by Will Boucek

August 27, 2021   

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The Wilson Pro Staff tennis racquets have been used by professional and advanced level tennis players for decades.

Below, I am going to review the latest version of the Wilson Pro Staff to help you decide if it is the right tennis racquet for your game.

First, you’ll see the different models of the Wilson Pro Staff. Then, I’ll discuss the on-court performance of the racquet, including the type of tennis player that should choose the Pro Staff.

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Wilson Pro Staff Video Review

In the video below, I review 4 versions of the Wilson Pro Staff racquets.

The Wilson Pro Staff Tennis Racquet is Available in Several Versions

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.

Wilson Pro Staff tennis racquet review

Wilson Pro Staff Racquet Specifications

The most popular model is the Pro Staff 97 v13. Here are the specifications for this racquet.

Weight: 11.7 oz. strung

Head Size: 97 square inches

Length: 27 inches

Balance: 320 mm

String Pattern: 16×19

This is a relatively heavy tennis racquet, built for control and feel. 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 Other Three Pro Staff Racquets Vary by Weight

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

Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13 Review of On-Court Performance

Below, I’ll show you how the Pro Staff performs on the court, including how it compares to other tennis racquets.

Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13 tennis racquet

The Pro Staff is an Excellent Racquet for Control

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.

The Pro Staff is a Very Stable Tennis Racquet

Roger Federer with his Pro Staff racquet
Roger Federer with the Wilson Pro Staff tennis racquet. Photo Credit: NY Post

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 the 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 fast paced tennis. Advanced players will be able to control and redirect hard hit balls with a solid, stable feel. Also, this racquet has great maneuverability for such a heavy frame. It is easy to handle around the net.

On returns and volleys, the Pro Staff is very forgiving. Even on slight mishits, the racquet head will still get through the ball.

The Pro Staff is a More Advanced Racquet, Lacking Power

The Pro Staff is definitely a racquet for players who can generate their own power. Groundstroke depth and serve power do not come easy with the Pro Staff.

Advanced players who play very fast-paced tennis, and hit the ball hard, will like the Pro Staff for its combination of control, stability, and comfort.

Intermediate players who have good hand-eye coordination and are relatively strong/athletic might consider the Pro Staff 97L.

For beginners, I’d recommend choosing a different Wilson racquet. Read our Wilson Clash review or Wilson Ultra review for two great choices.

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.

Wilson Pro Staff 97v13 tennis racquet on the court

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.

Will Boucek

About the author

Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played and coached tennis for over two decades. Will is a strategy analyst for ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He also tests the latest tennis racquets, shoes, & other gear from Wilson, Babolat, Head, Prince, and other tennis brands. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments.