Introducing the Dunlop FX 500 Tour. At 10.8 ounces unstrung, it’s the heaviest of the new FX Racquet Series. This racquet features an open 16 x 19 string pattern and uses a variable 23-26-23 millimeter beam for greater power and forgiveness. Like other members of the FX group, the 500 Tour has Sonic Core Technology with Infinergy and Flex Touch Resin to ensure explosiveness and a comfortable hitting response. The 500 Tour also comes with Dunlop’s New Power Boost Frame Geometry and Power Boost Groove making the racquet more aerodynamic, more powerful, and increasingly comfortable.
Since my regular racquet is a bit lighter than the FX 500 Tour, I was curious to see how it would play. I also wondered how it would compare to the SX 300 Tour, which I playtested earlier this year.
The 500 Tour is a true player’s racquet. It didn’t feel too heavy and I was able to move the racquet through contact with speed, resulting in plenty of power. I delivered fast, crisp groundstrokes with the kind of comfort that only a Dunlop racquet can produce. The elastic foam material created a dampened response. However, when my opponent hit a short ball, I struggled to place my forehand approach shots where I wanted due to the increased power. I think I was expecting a little more spin and accuracy from this stick given the heavier weight. If I didn’t catch it right, the ball seemed to fly off and I had less control. But this racquet suited me well when I had to chase down lobs and hit sharp angles.
Players who have fast reflexes at the net will enjoy this racquet. The frame’s heavy mass helped me punch the ball deep in the court, making it difficult for my opponent to return. After a quick split step, I felt ready for anything that came my way. I especially liked the 500 Tour for reaction volleys and explosive overheads.
With Dunlop’s new Aerodynamic Power head shape, I knew I had a maneuverable frame in my hands. In addition, the racquet’s wider throat section gave me great stability during fierce net exchanges.
I can see why the “F” in FX stands for “Force”, particularly on serves. In fact, it sometimes had too much force — resulting in double faults. I tried mixing up the location of my toss to hit a variety of slices and kickers. My first serve percentage was not the best, but I made up for it with “offspeed”, strategically-placed serves. I think advanced players can use this racquet to set up big points on their serves. Intermediates who have used a lighter racquet before may need several reps to find their service rhythm.
The FX 500 Tour is an all-around solid racquet for intermediate and advanced players. I liked the control I had while playing defense. At times, I had trouble hitting my spots on offense. But this frame gave me stability and maneuverability at net, plus a lot of pop and spin on my serves. To me, it played very similar to the SX 300 Tour — soft feel, decent power, and moderate spin. If you’re looking for a racquet that has enough mass to hang with heavy hitters, yet is still comfortable to play with, give the Dunlop FX 500 Tour a go.
NOTE: I playtested this racquet using Wilson Sensation Plus strung at 55 lbs.
About the Reviewer: Chris Griesedieck played high school tennis in the St. Louis area and competed in USTA junior tournaments in the Missouri Valley section. Today he is an active 4.5 USTA tournament player and is a PTR certified coach.