It’s described by many as the holy grail in tennis, not because of its own magical properties, but because it’s swung by the wizard himself, Roger Federer. It is the Wilson Pro Staff Roger Federer Autograph 97 – Roger Federer’s actual racquet. (If you’re interested in what racquets other ATP pro’s actually use…read this.
For many years Roger Federer played with the Wilson Pro Staff in some form, a 90-inch racquet with a small but efficient sweet spot. Then after his slumping and injury-packed 2013, he decided it was time to make the move to bigger pastures and worked together with Wilson on a new, more powerful racquet, with a bigger beam and a larger racquet head. It became the Wilson Pro Staff Roger Federer Autograph 97 (racquet names ARE getting longer!), abbreviated to the RF97A.
Federer allegedly worked very closely with Wilson to create his specs and to offer them to the public, instead of using a paint job like Djokovic’s racquet and Murray’s PT630 (PT57A pro stock code) with a 16×19 string pattern for example. We still have the conspiracy theorists on the tennis forums claiming that what Federer plays with is completely different, but I really believe Federer plays with at least a very close version of the same stick that is being sold to the public. What could potentially be different is the stiffness rating as amateur retail racquets are often stiffer (pros can generate much more power with their swings), but it’s hard to be sure. According to Federer himself he was excited by the idea that offering the public the ability to use the same racquet as he is.
Wilson even wrote the string specs (Wilson’s Champion’s Choice) on the frame, although they didn’t add whether there is any lead tape, string savers or power pads. My guess is that he still uses string savers and power pads and I know that racquet customization company P1 customizes his handle.
The Wilson Pro Staff Federer Autograph is a racquet that requires a lot from the user, but when they bring the goods, the racquet can be a wonderful hit. Like with everything you need to be honest with yourself if your game benefits from the weight. I’m used to heavy racquets and found it close to magical at times, but after a few sessions I got some wrist pain that I think is either due to the wrong choice of string or the stiffness of the frame and that’s why I moved away from it the end. I do however suggest that accomplished players give it a serious spin, it’s definitely a racquet that can help your game if you’re eager to put the work and movement into it.
Wilson Pro Staff Roger Federer Autograph 97 racquet specs
Head Size: 97 sq. in. / 625.81 sq. cm.
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight: 12.6oz / 357.2g
Balance: 12.38in / 31.45cm / 9 pts HL
Beam Width: 21.5mm / 21.5mm / 21.5mm /
Composition: Braided Kevlar & Graphite / Basalt Fibers
Power Level: Low
Stroke Style: Full
Swing Speed: Fast
Racquet Colors:Red/ Black
Grip Type: Wilson Premium Leather
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T,9T,7H,9H
No Shared Holes
String Tension: 50-60 pounds
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Tennis Racquet
from: Do It Tennis.com