- Jon Levey
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Long known for the multitude and quality of their string offerings, Tecnifibre doesn’t own quite the same distinction when it comes to their frames. That could partially be a result of availability -- the rackets are more plentiful and popular in Europe -- and partly because they produce just a few racket lines. But don’t mistake a lack of notoriety with a lack of worth. Tecnifibre
frames are first-rate performers.
Case in point is the new TFight 315 Dynacore. If you’re looking for a player’s frame that possesses many of the coveted “modern” traits -- firm-feeling, quick, spin-friendly -- yet still maintains a desirable level of versatility and precision, this one strikes that balance quite nicely. At a strung weight of just over 11.5 oz., the TFight 315 has sufficient mass and firmness to deliver and stand up to pace, yet is light enough to avoid being cumbersome. The high degree of maneuverability is handy for generating swing speed to put extra spin on the ball, which the 315 does exceptionally well. The 16x19 string pattern in the 98 square- inch head proves grippy on topspin groundies and kick serves, providing nice jump on shots.
While control-oriented, the racket still possesses enough inherent pop to thump flat serves, put away short balls or turn the tables when in trouble, but not so much that it’s necessary to temper swings to be precise and consistent with rally shots. At its stock weight, most players will probably squeeze enough juice out of the frame. However, more advanced players may need to add a bit of mass to give groundstrokes better plow through. Fortunately, its specs make the TFight 315 a prime candidate for customization.
However, if lighter frames are more to your liking, the TFight 300 sits just over 11 oz. in that tweener sweet spot that so many new offerings occupy. But unlike the numerous powerbrokers in that category -- Tecnifibre’s TFlash line is better-suited for that cause -- the 300 is more about spin and control. As it doesn’t have the heft of its bigger brother, it also doesn’t pack quite the punch. But since it’s more nimble and easier to swing, you can make up for it by creating some impressive racket head speed.
I usually opt for beefier sticks, so it took me some court time before getting accustomed to the 300. Once I got in a rhythm, I found it rather proficient at hitting consistent, high, heavy topspin groundies that landed within a few feet of the baseline. The frame swings so easily that it doesn’t require much effort to find plenty of giddy up on serves, too. The quickness is also appreciated on volleys, as I never felt slow or late on shots. However, the lower weight of the 300 became more apparent at net as it could use a little more backbone to absorb pace. But this frame seems more adept at driving the ball rather than placing it. Overall, the racket reminded me of a less powerful, more flexible Babolat AeroPro.
It was also my experience that both these frames were rather string sensitive. When strung with Tecnifibre’s HDX Tour -- an elastomer/poly hybrid-in-one type of string -- my shots had a great deal of life and the response was crisp and comfortable. I generally favor an all poly setup, but this string seemed to complement them more effectively. In fact, when I went full poly with Tecnifibre’s Black Code, the frames didn’t perform quite as dynamically. Control and spin were still both spot-on -- maybe even higher than with the HDX Tour -- but the racket could feel dead and little stiff outside the sweet spot. And while still dependable on volleys, playing with touch became more of an issue. So experimenting with the string setup, while always critical, may be even more so with these rackets.
Besides the playability, another highlight of the frames is the attention to detail Tecnifibre took in its construction. EZ Lock Eyelets -- larger, flatter, reinforced grommets -- give a sturdier and more efficient platform for tying string knots. There’s also the Armor Cap bumper, which bolsters the frame in high wear areas. Neither addition will increase MPH or RPM on a player’s forehand, but they’re still premium touches that elevate the value of the frame.
Add it all up, the Tecnifibre TFight 315 and TFight 300 are certainly worth the effort.
Jon Levey authors The Pro Shop blog at Tennis.com