Wilson made some changes to their 2012 tennis racquets. Wilson categorized their racquet into three types: Control & Spin, Power & Spin, and Power and Comfort. I was able to play-test their new JUICE 100 BLX racquet which is placed in the “Power & Spin” category.
APPEARANCE / STYLE
When I first observed the WILSON JUICE 100 BLX I immediately thought of the tropics. I know this may seem strange—but it’s baby-blue/white/dark blue/yellow color combo reminded me of paint schemes in coastal beach-themed restaurants! It just doesn’t look very aggressive—like maybe a player with this stick will play “softly”?I think the paint job will take a little time grow on me…
The WILSON JUICE 100 BLX features 3 of Wilson’s newer tech features:
1) Basalt (BLX): Basalt fibers are woven into the frame to reduced unwanted frequencies (vibrations) and to provide better feedback and feel;
2) Amplifeel: A new handle technology that provides enhanced feel by using graphite & basalt planks, Foam, and a softer butt-cap;
3) Double Holes: Increased diameter on grommet holes to allow more string freedom which increases the “sweet spot” and adds power.
The WILSON JUICE 100 BLX Mid Plus has a 100” head and weighs 10.7 oz. unstrung. It has a very open 16 x 18 pattern and is 4 points* head-light. It has a moderate 26.5 mm dual-taper beam. It is rated by Wilson as appropriate for players with a medium to long swing. It is the standard 27” length.* Wilson literature states 4 pts. HL, however, the frame decal states 7 pts. HL.
The JUICE 100 BLX feels very stable & solid on ground-strokes. It does add some power—I had numerous shots go “wide” about a foot or so that I thought were going to be “in” when I hit the ball. But once I got dialed-in to the racquet’s performance I became very comfortable with it’s shots. Vibration was almost non-existent and it has a good “sound”. I knew, going in, that it is a head-light racquet, but it seemed to feel more evenly balanced. But the racquet does come-around quickly and hits with authority.
The WILSON JUICE 100 BLX provided excellent power on volleys and it’s accuracy was very good. It was not as quick at the net as some other racquets, but it should play well for experienced doubles players and “net rushers”. It is forgiving on off-center hits (resists twisting).
This racquet was a stable performer on overheads. I always felt like I knew exactly where the ball was going and at what pace. It encouraged me to put that ball AWAY!
The WILSON JUICE 100 BLX serves well. I was immediately comfortable with ball placement and spin. I did not, however, seem to get the power I anticipated on first serves.
The very, very open 16 x 18 string pattern increases the possibility of ball spin. I even noticed that it performs extremely well on slice and drop-shots. The moderate/wide beam, however, may get in the way of players who use a great deal of slice (not much margin of error—the ball will hit the hoop).
This Wilson tennis racquet is a solid performer. It feels great, adds power, and increases spin. It may take a few matches to become accustomed to it’s balance and the way that effects your movement. And you either love or hate the paint job (or don’t care?!). I think it is a good choice for a wide range of player types and could be effectively used by players in the 3.0 – 4.0 Category (NTRP).
Guest Contributor Greg Christopherson is a professional tennis stringer who lives in Oceanside, Calif.