Dunlop Biofibre M3.1 Tennis Racquet Review
Over the last few years, Dunlop has transitioned many of their frames to a more modern feel and performance. The recently revised Dunlop Biofibre M3.1 is an example of the continuation of that process. It retains the same technology as its predecessor, the M3.0, like Biofibre shaft for improved dampening, MoS2 grommets for more spin and power and the use of Aeroskin CX for improved aerodynamics. Refreshed with a slightly different balance and new paint, I took to the court recently to put the Dunlop M3.1 through its paces.
The M3.1 played like a modern baseline racquet off the ground. The roughly 11oz strung weight and moderate swing weight provided a good amount of depth to shots from either wing. The 22mm wide beam seemed to have a good amount of pop to it and it generated more free power than some of the other models in the line. The 98 inch head offered a decent sweet spot but I felt that the power level was a bit inconsistent outside the center and the response also became a little harsher. The headlight balance produced a whippy feel that allowed me to increase my head speed and add more spin to the ball. When combined with the 16x19 pattern, I found it easy to transition between shots with high net clearance and flatter, more aggressive shots. I would have liked a bit more weight for slices as my favorite backhand slice tended to float a bit. Directional control was solid and I was able to take full cuts and play aggressive targets consistently.
Volleys & serves
The M3.1 makes the transition from back of the court to net pretty smoothly. The low weight and head light balance allowed me to easily bring it into position and maneuver it during rapid exchanges. I played well on aggressive volleys although I would have preferred a bit more weight for finishing balls off. There was a good amount of accuracy and control so I was able to find angles reliably. The racquet’s firm feel made it a bit more challenging to execute touch and drop volleys and I think a little extra weight would have helped offset my difficulties there.
The M3.1 blends power, spin and control into a potent mix when serving. I found plenty of acceleration at the top of the zone for cranking out flat serves with plenty of pace. The 16x19 pattern and precise 98 inch head also gave me excellent directional accuracy. I was able to take flat serves out wide and then change it up and go down the T at will. I found plenty of spin for kick and slice second serves. My kick serve had plenty of bounce to it and I saw success varying the pace of it as well. On slice serves I was able to move the ball wide but they didn’t stay as low as they did when I use heavier frames.
The Dunlop M3.1 has the same firm, modern feel of the previous version. It played with a crisp, connected feel on center but was bit buzzier when contact was made off center. I also would have preferred a bit more flex in the frame for confidence in executing drop and touch shots. The reduced weight and firm feel just made it a bit more challenging for me to feel the ball on those shots and I floated more than usual. As with other firm feeling frames, players with sensitive arms will want to be selective with their string choice in order to mitigate any potential issues.
The Dunlop Biofibre M3.1 is a solid update to a frame that should be very appealing to intermediate players and those who want to customize. It offers a blend of power from all areas of the court with solid control and easy spin production. The fast feel makes it perfect for developing players and the manageable starting weight will allow more advanced players to boost the power and stability to their liking.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.