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Racquet Review: Yonex VCORE 95
If you got game, this speedy, sweet-feeling midsize delivers from all areas of the court.
Published Jan 17, 2023
WATCH: Shapovalov played Novak Djokovic through two tough sets to start the 2023 season in Adelaide.
Price: $259 (buy here)
Head Size: 95 sq. in.
Length: 27 in.
Weight: 11.5 oz.
Balance: 6 pts. HL
RA Rating: 60
Beam Width: 22 mm / 22 mm / 21 mm
String Pattern: 16x20
Ever since the SV version of the VCORE three models ago, the frame has undergone a gradual softening of its stiffness rating. This 7th generation—noted with an “07” inscribed on the beam—is the most flexible to date. It’s also thinner at the tip to help bolster racquet acceleration. A slight widening of the head at the 2 and 10 o’clock positions of the face helps expand the sweet spot in the upper hoop. This also results in more spacing of the main strings. Along with the new silicone-infused grommets for faster string snapback, this creates greater spin potential.
The midsize racquet caters to a niche audience, but when everything is clicking the VCORE 95 brings a command to your game that could make one question the supposed benefits of a larger head size. It helps that the racquet plays bigger than its dimensions, but it’s the control, feel and versatility that ultimately shine brightest. The combination of moderate mass and softer flex add up to plush, satisfying hits with deep ball pocketing. It’s smooth through the air and highly maneuverable, relying more on user mechanics and acceleration than inherent power to inject energy into strokes.
That’s not to imply it struggles to make an impression. In fact, it’s one of those sneaky fast serving sticks. Because it’s rather low powered, you can take advantage of how quickly it moves through the hitting zone and really go after the ball to produce speed and spin while maintaining consistency. And the fine directional control from the smaller head size encourages more aggressive targeting.
The wider head shape and string spacing seems to give this version a bump in spin production over the outgoing model. The 16x20 string pattern lets you shape shots to create angles or cut through the court with a low and biting slice.
The smaller head, quick handling, excellent control and soft flex were also valued assets at the net. Accomplished volleyers will be confident that the frame will be capable of producing whatever the situation requires. A good fit for all-courters and doubles specialists who hunt opportunities to invade the forecourt.
What Needs Work
While unusually forgiving for a 95, it’s still more demanding than most. Contact outside the sweet spot isn’t uncomfortable, but there is a noticeable drop in shot quality. Players accustomed to more margin for error could find the necessary precision too much effort.
It also doesn’t have quite the same weight or swingweight as a true player’s frame. This will certainly be a blessing to some, but it can feel unstable at times. The frame is not immune to buckling under the pressure of trying to deflect a hard-hit serve or passing shot. In this regard, the head is begging for some lead tape to provide additional backbone. It might also deliver a little extra thump for those players feeling underpowered from the baseline.
“I love that I can easily switch up my swing style from shot to shot so effortlessly—from rolling deep topspin groundstrokes to slapping a screamer down-the-line forehand.”
“The touch, feel and comfort in a racquet that also lets you hit some Pure Aero-type shots.”
“It feels great when I make clean contact, but unless I take a big cut at the ball, I’m working a lot harder to get the same result that the VCORE 98 gives me.”
The midsize frame is a tough sell in 2023. If there’s one with enough modern flourishes to keep the legacy alive, it’s the VCORE 95.