Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 Review and Playtest

The new Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 has finally arrived. Find out what all the hype is about in our review.

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Unless you have been living under a rock for a few decades, you must have heard about the iconic Wilson Pro Staff 97 racket’s line. They have set new standards on the market, and are a true weapon on the court, in the hands of any players. That’s why, when the new update Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 came out a while ago, fans were excited, to say the least. 

Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 tennis racket review
Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13
Best tennis racket for advanced players

Groundstrokes: 8.7

Volleys: 9.1

Serve: 8.5

Returns: 9.2

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Before joining the hype, though, I decided to try this tennis racket myself. Needless to say, the expectations were very high, and after the test, I have a lot of things to say, as I intend to keep this review straightforward and honest. If you are thinking that it’s time for a new racket update, you want to read this Wilson Pro Staff 97 review. 

Overall8.68/10
Serves8.5
Volleys9.1
Groundstrokes8.7
Returns8.4
Topspin8.5
Slice8.9
Power8.2
Control9.3
Comfort8.6
Touch9.0
Maneuverability8.1
Stability8.8

Wilson Pro Staff 97 Specifications

Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 tennis racket has a clean, minimalistic design that truly represents classical tennis style. That’s the first thing I noticed and liked when it arrived. It has a mixed composition of graphite and aramid materials that are very durable and of high quality. 

This is a racket built for control, with a 97 in² head size and a standard length of 27 inches. The string pattern is 16 x 19, but it’s quite stiff with a limited sweetspot, which you either hit or miss. Wilson Pro Staff 97 tennis racket weight is 11.7 oz, which means it falls into the heavy side range. 

Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 Racket Review

Surprisingly, it has 7 points headlight balance, with a reasonable swing weight of 321g, making this racket very easy to maneuver. It also generates a lot of speed and heavy topspin and quickly returns to position. 

The stability this racket provides is a dream for any advanced player. The racket delivers all the promises for precision and control, helping the player to control where the ball goes and adding depth with each shot. 

You can immediately feel the connection with the racket; it has an incredible feel and is very responsive. However, this racket has its tradeoffs because it serves better only a category of players. The power level is quite low, and you should be able to generate strength and pace on your own physically. This comes as no surprise, considering these specifications.

If you are a beginner or player with a smaller physique, I recommend looking up other tennis rackets for beginners

  • Head size: 97 in² / 625.81 cm²
  • Length: 27 in / 68.58 cm
  • Balance: 7 pts HL
  • Weight: 11.7 oz / 332 g
  • Swingweight: 321 
  • Stiffness: 66 
  • Composition: Braided Graphite & Aramid
  • Beam width: 21.5mm / 21.5mm / 21.5mm
  • String pattern: 16 main / 19 crosses 
  • Racket’s color: Black 

Groundstrokes – Score: 8.7

Great spin and excellent control! That’s what stood up the most from Wilson Pro Staff 97 tennis racket when it came to groundstrokes. Overall, it delivered a good performance in this aspect, and I felt an almost immediate connection to the racket. 

Wilson Pro Staff 97 Review

It has a nice crispy feeling and generates heavy topspin, which is perfect for those aggressive classical players. 

Another highlight of the racket is the thick beam, which helped immensely to control or change the pace going after random drop shots. 

As expected, it had an outstanding level of control and stability. It was very easy to direct the ball, with high precision and added depth. Even though the racket has an open string pattern, this is a stiff racket. It doesn’t have a large sweetspot either, but one can still feel it with a little work and precision.

It was easier to hit the sweetspot during the forehand slices, but I struggled quite a lot with the backhand ones.

This Wilson tennis racket is not the most maneuverable racket there is, but however, is still quite manageable. Thanks to the new updates, the Willson tennis racket brand has made the racket more comfortable for the arm as well. It is not a surprise that this racket doesn’t deliver much power, but this comes as a natural tradeoff of its amazing stability and control level. 

Volleys – Score: 9.1

Up in the net was where Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 excelled in performance, so much so I wouldn’t mind using this racket for volleys every time I hit the court from now on. Once again, the high control and stability stood out, making the volleys much more enjoyable. 

My backhand slices were a personal favorite with this racket, and I also enjoyed the added depth with each shot. The racket has a nice crispy feel and is so unbelievably responsive that it is hard not to like it. 

It was so precise that I knew exactly where the ball would land, and it was easy to block those dangerous shots. I was able to put my opponent in great difficulty more than once, giving me a much-appreciated boost of confidence and advantage. 

This racket is solid, which is to be expected with such a stiff frame. The only drawback I experienced was the level of maneuverability; after all, 11.7 ounces weight can be quite difficult to carry around the court. However, it didn’t take too long until I started getting used to it, and from then on, it got easy to manage. 

Serve – Score: 8.5

I promised to be honest, so I’ll have to admit that serves weren’t my favorite for Wilson Pro Staff 97 racket. Actually, I found myself struggling a bit with the first big serves due to the lack of maneuverability and high level of control, which is not an ideal combination when it comes to servings. 

Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 Review Serve

The fact that this Wilson racket is low-powered, with a hard-to-find sweetspot, and not as forgiving didn’t help either because these two features combined add more pressure to the player.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy the high precision this racket has to offer, and the control is something I could make work as I connected the racket. The heavy spin really helped with all of my slices, and with this racket, I was able to maintain and control the pace. 

The light head of the racket made the full swings effortless, which was the part I enjoyed the most when it came to serves.Overall, I would say that Wilson Pro Staff 97 delivered a decent performance, even at serving. 

All the drawbacks are to be expected with a racket as such, engineered for control and stability. However, all of these can be overcome with practice and physical strength preparation, and any advanced player can learn to take full advantage of this racket.

Returns – Score: 8.4

For the returns, Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 tennis racket get’s the job done, and the more time you spend connecting with it, the better it performs. Since this racket falls on the heavy side and has a stiff solid frame means that you can’t be pushed around by the opponent. 

In returns, I enjoyed the racket’s most distinguishing features; control, stability, and precision. All of these combined helped to redirect the ball back and deal better with the powerful big serves of the opponent. 

It was also effortless to land the ball where I aimed to, adding depth with each shot. I think this racket fits best the players with an aggressive game style, who like to get offensive and attack the serves. 

High stability helps to block the ball and to get back at the rival with fast swings. The heavy topspin Wilson Pro Staff 97 tennis racket provides is also a great advantage in the returns. The nice, crispy feel was helpful too, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. 

As you can guess by now, the main drawback was the low level of maneuverability, which cost me a few points at the beginning of the game. However, you won’t be able to feel it as much with practice and time, which will help you connect better with the racket. 

Overall – Score: 8.7

Overall, Wilson Pro Staff 97 is the best tennis racket, strongly appealing to advanced tennis players. It has a timeless classic design with a cool edge for the modern player. The level of control and stability has been truly outstanding.

This racket can transform into a true weapon in the hand of the right player, especially for those who prefer full fast swings and powerful strokes. 

Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 Tennis Racket Review

Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 is able to generate heavy topspin and controlled speed, which increases performance in all areas of the court. Thanks to the crispy, clean feel it offers, it was easy to connect with this racket. It is highly responsive, with excellent feedback which makes this racket a delight to play with. 

It is an optimal choice for players with an aggressive game style who can take full advantage of all this racket offers. 

However, this isn’t a racket for everyone because it requires a lot of skillful technique and physical strength. It isn’t the easiest racket to maneuver and is low-powered, a combination that will make any beginner or player with a small physique feel miserable and out of control in the field. If you fit into this category, I’ll recommend looking for other best tennis rackets for beginners

Different Models

This review wouldn’t be complete without playtesting the other Wilson Pro Staff racket line versions. These alternative models have some main differences in their specifications and design, making the line more well-rounded to tend to a wide range of players of all skill levels. 

Wilson Pro Staff 97 Countervail

The Wilson Pro Staff 97 Countervail has a very similar design to the first model but with a slightly lighter weight and balance. This makes the racket easier to control and maneuver, even though the change it’s not dramatic. 

Wilson Pro Staff 97 Countervail tennis racket review
Wilson Pro Staff 97 Countervail
Best tennis racket for precision and control

Groundstrokes: 8.2

Volleys: 8.5

Serve: 8.5

Returns: 7.6

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This is a racket built for precision and control, making it a great option for advanced or high intermediate players. It generates heavy topspin and is incredibly fast. 

This is arguably a more muted model version of the Wilson Pro Staff tennis racket. It has a more generous sweetspot, and has a more forgiving frame, made of special carbon fiber that reduces impact. Overall, this is a good tennis racket that performs well in all court areas and delivers a more friendly user experience. 

Specs 

  • Head size: 97 in² / 625.81 cm²
  • Length: 27 in / 68.58 cm
  • Balance: 7 points HL 
  • Weight:11.6 oz. / 330 g.
  • Swingweight: 320
  • Stiffness: 65 
  • Composition: Graphite, Countervail
  • Beam width:  21.5 mm / 21.5 mm / 21.5 mm
  • String pattern: 16 main / 19 crosses 
  • Racket’s color: Black and white

Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph

The Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph is the heaviest tennis racket in this line. This is made for highly advanced and professional players who have mastered the techniques to play with it. It requires a lot of footwork and physical strength to take full advantage of this racket.

Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph tennis racket review
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph
Best tennis racket for aggressive players

Groundstrokes: 8.9

Volleys: 9.0

Serve: 8.5

Returns: 8.5

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Compared to the first model, it has two higher points balance, making it incredibly fast. This is noticeably a much heavier weight, with a stiffer frame, so if you are recovering from an injury, it’s better to stay away from it.

 In the hands of a skillful player, Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph can become a true weapon. It has an excellent level of control and stability, a great feel, and is highly responsive. It is the perfect option for a very aggressive, very gifted tennis player. If this sounds like you, then you want to try this racket out.

Specs 

  • Head size: 97 in² / 625.81 cm²
  • Length: 27 in / 68.58 cm
  • Balance: 9 points HL 
  • Weight: 12.6oz / 357.2g
  • Swingweight:  335
  • Stiffness: 68
  • Composition: Graphite braided with aramid
  • Beam width: 21.5mm / 21.5mm / 21.5mm
  • String pattern: 16 main / 19 crosses 
  • Racket’s color: Black 

Conclusion

The Wilson Pro Staff 97 tennis racket meets all the high expectations for high performance and playability. This is a great addition to the iconic Wilson rackets line, and the new feature updates are applaudable. The rackets offer a nice blend of control, stability, and speed. It performs well in all court areas and has a clean, crispy feel that helps to connect better and faster with it. 

Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 tennis racket review
Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13
Best tennis racket for advanced players

Groundstrokes: 8.7

Volleys: 9.1

Serve: 8.5

Returns: 9.2

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Choosing a tennis racket is not easy, there are a few important things you should consider, such as type, size, weight, etc based on your skill levels. 

The Wilson Pro Staff 97 and all similar versions are made for highly advanced players who have mastered the skills to take full advantage of their features. It also requires a certain level of physical strength, as these rackets are low-powered and not very maneuverable.

However, if you are skillful enough to go past that, any of these rackets can easily become a true weapon on the court. If I had to pick a personal favorite, that would be Wilson Pro Staff 97, for all the great features it has to offer and the timeless design.

FAQs

Consult the FAQs below to learn more about the Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 tennis racket and similar models. 

Q: Is Wilson Pro Staff 97 too heavy?

No, Wilson Pro Staff 97 is not too heavy. Its weight is 11.7 oz / 332 g, which is very similar to other top-performing rackets on the market. 

Q: Is Wilson Pro Staff 97 good for beginners?

No, Wilson Pro Staff 97 is not recommended for beginners. It is made for highly advanced and professional players who have mastered the techniques to play with it. there are other good tennis rackets for beginners such as Babolat Boost Drive.

Q: Who uses the Pro Staff 97?

Some of the professional tennis players who use the Wilson Pro Staff 97 include Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, and Milos Raonic. 

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Author

Mario

I am Mario, a professional tennis player and a USPTA certificated tennis instructor.

Here at TennisRacketBall, we differentiate ourselves from other review sites by actually purchasing and using products. We do not allow ourselves to be bribed! We are 100% honest with our reviews even when manufacturers do not like it.

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