Tennis Racquet Review-Wilson Four BLX
March 11th, 2013
I had the most doubts about this frame when I first took them out of the box that they were sent to me in. The frame felt and looked thickish or truthfully very thick, and it seemed on first glance to be another one of those oversized snowshoe racquets that the companies pump out for the well heeled senior club market.
The Wilson Four BLX has a nice cosmetic appearance. A high gloss blue\black\white combination finish makes the frame stand out. The frame comes in the standard 27 inch length and has a 105 square inch head. It weighs 8.9 ounces strung, and is significantly head heavy (7 pts on the Wilson scale-more on this later).
The racquet has what would seem to be a very tight 16 x 19 pattern, but it plays as if it was an open 18 x 20 string pattern. I think that the size of the head makes this tight pattern very useful, much more so than one would expect based on experience.
The first few balls I hit with this frame I was feeding volleys to a student and then playing mini-tennis. The thing felt a little unwieldy in my hand, and I framed a number of balls starting out. When I moved to the back of the court and started rallying there were still far too many mis-hits and location mishaps to have much of a good feeling about the outcome.
I started spinning the ball more to avoid the net, and lo and behold started making everything. After a while we started hitting harder and moving each other around, and the level of control possible with this racquet started to become apparent. The thing I like best about this racquet is the very clean feel on ground-strokes and volleys. I think that this is due to the racquet being head heavy.
So many racquets are head light, including the ones I play with now, which are loaded with lead tape to make it possible to keep the head down and still through. I play an attacking style and in theory should prefer a head light racquet, but the ball just sails on me when I use head light racquets.
I have some concerns about the basic weight of this particular Wilson tennis racquet, but I love how the racquet plays. I can spin the ball, flatten it out, pound volleys deep into the corners, feather short angles and drop shots; and every serve in my capability has more weight and pace and spin and drop with this racquet.
I am going to buy one and use it to teach and to practice with. It may end up being too light and cause arm wear issues. But I think for a lot of players in the 4.0-5.0 range, this racquet represents an interesting option. This is because of the fact that it is light and head heavy and a little underpowered; it makes it possible to really swing out and perform the little hand actions necessary to make the ball slide, spin and turn. If you think outside the box a little, this frame is a very viable choice for lots of different kinds of players.