The Prestige line of racquet from HEAD is steeped in a long history of pro tour performance and a reputation for feel and control. While HEAD has made efforts in recent years to “modernize” the Prestige line, fans will be happy to know that the introduction of the new HEAD Graphene XT Prestige lineup is the best blend of modern performance and classic attributes yet. Each frame uses Graphene XT, a 30% stronger form of Graphene, in the construction. This allows HEAD to move more weight to the tip and tail, creating enhanced stability and power without having to increase the overall mass of the frames. The Prestige line also possesses a lower stiffness rating, resulting in a lower powered but more comfortable response and feel. With a variety of models in an all business cosmetic, the XT Prestige line should win over plenty of fans both old and new.
Advanced players looking for both baseline performance and strong net capabilities will find a match with the XT Prestige Pro. Its 98 inch head and 22mm beam offer an excellent blend of baseline pop and controlled response. Players will be able to attack targets from the back of the court and move in confidently behind their shots. The 11.6oz strung weight provides plenty of mass for keeping shots deep in the court and also offers strong stability against big hitters. At net the headlight balance makes reflex volleys easy while the added mass finishes volleys with ease. The 16×19 pattern offers solid spin production and the slightly tighter center string spacing provides plenty of control in order to vary your shot selection. Classic Prestige fans will also be happy to find the feel and feedback of the new model has been greatly enhanced.
The XT Prestige MP is the perfect choice for the player seeking the ultimate in low powered, controlled response. The thinner beam and 98 inch head provide exceptional directional accuracy for painting the lines. At 11.8oz strung, the MP allows players to swing aggressively and put the ball deep into the court. The extra weight also provides tremendous stability and defensive capabilities. At net, the 10pt headlight balance shines as the racquet stays maneuverable and uses its weight to make short work of any volley you attack. The 18×20 string pattern ensures that players will have supreme control over their shots and be able to target every inch of available court space.
The XT Prestige S is the most accessible model in the Prestige lineup. It shares the same nimble 98 inch head as the Pro and MP models but weighs in at 11.3oz strung. This reduced weight makes it much easier for juniors and developing players to swing and still experience the excellent precision and feel the Prestige line offers. The 22mm beam width provides a solid level of power without detracting from the racquet’s mission to be a precision weapon. The Prestige S is still a capable performer at net with the headlight balance and reduced weight making it a breeze to snap into position during quick exchanges.
Fans of the mid size frame have not been forgotten thanks to the XT Prestige Rev Pro. This model offers an absolutely surgical 93 inch head size that combines with a thin 20mm beam to offer exceptional precision and control. The low 11.1oz strung weight makes it easy for players to generate swing speed but the frame hits with the authority of a heavier model thanks to its beefed up swingweight. At net the low weight and compact head ensure the racquet moves into position swiftly and creates angles to control the point from the net. The 16×19 pattern works in tandem with the easy head speed to create solid spin levels, allowing players to play with excellent variety.
The new Graphene XT Prestige frames all represent HEAD’s strongest blending of the line’s heritage with modern sensibilities. Each model has enough power to keep the appropriate player competitive and their feel and standout control will give players the opportunity to create point changing shots from anywhere on the court. Whether you need the beefed up stability of the MP or the nimble precision of the Rev Pro, the latest Prestiges from HEAD should have no problem finding a home in your tennis bag.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.