I was a bit surprised when Wilson announced that they were releasing a signature edition of the racquet that Federer started out with, the Wilson Pro Staff 85. Here are my thoughts after playing with the racquet.
First off I’m a long-time Federer fan and his rivalry with Rafa is one of the reasons I’m such a tennis nerd today. Yet, I still find it a bit too much to have Federer’s face above the grip. I know the idea comes from the old Wilson Pro Staff Jack Kramer Autograph, but it still looks a little bit strange. I thought the RF-letters would have been enough, but that’s just a subjective cosmetic thought. In general the racquet looks great in its matte black finish.
I’ve recently been playing with an older Wilson Pro Staff 85 so it’s nice to compare if there is any difference between these racquets.
It doesn’t take long to appreciate the relatively large sweet spot of the Wilson Pro Staff RF 85 and how easy it is to swing with its head light balance and thin beam. It’s not a top spin machine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hit all types of shots with it. I feel the small racquet head really helps me on the one-handed backhand and when it comes to volleys it really gives you the utmost precision and feel. For players with classic strokes or who like to come to the net and play aggressive, this could still be a racquet to take into tournaments.
Comparing the new Wilson Pro Staff RF 85 to the older one is not that difficult. The new RF 85 feels slightly crisper straight out of the box. Probably in part due to that the older version has had many more hours of hitting which has softened the graphite. Otherwise the new RF 85 feels right at home and is such a joy to hit with. It really helps you clean up your technique and I’ll gladly keep one in my bag just in case I feel like working on a particular shot or I crave that braided graphite feel and that ultra-thin beam.
The Wilson Pro Staff RF 85 is simply still a great racquet. Admittedly it’s a little bit pricey at 249 USD, but the old Pro Staffs are not easy to find these days and this is a beautiful limited edition gem that I’m sure you’ll treasure for years to come. If you don’t play with it so much, just put it on the wall as a tribute to one of the greatest tennis racquets of all time.
If you do get a Wilson Pro Staff RF 85 to play with I’d definitely recommend you to not string it up with a full poly string job. The racquet plays most beautiful with set of natural gut, but also works well with a hybrid or a multifilament string setup.
Wilson Pro Staff RF 85 specs:
|Head Size: 85 sq. in. / 548.39 sq. cm.|
|Length: 27in / 68.5cm|
|Strung Weight: 12.6oz / 357.2g|
|Balance: 9 pts HL|
|Beam Width:17mm / 17mm / 17mm /|
|Composition: Braided Graphite|
|Power Level: Low|
|Stroke Style: Full|
|Swing Speed: Fast|
|Racquet Colors: Black|
|Grip Type: Wilson Leather|
|String Pattern: 16 Mains / 18 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T,9T,7H,9H
No Shared Holes
|String Tension: 50-60 pounds|
Have you played with the Wilson Pro Staff RF 85? Or do you own a previous version? Please comment below!
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