Perhaps no professional tennis player has improved as steadily over the years as Kevin Anderson. After a stellar collegiate career at the University of Illinois, he has solidified his place in the upper echelons of the game.
2015, Anderson partnered with Dunlop and Srixon for a new performance racquet called the CX 2.0 Tour. The frame was all about control, and old-school feel in a mid-size head. Dunlop has updated Anderson’s frame and tweaked the name to the Dunlop CX 200 Tour which is more reminiscent of Dunlop’s heritage. Srixon brought Sonic Core technology to the CX 2.0, and it provided a superbly comfortable feel in a demanding racquet. Sonic Core returns in the CX 200 Tour and gets updated with BASF’s Infinergy technology for a massive reduction in vibration and a more explosive feel.
The CX 200 Tour is much easier to find a groove with from the back of the court than its predecessor. The dense 18 x 20 string pattern remains, but Dunlop spaced the main strings a touch wider for easier access to spin and power. This is especially noticeable during longer rallies from behind the baseline, and it’s easy to keep good net clearance for safety and consistency. When my opponent attacked the net, I was able to generate enough topspin to force them to volley from their shoe strings. Though the frame is around 11.6 ounces strung, the head-light balance makes it easy to cut through the air when on the defensive or moving forward to attack. It’s hard to visualize, but the beam has been modified slightly to be more aerodynamic than the completely boxed beam CX 2.0.
Folks that are comfortable up at the net often fall into two categories. Some like a firm and crisp feel, and some prefer a softer, flexible feel. The CX 200 Tour is an excellent blend of both. Again, the head-light balance shines and makes it shockingly easy to get into position to punch volleys into the open court. The flex helps with targeting angle volleys on the doubles court, and there is plenty of stability to finish points off the shoulder high variety. All in all, the 95 square inch head CX 200 Tour volleys with the forgiveness of a larger frame.
I tend to struggle generating adequate spin on my serve with an 18 x 20 string pattern. And though I wasn’t kicking the ball up over anyone’s head, I was surprised to see my serves jump up and off the court. On flatter serves, when trying to ratchet up the pace, I noticed more ball speed when connecting higher in the string bed (slightly above the traditional sweet spot). There is an addictive sound when connecting on a solid first serve with the CX 200 Tour.
Dunlop Srixon has improved a winning formula with the CX 200 Tour 18 x 20. The frame maintains its high standard of control, and adds substantial improvements in power and spin generation. The most enjoyable aspect of the racquet is the improved feel of the ball on the strings. The feel remains sublime, but your shots are more explosive and crisp. Maybe you can have the best of both worlds.
Note: The playtest racquet was strung with Dunlop NT Max Plus 16G at 54 pounds.
About the Reviewer: Sam Jones currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Southwestern University, taught tennis for 10+ years and earned his USRSA Master Racquet Technician Certification in 2011. He is an active NTRP 5.0 League and Tournament player.