This Wilson Burn 100 Countervail packed a powerful punch from the baseline for our testing squad. Hannah brought this racquet out every time she hit for several weeks and loved the swingweight and balance. She exclaimed, "This playtest turned out to be one of my favorites of the year! Right away, I was swinging free and was rewarded with consistent depth on my groundstrokes. This racquet was predictable for me, and although it is a stiffer option and felt ultra responsive, the sweetspot was forgiving and easily attainable, especially from the baseline. For a powerful racquet, the Burn 100 Countervail was surprisingly maneuverable and spin friendly. A weapon at the baseline no doubt; this racquet was quick, but it was still slightly tougher to swing than most racquets in its weight range."
Tiffani came into the review with recollections of the first Burn 100. She said, "What I remembered about the older Burn 100 model was that it felt powerful and stiff. Once I started hitting with the Burn 100 Countervail I noticed that the power level was there, but the racquet felt more arm friendly than the previous version. The stiffness level was still pretty high, providing easy power and depth, but my arm didn't feel it as much. After a couple weeks of hitting I did notice some soreness in my wrist, but I still felt that the comfort was improved overall. I also felt like I could harness the power of this version better, and I didn't feel quite as erratic. This Burn 100 Countervail thrived on incoming power. This let me play my game of capitalizing on my opponent's power and then moving the ball around. The Burn 100 Countervail has more control than the Burn 100S, but a little less power and stability."
Jason's first experience with the Burn 100 Countervail was a positive one. He said, "This was one of those racquets that I felt comfortable with from the very first hit. I swung it with ease (easier than the previous Burn 100), and I was getting plenty of power off both wings. I didn't notice any significant drop in RPMs when going from my own racquet to this one, so that was really nice to see. Like with the new Wilson Blade 98 Countervail racquets, the technology really helped give the Burn 100 Countervail a softer, more dampened feel. Unfortunately, even though the racquet felt softer, I was still feeling the effects of the firm response in my arm after my hitting sessions."
The Burn 100 Countervail felt very, very fast and maneuverable from the baseline," Chris praised. "I was able to turn all the racquet head speed I was generating into lots of spin. My backhand slice was skidding off the court with a fast and low bounce. I hit some great slice approach shots that often forced an error, so I didn't even have to finish the point with a volley. I also found it very easy to generate a lot of topspin with this racquet. I could hit deep with pace and trust the spin I was getting would bring the ball down into the court. I was getting similar pace and spin on my shots as I get with my Babolat Pure Drive Plus, but my opponents noticed that I wasn't hitting as heavy a ball. I also found that in point play I had to work harder to finish off points since more of my shots were coming back. I was able to place my shots where I wanted with good pace and spin, but my opponents were returning more of them compared to when I hit the same shots with my regular racquet. When it came to feel, this version of the Burn 100 felt more muted compared to the outgoing model. However, the more dampened feel didn't translate to improved comfort. The racquet bothered my wrist during hitting sessions. My wrist pain went away once I switched back to my regular racquet."
The Wilson Burn 100 Countervail made our playtesters' jobs a little easier at the net. Chris took advantage of the feel and response on his volleys. He said, "The Burn 100 Countervail felt very fast and easy to maneuver. I felt like I was getting it into position quickly, and it felt fast through contact. I enjoyed punching my volleys deep and found I could easily add some slice to get them to skid away faster. I also had success dropping the ball short for an angle or drop volley. I had good touch with this racquet. Even though the response felt somewhat muted, it didn't take away from my sense of what I was doing with the ball. Likewise, when I was punching the ball deep I had a lot of control and a solid idea of how much depth my shot would have."
Tiffani found the Burn 100 Countervail to be fairly easy to use at the net, She said, "I like to keep it simple with my volleys, and the Burn 100 Countervail made it easy to do that. Nothing stood out at the net with this racquet, but there weren't any big drawbacks either."
Hannah played with confidence at the net with the Burn 100 in her hands. "I didn't have to work too hard to produce a solid shot as long as I kept the racquet out front, and during volley-to-volley drilling I was able to hit targets and adjust my hands with ease," she beamed. "This racquet offered a very lively and stable feel at the net. However, I did experience some wrist soreness after volleying for longer periods of time."
Jason also liked the Burn 100 Countervail at the net, noting, "I liked my results with this racquet up at net. It was plenty mobile enough for quick reflex volleys, and it had lots of pop to put easy shots away. The downside for me came from the racquet providing too much power. My short touch volleys tended to float deeper than I wanted."
The praise of the Wilson Burn 100 Countervail's power was somewhat more subdued on serves. Jason was unimpressed, saying, "This was the one area where I thought the racquet's performance was just average. I thought the power and spin, though pretty good, were par for the course for a racquet of its spec range."
Hannah appreciated the power that this racquet added to her serves. She said, "For obvious reasons, this positively affected my flat serve the most. My kick and slice serves didn't benefit too much from this frame. It was tough to get a good feel for these serves, or enough spin, and this was probably this biggest downside of the racquet for me."
After finding such a good response from the baseline, Tiffani was surprised that she didn't like the Burn 100 more on serves. She said, "I preferred the Burn 100S Countervail on this shot.The spin version gave me easier power and spin. I had to work harder with the standard version to get some power. On the flipside, I was more consistent when serving with the Burn 100 Countervail, but higher speed and spin numbers on serve are always so tempting."
While Chris tends to prefer racquets with more swingweight on his serve to help generate power, he did find solid pace and spin with this racquet. He noted, "I enjoyed hitting my slice serve wide, and I was getting some nice movement on that shot. I was missing some weight on my shots, and if I hit my serves too close to my opponent's strike zone I found stronger returns coming back at me than I do with my Pure Drive Plus. I'd likely add some weight to this racquet to help me out in that regard."
When it came to returning with the Burn 100 Countervail, our playtesters were once again singing a happy tune. "This was a fun racquet to return with," Chris said. "It's super easy to maneuver and accelerate through contact, and my returns had solid pace and spin. I felt confident driving shots deep just as much as I did rolling an angle return with more topspin. My slice returns were on point, too. I found I could chip back an aggressive serve with plenty of control. When given more time I was able to effectively drive my slice backhand low and deep to steal the offensive. No complaints from me here. When I missed a return I felt it was due to my error or just too tough a serve from my opponent."
Like Chris, Jason felt confident returning with this racquet. He elaborated, "It was stable enough when I was reaching for a shot, and it had enough power that my blocked shots landed with decent depth. When I had time to set up I was able to generate the power and spin required to go on the offensive right away."
The Burn 100 Countervail was just as solid on returns as it was on groundstrokes for Hannah, "Keeping my swings short allowed me to counterpunch big serves or even take the offensive off the serve. There was an adjustment period for timing my returns because the Burn 100 Countervail is slightly less maneuverable than other racquets in this weight range."
Everything came together for Tiffani's return game with this racquet. She said, "On this shot, the Burn 100 Countervail felt quicker through the air than the Spin version, and I preferred it on returns. I liked the added quickness, and my shots were more predictable. Although I felt that depth came easier with the Burn 100S Countervail, the extra mobility and predictability of the Burn 100 Countervail gave me more options on returns."
Hannah - "Lively response on all shots. I actually really like the stiff feel of the Burn 100 Countervail. It's stiff without being harsh or brassy, so it feels stable, easy to use and grants power and depth."
Tiffani - "I liked how the Burn 100 Countervail took incoming power and fired it back. Comfort, feel and control felt improved over the previous version."
Jason - "Easy to swing and use. Good power and spin. Improved feel thanks to Countervail."
Chris - "I liked the spin, easy pace and maneuverability. I also preferred the feel compared to the previous Burn. This version feels more muted compared to the old one's brassy feel."
Hannah - "Not too much to dislike. I would have liked access to more spin on my serves. Other than that my only complaint is the wrist pain I experienced after extensive volleys, which I expect with a stiffer racquet at net."
Tiffani - "Although the comfort was improved and Countervail improved the feel, my wrist still felt sore after playing with the Burn 100 Countervail over the course of a few weeks."
Jason - "Deceptively comfortable, but still too stiff for my taste."
Chris - "I was left wanting more comfort from this racquet. I had some wrist pain while testing it that thankfully went away once I switched back to my regular racquet."
Hannah - "I didn't test the previous version, but the Burn 100 Countervail is in my preferred weight range, and although the feel varies a little bit, the playability of this racquet is great when stacked up against racquets like the Babolat Pure Drive, Babolat Pure Aero, Wilson Pro Staff 97 and Wilson Blade 98. I'd say the biggest difference between the Burn 100 Countervail and these other racquets is that I could feel its extra stiffness and heightened swingweight."
Tiffani - "The Wilson Burn 100 Countervail offered a bit more control on my shots than the Wilson Burn 100S Countervail. It felt ever so slightly faster through the air, but it also felt like there wasn't quite as much weight in the hoop, leaving it more susceptible to twisting than the Burn 100S. The Wilson Ultra 100 was also similar, with the Ultra offering more control."
Jason - "The Burn 100 Countervail is similar to the Wilson Ultra 100, but with more power and the feel of the Blade 98 Countervail."
Chris - "Like the original Burn, the Burn 100 Countervail is fast and spin-friendly, and it allowed me to hit with easy pace and depth. It feels more muted than the previous version, but I didn't find either particularly comfortable. The Burn 100 Countervail felt faster than my Babolat Pure Drive Plus, which made it easier to hit sharp angles. However, my Pure Drive Plus gives me more put-away power on groundstrokes and serves. Racquets I'd add to my demo list if I demoed this one would include: Babolat Pure Drive, Asics BZ 100, Volkl V-Sense 8 300g, Head Graphene XT Extreme MP A, and Tecnifibre TFlash 300 Dynacore ATP."
|Length||27 in||69 cm|
|Head Size||100 sq in||645 sq cm|
|Weight||11.2 oz||318 gm|
|Balance Point||13 in 33 cm||4pts Head Light|
|Construction||23.5mm / 25mm / 23.5mm|
|String Pattern||16 Mains / 19 Crosses|
|Babolat RDC Ratings|
|Flex Rating||69||Range: 0-100|
|Swing Weight||319||Range: 200-400|
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)
Tiffani: 4.0 level baseliner with a semi-western grip on the forehand and hits a two-handed backhand. Currently playing with the Prince Textreme Tour 100P.
Hannah: Open level player with a semi-western forehand and two-handed backhand. She currently plays with the Babolat Pure Strike 16x19 (Project One7).
Jason: 4.0 baseliner with a semi-western forehand and two-handed backhand. Currently using a Babolat Pure Strike 16x19 (Project One7).
Chris: 5.0 all-court player currently using the Babolat Pure Drive Plus. Chris uses a full-western forehand grip, has a fast swing style and hits a one-handed backhand.