The Babolat Pure Drive Team Racquets (Standard and +) is quickly becoming one of the most popular and recognizable racquets.
I figured it was due to Roddick's promotions during his run as America's next great tennis star and the fact that Kim Clijsters was also welding this racquet during her big win at the US Open.
But at the club and tennis centers I play at, I noticed more and more players demoing or buying this racquet. Even at local competitions, high schools and colleges, I saw people using the Pure Dream Team (PDT). So I started wondering if the racquet really had a lot of merits and impact on someones game as a true reason it has garnered so much popularity.
I demoed it recently at a club during a clinic and I was disappointed.
The pros and cons of a tennis racquet are, in my opinion, purely subjective. A racquet that seems too heavy to me, may seem light to someone else.
To me, the PDT seemed kind of heavy for a racquet in the tweener category. I usually use lightweight racquets due to the fact that I have more control over racquet headspeed and it's less tiring on my arms, but other players might find no problems with the weight.
Most experts claim that lighter racquets cause tennis elbow. But for me, heavier racquets tend to cause arm fatigue, and the extra heft makes it difficult for me to wind on my serve, so I immediately lost interest with the PDT. Other players have also complained about the PDT causing tennis elbow.
On my serve, I felt the ball leave my racquet with a lot of power, and the PDT certainly didn't lack pop. Serves tended to go in with a good amount of power. I had to alter my form though (due to the weight).
Groundstrokes were consistently went in, but I didn't have much control over the pace of my hits. Basically, they went in, but most of them dropped below the service line. I felt like I was playing defensively the whole time, almost as if I was pushing. Also, there was very little feel to the racquet.
The PDT seemed stable at net, and volleys left the racquet with good pace, and I was able to angle and control them better than groundstrokes since the weight didn't bother me as much on volleys.
Overall, I thought it was a good racquet for players who prefer racquets with some heft, or players who usually use more traditional, player racquets. Though I don't think it lives up to all the hype and popularity that surrounds it. Since I'm more used to lightweight player racquets, the PDT didn't work for me.
I demoed the Babolat Z Lite and Z Tour racquets afterwards and preferred those two to the Pure Drive team.
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