Wilson nCode nPro Open Racquet Review

Posted on November 13, 2006

Wilson nCode nPro Open

Head Size:
100 sq. in.
Length: 27 in.
Weight: 11 oz.
Swing Weight: 302
Stiffness: 68
Balance: 6 pts. head light
Composition: 80% nCoded graphite/20% nCoded Hyper Carbon
Power: Low-Medium
Idea Swing: Fast

Recommended String: Wilson NXT 16 String
Recommended Grip: Wilson True Grip

Suggested Retail Price: $ 199.95
Your Price: $ 179.95
Buy from Amazon.com

Used by the world No. 1 doubles tandem the Bryan brothers, the Wilson nCode nPro Open is a player's stick for all-court players looking to move forward and take advantage of the racquet's maneuverability at the net. A spin-friendly racquet, the nCode nPro has a low swingweight that allows for fast swipes at balls with a high amount of control. Here's what the X-testers thought:

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

"I heard the nCode nPro was comparable to the Wilson Surge, but I found it didn't have the power of the Surge while having more control," said Jenni. "You need a good hearty swing, but it is light and zips through the air. I got plenty of topspin, and the slice was very controlled."

"This is a real player's stick in light form," said Randy. "It's so much a player's stick I think you're expected to hit the sweet spot every time, because I felt like it penalized me for off-center hits. But otherwise I had no problem generating topspin and slice, the racquet face is responsive."

"It's a different racquet, a little light for me off the ground, but nice and stiff and maneuverable," said Mark. "I could take large cuts at the ball because it is control oriented. Those wanting more power could string it a little looser, probably not losing much control at all. A good-size sweet spot and great feel, like you can put the ball anywhere on the court."

SERVING

The X-testers differed on the serving prowess of the nCode nPro.

"I'm not one of the Bryan brothers, who can probably launch a giant serve hitting the ball with one of their shoes," said Jenni. "I'm used to a little more pop, and playing doubles I found myself going for placement over power, since I could get some nice spin."

"The nCode nPro had nice pop on the serve, especially when I flattened it out," Randy said. "The standard 27 inches give it a great controlled feel. It doesn't let you cheat though, you need to keep good mechanics, you get out of it what you put in, not like the rocket-launcher racquets that practically serve for you."

"Average power and some good spin," was Mark's assessment of the nCode nPro. "More of a doubles racquet so it's not going to give you uncontrolled power. The perfect balance of power and control that allowed me to set up my volleys the way I wanted and put returners on the defense."

RETURNING SERVE

"Like on the groundstrokes a little underpowered for me, unless I was returning against big servers when it gave as good as it got," Jenni said. "The more I had to produce my own power, the more I struggled. No control complaints though, I just had to watch for overhitting on soft balls. Great control off the two-handed backhand."

"The spin-friendly big sweet spot was an advantage on returning serve," Randy said. "I didn't feel like I was surprising opponents with power, but I could move them around the court like I was holding a magic wand. On second serves I could take control of the point right away."

"A little less forgiving on off-center returns, this racquet expects you to be accurate," said 5.5 player Mark. "Plenty of spin for good placement, great at blocking back big serves, and you don't get penalized if you like taking big swings at returns, the nCode nPro allows you to make last-minute adjustments nicely."

VOLLEYING

"This is what this racquet was designed for, in my opinion," said Mark. "That the Bryans use this racquet tells you something. Very light and maneuverable yet stiff for punchy volleys. Great feel, great control with volleys since it is a midplus and not an oversize. A solid doubles racquet."

"Very maneuvererable at the net, and great touch on drop shots," said Randy. "But it won't put the volley away by itself like some racquets, you need a firm wrist and a good punch."

"Real maneuverable with a lot of feel," said Jenni. "I absolutely loved it. I could punch volleys away and still have good touch on volleys and volley lobs."

FINAL VERDICT

A large sweet spot and excellent control and feel make for a lighter-weight player's racquet with excellent punch and maneuverability at the net, as shown by the world No. 1-ranked Bryan brothers. Demo the nCode nPro for players 3.5-rated and higher looking for a more controlled approach to an aggressive all-court game.

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     for just 179.95


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