With its distinctive cross bar stabilizer, the original Prince Graphite racquet was an immediate hit with both club and professional players when it was introduced over 20 years ago. While Prince still produces the original Graphite Classic, the Graphite series of racquets has continued to evolve. Each addition to the Graphite Series has featured a new technology, manufacturing process, or subtle design change, further broadening the appeal of the original. Previous editions of the Graphite line have included the Graphite II, Precision Graphite and Triple Threat Graphite, as well as several longbody models.

Since the Fall of 2003 a number of players on the men's and women's pro tours have been using racquets labeled simply Experimental 1. Prince finally revealed these new additions to the Graphite Series at the 2004 Australian Open. The NXG Graphite racquet line features three head sizes, with three different frame lengths, and is set to further broaden the appeal of the Graphite line. Each NXG Graphite features MORE frame construction with Graphite Extreme, grommetless Direct Contact string channels, and Prince's shock reducing Air Handle system.

To see if the NXG Graphite line of racquets lives up to the high standard set by previous Prince Graphite racquets, we hit the courts for a three-week playtest. Here's what we found.

Each NXG Graphite racquet was strung with a 17 gauge mutifilament string at mid tension. The use of an overgrip and string dampener was left to the individual playtester.

NXG Midsize

Groundstrokes

With a 92 sq. inch head size, the NXG Mid is the most demanding of the three racquets tested here. With a small sweetspot and a 12.3 ounce strung weight, the NXG Mid found a better fit with our 4.5 and above level playtesters. Don enjoyed hitting with the NXG Mid, but found it too demanding for match play. He said, "I loved the feel and control of this racquet, but there wasn't quite enough power for my game. It was surprisingly more maneuverable than expected, and quite stable. Of course, balls hit high in the stringbed suffered a noticeable drop in power. I was also impressed with the spin I could generate, despite its dense string pattern. I especially enjoyed hitting backhand slices." Wendi, our 3.5 level playtester struggled to find the groove with the NXG Mid. "The Midsize head is a little small for me. When I was on I was hitting well, but off-centered hits were very common and didn't bring the best results to my game. I don't think it is a very forgiving racquet and it's definitely designed for a more experienced player. I did like the control aspect of this racquet, the best of the three NXGs in my opinion. I found the weight to be comfortable and it had good maneuverability from the baseline. I hit some nice backhands up the line, and found a lot of control on approach shots."

Josh found a much better fit for his game with the NXG Mid. "I had the most success hitting groundies with the Mid. This racquet reminded me of the ProKennex Laver Heritage Type C, which is one of my favorites. The specs are so similar and both racquets play alike. Forehands and backhands felt crisp and I was able to control points from the baseline, which has been a struggle as of late. My backhand slices stayed low and deep and I found some success hitting sharp angles. The only trouble-spot I found on groundstrokes was the short ball. If I opened up my shoulders too quickly, the ball never cleared the net. Once I adjusted and waited to open up on the follow through, the corners opened up and I could follow with an easy volley. I thoroughly enjoyed this racquet. Of the three Graphite racquets in this series, I would put the Mid at the top. Chris added, "I really liked the weight and feel when swinging this racquet. I found it quick through the air, but with plenty of weight for nice stable shots from the baseline. Of the three NXG Graphite racquets I found the Mid best suited to slice backhands and approach shots. The racquet has enough mass that I could really fling it into a slice backhand and get some good weight on my shot. I was also pleased with the amount of topspin I was developing on both backhand and forehand groundstrokes. However, I felt like the racquet was missing a little bit of feel that I expect form a Midsize racquet. This is not a powerful racquet, and generating power with the NXG Mid requires plenty of racquet head speed." Granville found he could play aggressively with the NXG Mid without fear of over-hitting. "As might be expected, the Mid version is the toughest to play with due to the small head size and resulting small sweetspot. With the inherent stiffness of the MORE technology, it seems the lay-up on this racquet is the source of the soft feel - which it does possess. I enjoyed hitting out with this racquet, and acquiring good depth without fear of hitting long. It has very good response and feedback. Players currently using midsize racquets will find this a worthy contender upon playtesting."combined score 73

Volleys

Our team found the NXG Mid well-suited to net play. The 9 points head light balance providing a maneuverable feel without any sacrifice in stability. Chris found a consistent response from the NXG Mid at net. "At net the NXG Mid felt very stable. There were no surprises, and I basically got out of it what I put in. I never had to worry about my volleys sailing long, unless I got tempted by a sitter and took too much of a swing - in which case missed shots were due to user error. I would have liked a little more feel for touch volleys, but what the NXG Mid was lacking in feel it made up for in stability and control." Josh found the NXG Mid to be very maneuverable when moving forward to the net. "I found myself attacking volleys rather than reacting to them. Most of the time I able to successfully drive my volleys deep to the corners. When the situation was right I was able to drop a touch volley at an angle to end a point." Don observed, "I liked the head-light balance and control of the NXG Mid at net, and loved the touch and feel. I was rarely late on my volleys, and I could be more aggressive. The only downside was that I needed to be aggressive or my shots fell short. Sometimes this worked out fine, albeit unintentionally. I loved the pick-up half volleys and short angle shots." Granville added, "I found the NXG Mid to be very crisp, with a solid but small sweetspot. Visually, the head appears very oval (like a squash racquet), reinforcing my impression of a small sweetspot." Wendi had better results at net than at the baseline with the NXG Mid, saying, "the NXG Mid felt good at the net, with a nice weight and a very responsive feel. My volleys were deep and solid, but I didn't have the pace I usually get. Again, I got a lot of control with this racquet." combined score 77

Serves and Overheads

Our team was happy with the amount of control the NXG Mid provided on serves. However, they soon discovered that it was up to the server to provide the power. Josh found serving required some effort with the NXG Mid. "I definitely had to do the work with this racquet. I didn't hit many aces, but I served a higher percentage of first-serves than seconds. I was confident hitting the ball up the "T" on both sides of the court, as well as out wide in the ad court. Most importantly, being able to locate serves allowed me the opportunity for more net play. The string pattern on the racquet seemed to work against me on second serves. I didn't get much topspin out of this racquet, but I was more consistent once I started snapping my wrist more on the follow-through. I got a little too excited on overheads at times. Because the mid was so comfortable to move with, I tended to focus more on powering a winner than placing it. Regardless, my overheads felt as good as with any other racquet." Like Josh, Don found the NXG Mid required a fast swing, but still liked serving with it. "I read somewhere that the best serving racquet is head-light and with a smaller head ("Tennis Science for Tennis Players, Dr. Howard Brody). Well, this racquet pretty much confirmed that. I actually served pretty well, I just didn't get any real heat on the ball. Placement was fantastic, and spin was better than expected. In a match, though, it just doesn't quite offer enough zip for my game." Chris found his serves got better and better the more he played with the NXG Mid. "It felt like I was hitting my heaviest serves with the NXG Mid. Although it felt like I got more spin with the Oversize, and enjoyed the feel of the Midplus the most, I think if I had more time with the Mid I would prefer it. My favorite serve to hit with the Mid was the slice out wide to the deuce court. I was able to generate some really nice angle on this shot and felt like it was carrying some good weight. Kick serves were more of a challenge, and there was a slight adjustment period until I found the groove." Granville added, "it is always nice having a 12+ ounce racquet in my hand because I know the racquet will be stable. Such is the case serving with the NXG Mid. I found good feel and control with a soft touch. I didn't feel like I was getting extra power or pop, but control and comfort were there." Wendi struggled the most on serves, saying, "I don't think I am precise enough to ensure good contact with the small head of the Mid. My serves were inconsistent and kind of all over the place."combined score 72

Serve Returns

The NXG Mid offered our more advanced players plenty of control on the return. Wendi, however, found the NXG Mid a bit of a challenge. "My returns were lacking that aggressive pop off the racquet. I was hitting a lot of off-center returns and was lucky if they remained in play. Against second serves I had good results, and I was able to take a pretty good swing from just behind the service box." Don offers, "no suprises here. The NXG Mid allows for (and requires) a pretty good swipe at returns. Otherwise, the ball lands short or sits up. Fortunately, it is maneuverable enough to take some backswing against most serves. Against second serves, I could be more aggressive without sacrificing control (both length and placement)." Josh found the NXG a good fit for his return game. "My forehand returns were shorter with this racquet than the other two, but more consistent. I was able to get good depth on backhand returns and never found myself "blocking" first serves, which is my usual tendency. The faster swingspeed of the Mid allowed me to hit cross-court returns at sharper angles, which boosted my confidence a bit." Like Josh, Chris found better results with the NXG Mid when returning aggressively. "The NXG Mid felt very stable on the return and I had the most success hitting aggressive returns. I found that when I was able to step in and take a good cut at the ball I was able to generate plenty of power with good placement. If I didn't really punch my slice backhand return it would drop a little short. On the plus side, I found it easy to chip the ball at the feet on an incoming serve and volley opponent." With good preparation, Granville found the NXG Mid allowed him to hit a variety of returns. "As with any true player's stick, preparation is critical. The racquet will provide just about anything you may want to do as far as targeting and pace. I was able to hit with confidence on both sides, even the soft touch drop shot to the front corners." combined score 70

Overall

The most demanding of the three NXG racquets, the Mid offers the most control and the least amount of power, and is best suited for aggressive players. Strong players with good technique will not be left wanting for direction and placement with the NXG Mid, but must be ready for a sharp drop in power on balls hit in the upper hoop. Fans of midsize racquets should definitely give this one a try, as the reward from the small sweetspot is very sweet, indeed. With good swingspeed comes the ability to hit solid, heavy shots from all areas of the court. combined score 75

Prince NXG Midsize

Prince NXG Graphite Midsize Test Results Chart
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)

Technical Specifications

Length27 inches69 centimeters
Head Size92 square inches593 square centimeters
Weight12.3 ounces349 grams
Balance Point12.375 inches
31 centimeters
9pts Head Light
Construction18 mm Straight Beam
CompositionGraphite / Titanium / Tungsten / Carbon
String Pattern18 Mains / 20 Crosses

Babolat RDC Ratings

Score
Grade
Flex Rating61Range: 0-100
Swing Weight329Range: 200-400
Manueverability0

NXG Midplus

Groundstrokes

Our team found a good blend of control and all-court playability from the NXG Midplus. Finding a little power, but still plenty of control off the ground, was Wendi. "From the baseline the NXG Midplus had a bit more power than the Mid, but it still had a lot of control. I had a lot of success hitting hard crosscourt shots, and with the control I was getting I was able to hit angles that would normally land wide. I was very successful when hitting shots on the run, and I was able to get some good topspin on my groundstrokes. On my approach shots I was able to take a full swing without missing. The only disadvantage I noticed was how stiff the Midplus felt." Chris also noticed the stiff feel of the NXG Midplus. "I immediately noticed how much stiffer the Midplus felt compared with the other two NXG Graphite head sizes when hitting groundstrokes. The stiffness was most noticeable in the upper hoop, with a feel of more control rather than power. The stiff feel offered by the NXG Midplus is not something I look for in a racquet, and I would probably switch to a natural gut string for more cushion and feel if I were to continue using this racquet. As with the other head sizes, I was getting quite a lot of action on the ball on forehand and backhand topspin shots. I think the most noticeable plus of hitting with the Midplus was that it gave a very predictable response. I never felt like I was going to over-power my shots and I was able to play some solid, but aggressive tennis. Don agreed, offering, "switching from the NXG Mid to the Midplus I found the extra power I needed, but I didn't enjoy the stiffer feel as much. Regardless, I played better with the Midplus; I was able to hit more penetrating shots without sacrificing much control. The more open string pattern provided more zip and better spin potential, allowing for more bite on slices and a 'heavier' shot on my forehand side." Granville really enjoyed his court time with the NXG Midplus. "This was my favorite of the three head sizes. The Midplus is a very solid player's stick with all the elements of a great frame. The NXG Midplus is exactly what I like in a racquet; good weight for stability, good head light balance for maneuverability, and good power offered by the 100 sq. inch Midplus head size. Like an old friend, a very familiar feel and response was at once noticeable, with good "pocketing" in the string bed on the groundies. I was hitting out with confidence on both sides and slipped right into my game without much of a transition time. Of particular note, I was picking up short forehands and hitting winners at will. Good topspin and slice. The Midplus has a very nice, crisp feel to it while remaining soft and comfortable. This could be Prince's long awaited home run racquet." Josh struggled to find form on the backhand side with the NXG Midplus, and had better results with his topspin forehand. "My groundstrokes felt average with the Midplus. The racquet offered good spin potential, so I was able to drive through the ball on the forehand side and not worry about hitting long. I felt comfortable hitting backhands, but I never got into a groove. I found myself playing more cautiously because control was a bit of an issue." combined score 72

Volleys

The NXG Midplus offered our playtesters plenty of feel and control at net. Finding the best fit for his net game was Granville. He got straight to the point, saying, "the NXG Midplus has good maneuverability and feel, crisp response and excellent touch. It's my kind of racquet." Also finding good results with the NXG Midplus was Josh. "I thought the Midplus performed better at net than anywhere else. All three NXGs offer solid feel and pop, and with this one the points were easy to control at net. However, I had a tougher time picking up balls hit low and wide than with the NXG Mid." Chris found an emphasis on control volleying with the NXG Midplus, saying, "at net this racquet felt stable, offering a lot of control. I felt like power was up to me, which is how I like a racquet to play at net. I was able to move the ball around the court and I had good success finding my targets. Like other Prince racquets with Direct Contact construction, I found the feel to be slightly muted, but this didn't seem to affect my accuracy on touch shots." Don also liked the NXG Midplus best at net. "I really liked moving in and playing the net with this racquet. Whether hitting half-volleys or offensive volleys, it just felt natural at net. Once again, the upper hoop stiffness was a slight negative, but this added stability when I caught the ball off-center." Wendi found the NXG Midplus to be a bit too much racquet for her. "At net the NXG Midplus again felt stiff. The maneuverability wasn't as good for me and the contact with the ball didn't feel very solid. I did have good placement when I hit the sweetspot, along with deep volleys and good angles." combined score 75

Serves and Overheads

The majority of our team members found a little extra zip, and a more server friendly feel to the NXG Midplus compared to its Midsize brother. Finally finding a groove with the NXG Midplus was Wendi. "This is a good serving racquet. I was able to generate some good pace and place the ball well. It had a very comfortable weight and I didn't experience any of the discomfort that I felt with the Oversize. However, it didn't have the pop that I like, and it felt almost like the stiff head wouldn't give at all." Chris said, "I found the best fit for my game with the NXG Midplus when serving. I was able to hit all my regular serves with the same amount of confidence as when using my regular racquet. It didn't seem to matter if I was hitting a kick, slice or flat serve, the Midplus felt solid and stable. I may have generated just a tad more spin on kick serves with the NXG Midplus than with my regular racquet, but otherwise I was getting about the same results from the NXG Midplus and my Yonex MP Tour-1 Mid." Granville found a little extra zip off the stringbed with the NXG Midplus, saying, "I picked up the extra pace missing in the midsize version when serving with the Midplus, and I could generate good spin out wide." Josh felt like he was missing some of the pace he found with the other NXG racquets when serving with the NXG Midplus. He said, "my service game paralleled my groundstrokes - basically average with more success on the second serve because of the spin potential. My first serves felt good coming off the strings, but they didn't have the pop that the Mid offered or the power of the Oversize." Don sided with the majority, adding, "I served well with the NXG Midplus. I could hit the big, flat serve or slice out wide on my first serve. On second serves, the open string pattern allowed me to hit out, replacing pace with spin. I felt very confident serving with this racquet." combined score 72

Serve Returns

The control our team found at the baseline and net with the NXG Midplus was also felt on the return. Chris found the NXG Midplus capable of handling heavy first serves, saying, "the racquet felt stable, and as with other shots, I felt an emphasis on control compared to power. I hit some really nice slice backhand returns with this racquet and was able to really knife through the shot. Drive returns felt very predictable, and I was comfortable being aggressive with the NXG Midplus. The only time I felt uncomfortable with this racquet was when I caught the ball in the upper hoop - I didn't like the stiff feel from that part of the stringbed." Don enjoyed the added punch when returning serves with the NXG Midplus, saying, "I could block back big serves more effectively with the Midplus, and the added upper hoop stiffness probably contributed to this. Against second serves I had the option of taking a good swing or chipping and charging. I had good success hitting slice approach shots from the ad court." Granville found the right blend of ingredients from the NXG Midplus on the return. "Once again, the NXG Midplus was just what the doctor ordered. I wasn't thinking about the racquet when playing with the Midplus." However, Wendi continued to struggle with the NXG Midplus, finding the racquet just wasn't suited to her level of play and struggling to find the small sweetspot. "When returning hard serves, more than anything, I noticed the stiffness of this racquet. I wasn't hitting the ball as clean or as sharp as normal, maybe because of the flex. I resorted to a lot of block returns, but was pleased with my success. On second serves I was much more successful attacking the serve. I was able to take a full swing and dictate the placement of the return." Josh had more success with the NXG Midplus when swinging aggressively, saying, "the ball had a tendency to sail long if I didn't whip the racquet through fast enough on forehand returns. However, this racquet offers a fair amount of power compared to the Mid, so I could keep my return stroke more compact without sacrificing depth on the return. My backhand returns were effective whether I was slicing or going for a winner." combined score 72

Overall

With a little more pop than the Mid and a bit more control than the Oversize, the NXG Midplus is truly an all court racquet. However, we noticed a slightly stiff feel toward the upper hoop, and the Midplus lacks a little of the comfort that comes from the weight of the Mid and the larger sweetspot of the Oversize. Players who like to hit with heavy spin from the baseline will find the Midplus more than up to the task. At net the Midplus offers control and maneuverability. To complete the round-up, plenty of placement and control can be had on serves and returns. Put all this together and you've got a pretty impressive package. combined score 75

Prince NXG Midplus

Prince NXG Graphite Midplus Test Results Chart
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)

Technical Specifications

Length27.25 inches69 centimeters
Head Size100 square inches645 square centimeters
Weight12.2 ounces346 grams
Balance Point12.5 inches
32 centimeters
9pts Head Light
Construction19 mm Straight Beam
CompositionGraphite / Titanium / Tungsten / Carbon
String Pattern16 Mains / 20 Crosses

Babolat RDC Ratings

Score
Grade
Flex Rating63Range: 0-100
Swing Weight326Range: 200-400
Manueverability0

NXG Oversize

Groundstrokes

With its larger sweetspot and extra length, the NXG Oversize provided a little extra zip to groundstrokes for our team. However, as with the NXG Mid and Midplus, the Oversize places a heavy emphasis on control. Chris says, "the NXG Oversize felt the most comfortable of the three racquets off the ground - most likely due to the longer main strings and larger sweetspot. The amount of power I was generating from forehands and backhands was predictable and very controllable. I was able to get a lot of topspin off both wings, which helped me move the ball around and hit some nice angles. I was really surprised at how fast I could whip the racquet head through the ball with the NXG Oversize. In the past I've struggled to find enough racquet head speed with oversize racquets with my one-handed backhand, but this wasn't the case with the NXG Oversize. I was getting good pace and direction on topspin backhands. Slice also felt pretty good off the backhand wing. I could get plenty of grip and spin on the ball, while placement was very good. If I was missing anything on the backhand side it was weight of shot when hitting a slice. My backhand slices tended to float a little and I really had to focus to try and knife one. On the forehand side I found plenty of spin and control. I was able to swing away without fear of it looking like I was trying to knock holes in the net or the back fence. When I started to look forward to anything short that I could get a forehand on with the NXG Oversize, I realized I was starting to find the groove similar to playing with my regular racquet." Wendi noted the NXG Oversize had a more comfortable feel off the ground, saying, "I felt like I got a decent level of power and great control on my groundstrokes. I was very successful on the run with this racquet, my forehand in particular. My backhand crosscourt shots had great topspin. It felt like the NXG Oversize had much more flex than the NXG Midplus. On my approach shots I was able to hit some great angles from both sides. I did experience some trouble when I was forced to take the ball high. After some time playing my forearm became very tired, the stick just seemed to get heavier and heavier."

Granville, who usually prefers mid or midplus racquets, said, "while not a big fan of oversize racquets the NXG Oversize is an exception, and ranks right up there with the only other OS racquet I would choose to play with, the Head Liquidmetal Radical OS. You get a healthy sweetspot with this racquet, which many players are going to enjoy. You also get excellent comfort with surprising stability for an oversize racquet. With that comes some added power as a result of the head size and inherent stiffness of the "MORE" construction. While hitting out on both sides, I again found myself thinking about the set I was playing rather than the racquet I was playing with - always a good thing. The NXG Oversize is the most comfortable of all three headsizes. Perhaps the extra half inch of length is the right combination for both power and stability - it certainly feels that way." Josh had a similar experience to Granville, saying, "this racquet didn't hit like a traditional oversize. It was definitely powerful, but once I adjusted to the extra power the racquet was very easy to hit with. My forehands felt solid and I was able to use my usual stroke, which is long and loopy. I was able to generate enough topspin and depth on the forehand to keep my opponent pinned behind the baseline. I was also surprised on the backhand side. Usually oversize racquets are too light and unpredictable for me, but the NXG Graphite has a solid weight and is very stable. I did have a hard time keeping short approach shots within the baseline. I was hitting a good foot or two behind the baseline on every shot I attempted from the service line. In order to hit winners I had to consciously put more topspin on the ball and shorten my back swing." Don liked the NXG Oversize the best. He said, "the NXG OS combines the comfort of the Mid with the extra power of the Midplus, but with just a little better maneuverability. This was, hands down, my favorite of the three. I just felt better connected to this racquet, and was able to hit with pace while still controlling the ball. Like Chris, my only minor complaint was that slice backhands tended to float if I didn't hit through the ball. Otherwise, there wasn't much I couldn't do with this racquet." combined score 77

Volleys

The comfort and generous sweetspot our team members were enjoying from the baseline with the NXG Oversize became even more of a treat as they moved up to the net. Josh was really pleased with the feel of the NXG Oversize at net. "This was one of the best oversize racquets I've played with at net. The heft of the racquet allowed me to redirect firm passing shots, which isn't the norm with an oversize. The power allowed me to drive the ball deep to the baseline as well. I had more success with approach volleys than when I was volleying closer to the net. The extra power may be the one negative to having a heavier racquet with a larger head size." For the most part, Chris was in agreement with Josh, but he found the racquet to be more maneuverable. "I really enjoyed volleying with this racquet. The racquet felt very maneuverable, but still had enough mass to handle heavy passing attempts. I was getting heaps of feel from the stringbed for droppers and short angles. Low pick-up volleys seemed to feel less of a challenge than with the other NXG head sizes. I found just the right amount of power when I wanted to punch the ball deep or finish off a high volley. I was so happy with this racquet at net that if I had the three NXGs in my bag and I was heading out for a set of doubles I'd definitely grab the Oversize." Granville also liked the feel of the NXG Oversize at net, saying, "a generous sweetspot afforded some additional confidence at the net. It had excellent touch too, for an oversize racquet. I was moving well from side to side and following up with a decisive volley with good placement. I was not thinking of the extra 1/2 inch in lenght either - another good indicator." As with her groundstrokes, Wendi was finding a better fit for her net game with the NXG Oversize. "The NXG Oversize felt solid at the net. It was very comfortable, with good maneuverability and stability. I was able to play some great deep volleys with a lot of control. My touch volleys were having some problems but every other aspect of volleying was successful." Don continued his praise of the NXG Oversize, saying, "as much as I liked this racquet from the baseline, I liked it even better at net. It was very maneuverable, despite weighing almost 12 ounces. The additional half inch of length was also helpful, and seemed just right for this headsize. Whether digging a low volley from the service line or punching a put-away volley, I felt this racquet was right at home at the net." combined score 77

Serves and Overheads

With its extra half inch in length and open string pattern, the NXG Oversize offered a spin friendly and lively feel on the serve. Granville continued to enjoy the NXG Oversize from all areas of the court. "The NXG Oversize is worthy on all fronts, including the serve. Terrific "pocketing" in the serve resulted in some added spin out wide. It's always nice to open up the court on the first strike of the ball. The NXG Oversize is not going to give you the "heater" of your dreams, but should provide just about any kind of performance you are accustomed to. It also gives you a crisper feel than other oversize racquets." Josh found a solid blend of power and control on the serve. "The weight, head size and extra length make this racquet very effective for the server. I think the Oversize felt even more like a player's racquet than the Midplus when it came to control. I think over the duration of a long match, though, the Oversize may take its toll on the shoulder. However, the feel from the stringbed of this racquet is very comfortable." Don liked the NXG Oversize on serves better than most oversize racquets. He said, "unlike many oversize racquets, the NXG Oversize delivered good punch, as well as spin. Usually, the oversize version of a racquet is great for hitting slice and topspin serves but is lacking in power. Not so with the NXG Oversize. I could hammer flat first serves with good pace, and still hit the bender or topspin serve."

Wendi had greater success when hitting slower second serves with the NXG Oversize. "When I was warming up my serve I thought this racquet was going to be perfect for me. My second serves had pretty good pace and a great amount of control. As I started serving harder I was very unsuccessful. My swing didn't feel fluid in the air and I was forced to go back to second serves." Like Wendi, Chris struggled to find the groove when trying to inject a little pace into flat first serves with the NXG Oversize. Chris said, "I really struggled to hit accurate flat serves with the NXG Oversize. Most of my errors came from hitting too long, missing the box deep by about six inches. I was getting some good pace, but just couldn't hit my target consistently enough. Topspin and slice serves were a different story. I managed to generate some really nice kickers with this racquet, getting good angle and weight of shot. A kicker out wide, followed by a volley to the open court was a very successful one-two punch for me with the NXG Oversize. The transition from serve to volley felt very natural - and that's coming from a baseline player. Likewise, my overheads were working well when I had the NXG Oversize in my hand. I was able to finish off all but the hardest to reach overheads with a snap of the wrist and some good placement. combined score 72

Return of Serve

While Wendi struggled to come to terms with the length and weight of the NXG Oversize on the return, our stronger team members found some useful power and stability. Finding the best fit for his return game was Chris, saying, "I could successfully hit a variety of returns with the NXG Oversize. I found some nice depth and consistency on slice backhand returns, and was able to neutralize quite a few aggressive first serves by slicing the ball deep to my opponent's baseline. Drive returns felt stable and I was able to attack even heavy serves." Wendi struggled a little on the return and found the Oversize to be a bit hefty for her when up against a stronger server, feeling some racquet torque in her wrist. "The first time out with this racquet my opponent was not as experienced and I could handle her serves without any problems. Against stronger servers I felt some strain on my arm and wrist on off-center shots. I was much more successful on my two-handed backhand return, where there wasn't as much strain on my wrist." Granville found some useful pop on rushed returns with the NXG Oversize, saying, "the extra stringbed of the Oversize does offer good reflex power. In other words, even if you barely get the racquet on the ball you have a shot at getting it back over the net. I was hitting out with confidence down the line and crosscourt, and even the short return up the middle at the feet was coming off without a hitch." Like Chris, Don enjoyed the versatility of the NXG Oversize on returns. "I definitely returned best with the oversize version of the NXG Graphite. The combination of headsize, extra length and mobility allowed me to either block back fast serves or swing out against slower second serves. The most enjoyable shot was the slice backhand return, either staying back or as an approach shot." The amount of power Josh was finding with the NXG Oversize had him slow down his swing slightly for the best results. "I was hitting a bit wide on my returns, but every stroke felt effortless. I still hit long if I tried to jump on a return, but slow and steady is the way to go with the NXG Oversize on returns. The racquet felt like it absorbed a good portion of shock on first-serve returns as well." combined score 75

Overall

Although still a control oriented player's racquet, the NXG Oversize is the most powerful of the three NXG offerings. our team found the open string pattern on the NXG Oversize created a lively feel from the stringbed. The larger headsize also provided more comfort and offered the largest sweetspot of the three racquets. Combine the open string pattern with the extra half inch of length and the NXG offers plenty of spin from fast swings. The length bumps the swingweight of the Oversize up slightly, giving it a heftier feel (328 swingweight RDC) than its 11.9 ounce strung weight might indicate. At net, where the racquet offered plenty of control and a solid base for volleying, our entire team was pleased with the feel and performance of the NXG Oversize. Combine this racquet's feel at net with its suitability to hitting kick serves and you've got a great serve and volley weapon. combined score 77

Prince NXG Graphite Oversize

Prince NXG Graphite Oversize Test Results Chart
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)

Technical Specifications

Length27.5 inches70 centimeters
Head Size107 square inches690 square centimeters
Weight11.9 ounces337 grams
Balance Point12.375 inches
31 centimeters
11pts Head Light
Construction20 mm Straight Beam
CompositionGraphite / Titanium / Tungsten / Carbon
String Pattern16 Mains / 19 Crosses

Babolat RDC Ratings

Score
Grade
Flex Rating63Range: 0-100
Swing Weight328Range: 200-400
Manueverability0
Playtester Profiles
Chris 5.0 baseline player currently using a Yonex MP Tour-1 Midsize. Chris uses a full-western forehand grip, has a fast swing style and hits a one-handed backhand.
Josh 5.0 all court player currently using the Wilson ProStaff Original 85. Josh has a long, loopy swingstyle, hits with a one-handed backhand and a semi-western forehand.
Wendi 3.0 player currently using a Babolat Pure Control Plus. Wendi is a steady but aggressive player who hits with a semi-western forehand grip and a two-handed backhand.
Don 4.5-5.0 All court player currently using a ProKennex Kinetic 7G. Don is an aggressive player with a medium to fast swing style, using a semi-western forehand grip and a one-handed backhand.
Gran 5.0-5.5 all-court player currently using a Wilson Hyper ProStaff 6.1 95. 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.

Review date: Dec. 2003. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.

All content copyright 2003 Tennis Warehouse.

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