Yonex VCore Pro 97 330 (2019) Specs
Head Size: 97 in² / 626 cm²
Length: 27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight: 349g / 12,3oz
Unstrung Weight: 330g/11,6oz
Balance: 31,98cm / 7 pts HL
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
The Yonex Vcore Pro 97 330g has always been a dream for players seeking control, feel, and stability, but how will the 2019 version compare to past generations? The Yonex VCore Pro rackets are some of our favorites out there, so we were excited to see how the heaviest of the lot would perform.
These days, Larry and I play with lighter rackets than the 330g Vcore Pro, but as a Pro Staff user, this 330g Vcore Pro 97 was right up Tom’s ally. The weight gives you exceptional stability, and this helps generate power, control, and spin, if you can still get good swing speed. This if is a big if though, and it’s an important consideration when looking at a 330g racket.
People are drawn to the heavier rackets because, in general, the pros use heavy rackets, but the reality is, they’re not going to help everyone. You’ve got to have solid swings and be able to produce good racket head speed with the extra weight in order to get the benefits. If you can’t do that, then you’re going to struggle for performance, and you might open yourself up to more injuries.
We’ve always found the Vcore rackets to be pretty comfortable, but with the 2019 version, Yonex has added Vibration Dampening Mesh to further improve vibration dampening. The difficulty with vibration dampening is that it can often impact on feel, something that’s always been a strength of the VCore Pro 97 330.
So, we were expecting the VCore 97 330 to offer its normal excellent levels of control, but we would be on the lookout to see if the comfort levels have improved and whether that will affect this racket’s legendary feel.
To find out, we strung the VCore with Yonex Poly Tour Pro at 50lbs, hoping to complement this racket with some good control, access to spin, and reasonable comfort.
The old VCore Pro 97 330 picked up a score of 8.5 out of 10 from us, so could the new racket improve on that?
Groundstrokes – 8.5/10
It’s easy to see why people enjoy the feel of this racket so much. You get a lovely firm feel on contact and can really feel the ball on the strings. This is amplified by the fact you’ve got so much control at your disposal that you feel like you can put the ball wherever you want.
As 330g rackets go, I would say the VCore Pro 97 is pretty maneuverable, but it does make it more difficult to generate the explosive speed we see in modern strokes. For me, this wasn’t a problem on the forehand side, where I get tons of racket head speed, but it did make my life a little bit more difficult on the backhand side. I had to work really hard on swinging through aggressively to get the most out of the VCore on this side.
Naturally, the extra weight does put a little bit of extra strain on your body, as you have to work quite hard to get the most out of your strokes, but the VCore Pro 97 does a good job at helping you out when it comes to comfort. The Vibration Dampening Mesh worked well, absorbing shocks and making this stick comfortable to play with without taking away from the feel.
In my opinion, the deciding factor with rackets like the Yonex VCore Pro 97 330 is always going to be whether you’ve got the right strokes to be able to get the most out of the racket. If there are flaws in your technique, then they’re going to be exposed, which means this stick is going to be much better suited to advanced players.
For those players that gel with this stick though, it offers wonderful feel and top-class control, two qualities that can get you playing brilliant tennis from the back of the court. We gave the Yonex VCore Pro 97 330 an 8.5 out of 10 for groundstrokes.
Volleys – 8.5/10
The stability and feel you get from the VCore Pro 97 330 works out really nicely at the net. No matter how hard your opponent hits it at you, you’ve got the stability to block it back, and that’s exactly what you want if you spend a lot of time at the net.
I felt extremely comfortable playing doubles with this stick, and I felt like whatever was thrown at me, I had a good chance of dealing with it. When you need to inject power into the ball, you’ve got that option, but the big thing is the feel and control. When you’ve got to hit a delicate volley, you couldn’t ask for much more than what you get with this VCore.
Singles-wise, I don’t spend too much time at the net, so the volleying capabilities of this racket were a bit wasted on me, but at least you know they’re there when you need them. Certainly, I think this racket would work nicely for players who like to spend a lot of time at the net and the big serve volleyers out there will really enjoy the Yonex VCore Pro 97 330.
We gave this stick a very strong score of 8.5 out of 10 for the volleys.
Serve – 9/10
We loved serving with the old VCore Pro 97 330 and that trend continued with the new version. If you can get this stick moving then it’s going to give you all kinds of options on the serve.
Controllable power allowed me to really go after my serves and hit my targets whilst generating serious power. When I went for the flat serves down the T, I had plenty of power, and when I threw in the slice out wide, there was plenty of spin available to get the ball moving off the court.
On the second serve, the momentum the swingweight helped generate encouraged me to keep swinging through and not drop the racket head speed. This helped to make sure I didn’t drag the ball into the net and continued to hit deep serves with plenty of spin. This meant that in the week or so I played with this stick I barely lost serve – something of a rare occurrence!
We had a lot of fun with the Yonex VCore Pro 97 330 and gave it an excellent score of 9 out of 10.
Return – 8.5/10
The stability on contact made returning with this racket nice and easy. You’ve got more than enough control to push a big first serve back deep and try and get yourself into the point with this racket, and I find that’s important for the return.
On the second serve, if you step in and hit the ball out the middle, then you generate some serious power you can use it to put your opponent on the back foot.
The one slight downside was I found this was an area where the VCore tended to feel a bit more cumbersome, and I struggled to get the racket head speed I wanted off short swings. This meant that sometimes I hit the ball a little bit late and missed the return.
All in all though, I was happy with how the Yonex VCore Pro 97 330 returned and gave it an 8.5 out of 10.
Overall – 8.5/10
The same score as the old version, which is probably of no help to people trying to decide which is better! Most of the times racket companies update their rackets there aren’t too many changes though, and that’s the case here. The Vibration Dampening Mesh does make a slight improvement when it comes to comfort, but I wouldn’t be in a huge rush to ditch my old Vcore Pro 97 330 for the new one.
When it naturally becomes time to get a new racket, then you do have an excellent option in the Yonex VCore Pro 97 330. I would certainly recommend it to more advanced players with the strokes to get the most out of this control machine and it’s a must-try around the 330g mark.
From the back of the court, at the net, and on the serve, the VCore gives you everything you could want, so long as you can get it moving and create enough racket head speed. Personally, I’m happier around the 315g weight, which is why I would choose the VCore Pro 97 HD, but if you want something slightly heavier then this is a great option.
Overall, we gave the Yonex VCore Pro 97 an 8.5 out of 10.
Review by: Will