Summary & Takeaways
Overall, I think the VCORE 98 is an excellent update to an already popular frame, which I expect will impress the prior generation’s users and, for many, will be a worthy upgrade.
It’s well-suited for aggressive intermediate to advanced baseliners that appreciate the extra spin and power potential a frame can deliver but who are just as comfortable transitioning to the net when the opportunity arises.
If you’re a beginner or comfort is high on your list, I’d encourage you to look elsewhere as there are more ideal frames for both groups.
Yonex VCORE 98 vs. EZONE 98
The VCORE 98 and EZONE 98 are two popular models from Yonex, both of which are excellent frames, which cater to slightly different audiences.
For starters, let’s do a quick spec comparison.
As you can see, they’re pretty similar racquets on paper with minimal variation in weight, swingweight, stiffness, and beamwidth.
However, on the court, there are a few distinct differences between their performance. First, I find the VCORE 98 to offer a bit of added power, spin, and stability. Not by a large margin, but easily discernible.
Beyond that, I’d give the EZONE the edge in pretty much every other area. I prefer its feel, more comfortable response, and find it offers a bit more precision and control. For me, that translates to a more well-rounded performance, which I find easier to recommend.
To be clear, that’s not to say the VCORE 98 is a poor racquet by any stretch. I’m impressed with the update that I think it outshines the previous generation, but I find the EZONE 98 is better suited for my game.
Why I Love It
- Controllable power
Overall, I thought my string selection worked well for the playtest. As a quick reminder, here’s what I used for my setup:
- String: Yonex Poly Tour Spin G
- Gauge: 1.25 mm (17 gauge)
- Tension: 52 lbs (23.6 kg)
Yonex Poly Tour Spin G is a solid string. It’s reasonably durable, ultra low powered, and provides plenty of access to spin, which translates to exceptional control.
As a result, I rarely found myself overhitting, but despite the VCORE 98’s higher-end power for its class, I did feel like I had to work extra hard for pace – especially on serve.
Furthermore, it’s not the most gentle string. Although you can get away with a stiffer string on some frames, I found the VCORE 98 to play too stiff and with less comfort than I would prefer.
On my second round of stringing, I did bump down the tension to 50 lbs and found somewhat better performance and comfort, but I’m confident I can find a string that plays better for this frame.
With that in mind, I’d still opt for a poly as the racquet is well-suited for this type of string. However, I’d lean toward one that offers a bit of extra power or comfort. Here are a few that come to mind:
I’m also a proponent of hybrid stringing, which can offer players an excellent balance between string characteristics. I look forward to testing out a poly and multifilament combination to gauge performance.
For more options, be sure to check out my guide on the best tennis strings.
The Yonex VCORE 98 delivers reliable all-court performance geared toward intermediate to advanced tennis players and one of my picks for the best racquets in 2021. I was impressed with its topspin and power for a 98 in² frame, it performs well up at the net, and I didn’t find it to present any significant or glaring pitfalls.
It’s not the most comfortable frame, and at times I did find it to lack a bit of feel, but worth a demo if you like the idea of a frame with a smaller head size but don’t want to give up too much spin or pace.