Babolat Pure Drive Roddick Racquet Review

Posted on October 26, 2006

Babolat Pure Drive Roddick

Head Size:
100 sq. in.
Length: 27 in.
Weight: 11 oz.
Stiffness: 72
Balance: 7 pts. head light
Composition: graphite/kevlar
Power: low-medium
Idea Swing: moderate-fast

Recommended String: Pro Hurricane/Xcel Premium
Recommended grip: Syntec grip

Your Price: $ 189.00
Buy from Amazon.com

The signature line of racquets for Andy Roddick (who actually uses the extended Plus model) is an update to the popular Pure Drive line, but with stiffer and heavier specs that offer increased power.

The power charge of the Babolat Pure Drive Roddick provides a punch for big swingers, with plenty of topspin available off the ground to keep the ball in play.

The racquet features the new "Cortex System" technology between the handle and the throat that "eliminates unnecessary vibrations and enhances the feel of the ball." The "Woofer Technology" inside the frame "makes the frame and string interact when striking the ball: 25% longer ball/string contact."

X-Testers:
Mark is a 5.5 all-court player with a one-handed backhand.
Randy is a 5.0 teaching pro with a one-handed backhand.
Jenni is a 5.0 player and self-described "doubles specialist" with a two-handed backhand.

TESTING: OFF THE GROUND

You're going to need some muscle to get the swing speed to properly hit through the ball with this weighty powerhouse, but once you do, watch out.

"The Babolat Pure Drive Roddick helps hit a heavy ball with good pace," said Randy. "I found more control than the regular Pure Drive."

Mark felt he had to attack the ball, saying "I couldn't afford a controlling-type swing, and needed to hit extra spin at times to keep the ball in the court, especially off the forehand."

Our two-handed tester Jenni liked the feel and control better than the one-handers, but all testers enjoyed the crisp slice off the Babolat Pure Drive Roddick. "I felt like I could play good defense when I needed to, but could flick the switch on offense and just hit the crap out of the ball!" said Jenni.

SERVING

Testers commented they looked forward to serving like Andy Roddick, and the Babolat Pure Drive Roddick didn't disappoint.

Like Roddick, Mark found a lot of easily-accessible power and spin, commenting "I felt like I could almost hit the racquet out of the returners hands."

Randy found it an adjustment to hit flat serves, but with tweaks here and there was soon "delivering bombs." All testers found kick and second serves delivered with plenty of pop and jump.

"I haven't hit this big since I first picked up a Wilson Profile, a flick of the wrist really creates power with it," reminisced Jenni. "The ball really leaps from the strings, and the combination of racquet and string made it easy for me to place the ball."

RETURNING SERVE

Testers found that the heft of the Babolat Pure Drive Roddick created the possibility of big swings on returns, once they got the racquet going.

"I fenced a lot of big serve returns in the beginning but once I recalibrated I could surprise some opponents," said Randy. "I could block back serves with minimal effort too."

The balance of the racquet provided good all-around maneuverability and didn't prove unwieldy.

"Opponents didn't want to miss too many second serves against me," said Jenni, "because I could pound them."

Not unlike groundstroking with the Babolat Pure Drive Roddick, Mark noted the need for extra topspin when taking big cuts at returns.

VOLLEYING

The technology and weighting of the Babolat Pure Drive Roddick had testers noting a lack of buckling or racquet-folding on off-center volleys, with the added weight a complement to crisp put-aways.

"There is good power but not quite the control and consistency I like with more control-oriented racquets," said doubles player Jenni. "With the power of the racquet I had some trouble with some balls below the net."

The Babolat Pure Drive Roddick held its own against hard drives on volleys, as long as testers kept the backswings short with proper technique.

"Net play was good," summed up Mark. "For me the weight of the racquet wasn't the easiest to get around at the net sometimes, but ending points was no problem at all -- nice power."

FINAL VERDICT

A powerful, crisp performer with the recommended Pro Hurricane strings, the Babolat Pure Drive Roddick is a traditional player's racquet with improved power, stability and feel over its predecessor.

The added weight and the ability to grip and rip the ball with spin makes it a formidable weapon for advanced players who like to go after the ball and dictate play. This stiff, powerful stick is recommended for players looking for automatic pop on serves and groundstrokes to put opponents on their heels.

Buy from Amazon.com
     for just 189.00


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