Kevin Anderson made history, becoming the first South African to make the US Open semifinals in the Open era. At 6-foot-8, he might also be the tallest. Only slightly less unique to his appearance will be the stencil on his racquet: Dunlop. Once a staple of players in the final four of majors, in the hands of players like McEnroe, Graf and Mauresmo, Dunlop has become more of a niche brand in recent years. But a new partnership could bring the classic brand back to the forefront.
Srixon is better known in the U.S. for golf balls and equipment. But the Japanese brand has made significant inroads in its home country’s racquet market over the past three years. It’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, recently acquired Dunlop’s North American and European businesses, after controlling the brand in Asia for quite some time. Going forward, Dunlop racquets launched in the U.S. will use same technology as the Srixon frames popularized in Japan, with the frames displaying co-branding of both companies. Besides access to Srixon’s research and development department, Dunlop will get an influx of capital to invest in current and former Tour players.
The first results of the partnership featuring Srixon engineering is the CX and CZ lines. The six racquets are designed with Sonic Core, a silicone material that’s injected in certain parts of the frames to maximize energy transfer and minimize vibration. For the past few years, Dunlop has released more power-oriented, thicker, firm frames, such as the iDapt and Force models, but the CX and CZ racquets return more to the company’s DNA of thinner beams and classic feel.
|Name||Head Size||String Pattern||Weight (g)||Balance (mm)||Beam Width (mm)|
Dunlop Srixon CX 2.0 Tour LE 18x20
Dunlop Srixon CX 2.0
|Dunlop Srixon CX 2.0 LS||98||16x19||290||320||21/20|
|Dunlop Srixon CX 4.0||100||16x19||285||325||24|
|Dunlop Srixon CZ 98D||98||16x19||285||320||23/22/25/24|
|Dunlop Srixon CZ 100S||100||16x18||280||320||23/22/24/23|
The lines are set to be released in late September, with all six models priced at $219. Only 3000 frames will be produced for the U.S. market, and only carried at select retailers and specialty shops. Check back in the coming weeks for more information and reviews of the new Dunlop/Srixon frames.