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Old 03-04-2011, 05:07 AM   #16
Kal-El 34
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,149
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Donnay X-Dark Red 94

Alright so this is the enigma of the Donnay line to me. This was another of the Donnay frames I wanted to like. Cosmetically it looks great. The maroon color balances the smoke color very nicely. However, this was the only racquet in the line that I am not sure about moving forward. It is just too close to the other 94's but did not really stand out above the others in any category in my opinion.

GROUNDSTROKES 7/10

Groundies weren't bad with the dark red 94, but they just weren't great. Think mushy feeling Head Prestige MP. The weight and balance is so similar to the red 94, blue 94, and my prestige, but it felt just a little too flexible for my liking. Control was good, but I didn't have that confidence in my shots that I had with the other 94's to just go for a rip whenever I wanted. Both my forehand and backhand were solid when hitting normally, but against big hitters the frame seemd a bit dull and sluggish. Don't get me wrong, it is a great racquet and I am not trying to come off negative on it, but compared to the other 94's in the line - it is my least favorite. I did notice I was hitting a little flatter ball with this racquet as well. I was not dialing up the great spin on my forehand like I was with the black, blue, or red 94. Since I play a pretty big topspin forehand, this left me wanting more. My backhand is a bit flatter normally, and it was still very good with the dark red 94. The soft feel felt good when taking big crosscourt swings. However, my down the line passing shot (usually a big strength) was floating a bit on me. I think it was just a little too flex here.
Return of serve was still pretty good, but the racquet just felt soft against big servers. When I was working out one of my junior players return of serve was very easy. When I had time to set up and take a crack at it, the frame felt nice. But when hitting with my training partner, who serves 120+, I felt like the racquet lost some feel.

VOLLEYS 7.5 / 10

The dark red 94 performed pretty well at the net as well. On shots that I had time for I got really nice stick on my volleys. The "mushy" feel I got from the baseline helped with touch shots at the net. I was getting a very soft response at the net on touch volleys, which I did appreciate. However on reflex volleys I felt like this one lacked a bit of fell and control compared to others in the line. I liked volleys with all the other 94's better than I liked this one.

SERVE 8/10

Serves were what I liked most about the dark red 94. Serving with it really reminded me of serving with my prestige. The weight and balance are very similar, and both performed pretty similar on the serve. Big flat serves were booming off this racquet. I was not getting the giant kick or massive bit on my slice serve that I was getting with the other 94's, but I still felt a little more spin potential than my Prestige MP.

Overall 7/10

I don't have as much to say about the dark red 94 as I do other frames, because to me it was at the bottom of the 94 line from Donnay. I really don't see this frame in production very long, as it is just too close to the other 94's which perform better than this one does. For reference I played with all of the custom settings and liked this one with the stock cap, and the 3g strips at 9:00 and 3:00 the best. I still rate it pretty high because it is a good stick, but if I were going to shell out for a Donnay this one wouldn't be it. I would trade my YT Prestige for any of the other 94's in the line, but would probably stick to my prestige over this one. It does accell on the serve, and on touch volleys, so I guess if I were playing a ton of doubles I may consider this frame a bit more... However, I play more singles than doubles and like a more all court frame. If anyone else has given this frame a try I would love to hear their thoughts on this as well
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