Donnay Pro One 97 16x19 Racquet Customer feedback

Click the button below or email to contribute your experiences with this product. Although not necessary, it's interesting to have a first name, city, state and country (no email addresses will be used). Any information submitted becomes the property of Tennis Warehouse.

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

Comments: I'm coming from my trusty Yonex RDX500MP which I kept playing with it for a long period of time until the grommet began to fall apart. Great control racquet, but I felt I couldn't play aggressive enough to finish up the point. Then this black Donnay came along and my ground strokes became rock solid, also my 1st serve is now a weapon! And one thing I really like about this frame is when you strike the ball it doesn't feel hollow like most sticks on the market. I strung my Pro One with a full-bed of poly at 59 lbs. I play with a short back-swing (similar to Courier's style) and I couldn't be happier. Well done Donnay!
From: Todd, 7/14

Comments: The best from Donnay! Does everything well, great spin potential, good power and control. This frame is a real weapon, especially on serves and forehands it generates a heavy ball, feels lighter than its weight but solid, very comfortable and arm friendly. I would recommend hybrid string setup at mid tension.
From: Pete, 5/14

Comments: My husband bought 2 of these sticks and was in the middle of transitioning from his Aero Pro Drive when he realized that his extreme western grip did not mesh well with this racquet. I have to say that I was attracted to the look of the racquet at first. I borrowed them when my Pure Drives were getting strung. I never thought that I would be a trader to Babolat but, it was love at first ball strike! I enjoy the power that this racquet generates when you hit the ball in the sweet spot. My forehand sounds like a gun shot! I have more mph on my flat serve, piercing volleys, awesome slice, and great feel. All around I have improved my game. It is amazing when you find the right equipment. I highly recommend this racquet for a strong player, with sound mechanics and aggressive play. I am a 4.5 player with a semi-western FH, two handed BH and I string with a hybrid of gamma TNT and RPM Blast.
From: Maria, 6/13

Comments: I have been playing with this racquet for the past 4 months. I moved from Gold99. Gold was awesome and it transferred my forehand to a new level. But my two handed backhand was not improving even after 8 months due to the low power. With the Pro One, I get lot of free points on my first and second serves. One thing I noticed was that my first serve percentage increased greatly. Sometimes when I get into a groove I hit all my first serves in, which means game won! The racquet plays stiffer but I can still handle it with a fullbed of soft copoly. I used Tourna BHBR16 and am now trying Genesis Typhoon. Though I cannot take full swings with my forehand unlike Gold, my backhand is awesome now. It became a weapon again. It gives less spin than Gold in my forehand side, but enough spin to tame the power. Backhand slice is awesome due to the Donnay feel. I play with it stock with a leather grip. My racquet is a lighter speced one. It twists slightly twice a set but not as much compared to my experience with IG Rad pro. It is very stable. The racquet feels heafty in hand but moves quickly due to its thinner design. Volleys are good due to the racquet power and feel. I am not a natural volleyer and I rarely come to net, so I need all the power to at the net. Overall, I'm very happy with my buy. I am planning to demo the Pro one as I feel it will have bigger sweet spot and Gold 99 like feel!
From: Krish, 4/13

Comments: I have been playing with the Babolat Pure Storm Tour for several years and decided to experiment with something that had a little more power, and what I thought would be lighter. Turns out that this is only 3g lighter, but definitely has more power. This is something that helps me when I play against players where I have to generate my own power. I use co- poly strings for mains and crosses and find that I have good control. I have heard comments from others at my local club that they notice that I am hitting the ball much harder. This is especially true on serves and returns. This is a solid feeling racquet, which probably really isn't ay more arm friendly than many other similar racquets. It isn't more arm friendly than the Babolat Pure Storm Tour. I was looking for a racquet that would help me specifically with these 4 things: 1) Generate more of my own pace for better put away shots 2) Generate more power on serves to get more free points 3) Offer a solid platform for service returns 4) Easier to swing with for my one-handed backhand. After 4 months, 1, 2, and 3 have happened but number 4 hasn't and isn't going to. Another side note, which may be important to some, is the cosmetics - they are absolutely horrible. The paint chips off, the matte finish wears off from your hand. It was so bad I called Donnay and they gave me the weakest explanation that I have ever heard - they said that the finish depends on a lot of things like humidity and variances in production. And they suggested returning it to Tennis Warehouse. Given how quickly it looks worn, I would be shipping racquets back every month, which would unlikely be warranted. This may not be a problem for you, but I did expect better for a $200 racquet.
From: RP, 3/13

Comments: I have been suffering from elbow and arm pain for the last few months. Ice packs, massage, even acupuncture, etc. have relieved the pain a bit, but there still is continuous stiffness. I play with the Babolat Aero Pro Drive Plus, and after I read about the arm-friendliness of the Donnay Pro One, I borrowed one from a friend, and I can say that the pain almost diminished on the spot, even with a cheap poly string. I strung it at 52/54 pounds. Yesterday, because of the humid weather and the bad overgrip that I had put on the Pro One, I had to go back to the Aero Pro and the pain cam back almost instantly and now I can barely lift my arm. I am definitely a fan of the Pro One, but would like to test the new Volk Organix 10 Mid as well.
From: Kurt, 3/13

Comments: Too powerful for my game. If you play heavy with topspin and stay on the gas then it's fine, but if you are used to a less powerful racquet this one will surprise you. No flare on the grip either. Demoed this with the Volkl X10 325 and that was better for my game in every way.
From: Eric, 3/13
String type and tension: RPM Blast at 53 lbs

Comments: I'm really not sure what all of the hype is about this racquet. I've been using the Prestige MP and was looking for a player's control racquet that had a little more pop and was less demanding than the Prestige. This racquet did not fit the bill at all. I couldn't get any pace behind my shots even when I had my full weight behind them, and the control was really lacking. It could've been the demo strings (Dunlop Silk), but I usually prefer multi strings over poly, so I'm not inclined to blame the strings. As soon as I picked up another racquet (the Donnay Pro One 97 16x19) it was like my game jumped a level. Hitting with this racquet was very disappointing because the weight and balance felt really nice before I started playing with it. My hitting partner (also a 4.5/5.0 player) hit with it as well and found it to be similarly lacking in both the power and control departments. I'm not sure what this racquet is trying to be, but I found it to be sorely lacking in all departments. Also, I'm a 4.5 female player with a semi-western forehand and a two-handed backhand.
From: Anon, 2/13

Comments: Fantastic racquet. I historically had played with the Prestige MP and loved the control but disliked how demanding the racquet was and how I had to generate all of the power. Tried the Pure Drive for a lot more pop, but hated the loss of control. This racquet is perfect -- I have most of the control I had with my Prestige, but with enough pop that I can easily put away balls and can get balls back with something on them when I'm on the defensive. I also felt that this stick was very comfortable and easy on my arm (at least more so than either the Prestige or the PD). I'm a petite female player so I was concerned about some of the manuverability issues that people mentioned, but I had no trouble getting the racquet around either off the ground or at net. I'm a 4.5 player with a semi-western forehand and two-handed backhand. For comparison, I also demo'ed the Radical Pro with a full bed of poly on the same day as the Pro One, and I felt that the Radical Pro was definitely the more powerful of the two racquets.
From: Anon, 2/13

Comments: More powerful than the IG Radical Pro and a tad sluggish, but still pretty good.
From: John, 11/12

Comments: This is a great stick. I sold my Tour 90 and got this. I added 2g weight at 3 and 9 position and 5g on the butt cap to make the racquet really solid and keep up with hard hitters. My game has improved since switching to this racquet.
From: A.J., 11/12
String type: Solinco Tour Bite

Comments: To each their own. It's not that powerful, less than the IG Rad Pro. It volleys great, and you can whip it around like a wand. I found it the opposite of sluggish and quite maneuverable actually. Even more so when using the customization kit. I'm sold!
From: Johnny, 11/12

Comments: This racquet has too much power for my liking. This Pro One has very little in common with the old Agassi stick (the yellow one). That was a very flexible and low powered frame, but this one is stiffer and more powerful. How much more powerful? Think PD kind of power, more than a Radical Pro for sure, but without the control. This is the main issue for me. My shots were all over the place and often sailed to the fences. But I have to say that I could control serves better, and in fact I was serving probably up to 10 km/hr faster with this one, very hard and flat to the body or straight down the T. This is a fun racquet to serve with for sure. As far as "sluggish", yes it is, especially at net, and I also found it slow on returns. In terms of feel, I might describe it as a cross between the Wilson Blade 98 and the Pro Staff Classic 6.1 (the first model), or if you want to compare apples to apples, the old Donnay Rusedski Tour Super Midsize for those who remember it. So the feel is definitely there but the power is just too much unless you want to tame it with a poly at higher tensions (59-60 lbs). Overall I liked the thinner beamed X-Duals better.
From: Ulrich, 10/12

Comments: Great stick. It feels heavier than the specs say. At first pick up I thought it was head heavy. The spin I could get was less than my APDC but comparable, and the plow through and power is unreal. My serve was the best it has ever been, more pace and more spin, kicking around 6ft at 70-80 mph. Compared to my APD I think this is an all-around better stick. With good form the control is not a problem and the easy power will have you hitting all sort of winners. The TW testers were right on when they said it is a little less than the Head Radical Pro. If I buy it I'd use a full co-poly since the comfort and feel is already there and I would go tighter to control the power. I've tested close to 20 different racquets and this has been the best and am really contemplating switching to it. I only have one batch of racquets left to test; the 315 Speedflex, Xi 98, 500, and 300 tour.
From: J., 7/12

Comments: I'm coming from a Babolat AeroPro Drive Cortex + and wanted something with the same string pattern and similar weight. This racquet lets me make the same spinny shots with the Babolat AeroPro Drive Cortex + but it also allows me to hit the flatter shots that I could execute with an 18x20 but not the Babolat AeroPro Drive Cortex +. Still need to do more testing but initial results are positive.
From: Mark, 5/12
String type and tension: Big Hitter Blue Rough, 56 lbs

Comments: This is a great racquet! Pound for pound, I don't think there's anything out there better than this. Power and spin like the Babolat Pure Drive, but with more control, feel and comfort. Quite a solid stick for its weight. Perfect for the modern game spin hungry players. Serves are easy, great kick on second serves, I mean massive kick. Groundstrokes are suited to heavy topspinners. The frame and swingweight is quite light for me, but nothing lead can't fix it. You owe it to yourself to demo this one, you will not be disappointed.
From: Leroy, 4/12
String type and tension: Prince Synthetic Gut, 54lbs

Comments: I am enjoying this frame. Right now I'm experimenting and deciding whether to switch from my Head YOUTEK IG Prestige Pro. I do not find this frame "sluggish" at all, it has good power and is easy to maneuver. I put a leather grip on my frame to make it a touch more headlight. The only shot that I think is better with my Prestige is the volley, which I attribute to the extra weight. Good power and easy on the arm.
From: Anthony, 4/12
String type and tension: X-1 Biphase, 54 lbs

Comments: A rep brought some of these down and I strung one up for myself. To me, I wasn't sure what the racket was trying to be, a Radical or a Puredrive? It felt like a wider body racket in the hand (not my taste) and swung a little slow with a club-like feeling. Power was a bit high, which equated to less control especially with the 16/19 pattern, forcing me to try to over control my shots, which led to me hesitating on shots since I was trying to keep them from going long. Problem with this racket is it's NOT a topspin racket such as the AeroPro, but` it forces you to use topspin to try and keep your shots in the court. Then what happens is once you hit a few shots out that would normally be in, you start to hesitate, and try to push a couple shots in just to gain some control back, those shots will go long with this racket, which made me loose all confidence with it. I can see how this racket might be attractive to 3.5 players with out fully developed strokes or older folks with less strength (but that's just an example of people trying to make the equipment make up for their weaknesses). Overall it was OK, but any of the other big names have a more refined product and it shows. Seems they completely dropped their "thin beam" idea and are trying to make "normal" rackets, in an effort to follow the leader, which is a bit of a turn off. Might as well go with some actual leaders -- I'd pick a dunlop 300, radical etc over this.
From: Michael, 4/12

Comments: Awesome racket. Definitely minimizes vibration. Easy to generate pace with this racket. A potent weapon from the baseline. I did not have any issues when hitting the slice backhand. I found the racket was very responsive. I would recommend he racket.
From: Mike, 4/12

Comments: I was skeptical about all the hype this stick was getting and poor experiences with the past thin beamed Donnays. I was very surprised as to how much I have grown to love and my game has never been better. The plow through, feel and overall large sweet spot is unsurpassed by any other stick close to its specs. I compared it side by side to the Wilson BLX blade which is lighter but does not have the plush effect this has. It is also surprisingly forgiving for a players stick and I have no issues half-volleying back a deep return from at the baseline with a medium style stroke. Serving is a beast and blocking back a hard serve with a one handed backhand has never been better. I used the 5g weighted butt cap to make it more headlight and it plays was better.
From: David, 4/12

Comments: I have been trying racquets for several weeks now to replace my Aero Pro Drive. The Pro One came in to my tennis shop and was strung at the factory. I was the first user. It feels heavy but easy to move. The balance allowed redirection of the ball with control. Forehand felt very powerful and the ball can fly without topspin. I feel this racquet shines on the serve with strong plow through and pace. The backhand was so stable it was easy to direct in any direction. I strongly recommend this gem.
From: Robert, 3/12

Comments: SWEET Stick!! I've played with the original Pro Staff 85's for a longtime and have FINALLY found something that feels very similar to it. This new Pro One is fantastic! Feel, control, spin, power are phenomenal, ONLY if you're at least a solid 4.5 and up player. Classic flat/matte black frame w/o all the silly shiny paint and stickers.
From: Carl, 3/12

Comments: Message to Donnay: Your racquets are getting better all the time so please don't let poor quality control ruin your brand name. I ordered two Pro One's from TW so far (December, 2011 and March, 2012) and the specs (weight/balance) between the two racquets are significantly different. The racquet I ordered in December is 6 grams heavier and 2.5 pts. head heavier then the same identical racquet I just received. I hope that this was just an aberration.
From: Anon, 3/12

Comments: Fantastic stick. At first glance the racquet seems generic with its flat black no frill appearance. However, after one afternoon of hitting with it you know that Donnay has done something special on the inside and cosmetics are not their concern. From the baseline the racquet is solid and stable. Plenty of power - and I mean plenty. However the power is manageable and easily controlled. Inside-out forehands performed better with this stick than anything I have hit with in 10 years. Spin serves attacked with great success and flat serves were heavy but hard to control. Net play was again solid and easily attacked. The stick is stable and the sweet spot seems to be slightly egg shaped resulting in good forgiveness. I would compare this racquet to the BLX Pro Tour, but with more control and feel. To the Babolat Pure Drive in regards to power, but more manageable and much softer on the arm. One thing I would not compare it to is the Original Donnay Pro Ones. It is nothing like it other than the name. There is absolutely no similarity. If you are looking for an updated Pro One go to the Head Radical Oversize or the current Prince Graphite.
From: RJ

Comments: SWEET Stick!! I've played with the original Pro Staff 85's for a longtime and have FINALLY found something that feels very similar to it. This new Pro One is fantastic! Feel, control, spin, power are phenomenal, ONLY if you're at least a solid 4.5 and up player. Classic flat/matte black frame w/o all the silly shiny paint and stickers.
From: Carl, 3/12

Comments: I bought this racquet, hit with it twice, and then sold it. This racquet had a lot of vibration on contact and had WAY to much power. I like the feel of the x-platinum and the discontinued x-blue much better. If you like the feel of the original X-line, avoid this racquet. If you thought the X-line lacked "pop" or "power," then this may be good for you.
From: SQ, 3/12

Comments: This bad boy does have too much power, but if you use the 10g butt cap and a hybrid of poly and multi-filament the power is tamed and the perfect balance of power and control is achieved. The majority of player's racquets that I have tried so far are too under-powered. Being able to customize this racquet made all the difference - something the other player's racquets don't allow to the same degree.
From: Anon, 3/12
String type and tension: Luxilon ALU Power Rough, Mains, 52lbs, Wilson NXT, 18 gauge, crosses: 49lbs
Headsize:97 in.
NTRP Rating: 5.0

Comments: Hit with the Pro One 97 for one week and all I can say is WOW. Very solid from the baseline, solide at the net, good volleys, good pop and spins, excellent serve. My two previous sticks were the BLX Juice Pro and the BLX Blade 98. I can say that the Pro One is the combination of the pop of the Blade 98, the serves of the Juice Pro and the stability on volleying of a BB London. I think the racquet is very string sensitive, multis would give it too much pop, poly or a hybrid would work great. I am very impressed with the Pro One 97, as you can tell.
From: Tim2, 3/12

Comments: This frame is more like a "normal" frame, but mediocre at best. Conversely to the original frames, the pro one doesn't feel great in hand, it feels a bit club like. I didn't care for the flat black finish, had a rattle can quality to it. This is the best frame Donnay has made so far, but that is certainly not high praise. It has too much power, and not enough control. I like power, but without control, you are just wasting your time. I typically play with a Head Prestige, though I have tried many rackets. It has the power of a pure drive, but not the control. It has somewhat of a wilson feel to it, but much harsher.
From: Anon, 3/12

Comments: The Ultimate MAGIC stick. Donnay Pro One 97. Unbelievable in every aspect of the game. Added my 10g butt cap and 2 side 3g inserts and it is by far the most powerful yet great control and maneuverable stick for a power player like myself I've ever tried at 345Gs. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for the best pop, control, swing, etc, etc etc. in a stick today. This is definitely a major come back by Donnay. LOVE my Pro One.
From: John, 3/12
String type and tension: Kirschbaum Proline II Black, 55lbs
Headsize: 97
NTRP Rating: 4.0

Comments: Read this if you have used a Wilson racquet before!!! I am an advanced level high school player. This racquet blew my mind. Just ordered two more with the Donnay hybrid string. I loved the feel, and I've heard that it is a hollow frame which is much different from the ever-so-soft Wilson BLX Surge. The feel is much different from the wilson, but it is a different kind of smooth. I felt UNBELIEVABLE control from all areas of the court, which is different from the wilson because on some shots with my Surge i had difficulty producing the components to hit a difficult shot back with aggression. It is very forgiving no matter where it hits the racquet. I would say the spin control is slightly better than the BLX, power control was different because i was using a 50 tension on the Donnay and a 59 on the BLX. Overall control of the ball exceded my expectations, especially on my favorite shot, the long inside out forehand, which is now a killer whip because of the power a and spin I can now produce. Well placed balls overall. Not sure about the price, but im willing to shell it out... Whoopie. My one negative about this racquet is that I had trouble controlling depth on my slice backhand, which was obnoxious especially having a one handed backhand in the first place. Overall : GIVE IT A SHOT, ITS A WONDERFUL RACQUET!
From: Carter, 2/12
String type and tension: Wilson BLX Surge: rpm blast 16 (59lb) OR Donnay Pro One 97: donnay hybrid (50lb)
Headsize: 100 on BLX

Comments: I'm not sure if it was the limited edition or not but I played with the 18 x 20 version. I like the 16 x 19 version better. The 18x 20 had a bit more control but it was very low powered comparatively . It's a tough choice but although you lose a bit of control with the 16 x 19 it's not all that much of a loss. On the other hand you gain a lot more power. For some reason I also think the 16 x19 is built differently ...somehow it's more hollow but not in a bad way. I get far more feedback with the 16 x 19 whereas the 18 x 20 seemed to have more of a muted feel. Both sticks however were absolutely the best in the Donnay line up....and lord knows I tried a truckload of them. In the summer they will be coming out with the extended version of this stick so it will be back to the "testing" board again. For now at least I have found my holy Grail in the 16 x 19 version. I am really happy.
From: Alex, 2/12

Comments: Has anyone who has played with the Tennis Warehouse exclusive Donnay Pro One (limited edition) played with this new model as well? I really loved the feel of the Tennis Warehouse exclusive model (before the Donnay re-do) including the $80 price but would be willing to shell out for this one if necessary.
From: Adam
String type and tension: Luxilon ALU BB, 58lbs
Headsize: 95
NTRP Rating: 4.5

Comments: Completely agree with the comments from Aaron. I'm currently using a couple different Volkl models, but miss my old Wilson 6.1 feel. This new pro one version has the feel and balance that I've craved out of a stock racquet for years. Great job Donnay!
From: Anon, USA, 1/12
String type and tension: Demo - copoly hybrid, 58 lbs
Headsize: 97
NTRP Rating: 4.5

Comments: I had a happy experience hitting with this racquet. I'm a serve & volleyer, became a doubles champion for some prestigious tournament not to mention USTA National 10.0. I used Babolat AeroPro Drive which I like, but that I missed my Wilson 6.1 feel which I grew-up with. Basically I try to find a racquet which is in between Babolat AeroPro Drive & Wilson 6.1. I find this racquet a good alternative for me. I would recommend this racquet. Nice on serve, spin, touch and easy to maneuver.
From: Aaron, USA, 1/12
String type and tension: Babolat Revenge, 52lbs
(TW: Try some lead tape, allows you to choose where you want the weight to be)

Comments: I really loved this stick. By far my favorite Donnay. I found absolutely no weakness' except for drop shots. A bit of lack of feel in this department. Other than that, playing with this stick made me feel like goldilocks and the three bears..." the porridge was just right ". The stick basically does everything well. Very similar to the Wilson K-blade but a bit more stable - sort of like an improved K-blade.
From: Alex, 12/11
String type: Gamma Zo True 17
Headsize: 97
NTRP Rating: 4.5

Comments: I really loved this stick. By far my favorite Donnay. I found absolutely no weakness' except for drop shots. A bit of lack of feel in this department. Other than that, playing with this stick made me feel like goldilocks and the three bears....." the porridge was just right ". The stick basically does everything well. Very similar to the Wilson K-blade but a bit more stable, sort of like an improved K-blade.
From: Alex, 12/11

Comments: I started hitting with the Pro One about three weeks ago and I liked it right away, the racquet has a great solid feel which really helped me on my volleys.
From: Scott, 12/11
String tension: 55 lbs
NTRP Rating: 5.0

Comments: Wow! This racquet just feels better every time I play with it. I have to admit that I'm addicted to buying and trying new racquets on the market but this stick really seems special. I find it to be so solid and best of all it is soft on my elbow and wrist which many rackets I've liked and used before were not. If you naturally hit flat then you will just love it and spin is also achievable with the open string pattern. I'm just saying that some racquets you pick up just feel like spin machines(Babolat AeroPro) and some flat drivers(Pro One) even though it's really about your stroke form. After experimenting with the weight kit I was surprised to like this racquet with 10g on the butt and the 3g slide weights at 3 and 9 o'clock feeling great plow thru. This racquet also has a great feel with the serves and again feels solid. Lastly, what a paint job! Basic but very classy in flat black, silver and a bit of white, very cool. I suggest you try this racquet out and see if it's a match for you.
From: MS, 12/11
String type and tension: Kirschbaum Proline II Black, 48/50lbs
NTRP Rating: 5.0

Comments: The best racquet I have used so far. Great plow through and feel. Much better power than the previous models i.e., X-Red and X-Dark Red. I just played a few sets and I was hitting the ball with greater penetration, and spin than ever before. The solid response of this racquet was allowing me to redirect cross-court shots down the lines with relative ease. This racquet really shines on serves as well - with brutal efficiency and accuracy. Love it. I used the 5 gram butt cap weight without the slides to make it more head light. The racquet strung out of the box weighted in at 331 grams at 5 points head light. Adding the 5 gram butt cap, over-grip, and dampener put this racquet at 340 grams.
From: Zorn, 12/11
String type and tension:M-55 Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Spin; X-52 Luxilon Big Banger TiMO 18 gauge
NTRP Rating: 5.0

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