The Blade 98 16×19 lives on! Although this racquet has the same target specs as the previous generation, Wilson has given it the ultra sleek and silky paint finish found in the Pro Staff series. With its grippy 16×19 string pattern, this racquet will give you bigger power and spin than you’ll find with the 18×20 version, but thankfully it still manages to deliver the precision and feel for which the Blade series is known. New to this model is Countervail technology, which uses a special carbon layer to enhance the already impressive dampening provided by the braided Basalt/Graphite layup. The overall result, according to Wilson, is increased arm-protection and less muscle fatigue. Thanks to its Parallel Drilling technology, this racquet’s string bed is better able to absorb vibration and transfer extra energy to the ball. On groundstrokes the Blade 98 16×19 delivers a smooth feel and controllable power. Big swings are rewarded with penetrating depth, and the high spin-potential delivers phenomenal command over the ball’s trajectory and depth. Although this stick boasts a speedy 11.3 ounce weight, there’s enough mass in the head to keep the racquet steady when trading heavy balls or redirecting the pace of a big serve. The solid feel continues at net where the Blade packs enough punch to finish points with a bang. Aggressive servers will find enough precision to target the corners of the box with pace and spin. With incremental updates to the feel and an amazingly sleek black cosmetic, Wilson continues the legacy of this light but solid player’s racquet. A worthy demo for anyone who wants controllable power, great feel and easy access to spin.