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The Wilson Shift is a great racquet for power and spin, especially from the baseline, without sacrificing control. Below, we’ll review the Wilson Shift, including the pros, cons, and different models of the Wilson’s newest line of racquets. We’ll also compare it to some of the best tennis racquets on the market to help you decide if the Shift is right for you.
Review Summary & Ratings for the Wilson Shift
The Shift is a great tennis racquet for beginners or intermediate players seeking more power and spin from the baseline, and it is also playable at the advanced level thanks to a tighter 18×20 string pattern and heavier weight in the Shift 99 Pro.
The Shift comes in a few different weights and string patterns, providing options for multiple skill levels. The Shift is a great racquet for those wanting to add some spin to their game as well.
See our ratings, plus the pros and cons of the Wilson Shift below for a quick glance at how it performs compared to other tennis racquets.
Our Ratings for the Wilson Shift
- Power: 8
- Control: 7
- Spin: 8
- Serve: 8
- Return: 7
- Groundstrokes: 8
- Volleys: 6
- Price: $$$
- Excellent spin potential
- Great for players who swing big from the baseline
- Lightweight & easy to swing
- Can lose control when swing speed decreases
- Not great on volleys or touch shots
Different Versions of the Wilson Shift Tennis Racquet
We’ll review each version in more detail below.
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Wilson Shift 99 Review: A Spin-Lover’s Racquet
We’ll start with the standard version, the Wilson Shift 99. Below are the specifications and on-court performance you should expect from this racquet.
Wilson Shift 99 Racquet Specifications
- Weight: 11.2 oz. strung
- Head Size: 99 square inches
- Length: 27 inches
- Balance: 323.9 mm
- String Pattern: 16×20
- Swingweight: 317
- Stiffness: 67
Read our guide on how to choose a tennis racquet.
The 99 square-inch head, thick beam, and fairly stiff frame optimize spin potential. The sweet spot is generous and it’s also a fairly lightweight tennis racquet, making it easy to swing.
The Shift 99 Racquet Prioritizes Topspin & Power
With this tennis racquet, Wilson has prioritized spin potential. Check out some of the other top tennis racquets for spin.
You’ll find it easy to pick up the Shift and start hitting from the baseline. The topspin generated helps keep groundstrokes in play when swinging out. It is light and maneuverable so it won’t tire you out when going deep into a third set.
The Shift is also surprisingly stable, even on off-center shots.
Where the Shift does have some trouble is when you slow down your swing. If you tend to play down to your opponents or tense up in big situations, it may not be the racquet for you. But if you love swinging out and controlling the court with spin, give the Shift a try.
The Shift 99 is Great for Groundstrokes and Spin Serves
The Shift 99 performs best on groundstrokes and spin serves.
- On groundstrokes, the Shift is easy to swing and provides great spin. It can start to lose control on flatter or slower groundstrokes.
- On volleys, the racquet has great maneuverability and solid stability. However, the Shift also has a muted feel that could turn some players away.
- On returns, the Shift performs great when swinging confidently. Tentative returners or those who tend to slice their returns may struggle.
- On serves, again, the Shift does a great job providing ample spin when swinging out.
Overall, the Shift is great for players who like to dictate the point from the baseline with spin.
Reviewing Other Versions of the Wilson Shift
The other versions of the Shift are better for players of a lower skill level.
|Shift 99 Pro||Shift 99L|
|A heavier version at 11.7oz (strung) with a denser 18×20 string pattern.||A lighter 10.6oz (strung) version|
|Better for advanced players hitting against heavier ball||Better for beginners and intermediates gaining the confidence to swing faster.|
|Denser 18×20 string pattern offers slightly more control.||Lighter weight increases maneuverability to help with reactions at the net.|
|Buy the Shift 99 Pro on Tennis Warehouse||Buy the Shift 99L on Tennis Warehouse|
The Best Alternatives to the Wilson Shift
Below are several tennis racquets similar to the Wilson Shift that you might consider.
- Head Speed MP – Another maneuverable racquet that swings fast through the air with better feel than the Shift.
- Wilson Ultra 100 v4 – This racquet offers a little more power than the Shift while sacrificing stability.
- Babolat Pure Strike 100 – Similarly well-rounded with a little more control compared to the Wilson Shift.
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My Experience Playing with the Wilson Shift
I played with the Wilson Shift 99 during a few sets as well as some doubles drills.
The racquet felt great immediately after picking it up and hitting groundstrokes. It seemed to be a mix between the Wilson Clash and Wilson Ultra for me. It’s a little more powerful than the Clash, but not in the same category as other top tennis racquets for power like the Wilson Ultra.
When serving, the Wilson Shift made it easy to create spin. I was able to hit great kick serves and slice serves. Because it is a light racquet for me, though, I felt my accuracy was a bit off, and my serves tended to land a little short if I forgot to keep my racquet head speed up.
On returns and volleys, the Shift surprised me with solid stability I needed against hard-hit balls, but it felt a little muted, so I didn’t feel very connected to the ball on some shots. For beginner and lower-level intermediate players, the maneuverability should help you react quickly to difficult shots.
I actually prefer the Head Speed MP tennis racquet over the Shift. It had better feel for me, while still providing excellent stability. However, beginner and lower-level players might prefer the Shift.
After testing and reviewing the Wilson Shift, I think it’s a great tennis racquet for intermediate players who like to play from the baseline. The racquet can help singles players control the point with spin, power, and depth.