The first thing that really stands out with the Yonex VCORE 100 is the extremely odd head shape. It’s like nothing I’ve seen before! As William got ready to try it out at the other end of the court, I (Lawrence) wondered what effect that might have on the contact. It turned out it had a quite hilarious one as William proceeded to shank his first 4 balls everywhere but the court.
He soon settled down with it though and started to play some quite reasonable tennis before he passed it over for my turn with this red arrow. I didn’t suffer the same shanking problems that William did and immediately felt very comfortable with the Yonex VCORE 100.
Earlier in the day, I had started out with Head Graphene Touch Prestige, so it was quite a big change to the much lighter Yonex VCORE 100. It turned out to be a change that suited me as I found it difficult to get along with the Prestige, and I welcomed the easy power and spin of the VCORE 100.
The Yonex VCORE 100 has an unstrung weight of 300g, but packs a punch with its 320g swing weight, and easy racket head speed. It’s quite a pingy racket, and it’s easy to produce a lot of power and spin with the VCORE 100. However, but you must to be wary of overhitting, as it’s not a racket with a massive amount of feel.
The VCORE 100 is fairly popular on the women’s tour now with three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber endorsing the racket, along with Eugenie Bouchard and Caroline Garcia.
No doubt they enjoy the ease with which you can play with this racket. Your swings come through nice and quick and you’re encouraged to attack the ball with spin, trying to push your opponent back.
To help you develop the aggressive baseline game that every racket company believes we should aspire to, Yonex have included some new technology for added speed through the air and spin. Aero Fin technology has introduced new grooves that decrease drag and increases your potential swing speed, something that noticeably helps you swing faster.
On the spin side, the grommets have been sunk deeper into the racket to further decrease air resistance, allowing you to hit up and over the ball with more speed and produce more spin.
We found that the Yonex VCORE 100’s defining features are its swing speed and ability to create spin and power. It’s not dissimilar to the Babolat Pure Aero and Head Touch Extreme in that they are all heavily geared towards big power!
While this is not normally the kind of racket I would go for (I would probably prefer the VCORE 98 305) I did enjoy playing with the 100, and it made life very easy for me.
Groundstrokes – 8/10
After a quick warm-up, which felt pretty good with the Yonex VCORE 100, we started some cross-court drills to dial in on my strokes and see what the racket could offer me.
On my slightly weaker forehand side, the VCORE 100 encouraged me to add some spin, creating a good flight path to push my opponent back and take control of the point. I didn’t feel that I lost anything when I tried to flatten the ball out though and felt very comfortable taking on the short ball.
I was able to generate an incredible amount of racket head speed, hitting up and over the ball with lots of revolutions on the ball. You could see William playing deeper and deeper in the court and I felt like I had the upper hand in most of the rallies.
If you’re looking for a racket that cuts down the effort that you’re putting into the ball, then the Yonex VCORE 100 is brilliant. Its aerodynamic shape makes it very energy efficient to swing through the ball, and you will see the results in increased power and spin.
The backhand side was the more difficult side for me with the VCORE 100. I transfer my weight through the ball well on my backhand and can generate a lot of power and spin. Therefore, I tend to look for a little bit more of a controlled feel in a racket than the Yonex VCORE 100 gave me.
For the player who already has a considerable amount of their own power, this racket might not be the best fit. For this kind of player, they don’t need any more spin and power, and would be craving some control. The Yonex VCORE 100 isn’t the worst racket out there for control, but it’s just not designed specifically for this.
For more of a power racket, the VCORE 100 has mediocre feel, and it was certainly a comfortable racket to play with. However, if I was to buy this racket, I would have to go for a very tight string tension and some strings that lent themselves to control, like Luxilon Alu Power.
That way I could use the easy spin and power this racket gives to complement the power I already generate. I’d also gain that little bit extra control from the strings. Like any racket, it’s all about how you customize it.
The Yonex VCORE 100 was good off both sides, and I gave it an 8 out of 10 for groundstrokes. I would lean towards a racket with a little bit more control, but the power and spin it generates are impressive.
Volleys – 6.5/10
For me, this simply wasn’t a racket that worked at the net. It is geared towards speed and maneuverability from the baseline, whereas the main thing I want at the net is stability. The VCORE 100 is too whippy for this purpose and I was missing those short solid stabs at the ball I usually aim for. However, the positive fact was the quick swing speed is useful for getting into position on quick exchanges at the net.
Overall, I personally found that I lost a little control on my volleys and was pinging balls all over the place. This led to me feeling a little uncomfortable during point play. If you’re a regular visitor to the net, I don’t think this is the racket for you, but if you’re someone that suffers from altitude sickness when you get that high up the court then no problems! Think John McEnroe versus Andy Roddick. I’m sure Andy would love this racket with his game style, yet John would probably hate it! For the club level player looking for a power boost, however, this racket could be the one for you.
The VCORE 100 has been designed for the aggressive baseliner of today, and it does that very well indeed. You can’t expect to have the best of both worlds, and it be perfect at the net too.
It will suit someone who loves to keep smashing through the ball from the back of the court and would rather just finish the point off with a big groundstroke than a precision volley.
Overall, I would give the Yonex VCORE 100 a 6.5 out of 10 at the net. It will deliver a reasonable volley, but this isn’t its “forte”.
Serve – 8/10
Before you go out and buy this racket you must ask yourself one question. Do you like a really whippy racket on the serve, or more of a solid feel? If the answer is whippy, then you will love this racket.
The VCORE allows you to accelerate through the ball with unbelievable speed and generate a ton of easy power and spin. If you struggle to generate as much power as you would like on the serve, then this is ideal. In fact, if your current racket isn’t very powerful you could quite easily find an extra 10 mph on your first serve with this racket!
For me personally (Lawrence), I look for a racket loaded with feel on the serve. With that in mind, the Yonex VCORE 100 was never going to be my cup of tea. It is very pingy, which for me is a little off-putting. When I’m lining up a second serve on a big point, I want to feel every millisecond of the ball on my strings, but with the Yonex, it felt like the ball was gone in a flash.
This is just a preference, but there are going to be a lot of people out there who really don’t like how the VCORE plays on the serve. However, if you like that explosive feel off your racket, then you’re going to love this one and are bound to benefit from the results!
I found that the VCORE 100 made it easy to hit my topspin second serve and get it kicking up to my opponent, but it was a little harder to control the slice serve out wide. I could perhaps benefit from quite a tight string set up to aid this.
If you want an easy speed boost from your serve, then we suggest you take a good look at the Yonex VCORE 100. It helps you to generate great racket head speed, which consequently gives the maximum output that your technique will allow.
This racket didn’t personally fit what I look for in a serve, but I know there are many people out there who love to serve with a racket just like this. Evaluating from both sides of the argument, I’ve given this racket an 8 out of 10 on the serve.
Overall – 7.5/10
This is a great racket for an aggressive baseliner looking for easy power and heavy spin. The Yonex VCORE 100 will make life very easy for from the back of the court, taking the strain off your strokes, and allowing you to send your opponent running endlessly with ease.
I could see it suiting someone who loves to hit hard from the baseline moving their opponent mercilessly side to side until they have the easy put-away.
I certainly don’t see it suiting anyone who spends most of their time at the net as it severely lacks the kind of control and stability that net players crave. However, this shouldn’t be an issue for the kind of player that this racket attracts.
It is a real powerhouse on the serve, and it won’t suit everyone. If you like a whippy racket that is fast through the air and gets a lot of ping, then you’re sure to love the VCORE 100, but for every person that likes this feel, there’s a fair few who can’t stand it (I was one, unfortunately).
Having tested similar rackets in the Pure Aero Range and Head Graphene Extreme MP I would lean slightly towards the Pure Aero Tour as I think it is a bit more of an all-round racket. If your main focus is groundstrokes though, the VCORE 100 might be the best of the bunch.
All in all, I settled on a 7.5 out of 10 for the Yonex VCORE 100. It’s lovely from the back of the court, and if you need a little bit more power in your game, I would highly recommend this racket.
Perhaps “marmite” (as we say in England) would be a good choice of word to sum up this review. You will either love it or hate it!
Review by: Lawrence “Larry” Palmer