I have had on-and-off tennis elbow issues ever since I demoed a Babolat Pure Strike a few years ago and although I don’t think my RF97 made the condition any worse, I did think I needed a less stiff frame if I wanted to continue playing tennis for many more years to come.
I loved the control I got from my RF97 so I was looking for a racket that would give me a good level of control but without the stiffness of the RF97.
With a stiffness rating of 55, the Clash 98 V1 seemed the perfect fit.
There was a lot of hype around the launch of the Clash Series so I demoed the racket just to make sure it was a right fit for me.
*Please note that the below review is for the V1 of the Clash 98 but I hope to be able to review V2 which was released in February 2022 in the near future.
Wilson Clash 98 V1 Specs
The Wilson Clash 98 I demoed was strung with Wilson Sensation Multifilament Strings with a string tension of 50 lbs.
Below are the factory specifications for the Clash 98 but bear in mind that quality control issues can cause the racket you actually get to be +/- 10% of the below specs in terms of Strung Weight, Balance, and Swing Weight.
|Head Size:||98 in²|
|Unstrung Weight:||310 g|
|Balance:||31.5 cm / 9 pts Head Light|
|Strung Weight:||326 g|
|Swing Weight:||326 g|
|String Pattern:||16 x 19|
Wilson Clash 98 V1 Review
The racket really excelled from the back of the court and provided me with a good balance of power, control, and spin on both my forehand and my backhand.
I also felt it was a lot more forgiving on off center shots than my old RF97.
One thing I always worry about when switching to a lighter frame than my RF97 is whether the lower weight affects the quality of my backhands.
I definitely thought I lost a tiny bit on the backhand side in terms of control but this was compensated by the additional power I got on my forehand side.
The racket was also good at helping me add some extra topspin on my shots without making any changes to my technique.
Many times I would hit a groundstroke and I would think that it was going to sail long but somehow it would land in.
With a low stiffness rating of 55, I also felt like I could play for hours without having any arm or elbow issues as it is definitely the most arm friendly frame I have ever played with.
Overall, I would give the racket 8 out of 10 on groundstrokes.
The racket felt great with my serve as it gave me the feeling that I could just pick my target and go for it and it would land in the service box. In comparison to my old RF97, I definitely felt like I got a few extra MPH on my serve.
In terms of absolute precision on the serve, I think the RF97 is better but I think the balance of power and control you get on your serve will be better for the vast majority of recreational players.
On my second serves, I felt like I was able to get a good amount of topspin so that I could be more aggressive with my second serves.
Overall, I would give the racket 9 out of 10 on serves.
Return of Serve (8/10)
I had no issues in terms of my return of serve as I felt it was a solid racket on both my forehand and backhand returns.
I also felt like if I missed the sweet spot, I had some chance of getting my return over the net when compared to returns using my old RF97.
Where I really think this racket excelled was returning weak second serves as I felt like I could really go for my shots.
Overall, I would give the racket, 8 out of 10 on the return of serve.
I really wasn’t expecting the Clash 98 to be anywhere near as good as my old RF97 when it came to volleys.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by how good and how stable the frame was at the net.
It definitely has a different feel to the RF97 and it does take a little time to adjust to it but when you do it is a real weapon at the net.
Overall, I would give the racket 9 out of 10 on volleys.
Overall Score (8.5/10)
Overall, It is very hard to find anything wrong with this racket as it provides an excellent balance of power, control, and spin.
Its arm friendliness is also worth its weight in gold as I am now able to play for two hours and not feel anything in my arm the next day.
If you are a Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph user and/or you have a one handed backhand and you are looking for a lighter and more arm friendly option to switch to, then I can highly recommend the Clash 98.
Where can you buy the Wilson Clash 98 V1
You will find the Clash 98 in most good online tennis shops like Tennis Warehouse, Tennis Express, and Amazon (see link below).
Version 1 is currently on sale but Wilson released Version 2 in 2022, with only small changes being made.
If you want to buy it and you want to support our site then consider purchasing it through Amazon by clicking on the button below as we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.