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Wilson Pro Staff 97 V14 Review

by TN

I have tested the new Pro Staffs. Let’s start with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V14 Review. Is it as good as the predecessor?

Wilson Pro Staff 97 V14 Review

The Wilson Pro Staff is one of the most iconic racquet lines since the legendary Pro Staff 85. Every time Wilson releases a new generation, it is a big event in the tennis world. This is the 14th version of the icon, and it has a daring new cosmetic called “rust.” This has generated a somewhat polarized response on forums. Some people love it, and some think a Pro Staff should be predominantly black. All I can say, besides that, it is obviously subjective, is that it looks better in hand than on pictures.

You can watch the Pro Staff V14 video review here.

Tech

Besides the new cosmetic, Wilson has added the “same aramid fibers that gave the Original Pro Staff 85 such outstanding feel”. It also comes with Paradigm Bending, a layup technology that pairs a flexible shaft (for feel) with a stiffer perimeter around the head (for stability and power). This racket also has FORTYFIVE technology, strategically aligning the graphite fibers at a 45-degree angle to increase lateral bending through impact.

Specifications

The specifications of the Pro Staff 97 are well-aligned with the predecessor (check out my Pro Staff V13 review here), perhaps a slightly higher swing weight, at least from the Tennis Warehouse average. My demo racquet from Tennis Warehouse Europe was slightly lower in swing weight at 322 with a 1.25 poly string.

Head Size: 97 in / 626 cm
Length: 27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight: 332g / 11,7oz
Unstrung Weight: 315g/11,1oz
Balance: 32cm / 7 pts HL
Unstrung Balance: 31cm/10 pts HL
Swingweight: 332
Stiffness: 66
Beam Width: 21,5mm / 21,5mm / 21,5mm
Composition: Aramid/Graphite
Racket Colours: Rust
Grip Type: Wilson Pro Performance
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T,9T,7H,9H
Tension: 22-27kg / 50-60lb

How does it play?

The easiest is to watch the video review above or on YouTube. Compared to the predecessor, I would say that this racquet is a bit more dampened than V13. That is my only real dislike with this frame. Otherwise it provides excellent control, good feel, and plow-through when customized to a 330+ swing weight and maneuverability.

However, a 97 sq inch racquet is never easy to use. The sweet spot is on the small side, you need to have a good footwork and the power level is lower. If you want more forgiveness and power, I suggest you check out the Wilson Pro Staff X, which is reviewed in the video above.

That racquet doesn’t offer the same control, but is easier to use, offers more power on serve and a larger sweet spot. Most intermediates will play better tennis with the Pro Staff X over the 97.

Summary

The Wilson Pro Staff 97 V14 will likely sell well. It is one of Wilson’s bestsellers, mainly due to Roger Federer. However, many players will miss the Pro Staff RF97 Autograph. Not sure why Wilson didn’t release that one in a similar cosmetic.

In terms of playability, I like this racquet, but prefer the more direct feel of V13. I felt more connected to the ball with that racquet, while this one feels more dampened, which can offer better comfort to players looking for that.

Have you tried the new Pro Staff 97? Let me know in the comments below.

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5 comments

Mohammed farag March 8, 2023 - 20:58

Great review as usual. They increased the SW which isn’t maneuverable, head radical pro decreased it which is better

Reply
Jens stenman March 13, 2023 - 19:32

Hello! Nice with the new shift and the prostaffs. What would you go for if you comes from wilson ncode six one 18×20. The shift 315g or the x?
Br Jens

Reply
TN March 13, 2023 - 20:52

Thanks. I would go Shift 315.

Reply
Adam Morgan May 28, 2023 - 20:10

I’ve got every iteration of the Pro Staff and was excited to get the latest version but have been really disappointed with it and can’t say I am finding it easy to play with. The previous models seem to give me a much better strike on the ball. This model seems to lack power and also doesn’t have the classic pro staff weight in the head which made volleys such a pleasure. Am trying to persevere but may stick with the previous version and hope next time around is a return to form

Reply
Ralster October 12, 2023 - 16:01

Decent racquet. Agree with TN that v13 PS97 feels bit more connected. For everyday play I play with the 315g 2015 PS97 (red&black), which is the v10, and a black v11 315g. Both have 8g added at 3 and 9, and hit fantastic. Unstrung bal with my setup is 8HL. Also play occasionally with RF97 v12 (tuxedo), with no wt added, plays like a dream. The new 315g v14 is close to the other 315’s, and I do like the color. Speaking of which, another racquet that I see as Babolat making a Wilson-clone, is the PureStrikeVS, a 97”, 10ptsHL 310g racquet, 16×20, that I added the 3 & 9 8grams of lead. Plays EXACTLY like my ProStaffs. And a beautiful gloss bronze.

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