Dunlop Revelation 200G Review
Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a tennis player named John McEnroe. John wasn't a bad tennis player, in fact he was quite good. He won a few Grand Slam Championships, a few Davis Cup matches, and a few million dollars. He won many of those matches (and millions) using a racquet called the Dunlop Max 200G. Today, John can be found in the broadcast booth (and the occasional Nuveen Old Guy Tournament), and The Max 200G can be found at swap meets and yard sales (Remember, always offer them less than the asking price).
Dunlop had a good run with McEnroe and the Max 200G. They sold a lot of racquets and John won a lot of money (A player on the women's tour won a few tournaments with the Max 200G, too. I think her name was Stacy or Steffi, or something like that. [Editors note: While still using the 200G, Graf won many more tournaments and a lot more money than McEnroe]). Now, Dunlop's going to see how the racquet can do on it's own. They've brought the 200G back, and it's better than ever. It's lighter, sleeker, and racier (Formula One race car cosmetics) than the original 200G, and it's got a new first name (Revelation instead of Max). It also has a number of technological improvements over the original 200G (braided graphite construction and an elastomer vibration absorber in the throat). In fact, except for the 200G name and the black and green cosmetics, this racquet and the Max 200G have very little in common. Someone more cynical than myself might even suggest that the only thing Dunlop has brought back is the 200G name (I personally think they should be commended for recycling the 200G name. Our landfills are overflowing with perfectly good racquet names that have been discarded like so much toxic waste).
Truth be told, if this new Revelation 200G played like the old Max 200G we wouldn't sell any of them. Compared to today's racquets the Max 200G was a club. It was heavy, it didn't have much power, and it wasn't very maneuverable. It was also a pain in the butt to string. It was better than the wooden racquet McEnroe was using before he switched to it, but it doesn't compare to today's racquets.
On the other hand, the new Revelation 200G compares very favorably to today's racquets. It's in the same class as the Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 and the Prince Precision Equipe. It's a very good control racquet designed for players who can generate their own power, and are looking for a solid, consistent racquet.
If you're looking for a lot of power you're going to be disappointed with the Revelation 200G. It scored 34 in power on the RDC and 53 on the player evaluation. Both of these scores are among the lowest we've come across since we started reviewing racquets. The dense string pattern and the head light balance are probably the two major reasons for the low scores. They're also the major reasons it scores so high on control (65 on the RDC and 70 on the player evaluation). The head light balance means there's less mass at the business end of the racquet which means your shots will have less power (if you swing at the same speed), and the dense string pattern keeps the ball from "trampolining" off the strings, which means the ball comes off the strings the same way more often. Any racquet with these two characteristics is going to rate high in control because the ball isn't going to travel as far when you hit it, which makes it easier to get the ball over the net and into the court (More power makes it easier to get the ball over the net, but it makes it harder to keep it in the court.).
Because the 200G weighs just over 12 ounces strung (although Dunlop describes it as "superlight", 12 ounces is very heavy by today's standards) it would be very unwieldy if it had too much weight in the head. By taking the weight out of the head and leaving it in the rest of the racquet (the Anti-Hammer?) Dunlop has given us a racquet that has enough weight to make it very stable, and is also very manueverable (72 on the RDC, 70 on the player evaluation).
The 200G scored high with our play testers on volleys (70), and groundstrokes (70), and fairly high on serves and overheads (62). The lack of power was the biggest factor in the lower serve and overhead rating. It's tough for a 27 inch racquet to compete in this category with the longer racquets. Especially a control racquet like this one. Even the least powerful longer racquet is going to give you more power than the Revelation 200G on overheads and serves. The groundstroke score would have been higher if the racquet had more power, too. A number of play testers commented that they liked the way the racquet felt when they were hitting groundstrokes, but they wished it had a little more power. The lack of power wasn't a factor in the volley scores. The stability and maneuverability of the Revelation 200G more than made up for any lack of power at the net.
As I said before, this racquet isn't for everyone. It's a very good control racquet designed for strong players who can generate their own power. It compares very favorably to the Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 and the Prince Precision Equipe in power and control, but it's at the opposite end of the spectrum from powerful racquets like the Wilson Sledgehammer 2.0 or the Prince Thunderstick. Give the Revelation 200G a try if you're looking for control, but if you want more power you're not going to find it here.
Play-test racquets were strung with Prince Synthetic Gut 16 gauge (white) at 55 pounds.
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