Traditionally, we are used to seeing advanced players gravitate towards heavier, more flexible rackets with focus on feel and control. The Babolat Pure Drive rackets were introduced in 1994 and almost single-handedly changed this, influencing the considerations top players make when choosing a tennis racket. One of the first players to discover the performance benefits of the Babolat Pure Drive was Carlos Moya. Between 1991 and 2000, he reached the final of the Australian open, won the Roland Garros and was crowned world no 1 in March 1999 with his Pure Drive. After 17 years if existence, numerous improvements have been made to the racket. However, the specs have remained pretty consistent throughout the evolution of the sport.
Compared with other brands, the Babolat Pure Drive offers an improved feel and level of comfort from the baseline. The rackets have a generous sweet spot which increases the player’s comfort and confidence. The pure drive also provides a solid blend of power and of the ground spins. The high amount of controllable power makes the pure drive ideal for hitting big forehands. In backhand, it is easy to brush the ball to give it some topspin or cut it for a neat slice. The racket uses Babolat’s new Graphite Tungsten technology, which gives it more stability when coming into contact with powerful serves or returns. The racket originally featured the cortex system which was updated to cortex active technology. This technology is designed to filter vibrations and normalize the sensations that reach the hand.
The Pure Drive’s maneuverable feel and its crisp, comfortable response has made for some of the most thrilling rallies in tennis. Volleys on this racket are clean and crisp, and the superior control makes it easy to place the ball where you want it. It performs like a heavier racket, providing close control and power. However, when impact is made off the sweet spot, the Babolat Pure Drive can sometimes twist a little. This is where a little additional weight could have helped. Near the net, handling the racket is also not as comfortable as it could be – again, many feel that it need a little more weight in the head to improve stability.
Big serves have always defined the Pure Drive family and this racket does not disappoint. For first time users, it may take a while to get serves dialed in but transitioning into your regular serve will be very smooth. The ability to hit big serves with excellent control often makes the difference during matches and the pure drive just makes this happen. The pure drive’s power is very evident when going full-bore on serves. The tennis ball stays low when a big serve is hit. It is easy to induce a decent amount of spin along with power and good placement into the serves. The larger head size makes it easy to hit big, accurate serves consistently.
With its excellent spin, maneuverable feel and power, the Babolat Pure Drive never ceases to impress when it comes to returning serves. The racket’s beam width combined with its stiffness make it easy to block any serve. The racket feels light and maneuverable, increasing your reaction time and therefore improving your chances of a successful return. Moreover, its excellent control also means that you can place the return anywhere.
However, the light weight of the pure drive can sometimes be a problem for some players. It is easy to find yourself ahead in the swing during slow curving serves. But this can be an advantage when it comes to returning the flat big serves!
The Babolat Pure Drive is an excellent tennis racket that provides a combination of power and control with a decent amount of spin. The fact that it is a lightweight high performance racket makes it ideal for all levels, from juniors through to the more advanced players. It provides beginners with extra control and comfort while seasoned players can add the extra power to their game. The Babolat Pure Drive requires players to make solid strokes and provides greater coverage for off center shots. As much as other rackets have changed over the years, the Babolat Pure Drive has managed to remain on top by making innovative tweaks to the frame.