Wilson Pro Staff 97 – Review

The Pro Staff line from Wilson has always been very well known for providing excellent control and feel for all types of players. With flexible beams and a classic feel with the racquet overall, the newest versions have a lot of positives.

They tend to be a little heavier than the average racquet, but there are so many different weight options that a person can find exactly what fits their playing style.

Is the racquet line heavily inspired by what Roger Federer plays with worthy of a try? Many people have skipped the Wilson Pro Staff in the past, simply because it has that old-school reputation that some modern players do not want to touch. However, it might be time to give it another try with the v13 options out and ready to go.

Before going Into the review, here are our overall ratings.

First Impressions

Before even using the Wilson Pro Staff 97 standard version, the numbers can be intimidating for modern players. The strung weight of the racquet is 11.7 ounces, and it has a swingweight of 321. The 97 in.² head size is a little intimidating, but numbers on paper are just part of the story. To really get a chance to look at what the racquet brings to the table, getting out there and hitting with it is the only way to find out.

People will quickly realize that it does play a little bit different, but not nearly as much as some might think. It is a pretty speedy racquet overall, and people can control all power they might have. It has great feel on all types of shots, and seems like something that a person could get better and better with as time goes on.


Groundstrokes are always going to be the first selling point for any person trying a brand new racquet. The Wilson Pro Staff 97 is probably going to pass that initial test, even if it is not entirely perfect from the very beginning.

Players will need to realize that they have to hit a bit more aggressively to get the ball deep in the court, but that is a good thing for advanced players. Instead of feeling like they are holding back all the time, they can take big rips at the ball and see that they can push their opponents back in ways that they probably have not with their current setup.

There is definitely some added spin and better maneuverability with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13. The ball is pocketing a little more on the string bed, giving people more control in putting the ball where they want to. Groundstrokes feel very consistent even with a slightly smaller sweet spot. Instead of hoping that all is going in a certain direction, a person can start to really dial things in on both sides if they give it enough of a chance.


Hitting with a racquet with a smaller head size can usually be a bit hit or miss with serving. That is somewhat the case with the Wilson Pro Staff 97, although it is improved over the previous options. Some people will find it pretty effortless to serve with this racquet, while others are going to wish that it provided a bit more power overall.

Those who already generate plenty of power are going to be the ones to benefit from serving with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 more than ever. With the power provided, the racquet is going to take care of the rest. Players are going to find it very controlled-oriented on first and second serves. Yes, there is a little less margin for error when trying to hit kick serves, but that is to be expected with a slightly smaller racquet.

As for players who do not necessarily hit with as much power as they would like, the standard version is probably not the best option. People hunting for free power can find better racquets out on the market, and there are even some in the Wilson Pro Staff line that do a bit better of a job.

It does take a little bit of effort to get the serve going at a better pace, but it is rewarding if a player gets to that level. Overall, it is a bit of a mixed bag, but play-testers usually know what type of player they are going in.


Wilson has improved control and feel with all of their racquets across-the-board thanks to some new technology. That is good news for people who have struggled with volleying in the past with the Pro Staff, but it might not be enough to convert others into having that same confidence level.

The main thing that people can’t seem to get over with volleying is hitting the ball consistently with a smaller head size. Getting timing down is a little bit different with the added weight and maneuverability. Still, once a person can do that, there is definitely an opportunity to do a lot of volleying to put balls away.

Volleys are always the toughest thing to get used to with a new racquet, so getting as much time as possible with this before making a judgment is the best way to go. Some people will look absolutely terrible hitting volleys, in the beginning, only to feel like this is the perfect racquet for them later on.

Making fast judgments with a racquet that takes a little bit of time to get used to is going to frustrate people. Do not jump to any conclusions, and be patient with how things progress.

Different Versions

Unlike some of the other Wilson racquets out there, the Wilson Pro Staff line sticks with a 97 in.² size for every option they have. They do switch up the weight considerably, so that is something to consider if they do not feel like they can handle the standard option. This version is what most pro players uses.

In fact, the weight drops down to 10 ounces if a person goes with the Wilson Prostaff 97UL v13. Obviously, a person is losing quite a bit of pros that the standard racquet would provide when they drop down to that weight, but it could be perfect for those who want a speedier performing racquet while learning the game.

These are the specs for the standard Wilson Pro Staff 97 racquet.

Wilson Pro Staff 97Specs
Head Size97 sq. in
Length27 in
Weight (strung)11.7 oz / 330g
Balance7pts Head Light
String Pattern16×19

Final Thoughts & Recommendations

The Wilson Pro Staff line is the most challenging racquet from Wilson right now. It has that old-school appeal that has some very loyal fans, but those starting might not necessarily like what it brings to the table.

There will always be Roger Federer fans who want to try exactly what he plays with, but most people do not play anything like him to warrant going with a racquet like that.

Federer is not the only player using this racquet, it’s actually one of the most popular racquets on both the ATP and WTA Tour. Here are the top ranked players that currently plays with the Wilson Pro Staff 97.

If a player struggles with the right amount of control and does not mind a smaller head size, the Wilson Pro Staff should be part of the demo list. When in the right hands, it is definitely going to provide quite a bit of value for different types of players overall.

As long as a person is willing to give a little bit of time and even customize it, they should see some pretty good changes. If you are interested, you can check the current price on Amazon, and Wilson.com.

Check out my other Wilson racquet reviews:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *