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Donnay Pro One 97 18x20 Racquet Customer feedback

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Comments: When I first bought it back in 2012, I really felt after a few months later let down by the overall lack of responsiveness of the racquet and moved quickly to the beautiful X-Red 99, back to the iconic Pro Cynetic 3 and then to the new X-dual Plus lite and back this year to the powerful top Donnay Academy Pro. Two weeks ago I restrung the Pro One with Babolat Addiction at 24 Kg and decided to also tamper with the grip which was an L4: I threw away the standard grip and carefully peeled off the special donnay added layer of a sticking roll and started sanded the black remaining kind of spongy material covering the main grip; I should have gone down to L1, I then added a new white Karakal grip and, wow, what I ended up was a powerful stick that surpassed all my expectations, the feeling of control is really difficult to describe unless one is familiar with all Pro series of Donnay; the sheer pleasure from every ground stoke is immense, I was able to return some very powerful, low altitude crossed shots with even more power and directness. The smaller grip felt a perfect extension of my hand, the racquet felt much lighter but at the same time having this counter balancing solid feeling that all Pro Donnay always had, from the Pro Cynetic 1 and 3 to the Academy Pro and to date to the new X-dual As stated below, it did felt like a powerful sword that could be waved swiftly and accurately. Although these rackets are not made by the original company, they are so closely aligned to the unique but absolutely unique feeling of Donnay racquets that they remain exceptional from every point of view; Just give it time and go for a lower grip.
From: Lambros, 10/14

Comments: The feel of this racquet is incredible. Feels like a sword. The slices are just incredible, so are the volleys and serves. With groundstrokes, this generates more control over power. Surprisingly for a 18x20, there is plenty of spin. I've balanced it headlight and heavier in general. The racquet needs it. People hold my racquet and make the comment that it feels like an extension of your hand. Well done Donnay!
From: Tony, 8/14

Comments: I would have to give this a thumbs down. The way it's balanced makes no sense. At over 11 ounces, I thought it would have plenty of plow through, but that was not so! It feels closer to a 10.5 strung and at 6 points head light it has no plow through. For a 97 inch head size racquet to be 6 points head light makes me question the engineers intentions. I'm not sure what they were trying to do here but the specs of the Pro One 16 x 19 and the 18 X 20 should have been the same. I'm putting mine up on Ebay and staying with my Donnay 99 Dual Core Gold
From: Brad, 4/13

Comments: I have just wrapped up a 2nd demo of the Donnay Pro One 18x20. I was so impressed with the first go- around but I wasn't sure I could handle a 18x20 string pattern. I still like this racquet but I'm still not convinced I would like the 18x20 pattern (the Pro One 16x18 racquet plays differently - felt sluggish). The best part of this racquet is its groundstrokes: consistent, pinpoint accuracy, great slice, and more spin than expected for a 18x20 racquet. Great comfort without an over- dampening feel. Serves were just OK; I found it hard to get enough slice or kicker spin. I decided against making the purchase due to the 18x20 pattern but also the build quality seemed lower than other racquets (paint and I thought I heard something rattling inside the frame).
From: Shawn, 1/13

Comments: This is an excellent all-around racquet. Both pace and spin are easy to generate. It has a nice blend of stability and maneuverability.
From: Josh, 1/13

Comments: I first demo'ed this racquet, along with 3 other Donnay racquets, due to a sudden case of bicep tendonitis caused by an hour of hitting with Babolat racquets, which is another story. There was nothing special about the "dampening" effect or "arm-friendliness" of this racquet. The racquet for me would need some serious weight customization as well as a new string job to be more arm friendly. If you're a more advanced player, I would not recommend this racquet!
From: Alex, 11/12

Comments: This is a great racquet. The swingweight and headlightness is well done. I love it for two handed backhands, as its incredible. Forehands were flat and very powerful. Even though it is on the lighter side I was able to get all the power I could ever need and enough spin to keep the ball in. Serving was wonderful. I would compare the feel of the frame to the feel of the Yonex Xi 98, but this is a much better racquet. It has great plow through and power, and the Xi 98 does not have this in stock form despite having similar weight. Some people compare the Pro One to the Youtek IG Prestige MP, but again the plow through and power are where it differs. The level of control is about the same. I tried the Pro One 16x19 as well. My opinion of the two is that the 16x19 is more comfortable to play with because of the lower flex, but the 18x20 controls the ball better. Maybe it is just me as I regularly play with an 18x20, and adjusting to a 16x19 will always throw you off. These are some of best racquets in the market.
From: Anon, 9/12
String type: Donnay Hybrid

Comments: What a great racquet! I've been waiting for Donnay to bring out the 18x20 version of the Pro One for quite a while and it's definitely worth the wait. I am a believer in the Donnay claim that their racquets are easy on the joints and have been playing with the X-dual Platinum for about 18 months. I no longer have ANY joint pain in my elbows, wrists or shoulders, which is a first for a couple of decades (I am a senior player). The Platinum is a great racquet also, but a little heavy for me. It wore me down after a couple of long sets, particularly my serve. The Pro One is just the perfect weight and balance for me. It's very similar to the Head IG Speed 18x20 which I used for a year, but without any shock or pain. It provides great control and there's plenty of spin available if you desire. Serving is wonderful and volleys are crisp. All in all, it's a great racquet and worth a try.
From: Gary, 9/12
String type and tension: Babolat RPM Blast 17g mains / Kirschbaum P2 17g crosses @ 54 lbs

Comments: Wow!! That's all I can say about the Pro One 18x20. I have also played with the 16x19 version and the 18x20 suits my game so much better. I hear people say that an 18x20 racquet doesn't really help with control when playing at a club level but this statement couldn't be further from the truth. I can land my serves so much more accurately than the 16x19 version. There is still ample power for a players racquet and a nice sweet spot. The racquet is solid and just feels meaty and substantial. Plow through is great, up there with heavier racquets, probably due to it not being as head light as most really heavy players racquets. Attaching the 10 gram butt cap will eliminate any hint of sluggishness some people find with the 16x19 version. Although even in stock for it is more maneuverable than the 16x19 version. I have played with many racquets and this one tops them all. It's just a perfect blend of power, control and feel. I hope TW reviews this racquet and I would be very surprised if it doesn't score higher than the 16x19 version and wouldn't be surprised if it found its way into one of the playtester's bag.
From: Ben, 8/12
String type and tension: Solinco Tour Bite 17g @ 40 lbs

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