While Dunlop has a very classically minded performance frame with their CX 200 Tour series, they have also made it a point to make the CX 200 series accessible to more player types. For players who want a bit of extra leverage to add to their serves and groundstrokes, there’s the new Dunlop Srixon CX 200 +. This frame carries on the strategic use of Infinergy foam around the hoop for better energy transfer and 37% better shock absorption than first generation Sonic Core. It also uses Power Grid String Tech which widens the string spacing in the top half of the hoop for improved spin and responsiveness. All of this is in a package that has a larger, more forgiving head size than the Tour series and has the extra length to make it play more explosive. I’ve been playing with extended frames more frequently recently so I was eager to see how this one would measure up.
Off the ground, the CX 200 + generated easier power than the Tour series. It’s slightly thicker 21.5 mm beam and 98 inch head size produced a livelier feel. The extra half inch of length also gave the racquet a much meatier swingweight, adding more pop. I found this model to be a bit harder to bring around than other extended frames I’ve been hitting with. Especially on the backhand side, I struggled with being late on the ball, which was especially evident when trying to hit crosscourt from the deuce side. The sweet spot also seemed a bit small for a 98 inch head and I mishit or slightly framed more balls than I anticipated (my current racquet is also an extended 98). When contact was true though, the racquet made quick work of groundstrokes and allowed me to dictate points. Directional accuracy was excellent and I felt like I could hit any target I wanted if I setup my swing properly. Spin production was as expected with the 16 x 19 string pattern. I was able to create a variety of shot heights and play with safer margins when I needed to. The racquet was incredibly stable and had no trouble redirecting pace, as long as I had it in the right spot at the right time. The extra length was also a welcome addition when scrambling defensively and allowed me to extend points and reach shots my opponents didn’t expect me to.
Volleys & Serves
Volleying with the CX 200 + took a bit of adjustment. The extra length made it a little slower to maneuver compared to the regular 200 or even the Tour models. Early on I got caught behind the ball a little more than I wanted. As I adjusted, I found the same great feel and accuracy on volleys that the rest of the CX series had. It had plenty of mass for driving volleys through the court and finishing off anything left sitting up for me. There was also enough flex and feel for me to mix in drop and touch volleys with consistent success. The racquet was also incredibly stable up at the net, easily soaking up pace and redirecting it.
The extra length of the CX 200 + really made its presence known in a positive way on serves. The extra leverage added outstanding pop to my first serve. I was able to swing with a smooth, relaxed motion and let the mass and reach of the frame drive my flat serve through the court with great pace and heavy feel. If I went for too much, the extra swingweight on the frame would tire me out and I would lose swing speed. The key was for me to focus on being relaxed and allowing the frame to do the work. The extra leverage and spin friendliness also gave me solid results on my second serve. Kick serves had good height and my slice serve carved away from returners and consistently gave me the ability to gain the upper hand quickly.
The CX 200 + retained the pleasant, classic feel of the rest of the lineup. The Infinergy foam place strategically in the hoop absorbed the majority of vibration without muting the racquet down so much that I didn’t feel connected to the ball. It provided a clean response on contact that paired nicely with the overall flex of the frame itself. I felt that I could pocket the ball for accuracy without completing bleeding off all the power I needed. There was a bit higher shock transmission on the outer edges of the string bed but nothing that proved to be greatly uncomfortable. Players with sensitive arms should be able to find a string and tension setup that ensures the frame stays comfortable no matter the contact point.
Extended length frames seem to be coming back into style and Dunlop wants to ensure they’re in the mix. The CX 200 + offers impressive power to those who can get it moving while retaining the precise targeting and classic response of the other frames in the CX 200 family. Advanced players who want outstanding feel and control while getting the extra power benefits of an extended frame on serves and groundstrokes should have the Dunlop Srixon CX 200 + on their must try list.
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.