Rec. Strings:: Premier with Softflex
Having played on the Tour with the Original Prince Graphite (and before that the Prince Woodie), it's always fun to try out any Prince MidPlus or OS racquet. The Prince 03 Tour OS, with a head size of 107 sq" and a racquet length of 27.5", definitely feels like an oversize racquet.
But as far as playability goes, the Prince 03 Tour OS has some noteworthy characteristics…
Here’s what I thought of it…
With a power level of 850, I found that I could swing as fast as I could without ever feeling that I would lose control or that there was even a hint of racquet head instability, due to the 03 technology’s typically large sweetspot. Together with the oversize head and extra ½ inch in length , this racquet is well suited for a strong, hard-hitting player who likes to come in.
The overall feeling of the Prince 03 Tour in my hand when hitting forehands and backhands was one of solidity. When I wound up to hit a big forehand, I really felt as though the shot had a stack of weight behind it. This racquet was great for hitting very heavy, aggressive groundies. I also liked the fact that the extra racquet length gave me an extra little bit of reach when stretched out wide, which double-handers also love.
With slice and touch shots, I found the racquet comfortable and responsive. In this regard, I think that off the ground, the racquet is suited to a physically strong player who has a no-nonsense, hit right through the ball approach to playing at the baseline.
This racquet is built for the "meat and potatoes" tennis player who likes oversize heads, and who likes to play a no-frills, solid game off the ground, while looking to hit hard drives into the corners and follow them into the net.
As with any oversize racquet head, volleying with the Prince 03 Tour OS was easy. My volleys felt extremely solid, with racquet head stability being excellent. I had the feeling that the weight behind any well hit volley was going to make passing shots very difficult for my opponent.
I also had no problem hitting anything that required deft touch or last second improvisation. With the obvious benefits of an oversize head while volleying, the Prince 03 Tour OS is a must try if you like spending time at the net and you’re partial to an oversize frame.
SERVING AND SMASHING
For serving, there’s plenty of power, especially with the extra 1/2” of racquet length adding a little extra height and pop. Being well used to OS and 27 ½" frames, I adjusted immediately to serving with this racquet. Flat, slice and kick serves were easy to hit, although I couldn’t get as much kick on serve as with a lighter racquet.
As for smashing, I loved it. The racquet let me smash as powerfully and accurately as any racquet I’ve played with.
RETURN OF SERVE
The racquet was great for returning 1st serves against big servers. All I had to do was get the racquet head behind the ball, and then direct the serves back at my opponent using compact strokes. The huge sweet spot makes it possible to hit off-center and still get a great response.
If I had time to hit powerful aggressive returns, as with regular groundstrokes during a rally, it was great for hitting a heavy, solid ball that invites you to come in behind it. Once again, the extra ½" length is an obvious benefit on wide returns, particularly if you’re a double hander.
If you’re a big hitter off the ground, who either likes to hit winners from the baseline or follow big approach shots into the net, you’ll enjoy the Prince 03 Tour OS. If you like oversize racquets, compare this one with all the others you’ve tried. I found it compares very favorably.
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