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The Wilson Pro Staff is one of the best tennis racquets for control on the market. Below, we’ll review the Wilson Pro Staff, including pros, cons, and different models of the racquet. Then, we’ll compare it to other tennis racquets to help you decide if the Pro Staff is right for you.
Review Summary & Ratings for the Wilson Pro Staff
For advanced players looking for a control-oriented racquet, the Wilson Pro Staff is in a class of its own.
It is a great racquet for high-intermediate or advanced players looking to complement their power with precision. This in-depth review of the Wilson Pro Staff will help you understand why the Pro Staff is one of the best tennis racquets on the market today.
See our ratings, plus the pros and cons of the Wilson Pro Staff below for a quick glance at how it performs compared to other tennis racquets.
Our Ratings for the Wilson Pro Staff
- Power: 7
- Control: 9
- Spin: 8
- Serve: 7
- Return: 8
- Groundstrokes: 8
- Volleys: 9
- Price: $$$
- Great advanced control-oriented racquet
- Heavy frame provides excellent stability on volleys & defending against pace
- Very precise feel helps with touch around the net
- Easy access to spin
- Good handling at the net for an advanced racquet
- Comfortable on contact
- For advanced players only
- Small sweet spot
Different Versions of the Wilson Pro Staff
The Wilson Pro Staff racquet comes in different versions that vary in weight, and a few other specifications. Below is a list of the different Wilson Pro Staff tennis racquets available.
We’ll review each version in more detail below.
What did Wilson Update with the Pro Staff v13?
With the newest versions of the Pro Staff, Wilson did not make significant changes.
Although there were other very minor changes, the weight of the racquet decreasing by 0.3 oz was the main change.
You can still purchase the old version of the Pro Staff and its family of racquets for a discount.
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Wilson Pro Staff v13 Review: A Racquet Built for Control
We’ll start with the main version, the Wilson Pro Staff v13. Below are the specifications and on-court performance you should expect from this racquet.
Wilson Pro Staff v13 Racquet Specifications
- Weight: 11.7 oz. strung
- Head Size: 97 square inches
- Length: 27 inches
- Balance: 320 mm
- String Pattern: 16×19
Read our guide on how to choose a tennis racquet.
This is a relatively heavy tennis racquet, built for control and feel. The Pro Staff is one of the top 8 tennis racquets for control. The 16×19 string pattern allows you to generate plenty of spin on your groundstrokes or slice on your backhand like Federer himself.
The beam width is narrower than many modern racquets which helps with control. Wilson’s carbon technology enhances the feel and comfort of this racquet as well.
The Pro Staff is an Excellent Racquet for Control & has Great Stability
When compared with some of the other best tennis racquets for advanced players, the Pro Staff has fantastic control. The racquet’s narrow frame and smaller head size allow you to move the ball around the court with precision.
Singles players will find that their groundstrokes, volleys, and returns are more accurate with the Pro Staff. With the open 16×19 string pattern, you can still create good spin as well.
Doubles players will love the control, feel, and touch from the Pro Staff. You’ll be able to hit more accurate volleys and better drop shots too.
Because the Pro Staff is slightly heavier than most other racquets on the market today, it is a more stable option.
The technology behind the frame helps with stability as well. This means that any shots that you hit off-center won’t have that shock feedback that often comes with more power-focused racquets. The stability also helps the ball stay in the court.
The Pro Staff is Great for Returns & Volleys
The Pro Staff performs well on both returns and volleys.
- On groundstrokes, the Pro Staff provides a lot of plow-through.
- On volleys, the racquet has lots of stability, making it very playable.
- On returns, the Pro Staff is very forgiving on mishits and helps tame fast serves.
- On serves, this racquet doesn’t provide a lot of its own power but is very solid.
Overall, the Pro Staff is great for players who can generate their own power and are looking for control.
Reviewing Other Versions of the Wilson Pro Staff
The three other Pro Staff versions differ in weight. Here are the specifications for the Pro Staff RF97, Pro Staff 97L, and Pro Staff 97UL.
|Pro Staff RF97||Pro Staff 97L||Pro Staff 97UL|
|Heavier than the 97 v13, at 12.6 oz.||Lighter than the 97 v13, at 10.8 oz.||Lighter than the 97 v13, at 10.0 oz.|
|This adds stability and power.||This version offers less stability and power.||Lightweight and easy to swing.|
|Has less maneuverability.||Easier to swing.||Maintains control.|
|For advanced players only.||Great for intermediate or advanced players who prefer a lighter racquet.||Great for high-level beginners or intermediate players, or juniors who need a light racquet.|
|Buy the Pro Staff RF97 on Tennis Warehouse||Buy the Pro Staff 97L on Tennis Warehouse||Buy the Pro Staff 97UL on Tennis Warehouse|
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The Best Alternatives to the Wilson Pro Staff
Below are several tennis racquets similar to the Wilson Pro Staff.
- Head Prestige – A more powerful advanced racquet, the Prestige doesn’t offer the same spin as the Pro Staff but provides great stability and control.
- Wilson Blade – This Wilson racquet has a slightly larger, more forgiving frame than the Pro Staff making it a great alternative for intermediate players.
- Head Radical – A slightly more power-oriented racquet than the Pro Staff, the Head Radical still provides good control and comfort. It’s also a bit easier to swing.
- Babolat Pure Strike – This racquet has better power and spin than the Pro Staff, but isn’t quite as precise or comfortable on contact.
My Experience Playing with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13
I played with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 for several practice sessions and competitive tennis matches. When hitting with the Wilson Pro Staff, I noticed two things very quickly.
I Loved the Control, Feel, and Touch of the Pro Staff
I was able to place the ball nearly anywhere I wanted on the court. The racquet felt so comfortable on contact with great feel, it seemed like I could redirect and move the tennis ball and my opponent around with ease.
My drop shots and short angles were extremely accurate compared to my normal play (I typically use the Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro).
The Pro Staff’s Stability Helped Me Defend Against Pace
The second thing I noticed was how stable the Wilson Pro Staff was.
I had no issues volleying hard hit groundstrokes. Even when I made contact slightly off-center, the ball still managed to go in with decent accuracy.
Half volleys around the net were particularly easy with the Pro Staff. It felt like I just had to get the racquet in the way of the ball, and it would do all the work. The ball stayed low over the net, allowing me to transition to offense quickly.
Returning against big servers was also a nice bonus. I could stretch out on my backhand or forehand side and still hit a solid return back to the opponent. Again, even slight mishits were getting over the net and staying in the court.
The stability made defending hard hit balls much easier. The Pro Staff allowed me to stay in the point and transition to the net with ease.
I Couldn’t Find Depth & Power from the Pro Staff
The only drawback to playing with this racquet was the lack of power.
I did not easily hit the ball with depth on my groundstrokes, and my serve was definitely slower than normal.
I was playing mostly doubles, so I tried to get to the net as quickly as possible, where this racquet excelled.
After testing and reviewing the Wilson Pro Staff, I’d recommend it for high-level intermediate to advanced players who can easily create their own power.
If I were to stick with the Pro Staff, I think I would love it for the 3 games I’m not serving (in doubles). However, since I don’t generate much natural power on my serve, I struggled to get free points from missed returns.
Wilson Pro Staff Video Review
In the video below, I review 4 versions of the Wilson Pro Staff racquets.
There’s also a 100 sq. In. version exclusive to Tennis Warehouse called the Six One. I’m not good enough to use a 98 or 97, but the 100 is a the perfect balance of power, spin, and control. It’s been a total game-changer for me.
Will Boucek says
Thanks for the comment Jim! I haven’t had a chance to try out the 100 version yet. It’s great that they have a more forgiving version of this racquet. Glad it’s working for you 🙂
Thanks for the helpful review. I’m looking to move from a prestige to a pro staff and the 97 v13 rounds right in my ball park. My only concern is lack of power, would you recommend a certain string to address this and added weight in the head?
Will Boucek says
Hi Richard, those racquets are very comparable. You shouldn’t lose much power from that switch. If you do feel like you’re missing some power, you can do one of three things.
1) add some lead tape to the head
2) change your string type to a more power-oriented string
3) lower your string tension
I’d recommend trying out a lower tension first if you already have a string you like. Adding lead tape would be the next best option.