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Dunlop CX 400 Tour

Dunlop CX 400 Tour review

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Dunlop are one of those well known tennis racket brands that have had their ups and downs but now, with wealthy Japanese owners, they are enjoying a renaissance. Two new racket ranges in the SX and FX have delivered modern, quality rackets but could the same success now come from an upgraded CX range? We eagerly anticipated the chance to test the new Dunlop CX 400 Tour

 

Background

The CX series is Dunlop’s control focussed range and was updated in late 2020 with new technology and design. Kevin Anderson is Dunlop’s most high profile tour player to use the CX range. The range includes 7 different frames to suit all styles of player with each racket aimed at delivering a differing mix of control or power enhancing qualities. The CX 400 that we are reviewing is towards the power end of the range’s spectrum as we felt this would be best suited for a club player.

 


Buy this racket…

To help you feel confident when purchasing this racket we’ve teamed up with a trusted retail partner, AllThingsTennis.co.uk, to make sure you get the best price combined with free premium tennis balls, next day delivery (UK only) and fantastic advice from tennis equipment experts.

To take advantage of all these benefits simply follow this link to purchase the Dunlop CX 400 Tourwith an exclusive 5% Tennishead discount.


 

Technology

The tech updates that were added to the CX range are focussed on three areas:

‘Flex Booster’ is said to offer a ‘high-elasticity, vibration-damping layer in the shaft area that filters out vibrations giving players a less stiff, more fleible feeling.’

‘Sonic Core’ which Dunlop say is a ‘super elastic material that dampens impact shock and reduces frame vibrations by up to 37%, resulting in a more comfortable hitting sensation and a reduced chance of injury.’

And for the strings there is now ‘Power Grid String Tech’ that ‘creates a 30% larger sweet spot, evenly distributing power across the string bed, allowing modern day players to hit the ball towards the top of the racket.’

But as always we wanted to find out if these claims from the manufacturer have transferred into how the racket feels out on court.

 

Watch as our testers try out the Dunlop CX 400 Tour

 

The play test

Testing rackets can be a down to personal opinion so it’s important to remember that not every racket is right for every player and one person’s discomfort can equally be another’s joy. This is why we try to test rackets with a variety of players and for the Dunlop CX 400 Tour we have three accomplished testers with very differing game styles.

Our Tennishead play testers for this review are:

Austin – Who ‘likes to win the point at the net’, has been playing for 15 years and currently plays with the Babolat Pure Drive 2020

Sue – A player who sees herself as a ‘baseline grinder’, has been playing tennis for 30 years and currently uses a Mantis 300 racket.

Will – Who reveals he’s a ‘counterpunching style of player’, has been playing for 16 years and who’s current racket is a Babolat Pure Drive.

  • Groundstrokes

Will was first to step on court and hit some groundies, “The Dunlop I found quite easy power. I feel like if your looking for a racket which can generate power for you this is a good racket for you.”

Austin then tried it and said, “I really enjoyed it from the baseline. I felt when I was connecting with the ball it was getting a really sweet connection. I was getting good depth, good power and it felt really consistent. But there were a couple where if I wasn’t getting it straight out the middle it would be a bit of a duff shot, short, but most of the time it was pretty good actually. I really enjoyed it from the baseline.”

Sue then took her turn and commented, “As a baseline grinder, I felt I was inconsistent in the feel of the hit of the ball. Now whether there’s a small sweetspot I don’t know but some shots felt really good and others felt as if they are a big effort to hit the ball with.”

  • Volleys and smashes

Will headed up to the net and said, “Volleys were good, I was hitting it quite clean. The power generated helped the volleys a lot when they were low and deep and the same with the smashes, I managed to get good wrist action on it as and its quite a light racket for me, so its not too bad.”

Austin felt that “hitting volleys were slightly more difficult. I really had to find the sweetspot on the racket to stick the volleys. If it wasn’t coming off the centre of the racket they were landing short and just a bit weak. But when they were coming off the centre and I was timing it nicely, I hit a really nice volley.”

Sue said, “The volleys and the smashes felt fine actually as I must of been hitting those cleaner I reckon, which is a surprise! But they felt ok. They were coming off the racket nicely, they were deep. Yeah they felt ok.”

  • Serves

Will then headed back to hit some serves, “Serves were good, I was managing to hit spots and was generating quite a lot of pace which helped the serve a lot.”

Austin also enjoyed hitting serves with this racket, “Yeah serve was good. I felt like it was quite powerful and getting good power on my serves and able to hit my spots quite nicely which I was quite impressed with. Really nice.”

Sue tried some serves for herself and said “The racket, did it help me? I felt it had enough ‘umph’ to get the serve zipping through the court a bit. When you were stretched up it felt quite nice actually”.

  • We then asked our testers if the Dunlop CX 400 Tour suited their style of play?

Will sees himself as a counter-puncher. “I would say yes it’s suits my style of play. I think this racket is well suited to a baseline player. Whether they are attacking or defending, counter-punching like myself, I think I could definitely use this as my racket.”

Austin like to win the point at the net and he said, “No I think this racket would suit more of an aggressive baseliner, someone who is willing to stay at the baseline and hit big groundstrokes consistently and sort of wear their opponent down from the back, more than someone who is looking to come forward and finish the point. I feel like the volleys were quite hard to stick nicely so I don’t think it would suit someone looking to come to the net at all”

Sue is a grinder and she said, “Possibly not, it depends how cleanly you hit the ball I think. I think if you hit the ball really, really cleanly you might get a good feel from it but I felt that I was a bit inconsistent with the feel coming off the strings.”

  • Design and style

Will commented, “The colour scheme is not for me. A little bit outdated for me, but it’s your personal taste.”

Austin said, “I don’t think it’s the best looking racket. I think it looks a bit retro, which some people quite like, but for more I prefer a bit more of a modern look to my racket and this ones a bit ‘fresh out the 90’s’.”

Sue said, “It’s ok. It looks a bit old fashioned I think.”

  • The final question was on the price. Did our testers feel that $200/£190 is a fair price for the Dunlop CX 400 Tour?

Sue – “It’s about fair with the other rackets. I think if its your sort of thing then it’s a fair price in comparison with the other rackets that are on the market.”

Will – “I think if its challenging the other rackets, £190 is quite similar to the other pricing for not as a competitive racket so for me it’s a little bit too expensive.”

Austin – “I think its cheaper than the big boys but its still quite expensive for what it is. I don’t think I’d pay £190 personally.”

 

The specifications

For a detailed explanation of each racket measurement criteria below have a read of our guide.

Dunlop CX 400 Tour

R.R.P. = $200/£190 (Purchase with 5% discount at AllThingsTennis.co.uk)

Head size = 100 sq in

Weight = 300g

String pattern = 16/19

 

In conclusion then..

Dunlop should be encouraged that both our players who normally play with the Babolat Pure Drive seemed to feel comfortable hitting most of their shots with the CX 400 Tour.

Ok, so the design of the racket may not be as ‘flash’ as others on the market according to our testers, but if you want a solid racket that helps you add power without losing control then the comments from our play test suggest that this frame is on the money.

But as always, we thoroughly suggest you head on court and try out this Dunlop before making any decisions.

 

Buy this racket…

To help you feel confident when purchasing this racket we’ve teamed up with a trusted retail partner, AllThingsTennis.co.uk, to make sure you get the best price combined with free premium tennis balls, next day delivery (UK only) and fantastic advice from tennis equipment experts.

To take advantage of all these benefits simply follow this link to purchase the Dunlop CX 400 Tour with an exclusive 5% Tennishead discount.


Dunlop CX 400 Tour
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