by Will Boucek

July 15, 2021   

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Both professional and recreational tennis players have loved the Babolat Pure Drive tennis racquet since it first came out. The Pure Drive’s power, feel and control suit competitive players, while the big sweet spot helps juniors, beginners, and intermediate players learn and quickly improve their game.

In this Babolat Pure Drive review, we’ll examine Babolat’s best selling racquet and review the differences between the different Pure Drive models.


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Babolat Pure Drive Review – 2021 Model

Before we dive into the different models of this tennis racquet, we’ll review the specifications of the newest 2021 Babolat Pure Drive.

Then, we’ll cover how it compares to the other best tennis racquets on the market in terms of spin, power, control, comfort, feel, and more.

By the end of this review, you will know if this racquet is right for you, and how to choose the model of the Pure Drive that is best for you.

Babolat Pure Drive 2021 tennis racquet

Babolat Pure Drive 2021 Specifications

The technical specs of the 2021 Pure Drive are similar to previous models. Below you can see the specifications, then you’ll learn the advantages and disadvantages for each element.

Weight: 11.2 oz. strung
Head Size: 100 square inches
Length: 27 inches
Stiffness: 71
Balance: 330 mm
String Pattern: 16 x 19

Read our guide on how to choose a tennis racquet.

Babolat Pure Drive is made of graphite and weighs 11.2 ounces strung (318 g.) making it middle of the road among other top racquets.

With a 100 square inch head, there is a larger sweet spot making it a great option for all skill levels. The racquet is great for singles players and people who hit a lot of groundstrokes from the baseline.

It is the standard 27 inches long with a balance point of 330 mm, making it slightly head light and easy to swing.

The 71 stiffness rating is a bit less flexible than many racquets for club or recreational players. However, Babolat has implemented some new technologies for 2021 to help with comfort.

Read about Babolat’s other choices in our Babolat racquet reviews.

The Pure Drive Helps You Create Plenty of Spin

Babolat is known for manufacturing racquets that emphasize spin. Their Pure Drive delivers solid and easy-to-achieve spin, which suits both pros and beginners looking to learn topspin or slice groundstrokes.

This racquet derives its spin from the carefully arranged string patterns. Because the Pure Drive has a large head size, as well as a 16×19 string pattern, the strings create a lot of friction with the tennis ball on contact, helping you generate more spin than most racquets with denser string patterns.

For a similar racquet with even more spin consider the Babolat Pure Aero.

This is a Powerful Tennis Racquet

The Pure Drive series is probably best known for it’s easy power on groundstrokes and serves. It is hard to achieve this level of power while maintaining control, but the Pure Drive does it the best, allowing players to hit hard and accurate even if the shot is slightly off center.

Although not as wide as the Pure Aero, the thick frame on the Pure Drive helps with power as well. This isn’t the heaviest racquet on the market, so this combination of engineering and technology are what give it the power it has.

Pro tennis player Garbine Muguruza uses Babolat Pure Drive
Professional women’s tennis player, Garbine Muguruza, uses the Babolat Pure Drive. She is a French Open & Wimbledon Champion.

Overall this isn’t the most powerful racquet on the market, but for such an advanced racquet it is certainly well above average.

The Pure Drive has Solid Control and Feel

Probably the best update to the 2021 Pure Drive is its new feel and comfort level. The Babolat Pure Feel technology manages vibrations and provides the player with fantastic feel on every shot.

The new technology helps absorb impact without sacrificing power, creating great comfort even on slight mishits. That’s one of the things that makes this racquet so good.

The racquet is even more comfortable to control if you opt for the Pure Drive Team or Lite. Naturally, you’ll lose a bit of power on your shots, but you’ll get more control and better handling.

See our Babolat Pure Strike review for a tennis racquet with even better control and feel.

The Pure Drive Has Great Mobility and Handling

The Pure Drive 2021, like previous versions, is easy to maneuver. The racquet weighs 11.2 ounces when strung. When you pair that with the frame design, you get a racquet that cuts through the air, reduces drag, and responds well to any shot.

Those who prefer playing on the baseline will find this racquet is easy to move and swing. It is perfect for groundstrokes, whether you hit topspin or flat. You can also generate great racquet head speed and power on your serve.

We don’t recommend this racquet, however, if you mostly play at the net. Because of the large frame, you do sacrifice some mobility on volleys. If you’re a doubles player that plays from the baseline as well as the net, then you will like this racquet.

The added power and spin to your serve and groundstrokes certainly make up for the marginal loss in mobility at the net, so this is not a deal breaker.


The Babolat Pure Drive is Best for Tennis Players Who…

If you’re serious about improving your tennis game then you should consider this racquet. Whether you are a competitive or recreational tennis player, the Babolat Pure Drive is the ultimate racquet for players who want to improve quickly.

While other racquets are only good for one skill level, the Pure Drive was designed to help players of any skill level get the most out of their ability. There’s a reason this is one of the best selling racquets over the last decade.

Again, while this is a great all-around tennis racquet, it’s specifically best for singles players who seek a combination of power and control on their groundstrokes. Primarily, it was designed to be used from the baseline. It’s not that it doesn’t perform well with volleys, but it is so good in other areas, that it does sacrifice a bit here.


Different Models of the Babolat Pure Drive

The table below will help you compare each model of the Babolat Pure Drive.

Model Technical Differences Result In Performance
Click below to buy
Pure Drive 2021 N/A N/A
Pure Drive Lite Weight – 1.1 oz lighter More mobility
Less power
Pure Drive 110 Head Size – 110 square inches For beginner players only
Less mobility
Larger sweet spot

There are several different models of the Babolat Pure Drive. For most players, the 2021 model is best. If you need a little extra spin, and don’t mind slightly less comfort, the 2018 model is a great option.

However, if you are looking for something lighter or more specialized for beginners, the Lite and 110 versions might be best.


Final Thoughts on the 2021 Pure Drive Tennis Racquet

After reviewing the newest Pure Drive, it seems like Babolat is listening to their customers. Their Pure Drive racquets have always had plenty of power, but the new comfort level will make it available for even more players.

The Pure Feel technology makes the racquet easier on the arm, giving even more players a chance to use this racquet and helping prevent tennis elbow.

The Babolat Pure Drive shows unmatched performance from the baseline, delivering excellent power and spin on groundstrokes with new added comfort and feel.

If you decide to get the Babolat Pure Drive, you won’t be disappointed. This is still the best overall tennis racquet on the market because of it’s versatility for tennis players of any skill level.

Will Boucek

About the author

Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played and coached tennis for over two decades. Will is a strategy analyst for ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He also tests the latest tennis racquets, shoes, & other gear from Wilson, Babolat, Head, Prince, and other tennis brands. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments.

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