Expert Review: Dunlop CX 200 98 Racquet · Unstrung
This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in October of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in October of 2022.
The Dunlop CX 200 98 is an ideal racquet for intermediate to advanced players looking for a control-oriented racquet that offers great maneuverability and spin. The comfortable response and outstanding feel make it well-suited for an all-court playing style.
About the gear I tested
- Model: Dunlop CX 200 98
- Grip Size: 4 ⅜ / EU 3
- String and Tension: Yonex Polytour Rev 53lbs
- Head size: 98
- Racquet Length: 27
- Any Customizations: None
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185lbs
- Previous Racquet Played With: Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP with Head
- Experience: 28 years of playing tennis
- NTRP/UTA Rating: 5.0
- When I tested these: October 2022
- Days tested: 5
- Court Surfaces: Hard
- Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
- Where I’ve used it: Kingsford High School, Kingsford, MI
How it performs
What I was looking for
My current Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP offers a fantastic mix of controllable power, an outstanding feel, and a forgiving sweet spot. I find that its all-around playability really suits my game. If I had to find one fault with it, I would say it could use more stability against big serves and heavy ground strokes. I’ve been testing racquets all summer, looking to find a racquet that offers what I like about the Gravity MP with just a bit more stability.
Why I decided not to purchase this gear
This is the second time I’ve tested the Dunlop CX 200 98. I previously played with it in early 2021 when I ended up choosing my Gravity MP. That demo was strung poorly with a basic synthetic gut string, which didn’t show the full potential of the racquet. I wanted to try it again as, on paper, it seemed like a solid fit for my game. After this week, I did like the CX 200 98 overall, but it wasn’t a noticeable improvement over my Gravity MP in terms of stability, so I am sticking with the Gravity.
What I love about it
- Control: With a low-powered response and easy access to spin, I was very confident in going for my spots with the CX 200. I enjoyed the ball pocketing of the ball on the strings so that I could make last-second adjustments to my target and still be effective.
- Maneuverability: With a moderately low 317 RDC swingweight, the CX 200 98 offers easy racquet head speed, which helps generate topspin and hit effective kick and slice serves.
- Feel: The CX 200 98 offered a comfortable feel that still had plenty of feedback on the ball on the strings. It felt similar to the new Head Auxetic racquets, which I am a big fan of.
- Stability: The CX 200 98 was surprisingly stable for a racquet with a sub 320 RDC swingweight.
- Volleys: With great maneuverability and good stability, the Dunlop CX 200 98 was very good at the net, especially on reaction volleys.
- Ground Strokes: The enhanced ball pocketing, good feel, and easy racquet head speed combined to make the CX 200 98 an easy racquet to pick up and hit solid ground strokes with right away.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Power: As a racquet that is targeted to more experienced players who generate their own pace, I never expected the CX 200 98 to be a high-powered racquet, but I would have liked a bit more power than was offered. This was especially apparent on serves and on the run, where it was tough to get enough pace to hit clean winners like I can with other racquets.
- Serves: The maneuverability of the CX 200 was really nice for generating spin and slice, and I could place my serve wherever I wanted, but, overall, I really wanted a bit more power on serve. There was a noticeable drop in the pace of both my first and second serves compared to my Gravity MP and other racquets I used this week, such as the Head Speed Pro 2022.
Favorite moment with this gear
My backhand slice was very effective when playing with the Dunlop CX 200 98. When playing with my usual Head Gravity MP, slices can float from time to time if I don’t fully commit to the shot. The first time I played with this racquet casually with my wife, I was surprised to find great amounts of bite on my slice even when out of position and unable to step into it. As a result, I relied on this shot quite often throughout my playtest as an effective change of pace and a get-out-of-jail-free card when I was forced into a defensive position.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Dunlop CX 200 98 is competitively priced with similar racquets, such as the Head Extreme Tour and Wilson Blade 98 16x19, representing a good value for shoppers.
The Dunlop CX 200 98 is a great choice for intermediate to advanced players looking for a racquet to harness some of their power and offer a great feel from all areas of the court. With a moderate swingweight, it offers plenty of speed for generating the spin necessary in today’s game.