In recent memory, one of the most underrated players in tennis has been Stan Wawrinka. With three grand slam singles titles and a career-high ranking of number three in the world, he has put together a Hall of Fame career. However, he has always lived in the shadow of the big four of this generation, and most notably his compatriot, Roger Federer.
Despite getting overlooked, many envy his style of play. He is a smaller player who relies on playing powerful shots from the baseline. He has one of the best one-handed backhands of all-time, and when it is on, he’s always a tough out at any tournament.
What allows him to generate this power? Not only does he have a powerful, compact body that allows him to generate a lot of power on his shots, but he has a racquet built for his style of play.
What racquet does Wawrinka use? Stan Wawrinka currently plays with the Yonex VCORE Pro 97. He strings his racquet with Babolat RPM Blast 16 in the mains and crosses. Wawrinka have used this racquet setup for quite some time now and doesn’t seem to be changing it in the near future.
How Is Wawrinka’s Racquet Different From The Retail Version?
Yonex uses the current paint job of the Yonex Vcore Pro 97, but anyone who knows a lot about tennis racquets will be able to notice the difference in form. The Yonex VCORE 95D not only has a slightly smaller head size, but the throat area of the racquet is different as well.
The stock weight of the VCORE Pro 97 is 12.3 ounces, while Wawrinka’s racquet weighs in at just over 13 ounces. That racquet, for most intermediate and advances players, is just too heavy to move around and play with for hours and hours. That is perhaps the biggest reason why Yonex doesn’t make a racquet that more closely resembles what he prefers.
While playing, the biggest difference between the stock version of the Yonex Vcore Pro 97 and what Wawrinka uses mostly comes down to weight. He loves playing with a heavy racquet, allowing him to plow through the ball and keep up with bigger and stronger players on court.
Stan Wawrinka’s Racquet Specifications
Yonex currently does not sell Wawrinka’s actual racquet, so below is a look at the racquet he endorses, which plays very similar. It’s a great racquet for many different types of players, especially those looking to hit hard from the baseline.
Yonex VCORE Pro 97
- Head size: 97 square inches
- Length: 27 inches
- Weight: 12.3 ounces
- Balance: 7 points head-light
- Swingweight: 332
- Stiffness 65
- String Pattern: 16 x 19
The recommended string tension ranges from 45-60 pounds, but Wawrinka himself stays in the mid-60s for most of the year. He likes the added control of having a high string tension using poly.
Yonex has always done a pretty good job with upgrades every single generation, and this one is no different. What stands out with the VCORE Pro 97 is improved torque, spin potential and feel.
They were able to redesign the throat of the racquet (which is the telltale sign that Wawrinka is using a different racquet). A lot of early testers are impressed with how much better the racquet feels on each shot. Even balls not hit on the sweet spot don’t result in vibrations shooting up and down the arm.
The vast majority of players will appreciate the 97 square inch head size compared to the 95 square inch head size Wawrinka uses. Players have to be just a little more precise with each shot when the head size is 95 or below. With the speed of rallies, it’s just becoming tough to consistently hit clean shots.
Stan Wawrinka Racquet Review
The Yonex Vcore Pro 97 might be a little advanced for some people, but others will see it as a perfect racquet that can provide enough customizable options to fit each player’s needs. It is a very comfortable option, available in different weights depending on the type of player a person is.
Out of all the major things players look for out of a racquet, the Yonex Vcore Pro 97 might be lacking most in the serving department. This racquet isn’t the absolute worst by any means to hit powerful serves with, but some might be underwhelmed with the power. Serving feels pretty average or slightly above average for the most part across the board.
That is not to say that serving with this racquet is bad. A person who can generate their own power will not have much trouble putting the ball where they want it. Just don’t expect much “free” power, like some other racquets provide. It is simply not going to be there for most people.
This racquet was meant to be endorsed by Wawrinka, and it’s as simple as testing groundstrokes with it. On both wings, this racquet performs at a very high level. Most racquets that excel on the ground these days have larger head sizes, but the 97 square inch head size does not feel limiting at all.
What a player gets is easy power from deep off the court. Hitting with topspin is easy, but it works just fine for people who need to hit flat balls as well. There is a huge sweet spot on this racquet, so players should always go for their shots and really get the most out of the benefits.
Topspin is something not everyone hits with ease, but it is a good racquet to work on it with. Everyone can benefit from a little added topspin.
A racquet that is easy to maneuver is always going to be a great option at the net. With some great responsiveness as well, this racquet works well for serve and volleyers, and doubles players as well. Coming from another racquet, the volleys might need adjusting a bit to add a bit more depth and power. Once a person fine-tunes exactly how this racquet reacts to volleys, it is a great option everyone should feel comfortable using.
You can read our full review in this post.
Who Should Use The Wawrinka Racquet?
Yonex is considered by many to be that tier below the huge manufacturers in tennis. Even though they have a pretty solid amount of touring pros, some people are initially hesitant to try out the unique head shape they use on their racquets.
It’s worth a demo for anyone who considers themselves to be a great player from the baseline. There are few racquets on the market right now that can even come close to being as good for that playing style. It’s a challenging racquet depending on what a player is moving from, but most can settle in nicely.
A lot of people compare it to different options available from Wilson out there right now. It’s worth checking out if any player is looking for something slightly different, and attempting to explore all the different options out there. It’s even considered to be one of the best looking racquets cosmetically on the market right now, which is always a positive.
If a player is still sitting at the intermediate level, it might be a little too much racquet to handle. No one wants to be discouraged when they are playing tennis, so it may not be the best idea to fully commit to it. Find a lighter racquet with a little bit bigger of a head size to ease into things more.
Can You Buy Wawrinka’s Racquet?
The only way to buy the racquet that Stan Wawrinka uses is to buy used or to find someone who has old stock. Yonex no longer makes the model, and they have fully embraced the new option from them.
Those looking to buy the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 just need to look online for some great deals overall. It used to be somewhat difficult to find Yonex racquets in the United States in the past, but they have a much stronger showing overall in 2019. You can check the current price on Amazon here.
In a lot of ways, the racquet endorsed by Stan Wawrinka is a little similar to the player himself. Even though it is pretty well-known and well respected, it certainly isn’t the most popular racquet out there amongst casual players. Part of that is due to Yonex not being the most popular brand in the world, and it is more of a racquet for advanced players.
Those who truly give it a try will know that there is a lot to love about what the racquet can do at a high level. It is also a very affordable racquet, routinely found a little cheaper than some of the main competitors. Most people will know for sure whether or not it is something that can work for them after playing with it for a couple of sessions.