Category Archives: Players

Jack is Headed to France!

Many of our readers know Jack Anthrop, but I will tell you a little about him just in case you don’t.

Jack Anthrop

We started working for Jack about six (6) years ago, at which time he switched to Ashaway MonoGut ZX. Since that time, Jack has progressed at a stunning rate, now with a UTR of 13.26!

Jack is using the Head PT113B Speed custom racquet and now a new fiber made by Victrex, a UK company that specializes in PEEK materials for high-performance applications which is the Ashaway MonoGut ZX and ZX Pro material.



But, the big news is Jack is headed to Paris, the one in France, to play in the French Open Juniors! Jack and his partner, Max McKennon from California, are in the main draw doubles!

Jack has a great chance to be in the main draw singles as well.

Max McKennon


Congratulations to Jack and Max on this great accomplishment!

What is UTR?

UTR is “Universal Tennis Rating” and it is the new standard in terms of player ratings based on match play. The range is 0 to 16.6.  UTR has taken the place of the NTRP system that was sort of self-rating system.  UTR is powered by the algorithmic genii at Oracle.

Guess who has the highest UTR right now at 16.14?

I mention the UTR because it is asked on our “Easy Order” system as a way to help determine what we can do for you.  This is important for racquet and string selection but it is OK if you don’t know your UTR.  We will figure it out!

Click here to learn more about the UTR system.

By The Numbers

Here we go with this numbers thing, again! 

Our Racquet reviews are a bunch of numbers, but what do these numbers mean to you?

We have put together this table with a brief explanation of how each number can be used by you to understand how that property can be helpful.

If you see terms such as typical or normal, ignore them! With tennis players, there is no such thing as “typical and normal”!

If you need to be convinced, take a look at a previous post!

Please let us know if there is a number that needs more clarification or a number we are missing!

ManufacturerYonexWhat it Means
Racquet ModelYonex VCore Pro 97 HDRacquet being reviewed.
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kgStringing machine tension setting. Not, necessarily, the string bed stiffness.
Ashaway MonoGut ZX ProString brand name and gauge (Pro being 17Gauge)
Machine UsedTrue Tension ProfessionalStringing machine used.
ASPS, RDC56The stiffness of all the strings as a unit. Normally between 30 and 65.
ASPS, FlexFour64.5The stiffness of the string bed as tested on this device.
Racquet Flex, RDC57 - After stringing50 is low (flexible) and 70 is high (very stiff). Clash 100 is 52 on this device. As is a Head Speed model.
Racquet Flex, FlexFour5035 is low (flexible) 70 is high (very stiff). Clash 100 is 26 on this device.
Racquet - In Plane Stiffness353.8 lbs/InchThis is how stiff the racquet head is across the middle. 300 is soft and 500 is very stiff. This affects the string bed stiffness.
Weight, Grams336285 is light and 360 is heavy.
315 is minimum target weight for performance.
Weight, Ounces11.85

The racquet weight in ounces, typically used in US.
Balance, mm322This is the center of gravity from the butt cap. If you put the racquet on a round rod this would be how much is hanging toward the butt cap.
Balance, Inch12.68This is the CG in ounces for US. Points head heavy or head light is part of this.
Length, Cm68.5This is the total length of the racquet and is the typical standard adult length.
Length, Inch26.968This is length in inches for the US.
Head Width, Inches9.57The inside width of the hitting area.
Head Length, Inches 12.54The inside length of the hitting area.
Head Area, cm2625.8The advertised hitting area in centimeters squared.
Head Area, Sq. Inch97.0The advertised hitting area in inches squared.
Number of Main Strings18The main strings are the vertical strings when looking at a standing racquet. Typically the longest strings.
Number of Cross Strings20The cross strings are the horizontal strings when looking at a standing
racquet. Typically shorter.
Ratio Cross/Mains.687The natural ratio of the string pattern (calculated).
Main String Grid7.25The total distance between right and left main string.
Cross String Grid10.18
The total distance between the first cross string and the last cross string.
Density (% of head filled with string).783
Average Cross String Space.509The higher this number the more the string will move. This number is used to help select the best string setup.
Average Main String Space.403The higher this number the more the string will move. This number is used to help select the best string setup.
Properties of a moving racquet.
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT37This is the stiffness of a string bed in kilograms per centimeter based on a frequency.
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in206.94This is the above converted to pounds per inch.
First Moment, Nm.831This is how heavy the racquet feels in the hand. The higher the number the heavier the racquet will feel.
Polar Moment340This is the resistance to rotating about the center of the racquet on, say a mimes-hit. The higher the better.
Torsional Stability16This is the derived stability number. The higher the better within reason. Anything below 14 would need some help.
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2324This is the "inertia" of the racquet and probably the most important number in the review! The higher the number the more momentum through the ball but less manueverability.
Swing Weight, Ounces11.43
Swing Weight Calculated348.4This number will be larger than the previous swing weight because it is calculated from the very end of the racquet as if there is no one holding it. A very important number.
Power, RDC42
Control, RDC59
Manueverability, RDC71
Power, Calculated 1740.5This number is calculated based on racquet properties.
Head Points6.46 (negative = head heavy)This number is how positive or negative the balance is. A "point" is ⅛ of an inch so this racquet is a little over ¾ of an inch head light.
Head Weight, %47.0%
Center of Percussion21.0This is the spot on the string bed that returns a solid hit.
Dwell Time, ms8.50This is how long the ball and string are in contact with no swing. A big swing will reduce this number by about half.
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.2This number is calculated from the string bed stiffness and the racquet stiffness. Anything under 30 will be "soft" feeling and over 35 will be "harsh".
K, Lb/In179.5
Recoil Weight160.8This number is the racquets resistance to rotating backward. The higher the number the better for volleys.
Twist Weight230.8This is the racquets resistance to twisting in your hand. The higher the better.
End Weight 139.8This weight is used to calculate the precise balance of the racquet.
Tip Weight 196.2This weight is used to calculate the precise balance of the racquet.
9 O'Clock100.4
This is the weight of that position on the racquet head and is used for precise customization.
3 O'Clock99.6This is the weight of that position on the racquet head and is used for precise customization.
Butt Cap135.6This is the weight of that position on the racquet and is used for precise customization.



Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro

So, what’s in a name?  In the case of the name “Pro” it is weight!  Right out of the box this racquet is ready to go with a wonderful weight and swing weight that you will see in the specifications.

The Prestige Pro is the “different” Prestige in the series with a more sculpted geometry.  This is most noticeable in the shaft right above the grip with tapers and contours all the way to the throat.  The head geometry is more elliptical in cross section than the flat section used in other Prestige racquets.

As you look at other Prestige racquets the difference in the cross section is noticable.  The Tour for example has a “flat” beam cross section and the shaft right above the grip is also a “flat” cross section with little very little “sculpting

The Prestige Pro is a racquet anyone can use with a nice 16 x 19 string pattern and reasonable stiffness.

This is a legitimate 95 square inch racquet with a 16 x 19 string pattern that suits most players.  The full Prestige “cap system” adds a nice measure of stability along with swing weight that gets this racquet into the “power and control” category.


Racquet ModelHead Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro
Reference Tension55 lbs - 24.9 kg
Victrex PEEK fiber Experimental 7718
Machine UsedTrue Tension Professional
ASPS, FlexFour65.2
Racquet Flex, RDC62 - After stringing
Racquet Flex, FlexFour44
Weight, Grams338
Weight, Ounces11.92
Balance, mm327
Balance, Inch12.87
Length, Cm68.6
Length, Inch27.008
Head Width9.39
Head Length12.85
Head Area, cm2611.0
Head Area, Sq. Inch94.7
Beam Width, mm, Shaft, Center, Tip22, 22, 22
In Plane Stiffness, Pounds/In329.7 Lbs/In.
In Plane Stiffness, Kg/cm 149.5 Kg/cm
Number of Main Strings16
Number of Cross Strings19
Ratio Cross/Mains.615
Main String Grid7.06
Cross String Grid9.12
Density (% of head filled with string).699
Average Cross String Space.494
Average Main String Space.441
Dynamic Tension, Kp, ERT35
Dynamic Tension, Lbs/in195.7
First Moment, Nm.852
Polar Moment350
Torsional Stability17
Swing Weight, Kg/cm2333
Swing Weight, Ounces11.75
Swing Weight Calculated361.4
Power, RDC51
Control, RDC50
Manueverability, RDC65
Power, Calculated 1955.2
Head Points4.88 (negative = head heavy)
Head Weight, %47.7%
Center of Percussion21.0
Dwell Time, ms, No Swing8.82
Efective Stiffness - lbs28.3
K, Lb/In (SBS) RDC166.7
Recoil Weight161.3
Twist Weight224.1
End Weight 136.9
Tip Weight 202.1
9 O'Clock104.4
3 O'Clock104.3
Butt Cap129.0

2020 is Coming Into Focus!

2019 came and went in a blur!  In a few days it will 2020 and with it will come some exciting new tennis stuff, for sure!

I am not so good at predicting things but I do it anyway!  Here are a few predictions I will make for 2020:

  1. Tennis racquets will become more expensive, but only slightly.
  2. On-line sales of tennis racquets will increase.  See this previous post.
  3. Customer satisfaction with on-line sales will decrease.
  4. Small specialty tennis shops will be the source of information, then #2, and then #3.
  5. Players will stick with a racquet longer, making customizations as needed.
  6. String and stringing will become a more important component of a racquet purchase.  See below!
  7. Tennis related injuries will continue to be a problem for the sport going forward.

    No Underage Polyester, Please!

    Thank you for thinking about the “long term” for all tennis players!

    There are no bad strings just bad applications!

    The right equipment is crucial to the long term enjoyment, and winning, of tennis!

    The local representatives I deal with are committed to our “well being” even though some may feel like they are facing “extinction”!

    An excellent example of what we are talking about just walked in! Two (2) new racquets so poorly strung it is shocking!

    The customer is having serious arm issues with an excellent racquet, with a terrible string setup! But the string setup is probably considered by many to be the ultimate combination, that is RPM Blast in the main and VS Touch in the cross! That combination is coming out in a few minutes!  No more polyester!

    The quality of the stringing is what is so wrong! Had you or I received this racquet, we would have returned it at once! Why? Because it exemplifies the attitude of so many stringers that is “who cares”!

Happy New Year!