Recommended String: Sonic Pro
The Head Microgel Prestige MidPlus Pro that I tested was strung with Sonic Pro at 60 lbs. As the new, 2008, addition to the hugely successful Head Prestige line, the Head Microgel Prestige MidPlus Pro is a control oriented players racquet that's a fraction heavier than the Prestige MidPlus. It also has a more open string pattern of 16x19 compared to the non-pro model's 18X20.
To really get to know the racquet, I played with it every day for almost three weeks, for a total of approximately 40 hours.
Off the ground, with the exception of a slightly narrower grip than what I'm used to, I felt totally at ease with the racquet from the very first ball.
It has beautiful feel, with just the right amount of stiffness and flex. One of the first things that impressed me was the racquet head stability.When at full stretch and under pressure out wide, I noticed how aware I was of both the control I had over the racquet head and the amount ofhand and arm feedback I received, allowing me to play well placed defensive balls with confidence and accuracy.
When rallying, I was able to generate a good amount of racquet head speed, and was pleasantly surprised by how spin friendly the Head MicrogelPrestige MidPlus Pro is. In the tradition of Prestige frames, I found it to be a heavily control oriented racquet designed for players who enjoy generating all their own pace.
As I'm a player who prefers a racquet to be head light, I liked the Head Microgel Prestige Pro's balance. When going for my biggest shots, Iliked the racquets maneuverability and then the follow up solidity and stability of making contact with the ball. Further, I found the racquet to have a relatively large sweetspot for such a control oriented racquet.
Off the ground, the racquet is good for the whole range of shots; from heavy topspin forehands to penetrating backhand slices. The Head Microgel Prestige MidPlus Pro is a racquet for heavyweight players who also appreciate a frame that rewards accuracy and control with 100 per cent consistency.
I was impressed with the feel of the Head Microgel Prestige MidPlus Pro around the net. It's agile and stable, with a high level of comfort. Although I was entirely comfortable with every aspect of the way the racquet behaved when I was volleying, I was particularly impressed with the response I got on shots requiring lots of feel.
For instance, low volleys placed into the corners, sharply angled volleys off wide balls, and drop volleys were all a pleasure to play. Racquethead stability was also excellent when volleying against pace.
SERVES AND SMASHES
I hit my first serves with the racquet after hitting groundstrokes and volleys for the first two days. By this time, I was impressed with thecontrol and accuracy I had with the Head Microgel Prestige MidPlus Pro. Likewise with serves. Excellent racquet head speed enabled me to hit with pace and with spin without any problems whatsoever. Although the racquet didn't give me quite as much pop as the Head Microgel Radical or the Head Microgel Instinct, it still delivered quite a punch, without producing any surprises.
For overheads, the racquet's maneuverability, stability and large sweetspot make it a comfortable racquet, in line with other high quality MidPlus frames.
RETURN OF SERVE
For returns, I preferred it for returning slower deliveries or second serves; i.e, shots that required a fuller swing. When returning big serves, which I had to chip or block, I prefer frames that give the ball a little bit of extra zip, without me having to generate all the pace.
But I've also got to stress that this is a personal preference. The Head Microgel Prestige MidPlus Pro does what it was designed to do; namely,give players a racquet that gets the ball to do exactly what the racquet tells it to do , without any surprises. In the case of reacting tobig serves with no chance of being able to swing, it's the nature of all players' frames to be a little less responsive than some ofthe more powerful frames that provide less control.
When I got a chance to set up for my return, I loved the feeling of having a racquet in my hand that gave me full confidence in being able to make high quality, accurate shots.
Head Prestige fans won't be disappointed with the Head Microgel MidPlus Pro. It's an exceptional racquet that's going to be appreciated by players who really know their way around a tennis court. If you're a player who likes using a player's racquet that's at the highest end of being able to offer comfort, responsiveness, stability and precision, the Head Microgel Prestige MP Pro has got it all.
In the market they're targeting, Head's going to do very well with this one.