The Prestige is a classic player’s racquet. Now Head has done the impossible and made this classic racquet even better by incorporating their new Microgel technology. The Microgel line also saw the creation of a brand new racquet within the Prestige line. The Head Prestige Pro Midplus is an improvement on an already tested classic featuring an open string pattern that no Prestige has seen so far. Head’s Microgel technology is a new unique technology – it involves the injection of a silicone-based material that has the lowest density on the planet, and is able to support up to 4,000 times its weight. At ball contact this technology helps to evenly distribute the impact load throughout the racquet, providing both rock solid feel and amazing touch. Specifications include a 98 sq. inch head, a head size that contributes not too much power, but enough. It is also 12.1 ounces in weight, a very heavy racket indeed. The racquet is also 7 points head light, a feature that will allow for more control, partially due to a greater capability in generating spin.
With the other Prestige racquets I felt that the lack of power was a huge issue. From the time I hit the first ball, I knew that this was not going to be a problem with this racquet. Now don’t get me wrong – this racquet is still very control oriented, but unlike its 18 x 20 brother, control is not the main issue. Again just as it was with the other racquets in the Prestige line, after a considerable amount of time playing I wasn’t able to keep up the same swing speed. Once that happened, everything I liked about the racquet turned on me. The control and limited amount of power made it tough for me to hit deep, consistent shots. As long as I was able to keep that long swing speed, I was very pleased from the baseline. I thought the open string pattern not only increased the size of the sweet spot, but also allowed for much better spin potential. This open string pattern helped to create much more bite on the ball. However there was a downside to the extra ball contact time: this open string pattern made control more difficult. Not to the point that I couldn’t find the court with two hands and a map, but not as much control as its more dense string pattern brother. Although there was some loss of control, I still felt like I was able to hit the ball with more accuracy and control than most racquets.
I greatly enjoyed volleying with this racquet. Again, rock solid and crisp does not even begin to describe how this racquet felt while volleying. I was able to put volleys anywhere I wanted and the open string pattern seemed to add a bit more spin and power naturally. This added spin helped for the touch drop volleys, and the added natural power was something I could easily manage. I actually had a hard time tearing myself away from the net while testing this racquet.
Serving was great as long as I was able to keep up a long swing speed. With a fast swing speed, hitting any type of serve was a joy. The open string pattern allowed for a great amount of bite on the ball, and thus, spin on my serve. Kick serves had depth and were very heavy; Slice serves were cutting and were able to plow through the court. Speaking of plowing through the court, hitting flat serves was great. The open string pattern allowed for even more power than the 18 x 20 Prestige, and I was more than happy with it. (Who wouldn’t want more power on their serve?). Not only was hitting hard, heavy serves easy, but placing them was also remarkably easy.
Returning serves was easy as long as I was able to get that racquet in front of me and into position. (I know some are thinking that is never a problem.) But after a considerable amount of playing, getting the racquet into position was tougher than I anticipated. As long as the racquet was in position, there was nothing wrong with my return. The larger sweet spot that came along with this more open string pattern was very welcome. There was a little bit more room for error when making contact on the returns with this racquet compared to its dense string pattern brother.
Overall, this is a welcome addition to the Prestige family. I have known many people who like the Prestige, but don’t need all the control that it’s 18 x 20 brother posses. At the same time though they have had a hard time finding a racquet that can match the Prestige in its player’s frame aspects. Well finally there is a racquet that has most of the control of the Prestige but just a slight more power. Players who can generate their own power and have long swings will love this racquet!