Babolat’s most popular performance racket line received technological upgrades with the launch of the brand-new Babolat Pure Drive 2021. The racket in the hands of Grand Slam tournament winners from Carlos Moya’s 1998 Roland-Garros victory to the 2020 Australian Open title for American Sofia Kenin continues its focus on “explosive power” for the 2021 refresh.
“Working on such an iconic racket is a real challenge every time,” says Olivier Carlier, Babolat Pure Drive product manager. “We need to consider design trends, the game’s evolution, or even anticipate players’ needs while keeping the traditional Pure Drive DNA — strong reputation of power and versatility with the iconic blue color.”
The Pure Drive 2021 adds a high torsional rigidity system to improve stability and a Smac Wrap eXtended technology to improve vibration filtering. Carlier says the new Pure Drive isn’t about adding more power, but more explosivity. “We noticed that players often hit the ball earlier to go for winners,” he says. “Overall, the players did not need more power, but more stability and feel at impact.”
The high torsional rigidity technology, then, offers a specific lay-up located in the racket hoop to increase the torsional rigidity of the frame, optimizing the energy return of the frame and especially on off-center hits. “The advantage,” Carlier says, “is a player can hit a winner at will with better stability and forgiveness at impact.” The design also creates a more efficient baseline stroke that doesn’t lose power.
The feel focused Smac Wrap eXtended technology filters vibrations for better feel of the ball, the brand