With its “best of class” combination of speed, power and spin, the Pure Drive is one of the most popular and versatile racquets ever made. Although it is weighted for intermediate players (11.2 ounces), this racquet’s outstanding playability and easy acceleration lend it an appeal that cuts across ability levels and stroke styles. For the 2018 version of the Pure Drive, Babolat retools the string bed with FSI Power Technology, which includes diamond shaped grommet holes and wider string spacing. The result is a noticeable boost in power and spin potential. Babolat also updates its Cortex dampening system with a viscoelastic rubber used in the space industry. The upshot is better dampening, more comfort and a decidedly more muted feel than past versions of the Pure Drive. On groundstrokes this version of the Pure Drive hits a powerful ball. Aggressive players who like to scramble and crank winners on the run should love this stick. The wider string spacing not only provides big spin potential, but it launches the ball at a higher trajectory, resulting in high-arching shots the come down hard and explode off the court (think heavy ball). At net the Pure Drive checks all the right boxes. It offers quick handling and big put-away power, but it also feels quite solid for its weight class. Aggressive servers will find enough power and spin to force weak replies. Babolat has made some impressive changes to the Pure Drive. Although some players may have to adjust to the slightly more muted feel, there will also be a lot of players who cannot resist this racquet’s heavy ball potential.