Wilson Blade 98 (18x20) Racquet Customer feedback

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Please include any relevant information such as string type and tension, skill level and style of play.

Comments: Excellent racquect! Great control and feel. Even for a 18x20, it's easy to generate great spin.
From: Luiz, 11/16

Comments: I have played with this racquet since it came out exclusively (I owned the previous model as well) and can say it's perfect for my game. You generate your own power with it, but that's fine for my game. The control is incredible, especially when paired with a good spin poly. You can string the poly low and get a little more power if you want. The touch and feel of this racquet is incredible and from the first day I demo'd it at a Wilson demo event I fell in love with it. Andy said in the new Countervail review that the last model (this one) felt like a 'magic wand' in his hand. That's a great way of saying it. It's super plush feeling and allows you to control the tennis ball which is really what the game of tennis is all about. Controlling the ball. Demo this and you won't be sorry but make sure you experiment with strings which makes all the difference with this or any racquet.
From: Kenneth, 11/16

Comments: The Blade 98 (18x20) is a fast and maneuverable racquet that maximizes control, it also does a great job on volleys. From the baseline, it delivers a solid response with just enough control and power, but It is not easy to create lot of spin.
From: Ying, 11/16

Comments: I've used many other racquets during my years of playing, including the Babolat Aeropro Drive. I have to be honest; there is no other racquet that compares with the Wilson Blade 98. This racquet is the perfect blend of control and attack. Even in tight spots, strung with Babolat RPM Blast, I found I was able to slam it back to my opponent from almost anywhere on the court. Serves? Don't even worry. The Blade packs enough spin to create serves I didn't even know I was capable of. The racquet also has the perfect amount of feel; it's not too blunted, so I felt like I really connected with each shot. Look no further than the Wilson Blade 98: this is the real Death Stick.
From: Ethan, 11/16

Comments: Wow! What a racquet -- control, power, touch and feel all in one. Not too heavy, but solid and stable enough against big hitters. No more tennis elbow problems now that I have stopped using Head Graphene racquets. Best racquet out there. Strung with Wilson Sensation at 57 lbs and it plays like a dream come true. True player's racquet. Well done Wilson.
From: Mark, 9/16

Comments: The Blade has been a great fit for me. When I demo'd the racquet, I didn't have high expectations, but every shot felt right to me after a couple of hours with it. After Dunlop stopped making their 200 line, I've been looking for a racket with the same level of precision and feel; the Blade delivers with more pop and a bigger sweetspot. I had toyed around with adding some mass to get more inertia and plowthrough, but the volleys are so sweet, I'm not sure I want to mess with a good thing. I'm a USTA rated 4.0 doubles player and string my mains with Mantis Comfort Synthetic at 58 lbs and crosses with Volkl Cyclone at 56 lbs.
From: Kevin, 8/16

Comments: I've switched to this frame from the Head Graphene Prestige Pro. I was looking for a tighter pattern in a frame I can still whip round quickly. I've got a big serve and big forehand and an agressive game style. I really struggled with this racquet at first and lost all confidence. It felt very heavy and sluggish to swing. I've added a leather grip, which I prefer the feel of anyway, and also a strip of lead around the handle base. The result for me personally is a massive increase in performance, much whippier and still can hit a huge ball with it. Slice and topspin are good too, and serving is a dream. Took a while to adjust , but now I'm starting to do so and I"m happy with the frame. I just wouldnt recommend out of the box to anyone who likes a headlight balance. Jay, 2/16

Comments: Used this for 3 months now and am happy with the results. Maneuverability isn't the best and you can get caught off guard by fast shots, but contact is nice and solid. Slice is stronger than topspin, but spin comes natural in the stroke. That said, the ball comes off my racquet nice and clean and poses a problem when you want to put bigger superior hitters off their timing with dirty spin. Not sure if Natural gut will significantly improve the power I am now getting from NXT? String mine at 54 lbs with Wilson NXT 16 in the mains and Dunlop Black Widow 17 in the crosses.
From: Mark, 2/16

Comments: This is an amazing racquet. Great power, touch, and control. Not the best for someone looking for a lot of spin but if you want to hit the ball as hard as you can and then hit a drop shot inches from the net, this racquet is the best bet. I use a full bed of Luxilon 4G as well so that string combined with the 18 by 20 string pattern means a lot of durability.
From: Kian, 2/16

Comments: To be fair, I only demoed this racquet for one afternoon, but felt I should still offer some feedback. I regularly use a Head Youtek IG Prestige Mid which has very similar specs to the Wilson Blade 98 (18x20). I love comfort in a racquet most of all and my Head and this Wilson offer fantastic comfort and feel in a racquet. I felt very comfortable using this racquet. It offered moderate power, excellent control, and solid plow through, which are all aspects I look for in a racquet. My one complaint is that I am more accustom to a greater head light balance. The Wilson Blade 98 felt very heavy to me and less maneuverable than racquets I regularly use. If you prefer a more evenly balanced racquet with traditional racquet specs, excellent comfort, and tremendous feel, the Wilson Blade 98 (18x20) is well worth a try.
From: Jeremy, 2/16

Comments: This Blade is an amazing feeling racquet offering great power and excellent control. I am able to consistently place shots where I want them and this really suits my game enabling me to take control of the points. An excellent racquet from Wilson and well worth buying.
From: John, 2/16

Comments: I decided to switch racquets a few weeks ago from my Babolat Pure Drive because it was not really helping me generate power or spin. I was originally liking the Wilson Pro Staff 97S but my coach told me that since I have shoulder problems, that wouldn't be a good choice. I tried the Wilson Blade 98S but I was unable to control the ball with it. I finaly tried the Blade 98 (18x20) and it was perfect -- it gave me amazing power and spin. I strung it with Solinco Tour Bite at 56 lbs and I loved it. I recommend this racquet to baseliners who are smaller and will attack when possible.
From: Jake, 1/16
Note from TW: Hi Jake -- Glad you found a racquet to suit your game! Although we have to disagree a bit with your coach -- the ProStaff 97S is a great racquet and isn't too stiff so it shouldn't cause any problems for players with shoulder problems.

Comments: I just retired my old Blade 98 and replaced it with the new one that just came out. I love this sucker! First of all, the swing weight has changed so I have increased my racquet speed by 20 percent. The handle has new anti-vibration damper and it has reduced the shock factor during off center hits. Ok, let's talk about control -- it's better than ever. Let's talk about power -- seem to be the same or have a little less. Serves have more spin and not necessary more power. Volleys seem to be the same. This is full swingers racquet, you must have good form and consistently hit the center to make this ax work for you. Don't let commercial hype fool you. Rating level of 4.0 or higher need only apply.
From: Wes, 10/15

Comments: I recently got this raquet and it has such an amazing feel. Serves are wonderful and it has a lot of spin. I strung it with Wilson Sensation and slices were amazing as well. Volleys were so crisp and effortless. The only downfault I had was with groundstrokes. I felt sometimes I would hit the ball lightly and it would fly out on the strings and there was way too much spin and I wasn't getting deep balls. I'll try using a different string next time.
From: Marcus, 10/15

Comments: I came from the previous AeroPro Lite. So when I first hit with this frame, it felt very weird. But then after hitting for a bit and dropping the tension, it become a very good racquet. To address the spin issue, it has been said that it doesn't produce much spin -- that isn't quite true. Once the tension dropped and it was strung with a poly (Volkl Cyclone) this wasn't a problem. So, if like me, you were considering not getting it because of spin, you're wrong. My favorite thing about this racquet was on serve. My serve is pretty much completely flat, and this racquet is really fantastic in that department.I can't make a comment on kick servers though, because I don't do them. And groundstrokes are very good, good spin, good power and great control. I struggle with put away power at times, but I played someone using this exact same racquet, who sent me a forehand ball that I could barely even see, and he was a relatively small guy. And I did not have much trouble making the change in weight between this and my old APD lite. One thing I definitely noticed was how much heavier this was compared to the 2015 Pure Drive. The one down side to this racquet is at some times its feel -- I find it has a bit too many vibrations if I don't hit the center. So I'll go for a hybrid next time to see if that helps. It's really great if you hit the sweet spot. I'd give the racquet a 9 out of 10 and plow through and stability are great (but only when you hit the sweetspot).
From: Ethan, 7/15

Comments: I really like the Blade. I just cant seem to generate any spin with it. It hits a heavy ball and serves well. Volleys are ok, but it's really a groundstroke machine for baseliners. I'm going to try the Pure Strike 16x19 and will pair them up. So, the Blade is good for singles and Pure Strike for doubles. Also, anyone considering buying this, I strongly recommend using a multi at about 55 lbs. I use Tenefibre 1 Biphase and it's a beast.
From: Jon, 7/15

Comments: The reason that some love this racquet and some hate it is the quality control. I love it because I searched for one stick with the right specs for me (320 grams strung; 33.1 balance). The first one I had was (322 grams strung; 34 balance) and I hated it. Now my search is over. Great control, great feel, great racquet.
From: Coach, 7/15

Comments: I demoed the Wilson Blade 98 (18x20), and then purchased this racquet. I have been a fan of more open string patterns. But as my game has progressed, I felt the need for more control. After getting through the mental adjustment of playing with an 18x20 string pattern, I agree with a lot of the reviewers. This is a solid racquet and has improved my control, very noticeable with my volleys. I have been playing with the racquet for about 2 months now. The only adjustment I would recommend, more for those that are used to playing with an open string pattern, is to lower your string tension by about 10% -- this is especially true if playing with full poly or hybrid setup.
From: Erik, 7/15

Comments: I used to use a 98S. The new Blade 98 (18x20) is way more consistent compared to the Blade 98S. I was able to place the ball anywhere I wanted, with a lot control. However, it's very hard to get spin with this stick, the spin I get now is incomparable to the 98S I used to play with. It's hard to hit cross court short balls for angles due to the lack of spin. Overall, a very nice stick.
From: Jonathan, 7/15

Comments: I just purchased this stick and I'm very pleased with it. I'm an aggressive all-court player that likes to flatten out my groundstrokes and this racquet certainly allows me to do just that. It hits a heavy ball and allows me to stay on the offensive. Control and feel are superb. I really like the plow through you get from this stick. The only change I'd make is replacing the grip with a leather grip.
From: Rick, 6/15

Comments: I am a currently a high school player and I made this my racquet of choice after switching from the Head Speed MP. Great racquet with classic feel and "plushness." Good all around playability, however I would recommend dropping your usual tension by 2-3 pounds and the spin problems will be solved. Besides any spin issues, this is a great racquet for someone looking for comfort and an amazing feeling racquet.
From: Timothy, 5/15

Comments: I used to play with a Head Radical Youtek IG MP, but the Radical felt unstable against hard hitters. I tryed the IG Prestige MP too but the static weight was to high for me. I saw this racquet and decided to give it a try, and wow! It's exactly what I was waiting for! The racquet fits the place beteween Radical and Prestige so perfectly (as long as Head dosen't have a 305g racquet with a 18x20 string pattern). No complaints at all! This racquet is perfect for my agressive game! Lot of drive, control, punch, spin -- shiny at net and great for serve. Best relationship between control and power in a light weight racquet. Thanks Wilson and TW. I'm very satisfied and will return soon to get another one.
From: Fausto, 5/15

Comments: I recently switched to the Head Speed Pro XT and have now come back to the the Blade 98. Playing with another stick really makes you appreciate the all round excellence of the Blade. Somehow it makes you feel connected to the ball. The touch, power and control is unparallelled. I also started to develop arm problems using the XT and missed the flex and ball pocketing of the 98. Welcome home! I wont be leaving again in a hurry.
From: Jonathan, 4/15

Comments: I am an open level player and I made this my racquet of choice because it is wonderful. If you put your poly at a high tension, it might harm anyone that has arm problems. My setup is Natural Gut mains/4G crosses, there is no comparison. If you put this hybrid in the racquet, you will have power, control, spin, excellent tension maintainance, etc. This racquet is rock solid at the net and I disagree with some that say it doesn't gives you spin because if you generate enough head speed, the racquet gives you a lot of spin. I love everything about this racquet. You should try it with a hybrid, if not Gut/Poly maybe Multi/Poly because with full poly it is not so comfortable.
From: Diego, 4/15

Comments: I tried this racquet at first using a full bed of multi through a demo program. Initially, I loved the feel of the racquet and in my opinion this racquet has truly perfected the balance between power and control. There is no compromise between the two. Serving was great whether it be flat or kick. I was also really suprised with the stability of the racquet for how light it was. The only reason I didnt immediately switch to the racquet was because of the lack of spin as others have alluded to. I then tried the racquet with Wilson Sensation in the mains and Lux ALU Rough in the crosses and wow. The spin issues were completely resolved. The feel was still incredibly comfortable and plush while now my groundstrokes kicked insanely high for the 18x20 pattern. I will be making the switch from an APD with the same setup as the hybrid demo. Incredible racquet. I'm a NTRP 4.0 player.
From: Wil, 3/15

Comments: I haven't liked a Wilson racquet in a long time and didn't expect to like this 18x20 version, but boy was I wrong. I love this racquet. I've previously played with the 98S and that was a mistake as my shots were constantly sailing long. The 18x20 is just more solid all around compared to the 16x19 and the 98S. I'm a flat hard-hitter, so this racquet really rewards that. If you're someone who plays with more spin, this would not be the racquet for you. Volleys are solid, especially touch volleys, slices stay low, and serve placement is pin-point accurate. I developed tennis elbow from Babolat and have recently switched to the more arm-friendly Volkl, but I was never completely satisfied with it so I've been on the demo hunt for a very long time. The Blade 98 feels smooth and flexible and gives me great plow-through while the 327 SW doesn't feel heavy at all. I think I've found my new stick. I plan on getting a couple from TW through their racquet matching program.
From: Ethan, 3/15

Comments: I previously played with the Kfactor Blade and love it, but not so much the BLX version. I had switched to other racquets (Head Radical, Wilson Spin Six One) but it was time to give the updated Blade a try, and it was a winner right out of the box. I watched the TW review videos and could not wait to get this into my hands. Feels comfortable on all swings and gives me that combination of power and control I felt I was missing from the rad and Wilson spin. Love the green and black color scheme. Strung with Wilson NXT control at 55 lbs.
From: Randy, 3/15

Comments: Surprisingly a different kind of beast on the courts! Spin friendly and hits flat balls effortlessly. No need for a dampener because it is easy on my arm. This is one of the racquets that I will definitely tell my friends to buy it. And I will definitely go back for another -- worth it!
From: Jaq, 3/15

Comments: Demoed this racquet for a week. It is a decent racquet. I found significant vibration and twisting on offcenter hits. Did not feel the "plushness" or plow through that this frames weight specifications ahould provide. Will stick with my current Babolat APD. Tennis Warehouse has an unbeatable demo program. Always demo before buying a new frame -- thanks to TW for the demo program.
From: CW, 3/15

Comments: I just completed a week using this racquet. I found this racquet to be an example of "truth" in advertising. In other words it is what Wilson says it is, in my opinion. It is a little easier on the arm, provides great control and just ever so slightly more head light than the previous version. I do wish this frame were 6 to 7 points head light but overall a very nice racquet.
From: David, 2/15

Comments: I had the opportunity to demo this racquet for a month and compare it to the one I own, the 2011 BLX Blade 98. To me, swingweight and comfort are the two areas where the 2015 Blade 18x20 is really different. I did not demo the 2013 version. I miss the huge plowthrough of the 2011 version but this came with a price: less comfort and maneuverability that made me miss some of the finesse shots. The 2015 version is definitively more comfortable. It maintains, at almost the same level, all the qualities of the 2011 version. I'm switching to it. First time that a tennis racquet was so obvious to pick for me. I ordered 2 from TWE.
From: Sebastien, 2/15

Comments: I have been demoing this racquet for a couple of days now. I found it to have excellent control but no better than the earlier versions of 2013. The added materials to the frame have softened up the frame a bit and taken away the harsh off center hits I experienced with the earlier version. This frame is 3 pts. head light as opposed to the earlier version which is 2 pts. head light but I do not experience any difference. I do wish this racquet were 5 to 7 pts. head light and had a little more power. Overall a nice plush feel and an improvement to the previous version.
From: Donald, 2/15

Comments: Good racquet, similar to my older BLX 1 (black/gold), but a little more arm friendly. A good all round racquet for all strokes, serves and at the net. Strung with Luxilon Savage Lime (26 kg). The quality control of Wilson is bad. I get two Blades, one with 300 g (unstrung) and the other with 307 g. This is not acceptable. A racquet change during a match is not possible, one is much more HL. These will be the last Wilsons in my life and the last racquet buy via internet.
From: Andre, 2/15

Comments: So funny reading the review comments because, like with a lot of racquets, there are polar opposite reviews. I have been using the Six One 95S for the last year and enjoyed it very much. I was a previous Blade 98 owner of the 16x19 version and preferred it over the 18x20. I was waiting for the new 16x19 but decided to buy the 18x20 anyway. I was somewhat reluctant because even the TW testers commented about he lack, or rather, harder to generate spin comments. Wow, a total surprise in a very good way. I can easily produce nice topspin on both forehand and backhand (1hbh). Maybe not quite the same as the 95S but no complaints at all. Even though it has a pretty even balance I find it very quick at the net and the volleys are sure and precise. Return of serve is solid and controlled and my backhand slice is much more penetrating than the 95S. Flat and slice serves are great and only slightly less kick on kick serves. Again, no complaints at all. This will definitely replace my 95S and I can't see how the 16x19 will play any better for me (of course I'll try it anyway).
From: dblsplayer, 2/15

Comments: I tested the new Blade today together with the PS97. For me the new Blade plays better than its predecessor but it is still harsh on the arm especially on off-center hits. It doesn't perform well at net and on my one- handed backhand. Slice, forehand and serves are great though. The feel is still a little tinny but much better than the previous Blade. All in all a good stick but way too HH to play solid. I like my sticks way more HL and for me the PS97 performed way better in all areas than the Blade 98. I'm an open level player.
From: Pistol Pete, 2/15

Comments: I love this racquet. I can consistently hit from the baseline with my groundstrokes. It has excellent control and great feel. It slices really well with good depth. My forehand is a real weapon with the Blade. It hits such a heavy ball and it's great to return hard serves with. My serves are reliable and with excellent placement. The only downside I can tell is on the volleying. The even balance of the racquet can make it slightly clunky at the net, especially if the ball is hit straight at you. But if you have good footwork, it still volleys well. I would describe it as a baseliner's stick and one designed to turn defense into attack in a couple of strokes. Strung with a hybrid. Wilson gut at 55 lbs and Alu Power at 53 lbs.
From: Jonathan, 2/15

Comments: Great update to the Blade 98 2013. This model has more plow and stability than the previous 2013 model. Serves are precise and your confidence in your serve will help your game greatly. If you had the Blade 98 2013, this is definitely a racquet worth trying out. The racquet has less ping and tinny feel than the previous racquet and feels very plush. The previous poster mentioned arm pains, but that might be due to string in this racquet at too high of a tension. This racquet has a dense 18x20 string pattern so you should not be stringing at 57 lbs full poly.
From: Parasailing, 2/15

Comments: I just got my racquets a few days ago and have hit with them everyday since. The control of the racquet is amazing, and it feels like I can't miss a shot. The feel is also great. I am hitting better touch shots with this frame than my previous racquet (Wilson Blade 98 18x20). I would recommend strings like the Luxilon ALU Power Spin because the spin is probably the worst aspect of the racquet in my opinion. All in all, a great upgrade from the previous model.
From: Chris, 2/15

Comments: Two words -- arm pain. The racquet hits nice and solid, it's just way too head heavy. I use the Blade 16x19 and this one feels a whole lot more head heavy, wierdly so. I tried adding weight to the butt and it helped a little, but still a lot of mass at the hoop. It may be a lack of Wilson quality control and I got one that was a little off spec. Unfortunately this racquet killed my forearm. After using it for about a week, I have gotten to where I can only pick it up for about 10-15 minutes. NTRP 4.0
From: Mark, 1/15

Comments: I really enjoyed playing with this racquet. I was getting tons of control and feel. Compared to the last Blade 98, this one felt faster and more control-oriented. The one downside I had with this racquet was spin. I got very little spin with the 18x20 pattern, and I was forced to hit with a greater margin for error. Struggled a bit with kick serves because I could not get enough spin. However, when I did flatten out my shots, I could hit with lots of precision. It also felt perfect at the net, where I could go for the deep penetrating volley, or an accurate, placed touch volley. I would recommend stringing with a very spin- friendly string, like RPM Blast to fix the spin issue.
From: Kevin, 1/15

Comments: I have been using this for a week already and it has amazing feel and control. For serving, this racquet is great for flat serves -- the flat serve is very accurate but kick serve does not have great pop. From the baseline the racquet does well and with added control and low power, you can really drive the ball. I am very pleased with this racquet and can say coming from a power racquet this one improves your game and control significantly.
From: Tembo, 1/15

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