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Prince O3 Speedport White Racquets Review

The next generation of the O3 White comes with Prince's O3 Speedport technology. According to Prince, the reshaped O ports are even more aerodynamic, which helps the racquet swing through the air faster -- a benefit when trying to generate pace and spin. The racquet's design also allows the strings to move more at impact, which increases the size of the sweetspot into what Prince calls the "sweetzone."

Prince has given us two versions of the O3 Speedport White. The first, an update to the O3 White is the O3 Speedport White. It has the same headsize, 16x19 string pattern and 23-25-22 mm tapered beam, similar static weight, swingweight, balance and flex. The second, the O3 Speedport Pro White, introduces more weight and a tighter 18x19 string pattern. The Pro is also slightly stiffer and more head light than the O3 Speedport White.

With American ATP pro John Isner swinging the O3 Speedport White and WTA star Jelena Jankovic choosing the O3 Speedport Pro White, both these racquets have shown they work for those who play at the game's highest levels. We wanted to know how well the masses could wield this stick and how the racquets compared. We strung both the standard and Pro versions up with a 17 gauge multifilament and hit the courts.

Read on to see how both racquets performed for our playtesters. Note: The O3 Speedport Pro White review directly follows the O3 Speedport White review.

O3 Speedport White Midplus

Groundstrokes

With Prince's O3 Speedport Technology, the O3 Speedport White promised to be more aerodynamic. Our playtesters agreed that the racquet swings easily through the air, and in the standard version, the open string pattern provided plenty of access to spin. Jason enjoyed the mobility of the racquet. "The weight felt good when I initially picked up the racquet. On the court the weight, combined with the open string pattern, provided a nice, solid feeling racquet. It was fairly easy to whip a forehand, or surprisingly, my one-handed backhand, crosscourt on the run. If my timing was off a little bit the ball would tend to sail on me, forcing me to swing with more caution than I would've liked. When I did hit a slice perfectly, the ball came off the racquet with tons of spin and skidded off the bounce."

Putting more spin on his groundies than a DJ on a turntable was Chris. "From the first hit, I felt more comfortable with this racquet compared to its predecessor. I had a better idea of the direction and depth of my shots and had an overall sensation of being more connected. I found this to be an easy racquet for finding spin - especially topspin. As with the previous version, I felt like I could sit back and hit with good spin and pace all day. I found more feel with this version, and that resulted in more confidence when going closer to the lines and corners. Comfort was excellent, and the racquet felt very forgiving. I was able to whip this racquet around very quickly and enjoyed finding some added spin when I had to get a low, short ball up and over the net with some pace. That mobile aspect of the racquet was a definite plus when I was pulled in and forced to hit an approach shot off an awkward, low ball."

For Eileen, though, the 16x19 string pattern left her open to too many unforced errors. "This isn't the racquet for me. With the open string pattern, I felt like it was too much racquet and too much power. I didn't have much control, and I sprayed too many balls." Tiffani couldn't find her groove, either. "I could generate some power and good spin with this stick. I needed a bit more control, though, because there was a tendency to spray balls. I could swing fast, too, but sometimes I found myself ahead of the ball, resulting in some mis-hits. Compared to the Pro White, this one was a little less stable, but I only noticed that waffle feeling a few times."

Ryan S. had a hard time finding his range, too. "I was not able to get really comfortable hitting groundstrokes with the Speedport White. I had trouble mainly with consistency and control of spin. The racquet had trouble being stable through contact with heavy pace. I liked the ease of the swing, and the racquet head speed I was able to generate gave plenty of spin to the ball. However, I was just never was consistent with this racquet from the baseline."

Volleys

The O3 Speedport White's excellent maneuverability shined at net. Most of the playtesters found the racquet to be forgiving on volleys. For Ryan S., he was at his best with the racquet when volleying. "Unlike groundstrokes, this racquet excelled when volleying or playing doubles. The maneuverability of the racquet and generous headsize made for a nice forgiving racquet at net. I even found I was able to 'catch up' with some very fast-paced passing attempts. Depth was easy to find with this racquet, and comfort was top notch."

As baseliners, Tiffani and Jason found the racquet beneficial to their style of play. Tiffani enjoyed the maneuverability. "This was pretty maneuverable at net, giving me more confidence that I could try for some angle volleys when I usually just try to get the ball back in play. It gave a pretty solid response, too." Jason found he could react quicker. "This stick was quite comfortable hitting volleys. Not all of the off-center shots went over, but the vibrations were kept to a minimum. Reaction volleys and overheads were a breeze, as I was able to get the racquet in the correct position to put the ball away. The racquet provided a solid, crisp feel upon ball contact. The heavier Pro version handled heavier balls a bit better, but there was a distinct lack of movement. "

Also enjoying the feel of the Speedport White was Chris. "This was an easy racquet to use at net. The stringbed felt very forgiving, and I was also impressed with the maneuverability. The feel was comfortable and dampened, but not as dampened as the previous version. I appreciated the extra feel from this version of the White and felt pretty comfortable with it at net." As when hitting groundstrokes, Eileen found problems with consistency at net. "Again, I struggled with control. My timing seemed to be off and it felt like the balls were hitting all over the strings."

Serves

The team had mixed reactions when serving with the O3 Speedport White. For some, the racquet needed more heft, while others enjoyed the comfort. For Tiffani, the racquet's maneuverability got her into more points. "This was a good serving stick for me. I found some pop, but I would call it adequate, not exceptional. I get more help from my Pure Drive. What I liked best, though, was that the maneuverability helped me find a good rhythm on my service motion, resulting in consistency." Jason, too, found the racquet forgiving. "Of the two, I was serving more consistently with this lighter version. The power off first serves was just average, but the spin I got on second serves was much better. What I really enjoyed was how quickly the racquet moved through the air."

Serving was another high point for Ryan S. "I got excellent pace, and the racquet had a very generous amount of spin that I was able to play around with. I really enjoyed serving with this racquet."

The O3 Speedport White's light weight left Eileen hanging, though. "I could serve decently with this racquet, but I wasn't able to find the pop I was looking for." Chris also wanted a heavier response from the racquet. "I served pretty well with this stick. To find the pace I'm used to with my regular racquet, I would have to add some weight to this one. I think Prince could have made this racquet stiffer for some added pop as the Ports make the response so comfortable I can't see there being a downside. I would have liked more mass behind the ball and a more powerful response from the racquet to serve at my best."

Serve Returns

On returns, the O3 Speedport White's stability and light weight came into play. For Jason, the racquet head speed he generated meant he could be aggressive. "I had a hard time choosing which of the two racquets I liked better when returning serves. On the one hand, this lighter racquet really allowed me to swing quickly and attack moderately paced balls. On the other hand, the heavier version handled the heavy, fast paced balls a lot better. The upside for this lighter racquet was when taking full, aggressive swings on returns, I found myself hitting some great angles with pace."

Wanting more heft for stability to handle bigger serves was Ryan S. "While I loved serving with this racquet, I had the opposite sensation returning with it. Fast-paced, heavy spin serves were very hard to power through. The response was comfortable but very inconsistent." Chris also found himself overpowered at times. "I was returning with good spin and direction, but the racquet did get pushed around a tad. My only needs were against the few guys I play against who serve big. Against other hitting partners, this racquet felt fine. Again, comfort was excellent and the stringbed felt pretty lively."

Eileen couldn't dial in her motion while returning with the O3 Speedport White. "I had pretty random responses here. There wasn't enough consistency. I couldn't find a good range with my returns and lacked confidence." While Tiffani enjoyed the maneuverability of the racquet, she also struggled with consistency. "The racquet was really easy to get around, so I could stand in closer to take the ball and hope to catch the server off guard with my return. However, I found the control was lacking. For consistency's sake, I found that blocking back the return was my best option."

Overall

The O3 Speedport White lived up to its name. Our playtesters were able to generate fast strokes with this racquet. Lots of racquet head speed helped spin production as well as pace on put-a-way shots. Our team favored the maneuverability of this version out of the two O3 Speedport Whites. Most notably, we found plenty of racquet head speed on groundstrokes and serves. Maneuverability was also impressive on more compact strokes such as volleys. In stock form we found this one a great match for intermediate players seeking a lively response and a soft feel. The racquet's specs also leave plenty of room for weight customization, perfect for heavier hitters seeking more mass in an open string patterned racquet.

The "Likes" of the racquet.
Ryan S. - "I liked the looks of the racquet, serving, volleying, comfort and spin potential."

Jason - "The main characteristic that jumped out at me was the maneuverability of the racquet. With it, the volleying and serving parts of my game were improved. The sweetspot was very generous; mis-hits weren't too jarring on my arm."

Tiffani - "I like the maneuverability of the racquet at net, which raised my confidence. On serve, I liked the comfort."

Chris - "I liked the comfort, spin and mobility I found hitting with this racquet. Plenty of room for me to add weight here if I wanted to use this stick."

Eileen - "I liked the level of spin I found and the maneuverability."

The "Dislikes" of the racquet.
Ryan S. - "I disliked the inconsistent response from the baseline and return of serve."

Jason - "I didn't like using this racquet for hitting topspin or flat groundstrokes. Even though it was mobile, I didn't like having to ease back on my forehand for fear of my shots flying long."

Tiffani - "The racquet lacked consistent control from the baseline, and that's my main game. The dampened, soft feel of the racquet was a bit much as well."

Chris - "Not stiff enough or heavy enough for me. I'd love to try this racquet with an RA around 70 and weighted similar to my Babolat Pure Drive Roddick."

Eileen - "The string pattern was too open for me, and there wasn't enough plow through or control. I never felt the ball with this racquet."

Technical Specifications

Length27 inches69 centimeters
Head Size100 square inches645 square centimeters
Weight11.2 ounces318 grams
Balance Point13.25 inches
34 centimeters
2pts Head Light
Construction23-25-22 mm Tapered Beam
CompositionHigh Modulus Graphite with Titanium and Tungsten
String Pattern16 Mains / 19 Crosses

Babolat RDC Ratings

Score
Grade
Flex Rating64Range: 0-100
Swing Weight326Range: 200-400

Prince O3 Speedport White Midplus Racquet

Prince O3 Speedport White Midplus
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)

O3 Speedport Pro White Racquet Review

Groundstrokes

When updating the O3 White with Speedport technology, Prince also added another racquet to the mix. The O3 Speedport Pro White comes with a tighter string pattern and a little added weight. Enjoying that added heft was Eileen. "I was able to swing through steadily, and I hit a heavier ball than usual. I really liked the control and feel from this racquet." Jason found he was able to zero in on directional control. "Although I typically like more feel than what the O3 Speedport racquets provide, I was impressed with how the racquet performed off the ground. The weight was great for plowing through the faster shots. The additional weight was also an asset in controlling the direction, more so than the depth of my shots. Spin was fantastic, just like the lighter version." The 18x19 string pattern brought Tiffani the control she was craving. "Power came easily with this racquet, and I did find more control with the Pro version. I felt like the racquet was plowing through my strokes better, so the ball I hit was heavier. The racquets played similarly to me, but this one wins out for me on groundies because of the added control."

Chris found some added control, which helped on approach shots and short balls. "I immediately felt more comfortable with this weightier version of the O3 Speedport White. I also preferred the response from the tighter string pattern. From the first hit the racquet felt closer to my desired spec, and I was finding more feel and control from the stringbed. I also preferred hitting slice with this racquet and had more confidence controlling depth when flattening shots out. From the baseline, this Pro version is comparable to the standard O3 Speedport White, but it was when I moved inside the court this racquet came into its own. I had even more control on my approach shots and was able to take a bigger cut at the ball. During match play, that added confidence I had resulted in more winners off short balls, as opposed to taking some pace off and hitting an approach shot." Ryan S. struggled with consistency with both versions of the O3 Speedport White. "Hitting from the baseline with the O3 Speedport Pro White was more natural to me with it being a slightly heavier version of the standard White. However, I still had issues with consistency. My perceptions of the response of the racquet as it relates to depth and pace were just all over the board. Spin was easy to generate, but because of the extra weight, the racquet was noticeably less maneuverable. On the positive side, the issues of stability were totally absent with this version, which was great."

Volleys

Our playtesters found that the Pro version brought a crisper response on volleys. Chris appreciated the Pro's stability with the extra weight. "I felt confident with this racquet at net. It was very mobile, and I found lots of control on my volleys. It felt like there was enough weight to keep things stable even when the pace of shots picked up. The feel from the stringbed was cleaner than with the lighter version, and I was getting more feel on touch shots." Eileen found the consistency with the Pro that was lacking for her in the standard version. "I had great control, and I could stick my volleys with much more confidence with this racquet compared to the lighter O3 Speedport White."

With the heavier spec, there was a little give and take at net for Ryan S. "Like the standard version, the O3 Speedport Pro White was excellent to volley with. It delivered a little more punch and depth than the standard, but gave up a little of that maneuverability edge the other had. Still, it's a great racquet to volley with, especially in areas of comfort, depth and the solid feel at contact."

When comparing the two racquets, the difference in maneuverability was key for Tiffani on volleys. "I liked the O3 Speedport White version a little more because I found it just a tad more maneuverable. For me, that equals increased confidence, which is huge for a baseliner at net. When I was making good contact, the shot was crisp and solid with this Pro version. What it boils down to is that though I felt a more solid response from the Pro at net, I liked the extra mobility of the standard version for the confidence factor." Jason found it was more difficult to find his timing with the Pro version. "As one would expect, this heftier racquet provided more forgiveness on the harder passing shots. But, the downfall was the lack of maneuverability. My timing had to be very precise to hit a solid volley. Spin was good on drop shots and touch volleys. "

Serves

With some extra heft, our playtesters found added power from the O3 Speedport Pro White. However, sometimes the added pop came at a price, as it did with Jason. "Due to the extra weight, I wasn't able to swing as freely as I did with the lighter racquet - even though it did provide extra pop on first serves. Slices were about even, but what made a big difference was the inconsistency I had serving with this racquet." Ryan S. had a harder time finding spin with the Pro version. "I liked serving with the standard version a little more, but this version was no slouch. I got great pace and spin was still there, although a little more difficult to generate. Consistency was good."

Eileen at first found the weight difficult to get accustomed to. "I still need to make the adjustment with the serve because the weight distribution is very different from my current racquet." Tiffani enjoyed the Pro on serve, but found it took more effort. "I got what I expected out of the racquet, and I generated some power on my flat serves. As with the groundstrokes, I found that the little bit of extra weight helped with plow through. However, I wasn't as comfortable as I was with the standard O3 Speedport White. If I got lazy, I tended to send serves into the net with the Pro version."

Looking for even more weight and power than the Pro version added was Chris. "I served pretty well with this racquet. I was able to generate some decent spin and kick. I found lots of grip from the stringbed, and my slice serve was working well. My serves were lacking some depth and penetration, but I think I could easily customize this one to get more performance. As is, I was pleased with my consistency, but could have done with more power and weight."

Serve Returns

The control-oriented characteristics of the O3 Speedport Pro White stood out when it came to returning serve. Once Tiffani found her timing, she enjoyed returning with the racquet. "Before I adjusted to the weight of the racquet, I was sending returns smack into the net or wide when I was late. Once I found my timing, this was a solid returning stick for me. Unlike with the standard version, I was able to go for more on returns. I got nice pace and the ball didn't sail on me." For Ryan S., consistency was the name of the game. "This is the area where the two versions of the Speedport White racquets show significant differences. I liked returning with this racquet a lot. I was able to get consistency that was lacking in the other. Also, stability was great. Slice backhand returns out wide did not float and still retained a decent amount of pace."

Finding solid results on defensive and block returns was Jason. "This was a great racquet for blocking back shots; taking little or no back swing and making contact. It was when I tried to be offensive with a big serve that my shots seemed to land wide because I couldn't get my racquet out in front fast enough." Chris found the added control and weight to be a good combination. "The control I found from this racquet made it my favorite of the two. The increased weight made up for the firmer feel from the stringbed so I was getting just as much power, yet more control. I was returning well with my backhand slice while using this racquet. During doubles play, I was able to punch it low to the incoming server's feet, enabling either me or my partner to steal the offensive at net." Eileen loved the extra heft. "It was a great experience. I was getting nice, heavy returns."

Overall

Our team enjoyed the combination of power and control found in the O3 Speedport Pro White. The tighter string pattern brought a more control-oriented feel and a firmer response from all areas of the court. Our bigger hitters found the added control allowed for aggressive play without fear of over-hitting. Thanks to a 5 points head light balance, the O3 Speedport White Pro maintains a maneuverable feel. There's still plenty of mass for a stable response and the weight of the racquet made for consistency and depth from the baseline. A solid choice for 4.0+ level players who are seeking control and have the swing to take advantage of this racquet's spec.

The "Likes" of the racquet.
Ryan S. - "I really liked the return of serve. I felt really comfortable with it. I feel like this would be a great racquet for me if I were playing doubles a lot. I would classify both of these versions as good doubles racquets, being that they performed so well in areas that are important for playing doubles."

Jason - "The generous amount of spin I found with this racquet, along with the weight, provided me with great control. I could handle the harder shots well and, like the lighter version, this one was very easy on the arm."

Tiffani - "There was easy access to power, and I found it more controllable than the standard Speedport White. This was a fun hit from the baseline."

Chris - "I liked the control and bite from the stringbed. This was by far the most impressive version of the White I've used."

Eileen - "I loved this racquet from the baseline, forehands and backhands. The weight is perfect. I need to hit a lot more serves and volleys to perfect these strokes because of the weight difference. I liked everything about this racquet and will definitely hit with it more!"

The "Dislikes" of the racquet.
Ryan S. - "I didn't like the inconsistent response while just exchanging groundies. Like with the standard, I was just never really comfortable with my swing with this racquet from the baseline."

Jason - "With the additional mass, the setback was the lack of maneuverability. I never felt comfortable serving with it, and at net, the racquet seemed to be more of a liability than an asset."

Tiffani - "Even though I found good consistency from the baseline, I lost consistency on serve and some confidence at net. Though, I think playing more with this racquet would solve both those issues."

Chris - "Not much to dislike as this was a good stick and a fun playtest for me. I would be customizing this one for a better fit for my game, but even in stock form it was good."

Eileen - "I can't really think of anything. I liked everything!"

Technical Specifications

Length27 inches69 centimeters
Head Size100 square inches645 square centimeters
Weight11.7 ounces332 grams
Balance Point12.875 inches
33 centimeters
5pts Head Light
Construction23-25-22 mm Tapered Beam
CompositionHigh Modulus Graphite with Titanium and Tungsten
String Pattern18 Mains / 19 Crosses

Babolat RDC Ratings

Score
Grade
Flex Rating67Range: 0-100
Swing Weight330Range: 200-400

Prince O3 Speedport Pro White Midplus Racquet

Prince O3 Speedport White Pro Midplus
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)
Playtester Profiles
Chris 5.0 baseline player currently using the Babolat Pure Drive Roddick. Chris uses a full-western forehand grip, has a fast swing style and hits a two-handed and a one-handed backhand.
Jason 4.0 baseliner currently using a Head Microgel Radical Midplus. Jason has a fairly aggressive semi-western topspin forehand and hits a one-handed backhand.
Ryan S. 4.5 all court player currently using a Slazenger Pro Braided Henman racquet. Ryan uses a semi-western forehand grip, a one-handed backhand and has a long swing style.
Eileen 4.0 Baseline player currently using a Boris Becker 11. Eileen uses a semi-western forehand grip, and hits with a two-handed backhand.
Tiffani 4.0 level baseliner with a semiwestern grip on the forehand and hits a two-handed backhand. Currently playing with the Babolat Pure Drive Team Standard.

Review date: Feb 2008. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.

All content copyright 2008 Tennis Warehouse.

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