Roger Federer’s Racquet Setup

by Jonas Eriksson
Roger Federer's Racquet Setup - Testing Champions Choice

One of the most discussed topics on tennis forums is Roger Federer’s racquet setup. Is Federer really playing with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 Roger Federer Autograph or is he using a special pro stock racquet? What are his strings? And so on.

I have written about Roger Federer’s racquet setup and specs in this post and I reviewed the Wilson Pro Staff 97 Roger Federer Autograph racquet here. Since I had a RF97A with Federer’s exact specs on weight and balance, I decided to get some Champions Choice strings, power pads, string savers and try it out. Of all my RF97A racquets, the heavier one felt by far the best. I thought it 366 grams strung would be cumbersome to swing, but it is not bad at all.

I really enjoyed this racquet with a full bed of the Luxilon Alu Power string (it was not as bad on my arm as I thought it would be), but with the Champions Choice hybrid string in the racquet (Wilson natural gut and Luxilon Alu Power Rough) the racquet felt more comfortable, had more feel and power. If you find the right tension with a natural gut hybrid like this, it is simply another level.

Roger Federer’s Racquet Setup – Is it for mere mortals?

Roger Federer's Racquet Setup - Testing Champions ChoiceThe issue with Roger Federer’s racquet setup, except for the heft of the racquet that definitely does not appeal to everyone, is that the string setup costs more than 50 bucks per set. If you commit to it, you can of course buy natural gut and Alu Power Rough separately for a better price, but it is still going to cost you a lot more than your average poly or multifilament string. For Federer this extra cost is obviously nothing, but for recreational tennis players it can slice an unnecessary hole in the wallet lining.

You can obviously try cheaper hybrid string setups that can work more than fine for you. Babolat has their less expensive VS Touch + Pro Hurricane Tour set (there is one with RPM Blast too) and you can obviously switch the natural gut for something else too. If a hybrid consisting of Wilson Sensation and Luxilon Alu Power Rough is good enough for top 20 player Kyle Edmund (read about his setup here), I think it should work for a lot of rec players too!

Roger Federer’s Racquet Setup – A short video

My knee is still troublesome (will hopefully heal in a few weeks) so there is not much video footage of me using Roger Federer’s racquet setup, but I tried to put something together at least. I have been using Wilson Champions Choice in various racquets over the years and enjoyed it a lot also in my Wilson Six One 95, but I felt it was just perfect in the stiffer RF97A.

I hope you enjoy the short video and that you consider trying a hybrid setup such as the Champions Choice, if you have not tried it before. It sure is worth a test!


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Martin Smith May 17, 2018 - 13:35

I am still persisting with the RF97A and am experimenting with different string set ups. The champions choice is great as hybrid – I have it strung in both mine at 59 – still struggling to rein in all that power – it really does force you to do full swings. Half swings (for me) are punished by the ball sailing long or too flat, unless blocking a return serve.

I’ve also tried Prince synthetic gut (full bed) at 62 in the RF97A which felt super plush and powerful and is a much cheaper option! I’m in two minds which to use.

I responded to your other post of theRF97A on not being able to generate the same topspin as with my lighter Head Radicals. However, recently had a coaching lesson and asked the coach to kick serve and go for maximum topspin on both groundstroke wings using my racket RF97A.(The coach also plays with a RF97A).

Safe to say now, that in the right hands and the champions choice string set up the racket can generate tons of topspin – so much so I was playing everything above my shoulder. It’s just my technique that’s lacking :)

Tennisnerd May 19, 2018 - 07:25

Hi Martin,
Nice to hear your experience with the RF97A. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but when you’re dialled in it can be a beast.

We all need to work on our technique, that was makes tennis so much fun. Achieving small improvements can make a huge difference.

Good luck / J

Tiziano Foggi May 18, 2018 - 15:50

hi, I just wanted to ask if you’re able to play consistently for more than one hour with a racquet so heavy. my experience with yonex duel g 330g is fantastic the first hour of play, then I get tired…

Tennisnerd May 19, 2018 - 07:23

Hi Tiziano,
Yes, it’s no problem really, but I’ve been playing mostly heavy racquets my whole life. For a while I played a 375 gram racquet. Cheers / J

George May 20, 2018 - 22:30

I have the same setup but playing for a while causes tennis elbow, are there any other rackets that are more forgiving then this but don’t sacrifice the easy power you get with this racket?

Tennisnerd May 21, 2018 - 08:27

Hi George,
Yes, it’s not the most arm-friendly racquet. I think the Yonex VCORE Pro 97 330 is a great, more arm-friendly alternative. Also the Volkl C10 Pro is a good choice. I’m assuming you want to stay with a heavier racquet. Also the Wilson Six One 95 is a slightly more arm-friendly option in general.

Regards / Jonas

jirawat May 27, 2018 - 08:03

I also like the set up of nat gut and luxilon 4G like Dimitrov and Nishikori use. I use the set up for prostaff 95,90 and like more than the champion choice but yet try with my RF97. The stiff racket always go better with poly nat gut hybrid and sometime I also like the set up with poly in main and nat gut in the cross due to a bit more spin.

Tennisnerd May 27, 2018 - 17:12

Yes, 4G is a top string also in a hybrid!

Roger Nguyen September 30, 2018 - 04:18

Hi tennisnerd,
Where did you get your power pads that thick?

Roger Nguyen September 30, 2018 - 04:21

Hi tennisnerd,
How did you get your power pad to be that size?

Tennisnerd September 30, 2018 - 10:28

I bought a package of them :)

Don’t remember where I got them. But have some left if you want to buy.

Cheers / J


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