Pros: improved stiffness open string pattern allows for more power and control
Cons: a little too light
Touting Aeroskin, and HM6 Carbon Technologies the newly retooled classic tennis racquet, the Dunlop Biomimetic Max 200G is a great-feeling easy-swinging player’s stick with characteristics accessible to the weekend warrior who wants to play like their seasoned bad-boy hero John McEnroe. The black frame with green, white, and gold highlights is further adorned with a Dunlop Tour Classic leather grip, giving the whole package a classy look.
The racquet feels to be a slight departure from the previous soft-feeling McEnroe-endorsed frames which have always featured control and maneuverability over power. This new frame is a stiffer frame and feels to have more overt power for hitting heavy ground strokes. The control factor which is always inherent in a McEnroe racquet is gained from the head shape, the string pattern, and the technologies used to produce the frame.
Fist of all this stick is low on the power scale. I’m used to hitting with a low-power frame so I generally favor a low tension on the string which gives me what I want. The stiffness in the Dunlop Biomimetic Max 200G will definitely enable the player who doesn’t posses power strokes to hit a heavier ball although setting up early and following through with a long stroke will definitely aid in utilizing all the power from this frame.
There’s a lot in this frame to make it the best choice for amateur and pro alike. The head size is a comfortable 98 square inches which could be translated as a small mid-size, not too large and not too small for those traditionalists who have big swings and don’t want to lose control of the ball.
The strung weight comes in at 11.7oz / 331.69 grams give or take a little here and there. Depending on the string you choose this can alter the way the racquet plays. The Luxilon Big Banger 17-guage string I use on one of my racquets is a dense string and has a few more points of swing weight than the synthetic gut I use on my other frame. This minute difference changes the way I strike the ball.
The lighter weight of the Dunlop frame may also allow you to apply some weight on the head to power it up, but beware that the added weight can make your arm sore. The Dunlop Biomimetic Max 200G I have is strung with regular gut and I believe this makes a world of difference on the feel of the frame. The response in every respect is crisp and natural, and although I haven’t tried synthetic string on the racquet I believe that natural gut is best for it.
The 22mm width beam is 5 pts head light with a swing weight of 318. The stiffness has been ratcheted up to 65, which is a little on the stiff side for a frame like this. This extra stiffness can definitely be felt on the solid feel on the serve, and the volleys, and also provides solid stuff for hitting from the baseline.
Part of the overt control-orientation of the racquet is the open string pattern of 16 Mains and 19 Crosses allowing the player to confidently strike the ball and put it in the direction he wants. For those detailed-oriented players, the mains skip 8T and 8H with no shared holes, which allows a more-evenly distributed string bed to create the sweet spot for your contact point.
The power level rating for the racquet is Low-Medium, indicating a medium to full stroke. This means that the traditional player with long strokes may cuddle up to the frame sooner than others. A Medium-Fast swing speed is recommended with a string tension of 55 to 65 pounds. Certainly the stiffness will allow you to take a medium swing with the stick and still get what you want, but this racquet has low power so you might want to take the string tension down a few notches to amp up the umph factor.
Dunlop states that the composition of the frame is HM6 Carbon/Aerogel/Graphite, a technology (inspired by bee’s honeycomb) in which high modulus carbon sheets are layered between what they call Aerogel carbon. This allows an even distribution of vibration frequencies to enhance the feel of the frame by 10%. This ultimately maximizes the energy of the frame into the contact on the ball.
The other side of their new design is Aeroskin, inspired by a shark skin. This application is molded into the frame strategically to streamline air flow over the surface of the frame. The dimpled texture of the skin localizes turbulence, and together these improvements reduce drag up to 25%, allowing a faster racquet speed for more power.
Personally I found the frame to be a pleasure both in the power I could generate from the baseline and the solid control and feel for serving. At the net the stable frame allowed me to meet the ball and place it confidentally with the open string pattern. The classic leather grip absorbs moisture and was a great feeling addition to the racquet. If you have a classic game you may have to change your name to Dunlop Biomimetic Max 200G because you’ll want to marry this one.