Groundstrokes - Score: 81
Thanks to its control-oriented response and excellent feel, the Wilson Blade 98 16x19 v7 is a weapon from the baseline. Jason has plenty of experience with past iterations. He said, "I wouldn't categorize this racquet as whippy, but it's not too difficult to swing either. It has enough mass to generate a good amount of pace when I could take a full cut at the ball. I would've liked a bit more free power, but the access to spin was great. I definitely prefer a livelier polyester string strung in the low 50s to help get some added pop. I really enjoyed hitting my backhand slice with this racquet. It has the open string pattern, the slightly higher swingweight, and the overall mass I need to produce a knifing slice."
Tennis Warehouse playtester Chris immediately enjoyed the soft and flexy feel of this latest Blade 98. He noted, "I liked the sense of the ball sitting on the strings. It gave me a better connection to my shots compared to the previous version. I'd say both models were equally comfortable, but this new Blade managed to be comfortable without any loss in feel. The open string pattern gave me easy access to spin. I also noticed a slightly higher launch angle out of the stringbed, which had me hitting a loopier shot. The Blade 98 Countervail I was comparing this update to had a higher swingweight, so access to pace and depth seemed to equal out some despite me finding a higher launch angle from the new model."
Across the pond, the Tennis Warehouse Europe playtesters tried out the Blade 98 16x19 v7 on red clay. Anthony found it to be a versatile racquet from the baseline. He stated, "It felt pretty good on each shot. It's comfortable and more control-oriented than the previous model. Even if this racquet feels more flexible than the Blade 98 Countervail, it is still plenty stable, and I was able to get the racquet into the correct position thanks to the excellent maneuverability. Nevertheless, I found this racquet perfect for flatter-hit shots, and I prefer racquets that offer better spin potential."
“The racquet was very comfortable on my groundstrokes,” continued Tennis Warehouse Europe playtester Safwane. "I like to play with a lot of topspin, especially on clay, and the new Blade 98 16x19 was perfect for this. I really enjoyed being able to get a lot of depth on my strokes to push my opponent far behind the baseline. However, on the slices, I would have liked to have a bit more stability upon contact. I felt like it was a bit more difficult to generate power on my backhand side, but it's acceptable considering the fact that this is a control-oriented racquet. The balance has been moved from 6 to 7 points head light unstrung, which I think is a great change. It improved maneuverability and made it a bit easier to handle the racquet. However, I felt like the stability was sacrificed a bit because of the improved flexibility, especially since I prefer playing with stiffer racquets. Because of this specific point, I preferred playing with the previous version."
Our Tennis Only playtesters also put the racquet through its paces. Marco's racquet of choice is the current Blade. He commented, "I enjoyed the solid feel this racquet provided when playing from the baseline, and it was very comfortable no matter how long the rally was. The bigger sweetspot made for a forgiving feel upon contact, which is something I thoroughly enjoy about the Blade family."
Jaye thought the Blade 98 16x19 v7 felt solid from the baseline thanks to the mass in the hoop. He said, "I was able to swing out through the ball and control my shots well, even though I wasn't able to whip it as fast as my current Babolat Pure Strike 98 16x19. What I put into this racquet is what I get out of it. I have an aggressive playstyle, and it definitely rewarded me with pace and depth. It also gave me the confidence to grind out some points with my slice. I did struggle slightly with topspin, though. I felt that the previous version had a hot stringbed, and some shots would fly on me. Even though this update played smoother, I wasn't always confident at contact. This, however, could be fixed by making some adjustments to the string and tension."
Volleys - Score: 80
The playtesters were impressed with the feel of the Wilson Blade 98 16x19 v7 at net. Jaye felt like he was always in control when he moved forward. He said, "I really enjoyed volleying with this racquet. Stability and a large sweetspot are super important for me when at the net, and this racquet did me justice. I was able to knife the ball well, and I felt confident when I had the chance to either hit a drop volley or put the ball away."
Anthony had nothing but positive experiences with the Blade 98 16x19 at net. He said, "This racquet was easy to get into position up at net. Since the ball seemed to stay longer in the stringbed, I felt connected to it and could reliably finish points with my volleys."
"I loved the feel of the Blade 98 16x19 v7 at net," added Chris. "I was able to get my drop volleys to land on target and die quickly. Likewise, my angle volleys were on point, and I was finding my spots very well. I didn't find quite as much stability as I did with the previous model, but this racquet felt more stable than my regular racquet, the Tecnifibre TFlash 300 PS. I liked the response of the Blade 98 16x19 v7 and volleyed well with it in both singles and doubles. I could get the racquet into position easily, which left me time to decide if I wanted to punch the ball, angle it off or drop it short."
For the most part, Marco was impressed with the Blade 98 16x19 v7 at net. He noted, "Up at net, the stability and feel were strong features for me, and I found it pretty easy to hit touch volleys. The added heft in this racquet made it marginally tougher to get it into position, especially on balls that were struck hard and fast at me, but it was very comfortable to volley with overall."
Jason really enjoyed the racquet's feel up at net. He said, "The high-320s swingweight helped keep the racquet stable on off-center hits. I liked the good ball pocketing and directional control. I felt like I could easily put sitter volleys or overheads away with enough punch. I think the feel is improved in this version compared to the previous one, which helped with touch volleys and drop shots."
On the other hand, Safwane again struggled a bit with the feel. He explained, "When I was trying to hit precise volleys and needed a little extra control, I was having trouble tapping into the feel. I think this was due to the ball staying in the strings a bit too long, and this racquet didn't have the firmer feel I prefer. I wasn't able to hit touch shots as effectively as I would have liked. However, hitting volleys with this racquet felt quite easy when I needed to punch the volley at big targets and end the point. It was very simple to get good depth and generate power."
Serves - Score: 83
Our playtesters found that starting points off on the offensive was a breeze with the Wilson Blade 98 16x19 v7. Safwane was pleasantly surprised when he was serving with this racquet. He described, "The power level was very good whether I was hitting flat or with spin, and it didn't compromise control. I was able to place the ball and hit different angles. I usually slice my second serve, especially on the ad side, and I liked the fact that the spin kept me out of danger even on my second serve."
Everything about the Blade 98 16x19 v7 just clicked with Jason's serve. He said, "Sometimes you just serve well with a racquet, and this was one of those times. The combination of weight, balance and everything else allowed me to serve at a high percentage. The open string pattern and the fact that I could swing harder meant more spin on my slice and kick serves."
"For me, this racquet was fantastic on serves," said Jaye. "I was able to generate a decent level of power and could place the ball comfortably on my spots. With a bit more time, I believe I could really dial in and aim close to the lines. Second serves were noticeably good as well; I could generate kick with ease and had confidence that I wouldn't be making errors. This was definitely a treat since the previous version of the Blade 98 16x19 lacked power on serves, which was always a drawback during matches."
When it came to serving, the Blade 98 16x19 v7 offered everything Chris needs in a racquet. He said, "I served well with the Blade 98 16x19. There was enough inherent power for me to generate some solid pace. I also liked the maneuverability of the racquet and felt like I could whip it through contact for some added pace or spin. Again, the open string pattern proved to be spin-friendly. I was able to get my slice serves to bite nicely, and I could add some solid pace to the serve without sacrificing consistency."
Marco's big lefty serve is an important part of his game, and he was able to find success starting the point with the Blade 98 16x19 v7. He said, "Precision and placement were two winning qualities I felt with this racquet on serve. The ball really carried through the court on first serves, and spin on second serves came pretty easily for me."
Unlike the rest of the team, Anthony was left wanting a little more after the playtest. He critiqued, "For me, the Blade 98 16x19 v7 was pretty average in all areas: spin, power and control. There was nothing of significance that stood out to me."
Returns - Score: 79
The playtesters' reactions were mixed when it came to returning serves with the Blade 98 16x19 v7. The blend of maneuverability and stability worked well for Chris. He said, "I was able to take a nice cut at the ball and either drive it with pace or hit a more rolling topspin return with spin. When slicing through the ball, I was also able to control the depth, spin and direction very well. I had success dropping the ball at a serve-and-volleyer's feet, as well as placing it deep to neutralize an aggressive baseliner."
Anthony was able to use the weight of the Blade 98 16x19 to his advantage on returns. He explained, "The racquet is stable and could be easily used to counter a powerful first serve. With its head-light balance, it's easy to move it through the air and block the ball."
With the Blade 98 16x19 v7 in his hands, Jason could swing for the fences without any fear of overhitting. He said, "The heft in the hoop of this racquet allowed me to more easily block back shots with depth. I felt like it was tough to overhit, so I would take big cuts at the ball, and the open string pattern helped the ball drop in the court."
Jaye had to put in a little extra effort on his returns. He commented, "This racquet played great for me when I was in position and could make the return out in front. The feel and stability were ideal when redirecting serves or driving hard down the middle. Unfortunately, on off-center shots I didn't have the luxury of forgiveness to make adequate returns, but I believe that was more of a 'me' problem than the racquet itself."
"I was able to be aggressive on returns whether it was a first or second serve, but I didn't have much confidence when doing it," Safwane added. "Sometimes I could hit amazing returns, but sometimes it was hard to adjust when I was hitting the ball flat. I guess this is something that could be improved by really knowing the racquet and playing with it for a very long time. Returning a second serve was easier for me since I was able to play around with my topspin to keep the ball in the court. Overall, this update was a bit more maneuverable than the v6, so it was easier to get into position. Again, I would have liked to have more stability, especially when returning a first serve."
Marco found that the Blade 98 16x19 performed best when he had time to get the racquet into position. He concluded, "With minimal effort, I find that I'm able to get enough on my returns so they don't just float on the other side of the net. When returning faster serves, I did find it slightly more difficult to get the racquet in position, but it was easy and comfortable winding up for returns when I had the time."
Overall - Score: 83
Wilson Blade 98 v8 Strings & Tension
Wilson recommends Luxilon Alu Power for the Blade with a 16L or 1.25 mm gauge strung at 50-60 lbs (22.7 – 27.2 kg).
in Blade racket models, Blade 98 (16x19) is designed for college- and tour-level players looking for a control frame with good pop off the strings.Is the blade v7 or v8 better? ›
On the court, the Wilson Blade 98 16×19 v7 and v8 perform very similarly. Both offer excellent feel, control, and comfort as highlights. However, hitting with them side by side, I noticed a few nuances in performance that are worth reviewing. For starters, I found the v7 to offer better overall control and precision.Is there a big difference between 16x19 and 18x20? ›
But the biggest difference between the two is the swing weight with a 16×19 averaging 328 and the 18×20 averaging 334, where the countervail versions did not differ.Which version of Wilson blade is best? ›
The most popular version is the Blade 98 16×19 v8. Here are the specifications for that racquet. This racquet has a relatively thin, yet flexible frame for a modern tennis racquet. The weight allows you to generate enough power while the head size and frame are designed for control and feel.Why is the Wilson blade so popular? ›
Why do pro players love the Blade? It's a modern control racquet. It offers good precision and feel, while also giving a decent amount of power without becoming too heavy. The Blade 98 is not only a viable option for pros, intermediate to advanced players can also use this racquet effectively.What type of player is the Wilson Blade for? ›
The Wilson Blade 98L brings a lightweight option to the excellent Blade family. These rackets offer excellent feel as well as a good blend of power, spin, and control that should be ideal for beginners, intermediate and advanced players, alike.What kind of player is the Wilson Blade for? ›
The Blade line of rackets from Wilson is aimed at players that want to combine control, spin and feel to tame their natural power. Racket of choice for big hitters like Serena Williams, Sebastian Korda and Emma Raducanu, the Blade is a perfect fit for clean ball strikers that want to make their mark on the court.Is Wilson Blade better than Clash? ›
Slightly less powerful than the Ultra, Burn, or Clash rackets, the Wilson Blades allow for players with full swings to maximize their racket head speed and attack the ball with confidence.What is the difference between the Wilson Blade V7 and v8? ›
Wilson Blade 98 16x19 v7 vs. v8 [A Detailed Comparison] - YouTube
BATTLE OF THE BLADES - Wilson Blade V8 vs. V7 vs. V6 (no CV)When did Wilson Blade V7 come out? ›
Wilson Blade V7 Racquet Review – Specs and racquets
The new Wilson Blade V7 does not only come in 98 sq inch head size, but there are a number of different racquets released on August 15.
The best tension for spin is between 48lbs to 54lbs. Lower tension offers more power but stringing tighter will assist with better control. Strings can lose tension over time, and pros, who use a vast range of tensions, get frequent restrings to avoid this. Tennis players all have different tensions for spin.What does 16x19 mean in tennis racket? ›
16x19 is the most common form of an “open” string pattern, meaning that a racquet has 16 main strings, and 19 cross strings.Is the Wilson Blade a stiff racket? ›
As an example, the control-centric Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) v8 has a stiffness index or rating of 61, compared with the high-powered Head Titanium Ti. S6, which sits at 75.Does Wilson Blade 98 v7 have countervail? ›
The one criticism that people seemed to have with the last Countervail versions of the Blade 98 was that it had a very muted feel. The Countervail technology did a great job at absorbing shocks and making the racket more comfortable to play with, but whilst doing it, it also took some of the feel away from the racket.What is the difference between Wilson Blade 98 and 104? ›
The most obvious difference between the two rackets is the head size with the Blade 98 having a head size that is 6 inches smaller than the Blade 104. What is this? This means the Blade 98 will have a smaller sweet spot and will have less easy power than the Blade 104.Is Wilson Blade good for intermediate? ›
Wilson Blade 98 16 x 19
It's a great all round racket that will work as well for intermediate players as it does advanced players. It's got wonderful feel and control, and is a great racket to play with. If you're someone who seeks control from their racket, then it's one that you've got to take a look at.
Bottom line: The Wilson Blade that Venus Williams uses is one of the better, more accessible rackets the top pros use today. Venus has seven Grand Slam singles titles despite playing largely in the shadow of her sister, Serena Williams, and Venus also has become one of the more popular players in tennis history.Is the Wilson Blade head heavy? ›
The Wilson Blade 98 is one of the most popular racquets on the market. The blend between power, control and that slightly head-heavy feel is favored by both pros and amateurs.
#3 – Wilson Blade 98 v8
This racquet is a well-balanced all-around tennis racquet, offering some of the best feel and comfort you can find. This makes it a great racquet for both volleys and groundstrokes. The 11.3 ounce weight makes it good for intermediate to advanced players.
The Wilson Blade 98L brings a lightweight option to the excellent Blade family. These rackets offer excellent feel as well as a good blend of power, spin, and control that should be ideal for beginners, intermediate and advanced players, alike.Does Wilson Blade 98 v7 have countervail? ›
The one criticism that people seemed to have with the last Countervail versions of the Blade 98 was that it had a very muted feel. The Countervail technology did a great job at absorbing shocks and making the racket more comfortable to play with, but whilst doing it, it also took some of the feel away from the racket.What is the difference between Wilson Blade v6 and v7? ›
BATTLE OF THE BLADES - Wilson Blade V8 vs. V7 vs. V6 (no CV)Does Wilson Blade have power? ›
The Wilson Blade 98 16x19 v8 allowed our playtesters to dominate serves with power, stability, and superb spin thanks to its open pattern and quick whipping ability.Is Wilson Blade arm friendly? ›
Wilson Blade v7 98 – Best Control-Oriented
Wilson Blade v7 98 is specially designed for a comfortable feel and it reduces extra shock and vibrations that cause tennis elbow. This is the reason that Wilson Blade 98 is equally praised by amateur and pro tennis players.
With that in mind, the 100L definitely feels more approachable than the standard Blade 98. The combination of a slightly larger head size, thicker beam and lighter weight makes the racket a little more forgiving, more powerful and easier to swing.Is Wilson Blade better than Clash? ›
Slightly less powerful than the Ultra, Burn, or Clash rackets, the Wilson Blades allow for players with full swings to maximize their racket head speed and attack the ball with confidence.Is the Wilson blade head heavy? ›
The Wilson Blade 98 is one of the most popular racquets on the market. The blend between power, control and that slightly head-heavy feel is favored by both pros and amateurs.What size racket do I need? ›
|6-8 years||45-49 inches||23 inches|
|9-10 years||50-55 inches||25 inches|
|10 or older||55 inches or taller||26 inches|
|Adults||Any height||27-29 inches|
Longitudinally he plays the "Wilson Natural Gut 16", transversely the "Luxilon Alu Rough 17". Depending on the surface and the weather, Federer has his rackets strung with 27 / 25.5 kgs and 26 / 24.5 kgs.When did Wilson Blade V7 come out? ›
Wilson Blade V7 Racquet Review – Specs and racquets
The new Wilson Blade V7 does not only come in 98 sq inch head size, but there are a number of different racquets released on August 15.
The likes of Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils and Emma Raducanu have all favoured the Wilson Blade and it is easy to see why! The Blade has always been a control oriented racket that also offers great access to spin and power, and the 8th edition is no different.What is the best string pattern for a tennis racket? ›
16 x 19 is the most popular stringing pattern used today in racquets. This pattern is a little more open than the 18 x 20 giving players that extra spin and power needed for a fast paced game. Many players like the 16 x 19 pattern a little more due to its increase in power and feel for the ball at impact.Is the Wilson Blade a stiff racket? ›
As an example, the control-centric Wilson Blade 98 (16×19) v8 has a stiffness index or rating of 61, compared with the high-powered Head Titanium Ti. S6, which sits at 75.How heavy is a Wilson Blade racket? ›
With the latest updates to the Blade range, Wilson has really hit the nail on the head for combining performance with comfort. With the Wilson Blade 104 V7 you've got the added luxury of a 104sq inch head, and a very manageable 290g unstrung weight.Is Wilson Blade flexible? ›
The new Blade 98 16x19 v7 feels more flexible and more comfortable. It feels like the ball is staying longer on the stringbed. I didn't feel a big difference in terms of power, just a supplement of control."