Hot on the heels of the freshly updated CX 200 Tour 18 x 20, Dunlop has added a new variation to the model line. The new Dunlop Srixon CX 200 Tour 16 x 19 retains the same core technologies but offers a more open string pattern for easier spin production and a slightly lighter weight for extra swing speed. Dunlop continues to use Infinergy from BASF, a responsive foam added in key areas of the hoop for 37% better vibration reduction than the original Sonic Core. Power Grid String Techprovides slightly bigger cross string spacing at the top of the hoop for higher spin production and response in the area most players make contact. This new model aims to retain the classic feel and precision of the 18 x 20 but offer better spin and depth. Having already tested the 18 x 20, I was eager to see how this new version would measure up.
No matter the string pattern, The Dunlop CX 200 Tour series was all about precision from the back of the court. The 95 inch head dropped my groundstrokes on a dime off both wings. The 20.5 mm beam didn’t pack much free power but the lighter 11.4 oz strung weight of this model did allow me to add some swing speed for generating pace. This string pattern also made it easier for me to get a higher trajectory on the ball and place it deeper into the court more consistently than the 18 x 20 model. Additional spin came from the wider string spacing at the top and the headlight balance. I had more lift on my backhand with this version and was able vary the height of the ball a bit easier with the Tour 16 x 19. Timing was critical off the ground with this frame as there wasn’t much forgiveness from such a small head size if I mistimed my shots. Despite the weight reduction, I found the racquet to feel solid and stable and it only fluttered when trying to redirect exceptionally hard hit balls. The speedy feel made it effective on defense as well as I was able to snap the head through on the run and flick more winners from defensive positions than I expected.
Volleys & Serves
Volleying with the CX 200 Tour 16 x 19 proved to be a joy. It played incredibly fast at net and maneuvering it into position during volley exchanges was virtually automatic. It had enough mass to effectively finish balls with minimal risk of overcooking them. I was able to create sharp angles and drive volleys deep into the corners. The thin beam and more flexible nature allowed for easy touch and drop volleying. At times when volleying defensively, I missed the slightly higher weight of the 18 x 20 but overall this frame played with solid stability when fighting off pace at the net.
Much like it’s 18 x 20 sibling, the CX 200 Tour 16 x 19 was a little more challenging to serve with. This was where I was most hampered by its low power nature. I was able to generate solid pace thanks to the racquet head speed I could generate. The problem was that it took more energy to do so and I wore down faster as the match went on, compared to my usual racquet that can equal the pace with less effort from me. Spot serving was incredibly effective with this racquet. I was consistently able to serve to essentially any spot I wanted to in the box. This proved very disruptive and made up somewhat for the slightly lower pace of my first serve. Spin production on my second serve was much improved with the 16 x 19 model. The more open pattern and faster swinging feel allowed me to put more action on my kick and slice serves. I especially enjoyed sliding slice serves down the T on the deuce side and out wide on in the ad court. The racquet did a great job of making those serves tail away from returners, letting me set up to go after an aggressive target with the first strike.
The CX 200 Tour 16 x 19 continued Dunlop’s ability to blend classic feel with modern technology. Infinergy was a step up from the first generation Sonic Core in its ability to absorb vibration but provide feedback on contact. I could feel the frame flexing and pocketing the ball on contact, instantly bringing back to the feel of the racquets I grew up with. The string bed was well connected without being overly mushy and it lent itself well to a variety of delicate shotmaking. I noticed a bit more buzzing off center than I was expecting so sensitive players may want to utilize a softer string setup to ensure the racquet plays as comfortable as possible outside the sweet spot.
Traditionalists and advanced players looking for something that is fast swinging and control oriented will like this new addition to the Dunlop Tour line. It offers precise targeting, fast reflexes and enough spin to play with variety. The Dunlop Srixon CX 200 Tour 16 x 19 will be a great weapon in the hands of any skilled all court player who puts a premium on responsiveness, feel and precision.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke formerly served for 3 years as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho. He is a PTR certified coach and is an active USTA 4.5 League and Tournament player.