The Prestige racquet line has been the choice of many advanced players over the past years due to its headlight specifications, and thin but heavy frame. Featuring the new MicroGel technology, this frame has never been stiffer, or a better choice for tournament players. The MicroGel technology racquet line from Head is composed of a silicon-based substance that weighs about 3mg per cubic centimeter, and can support 4,000 times its own weight. I believe that any substance that strong will become supreme ruler of the court!
This racquet at first felt somewhat foreign, like most tour racquets for me, and it took some time to become accustomed to its heavy, (over 12oz strung) weight. On contact, on both the forehand and the backhand, the frame offers supreme control and requires more head speed than usually needed. My game was somewhat constrained by the heavy weight, but my placement was improved . I had to adopt a more consistent mind-set, rather than an overwhelming, Agassi type style, to take full advantage of this racquet. Moving my grip from a semi-western to a western seemed more practical and made it easier to handle the frame. Both my strokes, forehand and backhand, became beautiful weapons during my trial matches.
At the Net
I have to admit, my first volley was shanked into the net. (Of course it had nothing to do with the user of the racket!) Like the ground strokes, I needed a couple shots to become used to the feel, but as soon as I did, I was pretty much serve-and-volleying. I found that hitting dump volleys with an extreme amount of backspin became easy. I also noticed that you might need a little more punch than usual for deep volleys, but you’ll have a much more solid feel at the net with the solid frame. I found it to be much more versatile and maneuverable than I thought it would be with the thin-beam frame.
While returning the serve well, I did not hit winners; I was able to se tup points and pretty much dominate service games. Let us just say that I broke my opponent’s service games quite often. (I was playing a junior with a sprained ankle at the time.) I noticed that this racquet performed very exceptionally on serve return- both on hard, flat serves and on high spin/kick serves. I would consider the serve return and the groundstroke capabilities to be the strength of this frame.
While hitting serves, this racquet was a little hard to swing compared to the average racquet out on the market today. But it does play like a great player’s racquet. I had to swing faster than normal and chose, like pretty much the rest of the game, to use more spin than usual. Honestly, the serve was not my strong point, but still was effective. I was able to use spin to kick serves out wide to open up the court for an easy winner following the return. Overall, this racquet took away a little from my game, but enabled me to use even more spin.
On the Whole…
This racquet performed well and is a great racquet for tournament players. The MicroGel technology makes the frame more stable, allowing players to have even more control and placement opportunities. This racquet will most likely become advanced players favorite frame in their bag.