Babolat Revenge Review Part 1

This is the first in a two-part review of the new Revenge string from Babolat.  I currently play a VS Team 16/Pro Hurricane Tour 17 hybrid, so I’m reviewing Revenge both fullbed and in a hybrid.  I normally string in the 50-53 range, so I first tried Revenge 17  in a fullbed @ 54lb.

I had previously tested Pro Hurricane Tour and xCel Power as a fullbed in the same racquet, both at an average tension of 53.  The xCel Power felt great but had a tendency to spray balls.  It was better crossed with xCel Premium.  The Pro Hurricane tour was so responsive in my head-light racquet that it had some low-frequency vibration that was very noticeable on touch shots and light volleys.  Crossed with the VS Team gut, however, performance is terrific in a hybrid.

My first impression of Revenge was that it was a cool-looking (red) string with a unique popping sound at impact.  At lower tension, the string provided expected power on groundstrokes but with unexpected control.  This is one string you can take a hard swing at the ball and if you miss, it’s all on you.  While not advertised as a comfort string, I did not notice any arm soreness after hammering on the string with 4.0/4.5 players for about an hour.

Volleys were very crisp and it almost seemed like the string performed better at the net than on the baseline.  If you have a relatively flat first serve, you will probably upgrade your first serve with Revenge.  Spin was definitely weaker than Pro Hurricane Tour (as would be expected) and from what I remember hitting with xCel Power.  You might lose a bit on a sliced second or heavy topspin first serves.

Coming from a gut player, my next observation is almost predictable.  Revenge does not have the feel I like on touch shots.  If these are an important part of your game, then you will not like this string in a fullbed.

After about 3 1/2 hours of hitting under various circumstances (including in the middle of the day in Texas heat), there was very little string movement.  The person who strung my racquet indicated no issues in the stringing and little coil memory.  DIY’ers will probably find it an easy job to string.

Overall, this string impresses me as good choice for 3.0/3.5 players looking for a power string without sacrificing control.  Revenge is advertised as a highly durable string with minimal tension loss.  That means you can afford to string at lower tensions without fear of the string becoming mushy after just a couple weeks of hard play (which happened to me with xCel Power).  I will continue to hit with the string and once I get to about ten hours, I’ll measure the tension and report back.

I believe 4.0+ players might consider Revenge as an alternative to say Big Banger, but only from the standpoint of adding control or getting a more arm-friendly string.  If you currently play a hybrid (especially a gut/poly hybrid), you would only want to consider Revenge as a substitute for your mains.  When my current hybrid is ready for restringing, I’ll see how Revenge compares as a main string to the Pro Hurricane Tour and then post part 2 of this review.