Yonex has made a great deal of progress in the tennis industry since their first step in 1969. The company is known for their vast amount of technological development in their racquets, including the Isometric square head and Elastic TI. The Yonex RDS 003 also features the addition of Soft Grommets at the four corners of the racquet frame to reduce the amount of shock for a more comfortable feel. The RDS 003 received an update on its looks, but still maintained its specs. With a 100 square inch headsize and a 10.4 oz. unstrung weight, the Yonex RDS 003 is a control-oriented frame with a forgiving headsize for intermediate to advanced players.
For starters, I enjoyed the consistency and feel on the RDS 003 at the baseline. There was plenty of pop on my groundstrokes that added depth to my shots. It was soft on impact, although at first, the sweet spot was difficult to find. The 100 sq. in. headsize eventually offered more forgiveness on mis-hits and the Soft Grommets dampened the shock as well. The 16×19 string pattern allowed for some spin generation while maintaining ball direction. The light weight also allowed me to generate some fast racquet head speed. I was able to take some big swings on some shots, but they often went out since the RDS 003 provided some power of its own. However, with a well-paced swing and a little bit of spin, I was soon able to consistently keep my shots in.
The headlight balance and light weight contributed to excellent maneuverability of the RDS 003 at the net. Reaction shots were quickly executed with a good pop and spin. The midplus headsize made it easier to volley and not get passed as much. The feel during impact was solid and the racquet remained stable. The RDS 003 offered a nice balance of power and control at the net. I could get enough pop on my volleys and was able to get good depth. Drop volleys were great, and it was easy to get good directional control. With a forgiving headsize and easy maneuverability, the RDS 003 was a solid performer at the net.
Consistency was part of the deal when serving with the RDS 003. I was able to get a high percentage of my first serves with good pop. I was able to generate some spin on my second serves so it kicked out wide. While serving, the extra 0.25 inch on the RDS 003’s racquet length became noticeable, since my kick serves seemed to have a little extra kick to them. With a little longer reach, my serves were consistent and controlled. Although the RDS 003 provided some power on groundstrokes, the frame required me to work harder to get the needed speed on my flat serves.
The light weight of the RDS 003 allows for great mobility on serve returns. The longer length helped with reaching the wide serves. I was able to punish my opponent whenever serves landed short. The controlled response with good spin and pop forced my opponent on the defensive. However, on the heavy and faster serves, the RDS 003 was not very stable. Wish the mid-plus headsize and soft feel, blocking those serves was sufficient to get the ball over the net,but it often left me defenseless.
The Yonex RDS 003 proved to be a versatile tennis racquet that offered plenty of pop and spin on groundstrokes while being maneuverable and consistent. The open string pattern allowed for spin generation although I did not need to put that much spin to keep the ball in play. Volleys were decent with the midplus headsize and headlight balance. The extra 0.25 inch on the racquet length provided for consistent serves with an extra pop. The RDS 003 took some time getting use to with serve returns and groundstrokes, but after a while I was able to keep the balls deep with good pace. The Yonex RDS 003 is a great tweener racquet for intermediate to advanced players who desire a control-oriented frame with a decent amount of power.
Reviewed by: Michael Tan
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