Specs

 

Yonex Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019)

Head Size:97 in² / 625.81 cm²

Length:27in / 68.58cm

Strung Weight:11.5oz / 326g

Unstrung Weight: 10.95oz / 310g

Balance:12.59in / 31.98cm / 7 pts HL

Swingweight:318

String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses

 

Our Review

 

The 2019 update of the impressive Yonex Vcore Pro 97 310g was ours to test this past week and we certainly enjoyed what we found.

This precise players racket has got a little bit of everything and really rewards aggressive, attacking strokes. With a manageable 310g weight that combines maneuverability and stability and an open 16 x 19 string pattern that has plenty of pop and good access to spin, this racket is going to suit a ton of players.

The two big updates to the 2019 version of this racket are an updated throat design and a vibration dampening mesh. These changes have added yet more comfort to the Vcore Pro 97, and also given this stick a little bit more spin potential than its predecessor.

You can see this racket repped on tour by the great Stan Wawrinka and he actually demonstrates many of the things this racket is good at. In the hands of experienced intermediates and advanced players, this racket can create huge power and a vicious amount of spin, much like the Swiss himself.

While I can only dream of having a single-handed backhand like Stan’s, I was still able to get this racket to sing and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

We recently playtested the new Yonex Vcore Pro 97 HD, which we absolutely loved, so we were interested to see how the two rackets compared. The HD is 10g heavier, with an 18 x 20 string pattern, so the feel was always going to be different, but which would be better?

For this playtest we strung the Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019) with the same Luxilon LXN Smart String that we used with the 97HD at 50lbs. We like this string because it offers a little bit of everything with a focus on control, perfect for getting the most out of this stick.

 

Groundstrokes – 9/10

 

There are so many things to like about this racket from the back of the court. It’s maneuverable, well-balanced has great feel, and is so comfortable, but the most striking aspect is the topspin it helps you generate.

The Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019) isn’t the most powerful frame out there, so you do need to have good strokes to get the most out of this racket, but you’re not going to struggle to generate topspin. For someone who uses an 18 x 20 string pattern like myself, I did find the spin potential a little too much which is why, ultimately, I would choose the Vcore Pro 97HD or the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro.

For those people who are fans of the 16 x 19 string patterns though and enjoy easy access to spin then the Vcore Pro 97 310 is a top, top racket. The only area where I might fault it slightly is a lack of stability, the 318 swingweight could be beefed up a little bit, but I suppose if you did that you would be changing the comfort and feel that people love so much from this stick.

I felt like I was effortlessly able to dominate points from the back of the court with this racket. I was able to hit through the ball aggressively and use the topspin I generated to pin my opponents behind the baseline, always on the lookout for that short ball.

My backhand is much my weaker shot from the back of the court, but I did find that the easy spin the 2019 Vcore Pro 97 gave me helped to even things out a bit, allowing me to use the spin to keep my opponents at bay off the backhand side.

All in all, it’s hard to fault this racket from the back of the court. Whether you’re hitting attacking strokes, or playing difficult defensive shots on the run, it’s got the blend of characteristics to help you find the right answer.

We gave the Yonex Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019) a 9 out of 10 from the back of the court.

Volleys – 7.5/10

 

If there was one area where I found the Vcore Pro 97 310 to be a little bit weaker is was at the net. I’m always looking for maneuverability and stability at net, and while this racket is excellent on the former, the latter isn’t its strongest characteristic.

Compared to the 9 out of 10 we gave this racket at the back of the court, 7.5 seems like a bad score, but it’s really not that bad. It’s more that the Vcore Pro 97 is a racket that you use to dominate from the back of the court and then come to the net to put away the easy volley.

If you play this way, then the Vcore has everything you need to be successful and pop away those easy volleys, but I think if you were someone who loved rushing the net you would start to find you wanted something with a bit more stability.

I definitely fall into the category of aggressive baseliner, so I was more than happy with what the Vcore Pro gave me at the net. It’s easy to get into position, exceptionally comfortable, and allows you to put away those easy volleys with ease.

It’s at its best from the back of the court, but the Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019) still gets a good score of 7.5 out of 10 at the net.

 

Serves – 8.5/10

 

I always find 310g is a great weight for serving. It gives you a good balance between maneuverability and having enough mass to hit some big serves. The Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019) was exactly what I look for in this regard.

It’s important to be able to keep your racket head speed up on the serve, especially when you get a bit nervous on the second serve and I fond I had the confidence to do this with the Vcore. The big thing on the second serve is the ability the Vcore gives you to generate lots of topspin and control the ball into the court.

Not only does the spin help increase your margin for error on the second serve, but it also makes it much harder for your opponent to attack it. I felt extremely secure on my service games, and no doubt, that was partly down to the confidence I had in my second serve.

This allowed me to go for precise targets on my first serve, safe in the knowledge that I had a solid second serve to back it up. Serving is always so much easier when you’ve got confidence in your second serve and that’s what the Vcore Pro 97 gave me.

Good maneuverability, spin potential, and control all come together nicely on the serve with the Yonex Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019) and we gave it an 8.5 out of 10.

 

Return – 8/10

 

If I’m honest, this is one area where I much prefer the 18 x 20 rackets, and I loved the Vcore Pro 97HD on the returns, but the Pro 97 310 also did a pretty good job.

I was able to get the racket swinging through quickly, controlling the first serve back into play, and looking to step in and put some pressure on my opponent off the second serve return. Again, I would have liked a touch more stability, but you can’t fault this stick for comfort, feel, and spin potential.

This stick makes most things on the tennis court feel effortless and I really got that sense on the return. I just had to focus on leaning into the court and hitting the ball out the middle and everything else seemed to take care of itself.

I loved the feel of this racket and it really showed on the returns. The Yonex Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019) got an 8 out of 10 on returns.

Overall – 8.5/10

 

Overall, the Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019) is an excellent racket that’s going to suit a lot of people. Intermediate and advanced players will enjoy the feel, easy maneuverability, and spin potential of this racket and overall, I would say it is a slight improvement on the previous version.

The main area where this racket improves on the old version is comfort. The vibration dampening mesh makes this racket a joy to use and my joints certainly enjoyed using it. On the flip side, I did feel like I was missing out on a little bit of stability, but at the end of the day, you get a racket that is comfortable and still has excellent performance so you can’t complain too much.

I was always likely to say this, but I would go with the Yonex Vcore Pro 97HD myself, but as someone who uses an 18 x 20 string pattern that was likely to be the case. There’s not much between the two rackets performance-wise, it’s just a question of which set up you prefer.

As we always find with the Vcore rackets, the Yonex Vcore Pro 97 310 (2019) was a very good racket and one that plenty of people should consider.

 

Review by: Will