I have been play testing the Babolat Pure Drive for a couple of weeks now and have enjoyed hitting with it. Over the 2-weeks I have had a good chance to test it in all aspects of play.
This racquet has a huge amount of power on the serve. It is heavier than the racquet I play with regularly so that helped in producing the extra pop on the serve. Not only did it have a great deal of power it had a lot of bite on my slice serves and more spin on my kick serves. This gave me a lot of options on the serve to keep my opponent off balance. As it is heavier and stiffer than I am used to playing with I did notice my arm being a bit more tired than usual.
The Pure Drive felt great on the return with my slice return. It also felt great when I took the ball on the rise and came over it with top spin. It really felt like I was coming through the ball nicely. One thing I did notice was that I had to be careful when I tried to flatten out and attack a weaker return due to how much power it had. When I got it right I put a great deal of pressure on my opponent but I had to watch that I did not hit it long.
I really like the stiff feel of the Pure Drive when hitting ground strokes. It worked very well for my on my slice backhand. I was putting a lot of pressure on my opponent and force a short weak return. Like on the serve return though I did have to watch that I did not overpower the ball when hitting out at it. It would take some time to adjust to that.
The racquet is very stiff so while I could volley okay with it did not have that soft feel I am looking for when up at the net. On my forehand side, it felt very stiff when volleying. I would require more practice on the forehand volley to get a better feel of it. I could get the backhand volley working more naturally once I had the angle of my racquet set.
My overall impression of the racquet performance wise was that it was very powerful on my ground strokes and serves. If I was in a bit of trouble I could easily use my slice backhand to get myself out of it. Overall it is great racquet although as noted a little heavier and stiffer than I would normally use. This is not a pusher’s racquet. You do need to hit trough the ball. It had a great mix of power and I could mix it up on both sides which has been always a very important part of my game plan.