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Babolat AeroPro Drive GT Tennis Racquet Review

June 10th, 2011

filed in Tennis Product Reviews, Tennis Racquet Reviews

Babolat AeroPro Drive GT

The Babolat AeroPro Drive GT is another huge seller in the Babolat line, and the racquet used by Rafael Nadal(winner of the 2010 US Open-along with Wimbledon and the French Open this year). The racquet weighs 11.3 ounces strung, and has a 100 square inch head. It comes in the standard 27 inch length and in the 27.5 inch plus length. Babolat recommends that it be strung in the 55-65 pound range, and they advertise it as a low-medium power range racquet.

I demoed this frame and the Roddick GT Plus frame at the same time starting out. For a week or so, I was thinking seriously about switching to this racquet. The frame is very solid, the ball comes  off the strings very nicely, the racquet feels nice in your hand. At the beginning I had much better control of my shots with this racquet than almost anything else I had hit with in quite a while. This all made sense. Babolat says that this racquet is designed for 3.5+ NTRP level players, so one would expect some built in control parameters. The frame tapers nicely from handle to head and is a little wider than many ‘player’ frames manufactured today. From a cosmetic standpoint it is a beautiful frame. Very cool design.

But as I played with the frame more and more, and even played tiebreakers or half speed sets with students, I really found a startling lack of feel in the frame. The ball tended to tumble a little bit off the string, especially on volleys and touch angle shots and even block returns. As I tried to compensate I started hitting volleys out the back of the court, very nervous making stuff for an attacking traditional serve and volley player.

I think in the end that the width and taper of the racquet makes it a little difficult to maneuver on some specific types of shots. I don’t know if Nadal always used a thin grip, but him playing with this racquet and using a 4 ¼ grip with only two overgrips makes perfect sense. He is literally just whipping the thing through the ball. I think that this racquet is a good racquet for players in the 3.5-4.5 NTRP level range, if they have long swings and/or very quick swings. Also a good fit for baseline players trying to spin the ball significantly. The racquet is a little blocky for players who volley or half-volley or short angle a significant number of shots.

A nice frame for a limited target group of player…