Watch gear editor Justin diFeliciantonio hit with the Dunlop M6.0 racquet as TENNIS.com racquet advisor Bruce Levine discusses the new 6.0 series of frames:
Available: October 15
Head Size: 102 sq. in. (M); 105 sq. in. (S Lite)
Length: 27 in. (M); 27.25 in. (S Lite)
Weight*: 10.5 oz. (M); 10.1 oz. (S Lite)
Balance*: 2 pts. HL
Swingweight*: 311 (M); 296 (S Lite)
Beam Width: 22-25-25mm (M); 24-26-24mm (S Lite)
String Pattern: 16x19
Ideal Swing: Medium (M); Short to Medium (S Lite)
NTRP: 3.5 to 4.5 (M); 2.5 to 4.0 (S Lite)
*NOTE: Values represent strung frames
Racquet of choice for Dominika Cibulkova and Tommy Robredo, the Dunlop 6.0 adds two new models to the long-standing 600 line: the M6.0 and the S6.0 Lite. (Racquets labeled F are for players with full/fast swings, M for medium/moderate swings, and S for shorter/slower swings.) Both models integrate the racquet company’s latest technologies. These include Biofiber, a strong but lightweight material extracted from the stem fibers of plants, which Dunlop says is woven into the shaft to filter out unwanted racquet vibrations. They also include Aeroskin Cx, a surface–frame application that, according to the company, mimics the aerodynamics of sharkskin, enabling players to swing with greater racquet-head speed. Finally, the 6.0 features a retooled grommet system—MoS2. Fabricated from molybdenite, a near-frictionless mineral, Dunlop claims MoS2 grommets allow the stringbed to move more freely upon impact with the ball, expanding the frame’s sweet spot as well as its potential for power and spin. (For a comprehensive run-down of all the 6.0’s updates, read our recent Gear Talk with Hunter Hines, Dunlop’s Director of Marketing and Product Development, here and here.)
How It Tested
With two different models to choose from—the welterweight M6.0 and near-featherweight S6.0 Lite—the Dunlop 6.0 caters to what intermediate-level baseliners and counter-punchers have come to expect: maneuverable, spin-friendly, and stable sticks that compromise between power and control.
The M6.0 is a certainly a good fit in baseliners’ hands, what with its relatively thick beam width and generous, midplus head size. Said Bruce Levine, Racquet Advisor for Tennis Magazine, the M6.0 is formulated for players “with decent-length swings who want to get a little extra depth and giddyup on the ball. It’s not going to tire your arm out with too much weight, but it’s not super light, either. It also has good stability for its weight—not too flexible or too stiff.” Indeed, several playtesters commented favorably on the M6.0’s performance and feel in the backcourt. In the words of one 4.5 player with an aggressive baseline game, “I love the balance and how light it is for a player racquet. It played a lot like the 600 Tour that I currently use.” But if the stick struck a happy medium in hands hitting topspin drives, it lacked a measure of subtlety. “I didn’t always have the best feel when I tried to work on softer shots,” said the same playtester. A similar principle applied at the net. Players who relied on their net games said that, while the stick lacked in the touch- and drop-volley department, the racquet could be accurate enough blocking back hard-hit shots.
The S6.0 Lite, like the M6.0, is still targeted toward baseliners looking for extra power. But compared to its big brother, the S6.0 is lighter and swings even more maneuverably. While playtesters with aggressive groundstrokes said that they felt the stick lacked in control—and net-rushers discovered the stick to be much too flimsy—slower-swinging beginner-intermediates approved of the extra racquet-head speed they found all around the court, which translated into deeper shots. As such, the S6.0 is a great fit for casual players who value ease of use; otherwise, those searching for even greater power boost should probably look elsewhere, to frames with still greater head sizes and thicker beam widths.
Although the Dunlop 6.0’s thicker beams and lighter weights aren’t particularly well-suited to skilled all-courters or net-rushers, club-level baseliners (M6.0) and causal weekenders (S6.0) should enjoy the sticks extra power and breezy maneuverability around the backcourt.
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