Review of YONEX EZONE XI 98IN
At first glance, the Yonex Ezone XI 98in looks something of a throwback. The famous Yonex almost square-topped shape is still there – and its slim-line frame is more 1970s than 2010s. But, for the better players, that is a good thing. As Ilie Nastase said when he spotted it in my bag and took it out for a look: “It’s a nice racket. Most of the players now play with this kind of thing because it has power but gives you better control.”
Well, exactly. At an average weight of 310 grams, it is not overly light but is manoeuvrable enough for the more wristy players, while at the same time offering the solidity every player craves.
The power, particularly noticeable on serve, comes from Yonex’s QuadPower System and as the specs say, the racket is surprisingly effective at stopping the head twisting too much on impact with the ball.
According to Yonex. the name “XI” comes from the new “Extra Isometric headshape” which creates a bigger sweetspot, while “Neofade” helps to reduce vibration. Certainly it is comfortable to play with and the more advanced players will enjoy the easy power it creates, as well as the control.
Yonex’s X-Fullerene strengthens the top of the racket – it is noticeable that the racket-head doesn’t get away from you – and adds power to every shot. This is the racket used by Ana Ivanovic, the former world number one who has been showing signs of getting back towards the top after a shaky couple of years. If it can help Ana, then maybe it can help you.