Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Racquet Review

 

“I grew up idolizing the legends of the game, so it was natural for me to play with Wilson Pro Staff 85-inch racquets. I love the feel a smaller head provides, and larger rackets couldn’t deliver the feedback I needed to be successful. This new Wilson Pro Staff racket has been a long time coming, but I finally have the feel I need in a 97-inch head.”
- Roger Federer

 

Specifications

Head Size 97 sq in/62 sq cm

Weight 12 oz/340 g (unstrung)

Balance 12 in/305 mm/12 points Head Light (unstrung)

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 1.56.52 PM 68

String Pattern 16x19

 For advanced players

See full racquet description


Summary

What Wilson says:

Designed for attackers. Made betterer by Federer.

The sport of tennis is evolving, so is the Pro Staff. Developed with the help of Roger Federer and engineered for the next generation of tennis, the new Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph features a 26% wider beam delivering more power, a larger head size, and a bigger sweet spot, but keeps the pure, classic feel that players love.

Technologies:

Amplifeel Technology:
Provides an even cleaner and enhanced feel in the racquet. Amplifeel also allows for a more customized handle system providing additional handle comfort to further support maximizing the feel in each racquet and player segment.

Braided Graphite + Kevlar:
Provides a pure, solid and consistent feel that players have loved for decades. This strong construction also dampeners vibration and enhances touch and control.

 

How does it differ from the previous model used by Roger Federer, 2014 Wilson Pro Staff Six.One 90?

The main difference between the two frames is the head size. The Pro Staff Six.One 90 contained a 90 squared inch head size, whereas the Pro Staff RF97 Autograph has a 97 squared inch head size. By increasing the head size, the overall power generation, sweet spot and forgiveness of the racquet increases.

Moreover, to compensate for the increased power and to maintain the classic feel known of the Pro Staff series, Wilson re-introduced Kevlar into the frame. The addition of Kevlar isn't a new concept for Wilson racquets, or those used by Federer. Four of Federer's past nine racquets have contained various amounts of Kevlar. However, this is the first time it's been braided throughout the entire frame.

Kevlar is five times stronger than steel, is extremely lightweight and readily absorbs vibrations. It's used in numerous other practical applications, including tires, body armor and reinforcement for boat hulls. By braiding it around graphite, it provides an incomparable stability to the racquet's frame.

 

Our play-testers' opinion:

Our play-testers were very pleased with the re-designed Wilson Pro Staff. Overall, they found the Pro Staff RF97 Autograph remained true to its roots by maintaining the solid feel and feedback the series is known for.

Pros

That classic, solid feel was especially noticed on volleys. Most of our play-testers felt it greatly improved their net game. Volleys were crisp, easy to control and touch was enhanced.

Most evidently and enjoyed, was the enlarged sweet spot. With the greater head size, our play-testers observed an increase in rally consistency, especially with off-centre shots. Compared to most other 2015 Wilson racquets, the power generation was lower (score of 3). However, there was an increase in power, without any change in control - as compared to the previous version.

Cons

Due to the heavy weight of the racquet, our play-testers found it was challenging to maneuver, especially on serves. However, this was no more than the previous version. After some time, they were all able to adjust to the weight and harness the added power it provided on groundstrokes.

 

Bottom Line:

Overall the 2015 Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph is a true player's racquet with optimal control and a classic, solid feel. The increased head size and consequential increased sweet spot provides greater forgiveness on off-centre shots and greater rally consistency potential around the court. We would suggest this racquet to advanced level players with very fast swing speeds.

We think this racquet is worth a demo for those that were fans of the previous version Wilson Pro Staff Six.One 90 but are looking for slightly more power.

 Go to the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph


Brought to you by:
Merchant of Tennis Play-Test Team

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