Expert Review: Dunlop CX 400 LTDPublished on 12/19/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in November of 2022.
All photos courtesy of Brandon M.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days in November of 2022.
The Dunlop CX400 is a user-friendly racquet for intermediate players looking for the power and spin that are necessary in today’s modern game.
About the racquet I tested
- Model: Babolat Pure Strike Team 100
- Grip Size: 4 ⅜ in / EU 3
- String and Tension: Babolat RPM Rough 16g Mains and Babolat Addixion 16g Crosses 55lbs
- Head size: 100 sq. in
- Racquet Length: 27 in
- Any Customizations: Gamma Pro Overgrip
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185lbs
- Previous Racquet Played With: Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP with Head
- Experience: 28 years of tennis
- NTRP/UTA Rating: 5.0
- When I tested these: November 2022
- Days tested: 5
- Court Surfaces: Hard
- Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
- Where I’ve used it: Eastside Tennis Courts, Iron Mountain, MI
How it performs
What I was looking for
It can be easy to get closed minded when it comes to what racquets I test because I know what specs suit my game the best and gravitate to those; but at Curated, our customers are of all ability levels, so it is important to have first-hand experience with racquets of all types. I wanted to get my hands on a number of 280–290g static weight frames to test because they have the widest range of players that they target from eager beginners to high-level juniors and all variety of intermediate players as well. I chose the lighter versions of many of our most popular advanced racquets—which I am well familiar with already—to see how their features translate for that wide range of shoppers who aren’t quite ready for the advanced frames.
Why I chose this gear
Dunlop racquets often get overlooked because they don’t have the marketing and sponsorship push of other brands, but they make some of my favorite racquets. The CX200, which is a heavier version of the CX400, is a racquet that I really liked testing and gave my Head Gravity MP a run when I was choosing my last racquet. While the CX200 fits my game better due to its heavier weight, the CX400 offers intermediate players a great introduction to Dunlop and their high-performance frames.
What I love about it
- Maneuverability: While the swingweight is relatively high for a racquet in this class at 319RDC, the CX400 is easy to get around quickly to generate needed topspin to control the ample power.
- Power: While the CX series is Dunlop’s most control-oriented racquet silo, the CX400 offers big amounts of power thanks to its stiff construction and near-even balance.
- Stability: That 1pt head light balance that helps with power generation also makes for a racquet that is very stable for its weight class.
- Volleys: The stability of the CX400 really shines at the net. It lets me be confident that if I can get my racquet on a volley, it will go where I want.
- Groundstrokes: With plenty of pop and the open string pattern, I am able to get nice depth and pace on my groundstrokes.
- Serves: All of the easy power that I found on my groundstrokes translated well to serving with the CX400, where my first serves had great pace.
Issues I’ve faced
- Control: With more power than I am used to, I found myself overhitting quite often early in my test. I was able to adjust my game to suit the racquet and find my range, but other racquets in the class such as the Babolat Pure Strike 100 Team offer much better control.
- Feel: I am generally a big fan of more flexible frames, so the 71RA stiffness rating on the CX400 made for an overly jarring feel that I didn’t care for.
Favorite moment with this gear
The Dunlop CX400 really stood out for me in a match against my friend Derek. I had just broken his serve after a long game and could close out the set with a hold of my serve. Derek usually has a pretty solid return game, and as a result we have tight matches because he neutralizes my strong serves. This game I stepped to the line and hit four unreturnable serves in a row. No clean aces, but solid and well-placed serves with enough pace and spin to handcuff him.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Dunlop CX400 provides a fair value in the market as it is priced right in line with other similar options such as the Babolat Pure Aero Team and the Head Speed Team 100 2022.
The Dunlop CX400 is a good choice for intermediate players looking for a spin-friendly racquet with plenty of power to help them take their games to the next level.