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Review: Wilson Blade 98 (18x20)


Tennis Bargains Preview of Wilson Blade 98 (18x20)

  • Much more Control, solid feel on heavy shots
  • Lowered Swing Weight from 2012 (335 to 330)
  • AmpliFeel Grip - adds a bit more comfort; feels like a more perforated or vented handle
  • Great for heavy hitters and directing the ball with authority
  • Designed for stronger 4.0+ NTRP players

Cons:

  • Lacks topspin and slice, in comparison to the Steam 99S
  • Swing weight is a bit high, which may bother those with a slower swing
  • Not a lot of new changes from the previous year's Blade model
Wilson BLX 98 18x20 Comparison Chart
Wilson Blade 98 Comparison
Click to see enlarged chart

Main Changes

This new Blade for 2013 has a very closed pattern racket. Offering a good contrast to the Wilson Steam 99S we tested and reviewed earlier this week, Wilson is expanding the racket line to more advanced players.

One slight change was the racket's weight of 11.4 oz, which is about 4 grams heavier frame than last year's 2012 model...



We found that the control was excellent on this heavier frame; possibly due to the fact that the swing weight has been reduced from 335 to 330 without shifting the balance of the racket.

However, this is at the cost of power and spin as it does not feature Wilson's Spin Effect Technology. For power hitters out there who are used to the Blade line, there is also an even heavier Blade 93 model for sale.

Tennis Bargains Score Card: (B)

  • Volleys (3.5/5) - decent control and weight but not very maneuverable
  • Groundstrokes (4/5) - Good control for big hitters; but lacks much spin and SET technology
  • Returns (3/5) - Nothing overly special here, but dense strings helps you hit 2nd serves back with confidence that it probably will not go out
  • Overheads / Serves (3.5/5) - Good directional control, but lacks spins (top and kick serves were muted)

Summary and Pre-Sale Information

The new Wilson Blade is a nice, slight upgrade from the previous year's model - adding a bit more comfort but previous generation owners will feel right at home.

Special Bonus: see or call Tennis Topia then mention this article for Free String and Stringing with your racket purchase.

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