Babolat Pure Drive vs Wilson Blade 98

In this article, I will do a comparison of the Babolat Pure Drive vs Wilson Blade 98 to see which of these tennis rackets will suit common player types e.g. baseliner or all court player.

Both of these rackets have been around for years with the first Pure Drive being released by Babolat in 1994 and the first Blade 98 being released by Wilson in 2006.

The Pure Drive and Blade 98 are very popular on the ATP and WTA tours with many players using pro stock versions of the racket e.g. Stefanos Tsitsipas, David Goffin, and Garbine Muguruza.

Babolat Pure Drive vs Wilson Blade 98

Babolat Pure Drive vs Wilson Blade 98

For this comparison will be using the 2021 version of the Babolat Pure Drive and the V8 16×19 version of the Wilson Blade 98.

There is no 18×20 version of the Pure Drive so I will only be using the 16×19 version of the Blade 98 in my comparisons below.

Racket Specs Comparison

Racket SpecsBabolat Pure DriveWilson Blade 98
Version:2021V8
Picture:Babolat Pure DriveWilson Blade 98
Head Size:100in98in
Length:27in27in
Strung Weight:318g (11.2oz)320g (11.3oz)
Balance:4 pts HL5 pts HL
Swingweight:320g317g
TW Stiffness Rating:7161
Beam Width:23mm / 26mm / 23mm21mm
Composition:GraphiteGraphite
Racket Colours:Blue and BlackGreen and Black
String Pattern:16 Mains * 19 Crosses16 Mains * 19 Crosses
Grip:Babolat Syntec ProWilson Pro Performance

Head Size

One of the main differences between the two tennis rackets is their head size with the head size of the Blade 98 (98in) being two inches smaller than the Pure Drive (100in).

The bigger head size on the Pure drive will mean it has a bigger sweet spot and more power potential but this will come at the cost of control and maneuverability.

Racket Length

Like the majority of tennis rackets on the market today, the Pure Drive and Blade 98 have a standard 27in racket length.

Racket Strung Weight, Swing Weight, and Balance

The Blade 98 has a slightly heavier strung weight (320g) when compared with the Pure Drive (318g) but the difference is too small to tell the difference when holding these tennis rackets in your hand.

Despite having a lower strung weight, the pure drive has a heavier swing weight (320g) when compared with the Blade 98 (317g).

This is mainly due to the Pure Drive (4pts HL) having a less head light balance than the Blade 98 (5pts HL).

Tennis Racket Stiffness

The Blade 98 has a lower stiffness rating (61) when compared with the stiffness rating of the Pure Drive (71) so over the long term, the Blade 98 is likely to be the more arm friendly tennis racket.

Having played with both of these rackets, I didn’t have any elbow or arm issues but if you have had tennis elbow issues in the past, then your best bet is the Wilson Blade 98.

Beam Width

As the more powerful of the two tennis rackets, the Pure Drive has a thicker beam width when compared with the Blade 98.

FAQ

Are these tennis rackets good for beginners?

They aren’t the worst tennis rackets for beginners but I definitely think there are better options out there e.g. Wilson Clash UL.

Which Racket is better for One Handed Backhand Players?

You can make both of these rackets work with a one handed backhand but the Wilson Blade 98 definitely has the edge in terms of playability for one handed backhand players.

Which Tennis Racket is more Arm Friendly?

The Blade 98 has a lower stiffness rating and I found it to be the more arm friendly of the two tennis rackets.

Is the Babolat Pure Drive a Stiff Tennis Racket?

Yes, the Babolat Pure Drive is a relatively stiff racket with a stiffness rating of 71.

What Tennis Pros use the Babolat Pure Drive and Wilson Blade 98 16×19?

The Babolat Pure Drive is endorsed by the following tennis pros on the ATP and WTA Tours: Fabio Fognini, Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, and Sofia Kenin, while the Wilson Blade 98 16×19 is endorsed by Jenson Brooksby, Alex de Minaur, Paula Badosa, Amanda Anisimova, Simona Halep, Emma Raducanu, and Elina Svitolina.

Are the rackets Head Light or Head Heavy?

Both the Pure Drive and Blade 98 are Head Light (HL) tennis rackets.