Babolat Pure Drive – Review

Known as the most powerful racquet from Babolat, the Pure Drive has been a very popular option for all types of players.

With a new release in 2021, it is the most refreshed racquet out there from Babolat right now. Is it still worth giving a try for those who have glossed over past versions? After getting a chance to play around with a standard model, this is a closer look at the new Babolat Pure Drive.

Before going into the review, here are our overall ratings.

First Impressions

One of the first things people notice with this racquet every single time a new release comes out is just how great it looks overall. They have updated the color scheme a bit, and it stands out as a truly remarkable piece of art. Of course, none of this matters if it does not play the way it should, and first impressions are pretty good overall.

This is still a racquet built for all-around power, so people who have trouble creating their own can benefit. It is also extremely spin-friendly, as the open string pattern and 100 in.² head is built for the modern game. Players do not have to worry too much about creating their own pace or spin, as making contact in the sweet spot will help out tremendously.

Groundstrokes

The power and playability of the racquet with groundstrokes is evident right away. Players can take some pretty good cuts at the ball and start to get in a groove shortly after giving it a try for the first time. Even players coming over from a different type of racquet will initially fall in love with the ease of groundstrokes.

If there is one complaint, balls can start to sail on a person if they are pretty flat hitters overall. Since it does offer a lot of free power and a player is not creating much spin on their own, it does not give much margin for error over the net.

Speaking of spin, it is pretty easy to generate from the baseline on groundstrokes. It is not going to do the same thing as the Babolat Pure Aero, but it is very clear that there are some similarities between the two.

Compared to the previous models, the groundstrokes are a bit crisper overall. It seems like when a player can hit the ball in the sweet spot, they are rewarded more than ever. This is good news for advanced players, and something for intermediate players to strive for as time goes on.

Serving 

If there is one easy way to fall in love with a Babolat Pure Drive, it is definitely hitting some serves. Players will instantly notice the extra power they get with each serve, which always makes a person feel good when they can crush a few here and there.

With the newest version, the control has been stepped up a night as well, so players are not as worried about where the ball might actually go. It is one thing to hit the ball extremely hard, but it is another to actually get it in.

Another clear advantage with this upgraded version is that spin potential is better than ever before. Again, it comes down to rewarding players who find the sweet spot of the racquet. Being able to generate spin on the second serve while still having some power behind it can make for some devastating opportunities.

There is not much to hate about serving with a Babolat Pure Drive overall. Ever since it first launched in the 1990s, it has been rated as one of the best for those who own a great serve. Nothing too drastic changes with this release.

Volleying

A generous sweet spot and plenty of easy power can make volleying easy for certain types of players. It is not perfect, as people would still like to have a bit more touch at the net, but there are definitely worse racquets out there to hit consistent volleys with.

What players need to realize when they are hitting volleys is that the racquet can do a lot of the work for a player. This is particularly true with a Babolat Pure Drive, since it is packed with so much power. Being too aggressive is going to make a person very frustrated with volleys, and that might make a person feel like they are lacking any type of confidence at the net.

Touch with volleys has come a long way with the Pure Drive line. It used to all be about power, power, and more power, but now the ball can stay on the string bed a little bit longer. People might not be able to hit precise drop volleys better than ever before, but it should provide some added consistency for players who feel that part of their game lacks a bit.

Different Versions

The standard version of the Babolat Pure Drive is meant to be a well-rounded racquet for any type of skill level. Even beginners will find this racquet not to be too overwhelming, as it provides easy power and a pretty big sweet spot. With that said, most who use it are going to be intermediate or advanced players. This is the version that most pro players uses.

There are options for younger players in the junior levels, all the way up to having models so that a person can get more power behind each shot. Babolat has stuck with the philosophy of only releasing a few different racquets, and then building out those lines as much as possible.

Simply put, there is some type of Pure Drive out there that will be at least a solid option for any type of player out there. Whether or not they go with it is a different story.

These are the racquet specs for the standard Babolat Pure Drive.

Babolat Pure DriveSpecs
Head Size100 sq. in
Length27 in
Weight (strung)11.2 oz / 318g
Balance4pts HL
Flex71
String Pattern16×19
Swingweight320

Final Thoughts & Recommendations 

Overall, it truly does seem like the Babolat Pure Drive is becoming a more well-rounded racquet ever before with each new iteration. It is still not perfect, as it has a little bit of flaws here and there, but most people will find at least one of the versions that works for them.

There is a reason why it’s used by many pro players on both the ATP and WTA Tour. Here are the top ranked players that currently plays with the Babolat Pure Drive:

Those who have tried the Pure Drive out in the past and disliked it should get it one more try with his newest version. This time around, the control and feel is much improved, and it might be something that gets a person excited.

Maybe it ultimately does not end up being an option that a person sticks with, but Babolat is doing what they can to have all bases covered for different types of players. If you are interested, you can check the current price on Amazon here.

Check out my other Babolat racquet reviews:

Fred Simonsson

I'm Fred, the guy behind TennisPredict. Apart from writing here, I play tennis on a semi-professional level and coach upcoming talents.

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