Expert Review: Yonex VCore Pro 97D Racquet · UnstrungPublished on 11/14/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in September of 2022.
All photos courtesy of Brandon M.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in September of 2022.
The Yonex VCORE Pro 97D is a prototypical advanced player’s racquet. It offers elite levels of control, stability, and a buttery smooth feel while seeing a bit more free power in this update for 2021.
About the gear I tested
- Model: Yonex VCORE Pro 97 D
- Grip Size: 4 ⅜ / EU 3
- String and Tension: Volkl Cyclone 16g 56 lbs
- Head size: 97
- Racquet Length: 27
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Previous Racquet Played With: Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP
- Experience: 28 years of playing golf
- NTRP/UTA Rating: 5.0
- When I tested this: September 2022
- Days tested: 5 days
- Court Surfaces: Hard
- Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
- Where I’ve used it: Kingsford High School, Kingsford, MI
How it performs
What I was looking for
I’ve been playing with the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP since the summer of 2021, and it suits my game quite well. It has an outstanding feel, high levels of control, and just enough pop to help as my body gets older. My one nitpick is that the racquet can be pushed around due to a fairly low swingweight when I face really big-hitting opponents. I have tried adding extra weight, but it lost some of the other magic that I like so much. I’ve been testing dozens of racquets throughout the summer to see if there is another racquet that would fit my needs better.
Why I chose this gear
The VCORE Pro 97D was a joy to test and suited my game well. It reminded me a lot of the Babolat Pure Strike 18x20 with a solid, comfortable response and excellent control, but it was a bit too demanding for my all-around needs right now. It’s a racquet that needs to be pushed to get the most out of it, and it struggled when playing casually against lower-level opponents like my dad, who I play with fairly often. I don’t like switching between multiple frames depending on the opponent and weather like some players, so the Gravity MP is staying in my bag for now. If I were playing 15-20 tournaments a year along with league play, I would give the VCORE Pro 97D a hard look.
What I love about it
- Control: The VCORE Pro 97D is outstanding in terms of control. With the soft 61RA flex, tight 18x20 string pattern, and small 97 sq. in. head size, I was fully confident in my shots landing where I wanted them. Even with a thicker beam than the previous version and a noticeable increase in power, the precision was still fantastic.
- Stability: At 330RDC swingweight, I expected the VCORE Pro 97D to be noticeably more stable than the Head Gravity MP that I play with. From the first groundstroke, I was not disappointed. The VCORE Pro 97D is one of the most stable-feeling racquets I’ve used and handles big-hitting opponents with relative ease.
- Other: The paint job of the VCORE Pro line is my favorite of any racquet on the market right now.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Maneuverability: Based on the spec sheet, I knew that the VCORE Pro 97 would be underpowered, but I was still somewhat disappointed in what was on offer during my test. It was particularly noticeable when I worked on adding extra pace when going for winners because my opponents were getting them back more often. Finally, balls hit outside the sweet spot were especially weak and turned into easy put aways for opportunistic opponents.
- Other: This is a bit of a nitpick because, overall, this is a fantastic racquet that seems to suit my game quite well, but the VCORE Pro 97D is a racquet that needs to be pushed hard to get the most out of it. It’s a bit too demanding to take out casually with lower-level players. It’s a
Favorite moment with this gear
I found the Yonex VCORE Pro 97D to be very effective when serving and volleying. This isn’t usually a big part of my game, but with good action on my kick and slice serves to set me up to move in along with a rock solid feel at the net, I utilized it a lot more than usual.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Yonex VCORE Pro 97D is one of the highest-priced racquets on the market. Its performance definitely warrants the premium price, but there are similar racquets that are available for less money. The Head Prestige Pro is $20 less, and the Tecnifibre TF40 305 18x20 is $30 less.
The Yonex VCORE Pro 97D is similar to a race car in that it needs to be pushed hard and in the right hands to get the most performance out of it. High-level competitive players looking for great control and feel will be rewarded when using the VCORE Pro 97D with these as well as noticeable pop and rock-solid stability.