Remember Andy Roddick? If you are a 90’s kid and loved tennis since your childhood, then you definitely remember how an underdog stole the show in the US Open of 2003 and clinched the title. Those glory days of Andy ended quite a few years ago, but he still has a special place in American tennis fans’ heart. Well, this post is not about the man himself, but the racket he used to play with. Though a Babolat Pure Drive tennis racquet was named after Andy in the later stages of his career, he played with the Babolat Pure Drive for a long period of time. In this Babolat Pure Drive review, I’d like to discuss how good this racket actually is.
Babolat brings new versions of their racket lines out every year and the newest version of this racket is the Babolat Pure Drive 2021. It’s not just tennis heroes from the past that played with the Babolat Pure Drive, today’s top players such as Dominic Thiem & Kim Clijsters perform at the highest level with the Babolat Pure Drive 2021. I’ll focus on this latest model.
If you are one of Andy’s fans, like myself, and want to know if this racket is right for you then you will find this article very resourceful. I know there are many tennis players who wonder if they should buy a Babolat Pure Drive2021 tennis racquet. If you are one of them, then consider this as your buying guide.
Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Tennis Racquet Review
Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Player Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Type: All-round / Power
Length: 27 inches(675 mm)
Balance: Head Light
Balance Point: 13 inches(330mm)
Head Size: 100 square inches(645 square mm)
Weight: 11.2 ounces(318g)
String Pattern: 16/19
Recommended String Tension: 50-59lbs
Grip Size: 4 5/8 inches(117mm), 4 1/2 in(114mm), 4 3/8 in(111mm), 4 1/4 in(108mm), 4 1/8 in(105mm)
Features and Specifications
Design and Build
Babolat tennis rackets are renowned for their large head sizes, and the Pure Drive is no different. With a head size of 100 square inches this racket comes with a considerably large sweet spot. Tennis rackets that have large head sizes tend to compromise length, but that is not the case with the Babolat Pure Drive. It has a length of 27 inches, making it one of the longest rackets out there. This is very convenient for advanced tennis players as they prefer long rackets.
The base material that has been used to build this racket is graphite. If you have previous experience with graphite rackets, then you already understand how durable this material is. Graphite rackets are built to last for an extended period of time, and the Babolat Pure Drive tennis racquet will serve you for many years if you maintain it properly.
I’d have to say this racket is a bit on the heavier side, but that is not necessarily a negative in my opinion. Babolat tennis rackets are built to generate maximum power with minimum output, so the weight is necessary. It is a head-light racket, so the grip is heavier compared to the head part.
Grip and Strings
One of the most significant benefits of owning a Babolat racket is, you will receive good quality grip and strings with it. There is no need to spend additional money to install better quality grips and strings, as the pre-installed ones are really good. The Babolat Pure Drive comes with Babolat’s signature Syntec Pro grip, one of the best grips out there. With 1.9mm thickness, this grip feels great in hand. Even if you have sweaty hands, I don’t think you need to get a sweat-resistant overgrip. It is convenient to use for players who have a sweat problem.
The Babolat Pure Drive tennis racket has Dunlop S-gut 16 strings. Stringing pattern has 16 mains and 19 crosses, a perfect standard for rackets with large sweet spots. The magic happens in the swing tension department, as it ranges from 50 to 59 pounds. This is indeed a lot, and will help power players win a lot of matches. On top of that, the strings are capable of absorbing the force when you receive a powerful forehand. The vibration is minimum, and you will not find it difficult to place your returns where you want.
I simply could not complete my Babolat Pure Drive 2021 review without mentioning the signature Woofer Technology, specifically developed by Babolat. To understand this technology, you need to know the basics of a tennis racket itself. Tennis rackets come with a frame that has strings. The frame’s job is to hold the driving force of the racket that is created by the strings. When you hit the ball with your tennis racket, only a few parts of the strings are active. This is where the Woofer technology comes into it’s own. Babolat aims to unleash the full potential of their rackets with this technology. Woofer ensures that all parts of the strings work together to put maximum impact behind the ball.
Firstly, Woofer prevents string lockups, so that all the strings are free to move. Secondly, Woofer makes sure the whole surface of the racket head gets involved while making a shot. The large sweet spot is responsible for this. Great surface deformation on impact generates 10% more power, and the strings are also able to maintain the energy for quite some time. Shock absorption makes the racket more forgiving, so less experienced tennis players or those having a dip in form will find it very useful as well.
As the name suggests, FSI power technology is for enhancing the power the racket generates. The new string pattern & diamond shaed grommets keeps the spacing between cross strings wide, the string tension can put more force behind the ball when you hit it. On top of that, you will receive a greater range of movement for the strings. This creates a wider sweetspot across the width of the racket frame. Wider spaces also make it much easier to receive powerful serves without hitting the ball too hard. Players will love this technology because it even allows you to maximize power with shots that are hit off centre.
Cortex Pure Feel
The Cortex Pure Feel technology has made it extremely comfortable for players to play with this racket. It makes a great sound when you hit a forehand and you will feel the cleanliness of the impact in your hands instantly.
The HTR system is a relatively new addition to the current generation of Babolat rackets. The graphite layup has been re-engineered in the 2021 version of the Babolat Pure Drive. It comes with higher torsional rigidity. As a result, you will be able to transfer more energy to the ball. It also makes sure that the energy is kept under control when necessary. Even if you return a fast paced shot with the Pure Drive, you will be able to keep the ball inside the court as long as you are hitting it with the sweet spot of your racket.
Who Should Use the New Babolat Pure Drive 2021Tennis Racquet?
We started our discussion reminiscing about Andy Roddick and now we are going back to him once again. Remember the type of player he was? He used to rely on power! And the Babolat Pure Drive is for players who have a similar style of play. If you have carefully read through the technologies that have been used in this racket, you already know that this racket is built for power.
Players who have a strong forehand but want more spin in their shots, should choose this racket with their eyes closed. Spin-friendly targeting and explosive acceleration are the strongest points of the Babolat Pure Drive 2021.
Despite being a bit on the heavy side, this racket has exceptional all-court mobility. You can easily hit winners when charging to the front of court or while on the run. Doesn’t that remind you of Andy Roddick himself? If you are versatile in using different parts of the court to smash winners or force errors from your opponent, this racket will be your best companion in your mission.
However, if you are an absolute beginner who is just getting the hang of tennis, I would not recommend this racket for a number of reasons. First of all, generally beginners are not good at handling heavy rackets well. Your hands might strain or you may just lose points for not being able to maneuver the racket fast enough. Secondly, many beginners simply lose interest in tennis after playing for a short period of time. This tennis racket is relatively expensive. There is no need to spend so much money for your first racket unless you are absolutely sure that you are going to play tennis for a long time.
Pros and Cons
- Brilliant design and build quality
- Exceptional technologies to enhance power and efficiency
- Shock absorption for strong returns
- High string tension
- Good quality strings and grip
- Large sweet spot
- Perfect weight distribution
- A bit heavy for beginners
- High Price Point
We wanted to answer if Andy Roddick’s racket is any good, and it’s damn good! Sure, it’s price point is higher than the average tennis racket, but the Babolat Pure Drive 2021 tennis racquet should be seen as an investment not an expense. Remember, it is an intermediate to advanced player level racket that comes with a lot of features you won’t find in mid-range options. So don’t think that the price is not justified, it absolutely is. The technologies used in this racket are simply amazing. With the new additions, it is the racket to watch out for in 2021!
Take a look at our comprehensive Tennis Equipment List, with product recommendation, to show you what tennis equipment & accessories can improve your tennis & take your game to the next level.