Fun racquet to try! Very different in both looks and feel, from the usual Wilson offerings. More suited to the advanced player, and aggressive baseliners who play with fast swing speeds, and a lot of spin.
The most noticeable impression, on first pick up, of the PRO version, was the slightly thicker beam, and overall heft of the racquet. At 327g swing weight, this racquet is definitely in the heavyweight category, but it had a good feel in the hand, and generally good maneuverability, both at the baseline and at the net. As for looks, the contemporary aesthetics are very different from the usual Wilson look, and the string bed looks noticeably tighter than I’m used to.
The sweet spot on this racquet feels small, suiting it to a more advanced player. Faster swing speeds seemed to produce more control, but with the smaller sweet spot, and low dwell time, I experienced some balls flying when I didn’t expect them to. The tight string bed does produce a lower trajectory, but I didn’t find that this prevented those occasional wayward balls. At the net, the racquet had a damper feel than I’m used to, and again, I felt I was in control as long as I hit the sweet spot.
I was looking forward to testing this racquet because of the new increased horizontal bending in the head of the racquet, which should generate more spin. Hitting my regular strokes, I didn’t notice any extra spin being produced naturally. However, when I really tried to increase the swing speed, and increase the spin myself, the racquet responded well and would allow for great spin creation.
The thick beam gave the racquet a very solid and stable feel, and with the weight of the racquet, it was very powerful coming off the sweet spot. Great on days you’re playing well, but if you miss the sweet spot the racquet had a dull, non-responsive feel. Solid on returns and good momentum, but the flatter hitter may struggle for control.
This is a very different racquet that takes a while to get used to. It would be well suited to an advanced player, who swings fast, and already plays with a lot of spin. Don’t expect this racquet to transform flat strokes into heavy topspin. I tested at 55 lbs but would string a little tighter than this if using it again.
I did also test the non-pro version of the Shift. With the more open string bed and lighter weight, I experienced even more balls flying long than with the pro version. It was definitely more forgiving on the arm, and easier to maneuver, but the trade-off was less control. Would be well suited to a more intermediate player. I feel an advanced player would have to add some extra weight, and string tighter.