We wouldn’t be able to talk about the Wilson Blade without mentioning Serena Williams in the first line. This is one of Wilson’s highest-rated rackets and for a good reason. Countervail has been a big part of Wilson’s technology to offer the right balance to each of their rackets based on those specific specs.
While offering a relevantly smaller frame than some of the other options for players to choose from, this 16×19 string bed offers a virtually no-shock powerful option. Because of the anti-vibration, some may feel disconnected from the racket but having said that, it will allow you to take those big powerful swings just like Serena does.
First, let’s talk about the specs and dimensions.
Here are our specs for the Wilson Blade 98.
Head Size: 98 square Inches
Length: 27 inches
Unstrung Weight: 305 grams
Strung Weight: 323 grams
Balance: 4 points headlight
String Pattern: 16 Mains/19 Crosses
Don’t let the muted feel scare you offer. This great feel racket allows players to leave it all on the court offer just the power and stability that a player at any level will love. Its easy maneuverability allows for the racket to get into position easily but does not have the shock and instability that a headlight racket would normally have.
This is due to its heavier weight in general. It’s a smaller frame meaning it’s a smaller sweet spot requiring a little more precision. When you do hit that sweet spot, the heavier weight will transcend the ball right past your opponent.
Don’t let Serena be the one to talk you into this racket, the racket can do this all by itself. Here’s why.
For those who like to have some consistency in their shots, the Wilson Blade will have no trouble in offering this. Easy power and easy maneuverability allow for consistent shots on the run and in place. Despite the dampened feel, there’s a decent amount of feedback offered in terms of feel, which means adjusting and refining is an easy thing to do.
The relatively closed string bed and the pattern will feel great for those who love to hit flat. This, in particular, is important for the dampened feel so that the ball can come back in the court. However, if you are one to try and generate spin, you are really going to have to take advantage of the headlight feature and use your wrist to generate your own spin.
In other words, this is a great racket for those who want to have a whole lot of control over what they are doing. It’s why it makes for a great advanced player’s racket because the more you know how to refine and fine=tune, the better you are going to do with this racket.
This is where the dampened feel from the countervail and closed string pattern really comes in hand. A crisp volley works particularly well from the ability to get the racket into place quickly because of how light it feels. But the closed string bed offers the firmness and precision you want in a volley.
Touch volleys are no problem because the absorption from the racket and stability makes it easy to take a fast-incoming ball and turn it into a drop volley. Because of the racket’s great ability to hand the baseline, it’s an awesome option for those who have an all-court game.
First serves are a definite plus to this racket. The power and control that comes from the balance between a semi-stiff racket and the flex in the frame offer that perfect middle-ground that allows a player to really go after the ball. Not only will it be effective and look good, but it feels good at the same time because of the absorption.
Second serve kickers may be more difficult for those who don’t know how to use racket head speed. This is because of the way the stringbed sits and the smallness of the frame. You really need to hit it at the right moment, at the right speed, and with the right amount of action to get a really good second serve. In this situation, it may lack feel for those who don’t know how to do this properly.
This racket is just as much of a winner as the ones that blast from Serena at the baseline. All jokes aside, this racket seems to score well in all areas, which makes it a very playable racket and liked by so many. One category may not really blow the other out, but if you are an intermediate to an experienced player, you can find this racket taking your game up to a whole new level.
This will help players who traditionally may just stick to the baseline or serve and volley get outside the comfort zone. This is important because, ultimately, the goal with tennis is adding more tools to your tool belt so you can constantly adjust and one-up your opponent. This is why the racket can grow with you rather than feeling like you need to update to something better.
Overall, this racket does the trick. If there is a downside, It will be its inability to generate spin on its own. If you are someone who is struggling to bring the ball in from a few feet out or barely getting it over the net every time, this racket may be more of a struggle for you.