With the Blade 98 18x20 v8, Wilson adds another chapter to one of the game’s best racquets for control and feel. At 11.4 ounces strung and boasting a beefy 325+ RDC swingweight, this Blade feels solid against pace. It also packs a traditional 18x20 string pattern along with a low 60-RA stiffness, giving it laser like targeting from the baseline and phenomenal touch at net. For 2021 Wilson keeps the revolutionary layup technology that was originally used in the Blade v7 under the name FeelFlex. It’s now called FortyFive and, in addition to increasing stability, it helps the racquet bend in ways that compliment the modern game. For this update, Wilson also introduces Direct Connect Technology which fuses the butt cap directly to the carbon fiber portion of the handle for added stability. Additional updates include Wilson’s new Chameleon Paint which activates subtle color changes under different angles and light conditions. All in all, this version of the Blade 98 18x20 checks all the right boxes. Intermediate and advanced players looking for total command over the ball will love this one. The outstanding ball feedback is a nice bonus.