Babolat Revenge Review Part 2
Continuing from part 1, I hit with Revenge as a fullbed for a little over eight hours under a variety of conditions. Tension loss was less than a pound. The string grew on me, but I was still anxious to test it in a hybrid. Fortunately, the gut on my regular hybrid became mushy and it was time to restring. So, I had both racquets restrung with VS Team 17 on the crosses. One was strung with Revenge 17 on the mains at 51 lb and the other with the usual Pro Hurricane Tour 17 at 53. My racquet is a Prince Speedport Black.
I was pleased with the control provided by Revenge as a fullbed at lower tension, so I wanted to experiment at the low end of my normal range. If I strung a hybrid with say xCel Power on the mains at 51, I would be guranteed to spray balls into the fence from the first shot :) The hybrid Revenge configuration performed pretty much the same as the fullbed. Solid control even at lower tension and this from a so-called ‘power’ string.
There was increased feel from groundstrokes by crossing with the gut, which helped alleviate my concerns from the first part of the review. Next, I wanted to see how the configuration volleyed. At 51lb, I expected a slight mushy feel from volleys. The opposite was true. Response was crisp from the very first volley. With the VS Team/Pro Hurricane Tour hybrid, I get a serious feel of the ball being pocketed and ‘launched’ from stringbed. This affects volleying to some extent based on the pace of the ball coming towards you. With VS Team/Revenge, response is consistent whether it is a light touch volley or responding to a very hard passing shot.
You will pick up a bit more feel and spin from the hybrid configuration on serve, but overall response is quite muted compared to Pro Hurricane Tour on the mains. Again, the expectation for Revenge is to provide reasonable power while maintaining control. With a power configuration, it’s up to you to provide the control.
My first conclusion is that Revenge is better suited for a hybrid configuration if you already play a hybrid (especially a gut/poly hybrid). Control is quite good even at lower tension. Given the combination of control and response on volleys, I’m probably going to keep the VS Team/Revenge hybrid as a doubles racquet. It is not as powerful or responsive as the VS Team/Pro Hurricane Tour combination, leading me to believe that Babolat should be advertising this as more of a control string as opposed to a power string.
You can get plenty of power from Revenge by stringing at lower tension and just hitting out on the ball. The response is adequate and the control ensures that if you miss, it’s all on you. Spin is average; about what I would expect from any 17 -gauge hybrid configuration. As might be expected, it is noticeably less than I achieve with the VS Team/Pro Hurricane Tour configuration. However, given Revenge’s reputation for tension maintenance, you can hold that power/control level for longer periods of time than other configurations. I expect more frequent restringing with VS Team/Pro Hurricane Tour.
Given the pace I experience from 4.5/5.0 players, my general conclusion is to stick with the VS Team/Pro Hurricane Tour hybrid for singles play. I’m viewing VS Team/Revenge as more of a specialty configuration, for use in windy conditions when control is at a premium or doubles play.