This Pure Strike 18×20 is the racquet endorsed by the one and only Dominic Thiem, most hard hitting player on tour?!?
This is the review of the Babolat Pure Strike 18×20, endorsed by the one and only Dominic Thiem, one of the most hard hitting players on tour. In the past I have also reviewed and tested the 100 sq.in version and the 16×19. The Pure Strike line is one out of three in the Babolat family (the other two being the Pure Drive and the Pure Aero) and this 18×20 is the most controlled out of all Babolat racquets. Primarly made for an aggressive baseliner who enjoys taking big cuts at the ball.
As I said in the 16×19 review, 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): 334
- String Pattern: 18/20
- Beam Width: 21/23/21 mm
- Stiffness: 66 RA
- Power level: Low-medium
- Strings: Luxilon Alu Power and all strings from my Mayami review. All at 24kg or 53lbs
Compared to the 16×19 frame this 18×20 is more muted on impact because of the extra mains and cross, it’s much more precise, controlled and creates less spin. This is generally the impact created with the 18×20 pattern and not so much the frame it self. The only thing changed is the string pattern and the swingweight has increased a bit. So make sure you have enough racquet head speed otherwise it can be tough to generate spin and the increased swingweight does make the racquet slighty less maneuverable but it didn’t make much of a difference to me.
The racquet it self is very good, I switched to it so you can tell I enjoy it. As expected quality control is not the best but with some lead tape it was fine, my strung weight with overgrip and a changed replacement grip was 337 grams. As mentioned this racquet suits a more aggressive style player but is also great on defense, the higher swingweight really makes the racquet come through the ball smoothly. This frame has a really spin friendly and pretty powerful 18×20 pattern, almost feels like a 16×19 when it comes to spin but is more precise and easier to hit flat with.
Babolat is known for stiff racquets and this comes as low as you can get, the 66 RA is not by any means comfortable but for me it is good enough as long as it doesn’t hurt. Overall great experience, not for a broad level of players like the 16×19 or even the 100 but a great stick with enough power and spin and great precision.