Expert Review: Yonex VCore 98 Racquet · Unstrung
This review is my honest opinion of the racquet, which I tested for five days in July of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the racquet, which I tested for five days in July of 2022.
The Yonex VCORE 98 is a spin machine for advanced-level players. It provides easy access to power which is harnessed by the spin, allowing all-court players to open up the court with angles and play aggressively. Another plus is the more comfortable feel than other similar spin-friendly frames.
About the gear
- Model: Yonex VCORE 98
- Grip Size: 4 ⅜ / EU 3
- String and Tension: Yonex Polytour Pro 55 lbs
- Head size: 98in²
- Racquet Length: 27in
- Any Customizations: Gamma Overgrip
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Previous Racquet Played With: Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP
- Experience: 28 years of tennis
- NTRP/UTA Rating: 5.0
- When I tested these: July 2022
- Days tested: 5 days
- Court Surfaces: Hard
- Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
- Where I’ve used it: Public hardcourts around Kingsford, MI
How it performs
What I was looking for
The current racquet I have been playing for just over a year now is the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP. I compared multiple new racquets, such as the Yonex VCore, Head Speed MP, and Head Boom MP, to see if any of them would suit my game better than my Gravity MP.
Why I chose this gear
I tested the VCORE98 because it was a racquet that I didn’t give enough of a test last summer when I picked up the Gravity MP, as that one had won me over quickly. In the end I ended up sticking with the Gravity MP because of its more forgiving sweetspot, more responsive feel, and better control overall.
What I love about it
- Power: The VCORE 98 is very easy to generate pace with—both off the ground and on serve. The racquet is very responsive and has good plow through to counter-punch against heavier balls.
- Volleys: For a racquet that thrives in taking big cuts from the baseline, it does extremely well at the net, too. There is ample stability from the 305g weight for reaction volleys, as well as good pop to put away shots when given time to step into it.
- Ground Strokes: The VCORE 98 is an absolute weapon from the baseline. The aerodynamic shape of the frame helps generate easy racquet head speed, which, combined with the spin-friendly nature of the stringbed, makes hitting balls off the ground pure fun. I had plenty of margin over the net with enough topspin to drop the ball into the court and keep my opponent on their heels.
- Serves: The easy spin generation with the VCORE 98 continues on serve where my second serves were some of the best I’ve ever hit. Both kick serves and slices were effective and easy to place when using the VCORE. I also noticed a bit more pace on my flat first serve but found that I struggled with control on it a bit.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Feel: The VCORE 98 offers a very dampened feel on impact. At one time I was a big fan of this type of racquet, having played with the Prince O3 Tour in college, but now I like a bit more feedback from my setup. This was especially noticeable switching back and forth to the new Head Auxetic racquets, which are comfortable but offer a crisp feel on impact. This slightly disconnected feel made me cautious to go for the lines on ground strokes because I didn’t fully trust where it was going.
- Control: While the VCORE 98 has loads of spin potential to help keep the ball in the court, I did struggle with flatter first serve control, as well as spraying some inside-out forehands, which I think can be attributed to that dampened feel. The sweetspot was a bit smaller than my Gravity MP and off center hits were noticeably inconsistent.
Favorite moment with this gear
Much like the Head Extreme Tour MP I tested earlier this summer, the VCORE 98 supercharged my second serve. I could generate great racquet head speed and use both topspin and slice to really make my second serve a weapon rather than a way to start the point.
Value for the money vs. other options
The VCORE 98 is competitively priced with the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme Tour and Wilson Blade 98 16x19, which offer similar performance. It comes in at 10% less than the Babolat Pure Aero VS.
The Yonex VCORE 98 is an ideal match for advanced, all-court players who like to take aggressive swings at the baseline and aren’t afraid to finish points at the net. The easy power and access to spin make hitting groundstrokes enjoyable while it can help turn second serves into opportunities to attack rather than neutral starting points. It demands some strength and precision with its 305g weight and smallish sweetspot, but it rewards players with the game to handle it.