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Prince Phantom 100X 18x20 Racquet Review

Price: $149.00MSRP: $199.00
Overall 83
Groundstrokes 84
Volleys 83
Serves 82
Returns 80
Power 76
Control 85
Maneuverability 83
Stability 80
Comfort 90
Touch/Feel 86
Topspin 81
Slice 83

Summary

When it comes to racquets with a 100-square-inch head size, few offer the level of feel and comfort that this Prince Phantom 100X 18x20 provides. A second version of the Phantom Pro 100 18x20, this racquet has been updated with Textreme X, which adds Twaron to the Textreme technology to improve stability and enhance vibration dampening. Prince also made a slight increase to the beam width to add some power to this very control-oriented racquet. Even with the new tech, this racquet remains true to previous 100-square-inch Prince racquets going all the way back to the likes of the Pro Tour 100 18x20 and the OZONE Pro Tour. If you are a fan of the past Prince offerings in this spec range or are in search of a racquet offering a high level of comfort, feel and control with a large sweetspot, the Phantom 100X 18x20 is a must-try.

Upsides

  • Control
  • Feel
  • Easy to maneuver for its weight

Downsides

  • Lacks some plow through

Bottom Line

Unlike most 100-square-inch head size racquets nowadays, this one offers a ton of control, feel and comfort. This racquet also maneuvers with ease, considering its 11.8-ounce strung weight.

Groundstrokes - Score: 84

With its large sweetspot and plush feel on contact, the Prince Phantom 100X 18x20 was a star at the baseline. Coming in at 11.3 ounces unstrung, it is built to a player's-racquet spec. With that in mind, the maneuverability was rather impressive. Julie explained, "I didn't check the racquet to see what the specs were before going into my first couple of hitting sessions. After looking at the specs, I honestly never thought the racquet would be 320 grams unstrung, considering how maneuverable it felt. It even felt a bit faster through the air than my Tecnifibre TF40 305, which is 15 grams lighter. The 100-square-inch head size provided me with a large sweetspot, and I could easily generate racquet head speed, which translated into more power than I expected. The slightly larger head size of this Phantom 100X 18x20 awarded me with added power and spin, but I wanted a bit more precision, which I find with my TF40 305."

The Phantom 100X 18x20 falls right into Mark's wheelhouse, and it matches up very well with his racquet of choice. He said, "For my baseline game, it does not get much better than this. The upper 11-ounce strung weight, 18x20 pattern, thin-beam construction and large sweetspot made it easy for me to hit my heavy topspin groundstrokes. There was enough mass to help me block back shots from a defensive position. For an 18x20 pattern, this racquet generated good topspin and slice. Like my Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro, I found enough control and precision to place my groundstrokes near the lines with confidence."

Michelle has tried out a few Phantoms, and she found this 100X 18x20 to be the most forgiving from the baseline. She said, "Of the three Phantoms that I tested (93P 18x20, 97P and 100X 18x20), this racquet definitely had the largest sweetspot. Given the weight and swingweight of this racquet, I found it to swing explosively fast. With the lower powered response and control-oriented string pattern, this racquet let me attack balls with confidence. Despite the dense string pattern, I still felt comfortable clearing the net with all the RPMs I needed when looking to add some arc to my shots. My biggest gripe was a lack of stability against bigger hitters. When I was facing shots hit deeply with a lot of pace this racquet sort of fluttered in my hands. To be fair, my Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph is very stable on contact, so when something doesn't match that level of stability, I am quick to notice."

Troy has been a big fan of the older iterations of this spec of Prince racquet, and he made some comparisons. He said, "This Phantom 100X 18x20 is right up there with those older versions as far as being very forgiving and controllable from the baseline. This racquet likely offers the most control for a 100-square-inch head size, and I loved the large sweetspot. It almost has the same combination of a huge sweetspot and low-powered feel that you would find with an old Head Radical Oversize. Taking the ball on the rise and redirecting pace was easy with this racquet. I wasn't necessarily blasting a ton of winners, but taking time away and running my opponents all over the court worked well for my baseline game."

Prince Phantom 100X 18x20 Racquet view 2

Volleys - Score: 83

When coming to net, the playtest team made good use of the Phantom 100X 18x20's weight and large sweetspot. Mark described, "I felt very connected to all of my shots when playing with this Phantom 100X 18x20, especially with regard to my volleys. Between its hefty weight, tight pattern and thin-beam frame construction, I really got the feeling that I was sticking my volleys with heavy pace, and I could achieve easy depth. Even though the sweetspot is substantial, I still found enough precision to volley at small targets."

Although this Phantom 100X 18x20 weighs more than her racquet of choice, Julie still found plenty to like on her volleys. She said, "This racquet felt stable when I was facing hard-hit shots, and it allowed me to block the ball back easily. I think the heavier weight of this racquet really helped compensate for the low stiffness. With that being said, the flexibility of this racquet provided nice touch and feel when hitting drop volleys. I prefer the added pop I get on my volleys with my Tecnifibre TF40 305, but the Phantom 100X 18x20's flexible feel made it great for being crafty."

Thanks to the Phantom 100X 18x20's speed and maneuverability, the volley was one of Michelle's favorite shots to hit during this playtest. She said, "This racquet felt fast and easy to manipulate when I went to the net. I loved to attack with my swinging volleys because it swung quickly and still offered me great targeting. As with the other Phantoms, this racquet shone at net, providing a ton of feel and responsiveness, whether hitting aggressive or touch volleys. While I struggled with stability from the baseline, I didn't have any issues at net."

Like Michelle, Troy found this racquet to be effective when charging the net. He explained, "A couple of standout features of this racquet on my volleys were the large sweetspot and easy maneuverability. Although this racquet is just shy of 12 ounces on the scale, it feels very head light and maneuverable when hitting volleys. I loved the large sweetspot and fast feel while playing doubles. This allowed me to be aggressive at the net, and I didn't have to focus much on hitting the sweetspot. There was a bit of instability against hard-hit shots, but nothing a little tungsten tape can't fix."

Prince Phantom 100X 18x20 Racquet view 3

Serves - Score: 82

Our playtesters didn't find massive power from the Phantom 100X 18x20 on serves, but the racquet's easy maneuverability allowed them to generate ample pace. Mark said, "Of the three Phantoms that I playtested (93P 18x20, 93P 14x18 and 100X 18x20), this racquet was by far the easiest for me to serve with. The weight of this racquet was right in my wheelhouse, and it made it easy for me to develop easy pace. Directional control was superb, allowing me to locate my targets consistently. The plow through of this racquet helped me generate power, but I found that I had to exert some extra energy to get offensive-level serve speed."

Compared to her racquet of choice, Julie found this Phantom 100X 18x20 to offer a lively feel. She explained, "The head-light balance and the big sweetspot helped me generate more power than my Tecnifibre TF40 305. I found this racquet to perform especially well on flat serves — my first serves down the T were on fire! The round head shape helped me generate plenty of spin on kick serves. I would have liked just a bit more plow through on my serves, though, and I think a little added weight to the hoop would help that."

The power was not quite at the level Michelle prefers, but she still found this racquet to work well for her game. She said, "I found myself trying to swing big and fast, knowing that it had a lower powered response. I wouldn't say I was blowing anyone off the court with massive first serve speeds, but I could hit my targets consistently and put my opponents in a defensive position. The maneuverability of this racquet helped me to carve the outside of the ball and generate aggressive slice. Despite the 18x20 string pattern, I was happy with how well I could hit my slice and kick serves."

Troy's evaluation pretty much matched Michelle's. He added, "Slice and kick serves were working very well for me with this racquet in my hand. The relatively large spin window, which I attribute to the 100-square-inch head size and thin beam, allowed me to carve the edge of the ball aggressively. As a lefty, my favorite serve to hit was the wide kick serve from the deuce side. I could generate a lot of arc and push my opponent up against the fence. My control and consistency were good, and I could find the corners of the service box with ease. It was not as precise as the Phantom 93P 18x20, but I was rewarded with a little more free power out of this Phantom 100X 18x20. This racquet wasn't overwhelming me with power on serves, but my consistency made up for it."

Prince Phantom 100X 18x20 Racquet view 4

Returns - Score: 80

Returns were one area where the playtesters couldn't come to a consensus. With this Phantom 100X 18x20 performing a lot like his racquet of choice, Mark felt dialed-in on his returns. He said, "My return of serve is usually a weaker part of my game, but this racquet turned out to be one of the best for helping me effectively execute that particular shot. It was heavy enough to feel stable against big serves, and the head-light balance and thin-beam profile helped me time the ball well against fast servers. I especially liked returning serves that were aimed high on my backhand side. I was comfortable hitting both through and under the ball."

Michelle craved more heft on returns. She said, "I really felt like I needed more stability against big servers. This racquet felt somewhat on the flimsy side when facing a hard hit serve, but I think this could be an easy fix with a little tungsten tape. On the positive side, I felt comfortable teeing off on weaker serves and attacking. This was a fun racquet to attack slow-moving kick serves because I could step up to the bounce and crush the ball on the rise. I also felt good executing backhand returns cross court on the ad side, especially in doubles. The Phantom 100X 18x20 came through so fast I could get that ball down at the feet of any opponent."

Troy added, "I enjoyed everything about this racquet on my returns; I just wanted a bit more plow through. The soft feel and the large sweetspot made me feel confident when stepping in to take the serve early. My two-handed backhand return felt very smooth and comfortable, even if I made contact slightly off-center. With a little more weight in the hoop for stability and plow through, this would be a dream racquet for returns. I also think that a slightly extended length version of this racquet would be amazing, and it could really help to make my two-handed backhand return a weapon."

Julie found it a bit difficult to control the depth of her returns. She explained, "I found decent power, but I wanted easier depth and precision when returning aggressively. I found consistency when I took some pace off and added spin to my returns. As I became more and more consistent with my returns, I was able to swing faster and hit more powerfully. With that being said, I never felt confident enough to attempt riskier returns like I would with my Tecnifibre TF40 305."

Overall - Score: 83

Likes

Julie - "The easy maneuverability helps me generate power and spin, considering this is a control-oriented racquet."

Mark - "There really is not one aspect of the Phantom 100X 18x20 I did not appreciate. It is pretty low powered, but I never get tired playing with this racquet. Its comfort level is very high, and it maneuvers well for its weight."

Michelle - "Fast swinging, with a large and forgiving sweetspot, as well as great precision for a 100-square-inch head size."

Troy - "There is a ton of control and feel for a 100-square-inch head size. With the large sweetspot and comfortable feel on contact, I loved to stand at the baseline, take the ball on the rise and dictate points."

Dislikes

Julie - "I would have liked some added weight in the hoop to increase plow through and depth on my shots."

Mark - "No real complaints, other than a slightly low launch angle. This is improved when it's strung with a thin gauge, shaped co-poly string."

Michelle - "I would like to customize this racquet a little to add some swingweight. I also think this racquet would play great with a slightly extended length."

Troy - "Some added mass in the hoop would help increase the stability and put-away power. As an extended racquet user, this racquet would be fun to try in a 27.5-inch length."

Comparing the racquet to others they've tried, our testers said:

Julie - "This Prince Phantom 100X 18x20 feels more powerful than my Tecnifibre TF40 305, and it has a bigger sweetspot. I think it is more spin-friendly as well. With my Tecnifibre, I find more precision and a slightly more solid feel on contact."

Mark - "I found similarities to the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro, Tecnifibre TF40 315, ProKennex Ki Q+ Tour Pro (325) and Babolat Pure Strike VS Tour."

Michelle - "The Prince Phantom 100X 18x20 reminds me of the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro, but with a slightly lower powered feel. The Gravity Pro provides easier put-away power, and I could tell that this Phantom 100X 18x20 feels more flexible on contact. I would also compare it to the Wilson Blade 98 18x20 v7, but this Phantom 100X 18x20 feels a lot more flexible and offers more feel. The Blade 98 18x20 v7 provides more plow through and swingweight behind the ball."

Troy - "This Phantom 100X 18x20 falls right in line with the Prince O3 Tour Midplus, OZONE Pro Tour, EXO3 Tour 100 18x20 and Prince Phantom Pro 100 18x20. All of these racquets offer a lot of control and a very arm-friendly response, but not a lot of free power. I would also compare this racquet to the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro, Wilson Ultra Tour, Yonex VCORE Pro 100 and ProKennex Ki 5 (320)."

Technical Specifications
Length27 in69 cm
Head Size100 sq in645 sq cm
Weight11.8 oz335 gm
Balance Point12.4 in 31 cm9pts Head Light
Construction22mm / 20.5mm / 18mm
CompositionTextreme/Twaron/Graphite
String Pattern18 Mains / 20 Crosses
Babolat RDC Ratings
ScoreGrade
Flex Rating59Range: 0-100
Swing Weight324Range: 200-400
 
Troy's Scores
Power7.6Serves8.3
Control8.7Groundstrokes9
Maneuverability8.7Returns8.8
Stability8.3Slice8.7
Comfort9.5Topspin8
Touch/Feel8.7Volleys8.2
Overall8.5
Michelle's Scores
Power7.2Serves8.5
Control9Groundstrokes8
Maneuverability8.5Returns7.8
Stability7.5Slice8
Comfort9.5Topspin8
Touch/Feel8.8Volleys9
Overall8.2
Julie's Scores
Power8.4Serves8.1
Control8.4Groundstrokes8.1
Maneuverability8.1Returns7.8
Stability8.3Slice7.9
Comfort8.6Topspin8.5
Touch/Feel9Volleys8.1
Overall8.5
Mark's Scores
Power7Serves8
Control8Groundstrokes8.5
Maneuverability8Returns7.5
Stability8Slice8.5
Comfort8.5Topspin8
Touch/Feel8Volleys8
Overall8
Price: $149.00MSRP: $199.00

Playtester Profiles

Troy: 5.0 lefty all-court player with a full Western Forehand and a two-handed backhand. Troy currently plays with a Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330.

Michelle: Open level baseline player with a semi-western forehand and a two handed backhand. She currently plays with the Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph.

Julie: An open level aggressive baseliner. She hits a western forehand and two-handed backhand. She is currently using the Tecnifibre TF40 305.

Mark: 5.0 lefty all-court player with a one-handed backhand. He currently plays with the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro.

Play Tester Profiles
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