Expert Review: Babolat Pure Strike Team 100 Racquet · UnstrungPublished on 03/16/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in November 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 November of 2022.
The Babolat Pure Strike Team 100 is, in my opinion, one of the best control-focused racquets for intermediate and high-level junior players. With a lighter, more maneuverable weight than its heavier siblings, it allows smaller and less advanced players to enjoy much of what makes the Babolat Pure Strike series my favorite Babolat racquets to date.
About the racquet I tested
- Model: Babolat Pure Strike Team 100
- Grip Size: 4 ⅜ in / EU 3
- String and Tension: Babolat RPM Rough 16g Mains and Babolat Addixion 16g Crosses 55lbs
- Head size: 100 sq. in
- Racquet Length: 27in
- Any Customizations: Tournagrip Overgrip, Tennis Express Dampener
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Previous Racquet Played With: Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP with Head
- Experience: 28 years of playing tennis
- NTRP/UTA Rating: 5.0
- When I tested these: November 2022
- Days tested: 5
- Court Surfaces: Hard
- Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
- Where I’ve used it: Eastside Tennis Courts, Iron Mountain, MI
How it performs
What I was looking for
As a fairly high-level player, I tend to only demo and purchase more advanced-level racquets, but as an Expert at Curated, we get a wide variety of customers looking for help choosing a racquet. The intermediate-level player makes up the biggest volume of shoppers looking for a performance racquet, so I wanted to test a number of lighter versions of the advanced racquets I am used to. I set up demos of the Head Speed Team 100, Dunlop SX 300 LS, Wilson Blade 100L V8, Dunlop CX400, and Babolat Pure Aero Team as well as this racquet to get a better idea of how the technology I am familiar with from the advanced racquets responds to a lighter package aimed at more intermediate-level or younger players.
Why I chose this gear
The third-generation Babolat Pure Strike racquets are the first racquets from Babolat that I have tested in almost 20 years that I would say I enjoyed. They offer much-improved feel and control over the Pure Drive and Pure Aero racquets while retaining just enough of the power that Babolat is known for. I was impressed with the Pure Strike 98 16x19 as a racquet that just does everything well with nothing that particularly stood out as outstanding, but also nothing that I could say was really a drawback either. The Pure Strike Team 100 is a lighter, more maneuverable option for this frame. It showed many of its heavier sibling characteristics, particularly retaining the control many intermediate-level frames lack.
What I love about it
- Control: With lighter weight and a target audience who typically has a slightly shorter swing, intermediate-level racquets such as this can put a big emphasis on power to help these players get the feel of high-level tennis. Oftentimes, this comes at the expense of control, and these racquets are soon outgrown as players improve. The Pure Strike Team 100 offers really nice control thanks to its Control Frame technology and spin-friendly 16x19 string pattern.
- Maneuverability: The low 309RDC swingweight lets me get the racquet moving quickly on serve and helps when moving into the net so I can react to hard-hit passing shots.
- Power: Babolat is well known for its power thanks to the Pure Drive and Pure Aero frames. The Pure Strike models such as this retain much of that power but in a much more controlled manner. The Pure Strike Team 100 rewards a well-struck ball with enough pop to put opponents on the back foot without being overwhelming.
- Volleys: The maneuverability and control let me play extremely confidently at the net with the Pure Strike Team 100.
- Ground Strokes: With good control and a fast-moving design, I quickly found the groove with the Pure Strike Team 100 off the ground. While I don’t get quite as much depth as I do with a heavier racquet, I can move the ball around effectively and play an all-court game.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Feel: The feel of Babolat racquets has long been their Achilles heel, in my opinion, but the current Pure Strike models have improved on this significantly. The Pure Strike Team 100, however, is a bit stiffer than the heavier models and, as a result, feels more jarring than they do.
- Stability: While racquets in this class could rarely stand up to the pace that some of my 4.5 and 5.0 opponents play, they do a good job against the pace their target audience is likely to face. However, I did notice the Pure Strike Team 100 twist in my hand on backhand volleys from hard-passing shots.
- Serves: My first serve was quite a bit below average in effectiveness compared to my usual racquet while playing with the Pure Strike Team 100. The low weight robs this shot of the heavy penetrating pace that I tend to get.
Favorite moment with this gear
The Babolat Pure Strike Team 100 is fantastic to serve and volley with. While playing a set against my wife where my first serve didn’t have the pace to be a weapon, I changed my strategy and started to serve and volley. I hit a lot of slice serves and came in after using the racquet's maneuverability to be aggressive and cover the net well.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Babolat Pure Strike Team 100 is a great value. Compared to the Head Speed Team 100 and the Wilson Blade 100L, the Pure Strike Team 100 can currently be found for slightly less. At MSRP, it still provides plenty of value by being priced competitively with those two racquets.
The Babolat Pure Strike Team 100 is a fantastic choice for intermediate players looking for outstanding control with just enough pop to reward their best strokes.