I was skeptical about the Donnay X-Dark Red 94 tennis racquet. I mean, Donnay hasn’t been in the spotlight of tennis since Andre Agassi won Wimbledon in 1992, so the new Donnay frames were relatively new to the modern game of tennis we play today. I had demoed the Donnay X-Dark Red 94 tennis racquet for longer than allowed, just to make extra sure that I wasn’t facing a fluke of tennis prowess.
This heavy, sexy, brilliant tennis racquet is by far one of the best tennis racquets that I have ever picked up. It’s weighted nicely – without adding the cool weights from the customization package – swings beautifully, has the perfect amount of power, and it is amazing how well my arm does not feel fatigued after a long practice session.
Groundstrokes with the Donnay X-Dark Red 94 are extremely exciting, I am able to hit with a lot of pop and spin. Because Donnnay X-Dark Red 94 is designed with an open string pattern (16×19), getting kicking top spin or low bouncing slices are extremely easy. Surprisingly, control is ample with this racquet, it’s no problem going down the line, cross court, or even changing directions on aggressive shots.
Serving with the Donnay X-Dark Red 94 tennis racquet is not hard, but it’s also not effortless. Like with all tennis frames, if you want a hard, fast serve you have to know what you’re doing. With the Donnay X-Dark Red 94, if I needed extra pace I would make the effort. On normal serving, the ball would go through the service box nicely. Kick serves and slices were lots of fun as well, the kick serves are my favorite with this racket, the ball will kick up high above the shoulders (thanks to the string pattern) and even changing directions upon impact with the tennis court.
The Donnay X-Dark Red 94 has more flex (not as stiff) as some of the other racquets I have tested and reviewed. I have a long and fast swing motion which is ideal for this type of tennis racket, because I can produce my own power, the flex in this frame allows for more control and ability to direct more, so volleys are simple and precise. I feel more confident with the Donnay at net, knowing that I can rely on the tennis racquet to do some of the work for me.
The genius behind the Donnay X-Dark Red 94 tennis racquets is the the one-of-a-kind weighting system. Out of the box, all Donnay tennis racquets come with an evenly weighted frame, however; you can purchase the weight customization package. Instead of using lead tape on the head and/or grip, Donnay thought up the “on the fly” customization; yep, you can change the weight of you racquet quickly and easily – even from the court. The customization kit comes with butt-cap weights and head slide weights, I personally liked the +5 grams in the butt and zero weight in the head, making it more headlight and easier to maneuver. Each custom kit comes with two butt cap weights – +5 grams and +10 grams – one set of slide weights which weigh 3 grams total.
The best part of this tennis racquet is the thin beam throughout the entire frame, 16mm/18mm/18mm (where the Wilson BLX Six.One 95 18×20 has beam width of 22mm all around). With the super thin frame the advantage is the ability of swinging faster; because there is less wind resistance quick swings are easy to come by – faster swing can allow for more spin and power!
Because this is my absolutely favorite tennis racquet that I have ever had the pleasure of testing, I bought one for myself (it’s the racquet I use when testing tennis strings) and use it almost daily. I highly recommend the Donnay X-Dark Red 94 for the tennis player who is looking for power, spin, and comfort; this is a true example of a “players racquet”. This racquet is not for the faint of heart, you will have to commit to every stroke and know that you will not be pushed around from the baseline.
Donnay X-Dark Red 94 Specs:
Head size: 94 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 11.9oz (without customization kit)
Beam Width: 16mm / 18mm / 18mm /
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses