Fischer M Speed Pro Number One Racquets Review

There are some racquets you love from the first hit and continue to love every time you hit the courts. The M Speed Pro Number One racquets from Fischer turned out to be two such sticks.

In a departure from previous Pro Number One releases, Fischer has treated us to two versions of its flagship racquet with its introduction of the M Speed line. Along with the traditional 98 sq. inch headsize, the M Speed Pro Number One is also available in a 105 sq. inch version. With Oversize racquets being classified as 106 square inches and up, the M Speed 105 is technically still a Midplus. As we would find out, though, it played quite differently compared to the traditional 98 square-inch Midplus offering.

Called M Speed, the latest Fischer Pro Number One racquets feature an all new Magnetic Speed technology. Fischer states that in a Magnetic Speed racquet equally polarized magnets at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions return the frame to its original position faster than conventional frames. The result is more power returned to the ball and greater ball speed off the stringbed.

If you're anything like us, you're wondering if the magnetic technology actually does anything in the M Speed Pro Number One racquets. We tried sticking the racquets to the front of a refrigerator door to test the strength of the magnetic pull, but that didn't work. Fortunately, it doesn't matter if the magnets do anything or not, because the racquets feel great. Whether you believe technology stories or not, one of the good things to come from advancements in racquet design is that there are few bad racquets made today. The simple fact is that racquets continue to get better, and the two racquets tested here are at the forefront of that trend.

At the end of three weeks of testing, we didn't want to put down the M Speed racquets, but we did manage to stay away from the courts long enough to record the details of our play. Read on for the full story.

M Speed Pro Number One Midplus 98

Groundstrokes

Our entire team was impressed with the M Speed Pro Number One 98 when trading groundstrokes. Our testers agreed that the racquet offered a comfortable and spin friendly response. Enjoying some old-school feel from the M Speed 98 was Josh. "The racquet had a classic balance and feel throughout, most noticeably on forehands and backhands. I felt I had an opportunity to hit a winner with every shot. Every stroke felt controlled and effortless. My forehands had plenty of topspin and I was able to consistently hit my favorite shots from the backhand side." Also quickly finding the groove was Jon. "I felt very comfortable hitting groundstrokes with the M Speed Pro Number One 98. The 98 square-inch headsize, combined with the 16x20 string pattern, yielded a healthy sweetspot when compared to other racquets in its class. As someone who likes to hit hard, I enjoyed the soft feel and control that this racquet delivered."

Chris said, "I really liked the feel and response of this racquet off the ground. It delivered a soft and comfortable feel, yet I was finding plenty of pace on my shots. I really got the sense that I could feel the racquet flexing at impact, and the M Speed Pro Number One 98 offered a very pleasing, old school feel. I found this racquet to be very spin friendly. My topspin groundstrokes had plenty of hop. When going for angles, I found plenty of feel and was able to take some pace off my shots and roll the ball wide. My favorite shot with this racquet was my two-handed backhand angle. I was able to consistently pull my right handed opponents wide to their forehand side with this shot, leaving the court open for me to attack their backhand. When hitting with slice, I was able to keep the ball low and hit some nice, deep driving slice shots off both wings." Finding good mobility with the M Speed Pro Number One 98 off the ground was Granville. "A very solid stick that felt slightly lower overall in weight. Initially I was playing without a vibration dampener but much preferred the racquet with one. Groundies were falling a bit short in the court and I attributed that to the perceived lower weight. A simple adjustment, and once made, the racquet performed as well as my Wilson Hyper ProStaff 6.1 (with slightly less power). Once I made the necessary minor adjustments to my swing I was hitting with confidence and precision on both sides and to all corners of the court."

Volleys

The M Speed Pro Number One 98 proved to be just as impressive at net as it was from the baseline. Granville found the racquet to meet his expectations. "As with most Fischer racquets, this is a very solid racquet at the net. It had a soft feel yet still delivered a crisp response. I felt at home at the net with this racquet in my hand. The slightly lower weight enhanced the maneuverability of the racquet, especially noticeable on the low, shoestring volleys. I don't recall missing a volley." Josh was also impressed by the mobility of the M Speed Pro Number One 98. "What surprised me most about the racquet at net was its maneuverability. Whether reacting to quick doubles exchanges or lunging to return passing shots, the racquet did not disappoint. Touch shots were excellent and put away shots were crisp and clean. My overheads also felt great. Even when I relaxed and focused on placement, the M Speed Pro Number One 98 responded with plenty of pace and spin potential."

Pleased with his volleys with the M Speed Pro Number One 98 was Jon. "This racquet had a nice feel at the net. It had great stability and was very forgiving despite my less than perfect volley attempts." Also volleying to the best of his ability was Chris. "Again, I was finding great feel from this racquet. I was able to consistently find my targets and missed volleys were down to user error. This racquet felt remarkably mobile considering its weight. The head-light balance made the racquet feel very mobile and light. All in all, the soft response, good feel from the stringbed and excellent mobility for a player's racquet combined to make this racquet a dream at net."

Serves

The M Speed Pro Number One 98 turned in another impressive performance on serve. Chris offered, "I was happy serving with this racquet. I never felt like I was gaining any power, spin or weight on my shots, but I didn't feel like I was giving anything up, either. When serving, it was business as usual." Hitting some solid kickers but left wanting for pace on flat serves was Jon. "My experiences serving with the M Speed Pro Number One 98 were mixed. My kick serve seemed more aggressive than usual, which was nice. However, my flat serve was not as impressive. I had a lot of trouble finding my targets when going for a hard, flat serve."

Finding good pace and power on serve was Granville. "I was getting good power on my serves despite the lower weight (much to my surprise). There was little or no adjustment on the serve from my regular racquet. I was able to put the ball where I wanted to when I wanted to. I did notice a slight drop in spin production but I would have to play considerably more with the racquet before I could attribute it to the racquet." Josh was able to add some variety to his serves with the M Speed 98. "As with the other strokes, the M Speed 98 was solid on serve. I was able to mix up my service game more than usual with this racquet. I seemed to generate more swing speed than usual, which gave me a little more time to get my legs into first and second serves. The racquet was also very controlled and precise."

Service Returns

Our team felt confident returning with the M Speed Pro Number One 98. Most of our testers were going for their shots, with some being even more aggressive then usual. Hitting with confidence was Chris. "This was a nice racquet on the return. The response and mobility I found at net also made for good results when returning fast serves. I was finding enough control with this racquet that I could swing away and be very aggressive. I was able to take some pace off my returns and find some nice angles to open up the court and mix things up." Josh was returning so well with the M Speed Pro Number One 98 that he was often able to turn the point in his favor off the return. "The M Speed Pro Number One 98 was stable enough to block fast serves back with good pace and excellent control. With second serves, I was able to set up and I felt confident returning down the line or cross court. My forehand returns were more consistent than ever before. The ability to slice returns from the backhand side with this racquet was also a plus. I felt I could return just about every serve with this racquet and maintain an advantage over my opponents."

Also returning aggressively was Jon. "I was very comfortable returning serves with this racquet. I never felt I needed to hold back. I could go for the low percentage shots with confidence. Slice backhands and drop shot returns were dealt with good results." Granville was picking his targets when returning with the M Speed Pro Number One 98. "The balance and maneuverability made serve returns nearly effortless. I was able to block the ball with good control cross court or down the line. When an offensive opportunity presented itself I could take the ball early and rip it. Good comfort rounds out the overall playability of the racquet."

Overall

The hardest part about conducting this playtest was getting our testers to return the M Speed Pro Number One 98 test racquets so others could take them out for a hit. Even after our playtest period had ended, playtesters and other TW staffers continued to grab the M Speed Pro Number One 98 when heading to the courts. With a softer feel, compared to its predecessor, this latest version of the Pro Number One was a comfortable and spin friendly performer from all areas of the court. We found plenty of stability from the 12-ounce strung weight, yet excellent mobility thanks to a head light balance. Rarely are we this impressed with a racquet and we feel the M Speed Pro Number One 98 is one racquet every 4.5+ level player should experience.

Last Shots from our playtesters

Chris "I really liked the old Pro One No. 1, but found this racquet to be even better. It offers everything the Pro One No.1 brings to the table, but with a softer and more feel oriented response."

Jon "Overall the M-Speed Pro Number One 98 was a pleasure to hit. I enjoyed almost all aspects of this racquet and would feel comfortable recommending this to a 4.0+ player without hesitation."

Granville "One negative for this tester is the "square" grip shape. Unique in my experience. I would have to do some modifications if I was to keep the racquets. I also found that a vibration dampener greatly enhanced the feel of the racquet. A great racquet for the 4.0 and above player."

Josh "The M Speed Pro Number One 98 generated quite a "buzz" around TW before I grabbed hold of the racquet. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with this latest model from Fischer. For what it's worth, this racquet is 'Number One' on my list of playtest racquets for 2005."

Wilson nPro Test Results Chart
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)

Technical Specifications

Length27 inches69 centimeters
Head Size98 square inches632 square centimeters
Weight12 ounces340 grams
Balance Point12.625 inches
32 centimeters
7pts Head Light
Construction20-25mm
CompositionGraphite / Fiberglass / Piezotec Fibres
String Pattern16 Mains / 20 Crosses

Babolat RDC Ratings

Score
Grade
Flex Rating59Range: 0-100
Swing Weight323Range: 200-400

M Speed Pro Number One 105

Groundstrokes

We found the M Speed Pro Number One 105 to offer a larger and more forgiving sweetspot compared to the 98 square-inch version. Enjoying the added comfort and power of the 105 was Chris. "This is the kind of racquet that makes me want to play like Fabrice Santoro. It is so spin and angle friendly that I found it hard to restrain myself to hitting shots to the middle of the court. I even found myself hitting angles when just warming up. Even though this racquet is still technically a Midplus, I felt it competed more with current oversize player's racquets. While hitting with the M Speed Pro Number One 105, I re-acquainted myself with the Prince Graphite Original Oversize and the HEAD Flexpoint Radical Oversize to see how it stacked up. There was no doubt in my mind that the Fischer came out as number one. It offered a softer and more forgiving response compared to the Prince, and more control when compared to the HEAD. While it could not match the topspin potential of the Prince or the power of the HEAD, it's overall performance off the ground made it the better choice for me. Everything I liked about the 98, I liked even more with this racquet. I found more spin, more power and almost as much control. This one also felt very mobile and I enjoyed whipping it around when going for angles." Having better results hitting cross court as opposed to down the line was Josh. "The 105 was a bit powerful for my game. Forehands and backhands both felt crisp, but I was hitting long on a regular basis. Control was also an issue. The 105 didn't allow much room for error when hitting down the line or targeting a corner. On the flip side, my strokes had plenty of pace and topspin, which allowed for longer cross-court rallies."

Finding some added power and comfort with the M Speed Pro Number One 105 was Jon. "I found a healthy sweetspot and excellent comfort from the baseline. Like the 98, I was hitting my topspin groundstrokes hard and enjoyed the soft response from the racquet. The 105 felt similar to the 98, but with more power and comfort." Granville was able to swing aggressively from the baseline with the M Speed Pro Number One 105. "I liked this one on the ground but did notice the lighter weight immediately, which manifested itself in slightly lower power and balls landing a bit short in the court. The upside of that was I could hit out knowing I could keep the ball in the court. The racquet seemed plenty stable and was reminiscent of the Head Flexpoint Radical Oversize."

Volleys

At net the M Speed Pro Number One 105 proved to be both comfortable and maneuverable for our playtesters. Enjoying his time at net was Josh. "Despite the larger headsize, the 105 was very maneuverable and responsive at net. I was able to hit nice touch shots at sharp angles and found success hitting volleys from mid-court. I was also confident hitting overheads from all angles of the court." Jon found plenty of power to put high volleys away with the M Speed Pro Number One 105. "Some nice pop and lots of comfort. I'd be happy to recommend this to any advanced doubles player looking for a maneuverable player's racquet. I had good results at net and was able to punish overheads and high volleys."

Also finding the M Speed Pro Number One 105 a solid choice for doubles play was Granville. "The 105 is very maneuverable with its light weight and head light balance. A great doubles stick for the competitive player. Solid feel with good control and comfort. Not much to dislike about this racquet." Enjoying the M Speed Pro Number One 105 the most at net was Chris. "Loved it. It was as simple as that. I loved everything about this racquet at net. The feel, the level of power, the mobility, everything was just spot on. I consistently found my targets and found myself eager to push forward and volley."

Serves

Our team found the M Speed Pro Number One 105 very spin friendly on serve. Jon was hitting some big kickers with the 105. "My kick serve was working especially well with this racquet. I was able to find the corners and get lots of kick. Flat serves had good power, but I preferred the overall feel of the 98 when hitting flat." Finding some extra pace on his spin serves was Josh. "The extra power that affected my groundstrokes came in handy on serve. The 105 generated quality pace and spin on both first and second serves. My second serves had a little more kick than usual, giving me the option to use it as a first serve to mix things up. As with my groundstrokes, the 105 didn't offer as much control as I had hoped. First serves down the T were more difficult to hit, which gave my opponents a bit of an edge returning my first serves."

Granville was finding his targets with the M Speed Pro Number One 105. "This racquet is a solid performer on all counts. Serving with the 105 square-inch version was comfortable and offered good targeting and spin potential. I found the power may have been dialed down a bit for reasons already noted, but I could get over the ball nicely." Chris preferred the response of the M Speed 105 on serve compared to the smaller 98 square-inch version. "I had better results serving with this one compared to the 98. I was finding perhaps a touch more angle when serving wide, thanks in part to a little more spin. The larger headsize also seemed to give me more pop from my medium paced swing. With more power than the 98, the pace of both my first and second serves was noticeably faster."

Returns

The maneuverable and soft response of the M Speed Pro Number One 105 on the return enabled our testers to hit aggressive shots. Returning well with the M Speed 105 was Granville. "Returns were solid with good targeting. The racquet is light enough to get around all but the best placed serves. I could really hit out with this racquet, as the ball would stay in the court. The nice soft hitting area provided good feedback and control." Josh offered, "The 105 was great for returning serves as long as I let the racquet do the work. If I got a little excited and tried to power through a return, my shot went long. Backhand returns were easy to slice back, and I stuck to returning cross-court to avoid missing down the line. Again, the margin of error for such a shot was slim compared to the 98."

Enjoying the comfortable response of the M Speed Pro Number One 105 was Jon. "The M Speed 105 felt very comfortable returning serves. There was more power with this racquet compared to the 98, but I never felt the need to hold back. I could go either down the line or cross court with confidence." Chris had success returning during both singles and doubles play. "I found a nice combination of pace and spin on my returns. When playing doubles I found some nice angles and felt confident being very aggressive. When playing singles, I used the power and consistent response to hit deep cross court returns to try and neutralize the server's advantage."

Overall

The M Speed Pro Number One 105 proved to be the more spin friendly of the two headsizes. The larger head makes this racquet more forgiving from all areas of the court. Players with medium paced swings will find less effort required to hit deep groundstrokes and penetrating serves. We also found the M Speed Pro Number One 105 to be very comfortable. There was a nice flexible feel to the racquet and the larger head offered a generous sweetspot. Although this one is technically a Midplus racquet, fans of oversize player's racquets should definitely hit the demos courts with this one.

Last Shots from our playtesters

Chris "I can't remember the last time I preferred the larger headsize of a racquet that came in two versions. In fact, this may be the first such instance. Usually, the larger head results in a loss of control. If I know one thing about my game, it is that I need lots of control. With the M Speed Pro Number One 105, I felt like I gained the added power and spin I usually find from larger headsizes, but this time I didn't give up any control."

Jon "Very comfortable and maneuverable. More powerful than the 98, but still very controllable. I thought this was a great doubles racquet and I really enjoyed it at net.

Granville "Grip shape square as noted with the MP. Slightly underpowered but that provides the ability to hit out on just about every shot."

Josh "While the 105 didn't suit my game as well as the 98, it still had the weight and feel of a player's racquet. Doubles players may like the added pace and spin potential, and the 105 responds well in quick exchanges at net.

Wilson nPro Test Results Chart
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)

Technical Specifications

Length27 inches69 centimeters
Head Size105 square inches677 square centimeters
Weight11.8 ounces335 grams
Balance Point12.625 inches
32 centimeters
7pts Head Light
Construction20-25mm
CompositionGraphite / Fiberglass / Piezotec Fibres
String Pattern16 Mains / 19 Crosses

Babolat RDC Ratings

Score
Grade
Flex Rating56Range: 0-100
Swing Weight321Range: 200-400
Playtester Profiles
Chris 5.0 baseline player currently using a Yonex RDX 500 Midsize. Chris uses a full-western forehand grip, has a fast swing style and hits a one-handed backhand.
Josh 4.0 all court player currently using a Wilson ProStaff Original 85. Josh has a long, loopy swingstyle, hits with a one-handed backhand and a semi-western forehand.
Granville 5.5 all-court player currently using a Hyper ProStaff 6.1. Granville is an aggressive player who uses an eastern forehand grip and goes continental on everything else, hits with a flat swing and a one-handed backhand.
Jon 4.5 baseline basher with a big kick serve currently using a Dunlop Muscle Weaver 200G. Jon uses a semi-western forehand grip, has a full fast swing style and hits a one handed backhand.

Review date: January 2006. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.

All content copyright 2006 Tennis Warehouse.

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