Swing Weight 325
With Lleyton Hewitt's switch from Yonex's RDS 001 Midsize tennis racquet to the Yonex RQiS 1 Tour, I was looking forward to testing Yonex's latest offering (introduced in the summer of 2007).
Expecting a frame that was well suited to players who liked counterpunching from the back of the court, after over 15 hours of playing with it, I was both pleased and surprised by the racquet's playability.
Weighing just under 12 ounces strung, the Yonex RQiS 1 Tour felt lighter when I was stroking balls from the back of the court. It's a beautifully balanced racquet that allows for ease of movement and plenty of swing speed.
The thing that struck me most upon hitting my first ball was the racquet's high comfort level. There was no question that it's a real players racquet as it's relatively underpowered with a massive amount of control and feel.
I found it to be predictable and accurate, with just the right amount of flex in the throat and stiffness in the head to give me that feeling of holding the ball on the strings for an unusually long time while still retaining great racquet head stability.
On my forehand, which I'm still able to hit in excess of 100mph with underpowered frames, I wasn't restricted in the slightest by the racquet's performance. In fact, because of the racquet's high degree of control, predictability and accuracy, it positively invites you to generate all the power you're capable of.
Whether it's to hit flatter penetrating balls that require pinpoint accuracy or more heavily topspun balls that jump viciously off the court, the Yonex RQiS 1 Tour allows you to do both with equal ease.
When it came to hitting backhands, I was really impressed with the feel I had on the slice. I was able to hold the ball on the strings for what seemed a long time, enabling me to hit with tremendous accuracy and penetration. For topspin backhands, while I found myself having to work very hard to hit with lots of power, I was pleased with the racquet's maneuverability and ease of generating adequate swing speed.
After testing the Yonex RQiS 1 Tour around the net, it's clear that this is not just a racquet for baseliners. Skilled volleyers will immediately appreciate the racquet's responsiveness. I found it to be maneuverable and stable, allowing me to hit both deep, penetrating volleys and touch or deftly angled volleys with equal ease.
Further, I had no difficulty dealing with pace coming at me or generating my own. The Yonex RQiS 1 Tour's agility makes it a pleasure to volley with, as does the high comfort level, exceptional feedback to the arm and relatively large sweetspot.
SERVES and SMASHES
As with groundstrokes, when it comes to serving, the Yonex RQiS 1 Tour is more control oriented than power oriented. I found myself wanting a little more help from the racquet when going for big first serves, but I had no complaints with the racquet's accuracy or ability to generate spin. While I wasn't able to generate as much pace as with some of the other players racquets, I had no problem generating spin for either kick serves or slice serves.
For this reason, I found it to be a very dependable racquet for hitting reliable, well-placed, heavy second serves.
For smashing, I would have liked a little more pop, but was impressed with how easy the racquet is to handle when hitting overheads. For some reason, the racquet feels lighter than its weight, but this doesn't in any way sacrifice racquet stability or the ability to hit a heavy ball. Once again, I give it full marks for maneuverability, accuracy and control.
First, the Yonex RQiS 1 Tour is terrific for returning second serves. Admittedly, I had to put a fair amount of effort into generating decent pace on my return, but the payoff was well worth it. As I have no trouble generating my own pace on the forehand side, I particularly looked forward to returning any serve that gave me time to line the ball up in my hitting zone.
When returning first serves that required a little improvisation from me, I wasn't able to just block the balls back as successfully as with some other frames. I needed to give the ball a little bit of an extra nudge. Likewise with returns from out wide; if I had time, I used a slightly longer swing than I normally use as the racquet's range when attempting to get depth is relatively shorter than what I’m used to (I now use the Prince 03 Speedport Black). .
In many ways, the Yonex RQiS 1 Tour reminded me of the Wilson K Factor K Six-One Tour 90, insofar as it produces an entirely predictable result every time you hit a ball.
Combine this with an extremely comfortable racquet and you've got a racquet that's nothing but a pleasure to play with. Because of its distinctive feel -- an unusual combination of flex in the throat and stiffness in the head -- it's the sort of racquet that many players will find themselves becoming very attached to.
This a players racquet that is particularly suited to big hitters with an all court game who require and appreciate a racquet that gives them a high degree of control and accuracy. I would add that it's also a great racquet for developing the skills of stronger young players who can only gain by using a racquet that gives them such a high degree of control while providing loads of feedback to the hand and arm.