A Brief History of the Wilson Pro Staff
Ahead of the curve - that’s how the Wilson Pro Staff line came to be regarded as the choice of champions during the past 40 years.
The most iconic brand in tennis has continued to evolve into a popular favourite among casual players.
Launched by Wilson in 1983, the first-ever Pro Staff racquet was made of carbon rather than wood or metal materials of the iconic Jack Kramer model or the T-2000 Jimmy Connors made famous.
The Pro Staff caught consumers’ attention with its classic double braid of carbon and aramid fibers, more commonly known as Graphite/Kevlar.
Pete Sampras was one of the top players to endorse Wilson’s line and popularized the Pro Staff 85 model - using it to record 14 Grand Slam titles.
Roger Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam Champion, has long been on the Pro Staff team as well. The Fed Express even designed his own racquet, the RF 97 Autograph featuring a lighter weight and bigger, teardrop-shape sweet spot.
In the early 80s, the original 85-square inch Pro Staff model was smaller, heavier and thinner than today’s modern racquets. As tennis evolved from a finesse game to one reliant on power, racquet head sizes have grown to 95 inches or more.
The second version of the Pro Staff arose in the mid-80s, featuring the Dual Taper System - a very powerful thick-beam frame made of carbon and fiberglass. This composite allowed frames to be stiffer than wood without adding weight.
In 1990, the Pro Staff models shifted to the Classic, known today as the Pro Staff Six One, and gained the company more attention than it had previously experienced. Edberg used the racquet to capture his first US Open title in 1991 - one of six Slams for the Swede.
In 1999, Wilson’s Hammer series launched using “Hyper Carbon” technology, known to be four times stronger and stiffer, yet 65% lighter than Titanium.
Federer won his first Grand Slam title in 2003 at Wimbledon using the Pro Staff Tour 90, the fifth version of the Hyper Pro Staff.
Over the years, the nCode series emerged, followed by the (K) factor technology. Basalt became the new racquet material and helped reduce the amount of vibration felt at impact. This BLX technology became known as “Amplifeel technology.”
Spin Effect technology soon followed and featured fewer cross strings than main strings, allowing for natural spin increase.
In the 10th version, a 97-square-inch head size was introduced, along with the RF97 Signature Model. An all-black Pro Staff Countervail model followed, designed to reduce the amount of energy sent to a players arm from the ball and racquet, thereby creating less fatigue.
Wilson’s 2020 edition stays true to the double braid; however the strings are now arranged at 45-degree angles. The new model additionally adds a comforting rounded end cap and a denser string bed to increase precision.
Through effort, innovation and adherence to high standards, the Wilson Pro Staff line now has a broader market share and appeals to players of every skill level. By adapting to the game and standing the test of time, the Pro Staff has served the game well.
For more information on the latest Pro Staff tennis racquets, view our Pro Staff Collection.
Pro Staff & Roger Federer
View more information on Roger's Federer's 2020 Pro Staff RF97 Autograph v13