Racquet line endorsed by one of the most HARD hitting players on tour in a 16×19 string pattern for even more pop and spin!
In this post I will review the newest edition of the Babolat Pure Strike 16×19, the 3rd generation. This line of racquets is all made for an aggressive baseliner and therefore the biggest marketing Babolat have got is Dominic Thiem who uses the 18×20 version of this frame (review of that one will come hopefully), he is known for being one of the hardest hitting players on tour at the moment. Last summer I got to be one of the first to try this new generation but in the 100 sq.in version and I can say that I definitely enjoyed this one more being more controlled.
Just like the previous version this frame features a hybrid frame construction (Control Frame Technology) which is supposed to give control and feel like a more square beam and speed like a modern elliptical beam. As always we still have the standard FSI Power tech which provides wider string spacing in the crosses for more power and spin. They have removed the Cortex dampening system in the throat that was disliked by many and combined it with a rubber and put it at 3 and 9 o’clock.
- Head size: 98 in² or 632 cm²
- Length: 27 inches or 68.5 cm
- Weight unstrung: 305 g or 10.8 oz
- Weight strung: 323 g or 11.4 oz
- Balance: 320 mm
- Swingweight (strung): 327
- String Pattern: 16/19
- Beam Width: 21/23/21 mm
- Stiffness: 66 RA
- Power level: Low-medium
- Strings: Head Lynx Tour and Head Sonic Pro hybrid at 24kg (53-54lbs)
Right of the bat on my first practice I really enjoyed it because it was easy to use with pretty good power and excellent spin potential. Not at a Pure Aero level but definitely close to the Pure Aero VS with simular specs. I found this racquet very stable and fast through the air, the first session I had I constantly missed the sweetspot due to me swinging to fast but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I still got pretty good control on flatter shots, maybe not enough for my taste. It did demand me to put little more rotation on the ball in order to get the control I wanted.
After using this racquet a couple of hours I could tell it wasn’t for me but I think the 18×20 version might fit better. At net it was really stable actually and very precise on both smashes and serves. I always felt that I had some extra pop and mass on all my shots which was really nice on volleys when you want to finish the point of fast. Despite the stiffness being on the higher range of the scale it wasn’t that harsh on my arm (Babolat is known for stiff frames so maybe avoid if having wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries) mostly because it dampened vibrations really well.
So an overall well balanced racquet, good fit for a broad level of players and playstyles but mainly more aggressive players who enjoys taking big cuts on the ball. Good mass (higher swingweight), pop, spin and directional control. The only thing I miss for my game is a little more control on flatter shots but otherwise I could play with this without any issues.
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