Dunlop Force 100 Tennis Racquet Review
Modern tennis is largely centered on who can control the baseline most effectively. Dunlop has spent the last few years moving their frames more in line with this mindset and the new Dunlop Force 100 is a prime example of their modern sensibilities. This racquet delivers all the speed, power and spin needed to win in modern tennis. It’s also packed with new features and innovations. The handle has the new SR-X system which uses a series of glass rods to improve shock absorption. Parallel Strung technology and Aero Boost grommets provide maximum string movement and power return. I got to spend some time with the Force 100 recently and collected my thoughts on the frame’s performance.
Players of any level would appreciate the baseline capabilities the Force 100 had. There was incredible power on shots hit off of either wing. The stiff construction and thicker 23/26/24mm beam allowed me to crack powerful shots from both sides. The 11oz strung weight and slightly headlight balance made it easy to ramp up the racquet head speed and whip the frame around for maximum velocity and spin. The 100 inch head felt like it had a large sweet spot and even when I made contact off center, the power level was consistently high. The extra forgiveness was also nice in the few moments I was forced to play defense. Directional control was a bit less than the 98 inch Force models but I was still able to play reasonable close to the lines with a tolerable amount of misses. My shots had plenty of spin and the 16x19 pattern produced a nice blend of margins while still having the control necessary to flatten out shots. The racquet could use some extra weight for enhanced stability but beginners and intermediates would be unlikely to notice and advanced players have ample room to customize to their desired spec.
Volleys & serves
The speed of the Force 100 made it a strong performer at the net. The frame had a maneuverable frame shape and the balance and weight kept it from feeling sluggish on quick exchanges. Aggressive volleys were rewarded by the power the racquet had. I finished off any ball I could catch out in front of me with minimal effort required. I couldn’t quite create the angles I did with the 98, so I instead focused on driving volleys deep through the court. This was the right strategy as the racquet didn’t quite have the feel necessary to execute delicate volleys. Defensive volleys were solid. Some extra would still have helped stability but the added head size provided some additional forgiveness that compensated when deflecting hard shots.
On serve the Force 100 presented me with a buffet of different options to choose from. I could easily speed the frame through contact and generate lots of pace for a first serve bomb. While I felt my serve wasn’t as heavy, it was moving through the court with so much speed that opponents still had trouble with it. The open pattern and easy acceleration also provided access to plenty of spin on the serve. Slice serves got carved out wide and were low enough to be effective. My kick serve took a nice high jump off the court never let returners get comfortable.
The Force 100 makes no effort to conceal the fact that it is a stiff racquet. The frame returns an enormous amount of energy to ball on impact. The feel is pretty clean on contact but the reality is that there isn’t a tremendous amount of feel. The construction is too stiff to hold the ball on the strings long enough to feel well connected to it. While the response was similar to many of its firm competitors, the comfort of the Force 100 was a level up from most of them. Although contact felt crisp, the SR-X handle system was impressive at soaking up vibrations and limiting the unwanted feedback that made it to my arm. Players who need the free power of a firm racquet but have concerns about arm comfort should be in good company with this model.
Dunlop continues to refine its power tennis mentality with the introduction of this latest model. It boasts an impressive combination of power, spin and maneuverability. Whether you’re a beginner/intermediate looking for a power boost or a more advanced player looking for a baseline weapon you can customize, the Dunlop Force 100 is an option that deserves some serious consideration.
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.