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Tennis Racquet Review: Prince Tour Pro 98

April 22nd, 2014

filed in Tennis Product Reviews, Tennis Racquet Reviews

Tennis Racquet Prince Tour Pro 98

I have had a long standing hate hate relationship with Prince racquets. Part of it is due to the fact that their handles have always been very rounded, and difficult to find the edges. This is in all ways; a serious issue for an attacking or serve and volley player, especially one who has an extreme Eastern backhand grip and uses the same grip for all of their backhands and serves and volleys and overheads as do I.

The other thing for me with Prince tennis racquets is that they have never felt right in my hand. The things always felt way head light or handle heavy, I don’t know. I just never felt comfortable with many of their frames. A long time ago one of my kids played with the Prince Rebel and that was the closest I ever felt to being happy with a Prince frame, the times that I hit with some of her frames to help out with setup and weighing and stringing.

The summer I had a Prince sponsorship, the rep could not have been nicer or more helpful, but my up the line forehand was just gone, no matter what Prince frame I used.  So when I started hitting with the Prince Tour Pro 98 tennis racquet demo I was pleasantly surprised at once and had to suspend all recollections of my previous experience with Prince racquets.

First of all this is a very cool looking frame. It kind of reminds one of the many ‘Livestrong’ products out on the market, back in the day. It has a very soft and non slick leather grip, which does not require the break-in period required by many leather grips, and\or the application of an over-grip. This frame has gravitas; it feels like a serious tool or weapon the first time that you pick it up.

The frame weighs 11.4 strung (why Prince insists on providing unstrung weights is beyond me, when does anyone use a racquet unstrung?) and has an 18 X 20 string bed. I give up trying to remember all the arguments in regard to string-beds, this X this etc. But I like the feel of this racquet a lot. It has a 98 square inch head, but plays much smaller in terms of feel. It feels smooth and light and centered. A lot of times 98 square inch heads feel to me like the 105 square inch heads that the senior crew plays with.

This is a really good tennis racquet frame. I was happy to rally very easily with it, producing good and predictable amounts of pace and spin and differing ball heights with no trouble whatsoever. The frame was very solid on approach shots and volleys and very angle shots around the net. My big complaint with Prince racquets through the years has been the rounded handle edges. This is for lack of a better comparison, an old style ‘Wilson’ type grip on this racquet. On serves it was possible to hold the racquet very loosely as I usually do and to just hammer the ball.

I liked this frame a lot. And I for sure think that players in the 4.5-5.0 plus range should take a serious look at this frame.

Marc Pinckney