DUNLOP Biomimetic F 2.0 Tennis Racquet Review
Dunlop’s 200 series frames have been a staple in the bags of advanced players ever since the original John McEnroe/Steffi Graf Max 200G in the mid 1980s. For this year, Dunlop has added upgrades from their Biomimetic research and renamed it the Biomimetic F 2.0 Tour.
New Biomimetic Features
Dunlop calls Biomimetic “Engineering inspired by nature”, and have taken cues from the world around them to enhance the performance qualities of their frames. On the F 2.0 Tour, for example, Dunlop uses BioFibre, which places plant stem fibers in the throat and handle of the racquet. Strong but flexible, it allows for an 18% increase in stability and shock absorption for improved comfort and control. The F 2.0 Tour also uses Aeroskin Cx, an aerodynamic aid inspired by sharkskin, strategically placed on the frame to improve swing speed by up to 11% over last year’s models (according to Dunlop, that means up to 36% better than traditional frames). Higher swing speeds will aid in power, spin generation and maneuverability at net. Aeroskin Cx has been specifically designed for each racquet in the line, as Dunlop’s wind tunnel testing has shown that different swing speeds produce turbulence in varying areas of the frame, and Aeroskin Cx is placed accordingly on the F 2.0 Tour to optimize performance for its player type. MoS2 grommets are made of molybdenite, a mineral with an incredibly low coefficient of friction (according to Dunlop, it’s like rubbing wet ice against itself). MoS2 is similar to snake skin (self-lubricating), allowing for smoother string movement within the grommet barrel. If the strings can “slide” inside the grommet, the reduced friction has a twofold benefit: greater power (Dunlop estimates a 27% improvement), and less stress on the grommets themselves (Dunlop states a 40% increase in durability of the grommets).
Beams are slightly wide by player’s racquet standards at 21.5mm all the way down the frame. While this is quite narrow by most accounts, it is more like a Head Radical than a Prestige, for example, and should provide a little more power and stability. Unstrung weight is a little on the high side at 11.37 oz. (323g), but is offset by a 7 point headlight balance point of 12 5/8” (320mm). Flex is a fairly moderate 67, and the swingweight is a solid 319. Rounding out its player’s frame credentials, F 2.0 Tour boasts a control-friendly 18x20 string pattern in its 95 square inch head.
From the Baseline
The first thing you notice while taking full swings with the F 2.0 Tour is how “light” it feels through the air. Aeroskin must help with this, as it feels nowhere near as heavy as its static weight would imply. Snapping the racquet up the back of the ball to impart topspin is a breeze, and the ball spins sharply, even considering the dense string bed. The frame gives you that confidence-inspiring, controlled “give” on impact that lets you know you’re the boss: the ball is going where your swing tells it to go, at the speed you can provide. While lower-level players would want some “help” from the frame, the F 2.0 Tour knows its player wants to do the work, and rewards him or her with precise feedback and control.
At Net and Serving
The same qualities that made the F 2.0 Tour easy to swing from the backcourt make it a fine net weapon, as well. Aeroskin combined with a very headlight frame make for lightning quick maneuverability at net and rock-solid stability against kicking back in your hand when the passing shots come fast. The dense pattern and lower flex provide fine control and feedback on all net shots, and it’s easy to feather down drop and angle volleys exactly where you want them to go. The F 2.0 Tour’s small head size is a little bit of a power drain on serves and overheads, but its speed more than makes up for it. You can drive quickly through the ball on flat serves, or snap it up or around to make a great kick or slice serve. The variety of deliveries you’ll have with the 2.0 Tour will keep you opponents guessing all match long. And, if a lob should get behind you a little, have no worries: the 2.0 Tour’s properties are tailor-made for scissor-kick overheads.
The handle of the F 2.0 Tour is beautifully designed, and the fingers sit perfectly on the bevels no matter what grip you use. You’ll always know you have a good grip on it. The butt cap is a traditional “European” style, meaning is doesn’t flare out as much at the bottom as American-designed ones, making the handle more of a straight shot all the way down. The bumper guard has great depth to the string groove, allowing for many hours of digging out low volleys without the risk of string or frame damage.
The Dunlop Biomimetic F 2.0 Tour is a fine piece of work for advanced players of all types. Solid traditional weighting and flex bring back memories of Dunlop player’s frames of the past, and modern technology updates it for today’s style of play. Strong-hitting players should put it at the top of their demo list, and may not desire to go any further once they try it.