Wilson Blade 98S V7 Racket Review
Hands up if you love hitting with tons of topspin!
Well, with the Wilson Blade 98s V7, you certainly have the ability to do this.
This version of the iconic Wilson Blade 98 has Wilson’s 18 x 16 spin effect string pattern which really helps players eke out every little bit of spin possible.
For someone who loves the control-oriented nature of the 18 x 20 Blade, this took plenty of getting used to, but as we’ve come to expect with the Blade, it works out pretty well.
This stick is certainly for players who want to add a bit of extra shape and spin to their shots, and if you get it right with this racket you can hit a very heavy ball.
Think Rafa type forehands – sorry Babolat, I shouldn’t be mentioning your pin-up boy in a Wilson article.
Anyway, we’ve established what the Blade 98s is all about, so what were our thoughts on it?
As someone who produces a ton of spin and has more problems flattening the ball out this was never going to be the perfect racket for me, but I did enjoy the easy playability of this stick.
You’ve just got to focus on swinging through with plenty of racket head speed, and the blend of control and spin does the rest for you.
Like the other Blade V7’s this racket is extremely comfortable, and there weren’t a great deal of negatives to mention.
We took the Wilson Blade 98s V7 out with Wilson Revolve strung at 50lbs and it was a nice little combination.
Here were our in-depth thoughts.
8out of 10
With such a spin focused setup, it’s from the back of the court where this racket is most comfortable.
At 295g unstrung, it’s a little bit lighter than the regular Blade, which gives it a bit more manoeuvrability and really encourages you to generate more racket head speed.
When you do this, that racket head speed is converted nicely into a blend of power and spin that gets the ball kicking off the court and making your opponent play difficult shots.
The 98s definitely doesn’t have the same controlled feel as the 16 x 19 Blade, and especially not the 18 x 20, but it gives you control in a different way.
The added spin you get is what allows you to control the ball, giving a good margin over the net whilst still hitting aggressive shots.
If you’re someone who already hits with plenty of topspin like myself, then the benefits of the Blade 98 s will be a little bit wasted on you, but if you’re someone who needs to add some more topspin to their game then this racket could be exactly what you need.
We really like the way the V7’s feel in terms of comfort, and the Blade 98s V7 was no different.
The technology in the rackets is very impressive, and it leads to a good blend of performance and comfort.
As we expected, the Wilson Blade 98s V7 was very strong from the back of the court, and for players looking to add controlled spin to their game, it’s well worth trying out.
We gave it an 8 out of 10.
7.5out of 10
I’m not a huge fan of the 16 x 18 string pattern for volleying because it’s just a bit loose, but considering this, the Blade 98s doesn’t do a bad job at the net.
When we took this stick out for a little doubles practice, we found it offered easy depth and was quick to get into position, which helped in quickfire exchanges.
On the easy volleys, it’s exactly what you want, but it wasn’t quite so convincing on the difficult picks up where we found the ball pinged on us a little bit.
This is to be expected from a slightly lighter racket, and one that’s more geared towards groundstrokes, but in the end, we found the Blade 98s gave us reasonable performance and earned a solid 7.5 out of 10 for the volleys.
8out of 10
If we were a little bit lukewarm with this racket at the net, then we certainly warmed up on the serve.
This stick’s nice and easy to get moving, and it gives you plenty of pop to put your opponents under pressure.
The other great thing is that the extra spin potential really helps you generate your topspin and slice on the second serve which is vital.
The extra spin gives you more margin for error and importantly, gives your opponent something extra to deal with.
When you’re playing against a flat second serve and you know exactly what it’s going to do it’s easy to be aggressive, but when you know it’s going to move in the air and kick off the court that’s much harder to do.
With the easy access to spin, I felt really confident in my serve, particularly the second serve and this really helped me to hold on those tight service games.
Another strong score of 8 out of 10 on serve for the Wilson Blade 98S V7.
7.5out of 10
The return is a shot I always enjoy hitting with Blade rackets.
They’ve got that combination of control and speed that means you can play the ball out in front and really guide the ball back exactly where you want it.
The Blade 98S is a little bit lighter, so you don’t have quite the same control, but what you lose you make up with the extra spin.
This allows you to get a great flight path on the ball even from the short backswing you use on the returns, and put your opponent under a little extra pressure.
Again, for me I had more difficulties when I wanted to flatten the ball out, which sometimes is the case on second serves.
When I tried to step in on the second serve and take time away from my opponent with a flatter shot I didn’t have quite the control I wanted, but that’s more due to the fact that I naturally put a lot of topspin on the ball.
If you’re someone who wants to add spin, then this stick has a great blend for the return and we gave it a 7.5 out of 10.
8out of 10
Overall we really enjoyed this racket for a 295g with a very open string pattern.
It had the potential to be way too spin focussed, but true to the Blade series, it does have that element of control, which we feel is important.
For players who want a racket that’s easy to play with and has a focus on spin, whilst still having a decent amount of control, this racket is well worth taking a look at.
It’s a bit more of a middle ground than the Burn S and that’s something that’s going to make it appeal to a lot of people.
If you’re someone who already generates plenty of topspin, then the regular Blade 98 is probably going to offer you a little bit more, but that’s not to take anything away from the Wilson Blade 98S V7.
It’s a great racket and another option in the Wilson lineup.
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