Having not settled into a long term committed racket relationship yet I got to thinking “what else do I have in the house already that I should reconsider”. The Angell TC100 63RA was one of the rackets that came to mind.
Before going any further I should just highlight why I was even thinking about something else.
I had been playing a lot with the Prince Phantom Pro 100 racket. That is about the most comfortable racket you are going to come across, which is the principle reason for my using it in the first place. It is a low powered racket though, and what I was noticing was having to work so hard to get out of service games. I’ve got a decent serve, so this is a pretty unfamiliar position for me. I recall in one game especially where it felt like I was having to fight for what felt like 10 minutes, to get out of a deuce struggle. I tested the theory (in the same match) by changing to my Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 (ProjectOne7) and a Head Graphene Touch Prestige MP and was able to get out of service games to love or 15. That was an eye opener!
When I first tried the TC100 it was after playing with the Prince Phantoms for a period. The Phantoms make any other racket you play with feel like a Pure Drive, and that’s the category that I quickly put the TC100 in the first time around. That is where I was wrong, and why this is a retraction of sorts. When you consider the TC100 against other frames, like the Pure Aero, Prestige Pro, Blade 98 etc, then you recognise the comfort that the TC100 actually delivers.
There in a thread on the Tennis Warehouse forum that is a few hundred pages long. That many people talking about a product in such a positive way has to get your attention. So with that in mind I found the Angell TC100 63 RA in a storage bag. It was strung with Babolat Xcel from the previous time I tried it. Lately I’ve been using Völkl Cyclone (18L gauge), so I figured to give the TC100 a fair comparison with other frames I’ve been playing a quick restring (Sergetti of course) was necessary. What was really interesting after the restring is that the TC100 seemed more comfortable and stable with Cyclone than it did with Xcel. The weight, balance and swingweight were the same with both strings so that was unexpected.
Next up was a visit to the court to give it a swing. I found myself noticing how accurate and deep shots were. It was almost like I had laser sighting enabled, where I looked the ball seemed to go. Shots were arriving with so much topspin that it was really creating an issue for my hitting partner. He was often finding himself being rushed by the ball coming on to him, or the ball bouncing higher than expected and having to readjust the swing plane.
My of my reservations with the Angell has been an experience with the grommets cutting with a shaped poly string. Völkl Cyclone is shaped, but it has more “sides” than something like Solinco Hyper-G (the string I had problems with). After a couple of restrings and several hours playing I’m happy to report no such issue so far.
A slight deviation now. Many contributors to the Tennis Warehouse forum love a string called RS Lyon in the Angell rackets. I bought a few sets so that I could see wha the fuss is about. What I witnessed was a huge loss of topspin, relative to Völkl Cyclone, and balls landing a bit too deep (likely directly as a result in the reduction of spin). An increase in tension would bring the depth back to where it needed to be. But it just wasn’t better, in my opinion, to consider that being an option for me in the Angell racket.
So at the end of the day the Angell TC100 63RA could actually become a real contender for me. The rackets it’s up against are the Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 (ProjectOne7), which I have a lot of experience with, and the Head Graphene Touch Prestige Pro.
My previous comments on the Angell TC100 63RA can be found in this earlier post.