most comfortable from the back of the court where it performs particularly well, but it’s also not a bad option at the net. We would feel perfectly comfortable playing both singles and doubles with this racket and it really doesn’t have any big weaknesses.
From our point of view, the Wilson Clash 98 is a racket that’s well worth taking a look at and we gave it an 8.5 out of 10.
Review by: Will