Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Racquet 2015 Customer feedback

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Please include any relevant information such as string type and tension, skill level and style of play.

Comments: I've played with the RF97 for about a year now, coming from the K90. At first, it didn't feel as pure on groundstrokes, because the K90 series has a longer shaft/smaller head. Nothing will ever feel as good as the K90 series, but as one ages, you need a little more forgiveness on the strike point, and the RF97 meets that need. It's better at volleys than the K90 because it "feels" shorter in your hand and it has a bigger, more forgiving head. It's a little stiffer, and thus has more power for groundstrokes and serves (a little bit like the old Ultra II). After about 3 months, I felt really comfortable with it and can hit with more power and consistency than I did with the K90 series. So it's a keeper. I have a two-handed backhand, semi-western forehand, am 62 years old and a 4.5/5.0 National Senior player.
From: Tim, 1/17

Comments: I have been playing with this racquet for a year and a half now, I really like how they updated this racquet from the 90 line. It is much more powerful and forgiving, but still retains the classic Pro Staff feel and heft. I'm a 4.5-5.0 Tennis on Campus player who prefers doubles and the 97 very much -- it suits my needs. The 97 has lots of pace and power, but it needs a consistent, solid technique and a strong, durable shoulder to wield it. The feel is not as dampened as with the 90, so touch shots are slightly more difficult to pull off, but the forgiveness is great for fast net exchanges. The weight and stability is great for returns and serves as well. I definitely recommend it for anyone of 4.5+ skill and prefers a classic feel to the modern tweener racquets.
From: Ash, 12/16

Comments: I love this racquet during the first hour of play, and then it feels heavy. I play a lot of tennis and it seems as if I'm using a wooden racquet during the second hour of play. Great racquet though! But one has to have strong arms in order to wield it. At my age now (I'm 41), I need something lighter. I currently use its lighter brother, the Pro Staff 97, and I found it to be much better in terms of weight. If you have strong arms, use it. Great racquet, but only in the first hour of play for me.
From: Kyle, 10/16

Comments: This racquet is perfect! If you don't like it, maybe it is because you don't have good mechanics, simple as that.
From: Fernando, 10/16

Comments: To me, this racquet felt like two racquets put together between the head and the handle. The balance never felt right for me personally. It is a good racquet for serving but a little less control than the Pro Staff 85. It is interesting to see how they redesigned it though.
From: Stuart, 9/16

Comments: People always say Roger's racquet is too heavy and not easy to control; but not for me. After using Roger's new weapon for 1 year, I would say RF97 Autograph has become the best racquet I have ever played with. I have another 2 of Roger's 90 square inch racquets -- 2004 nCode 6.1 Tour (340g) and 2012 Pro Staff 6.1 BLX (340g), and never do I have trouble using these two 90 square inch racquets. Now this upgraded RF97 makes my game much easier, and my friends across the net always ask me how I can play like this. I just say to them, "take some time to try Roger's weapon."
From: Scottie, 9/16

Comments: This is a beautiful racquet. Roger Federer is the greatest man with the greatest racquet. Buy it now -- spin, pop, control -- everything is perfect!
From: James, 9/16

Comments: Giving this a try after using the Pro Staff 95S. The 95S is a superb serving machine -- kick serves with serious jump are easy to find. The problem is that groundstrokes (too) often drift long. One of the reasons being that, ironically, the "spin effect" is not that accessible in regular play -- it has to be added in with exagerated technique, rather defeating the purpose. No such problem with the RF97 -- groundstrokes are wonderfully heavy with topspin produced naturally. It is possible to hit the ball harder and harder and have an increase in accompanying spin at the same time with this racquet, but it is very tricky with the 95S. One-handed backhands are straightforward with the RF97 -- the 95S does not possess enough "heft" with the the swing path of the racquet tending to feel very vague: resulting in mis-timed shots. The one area that is a struggle with the RF97 appears to be kick serves. It can produce big kick, I have seen it on occasions -- it is just difficult to produce (un-like the 95S). Perhaps it's a question of pinpointing technique changes that I need to make to produce it reliably with this racquet.
From: Simon, 8/16

Comments: This racquet is heavy! I am a very flat hitter and impart occasional topspin mainly on the forehand. I enjoyed the crisp, fast swing of the Aeropro Drive GT which gave me lots of power and spin but it was too light and I needed something more stable. The RF is very solid and stable and feels fantastic to hit with. It is definitely on the firmer and stiffer side, which I enjoy. It is rock solid, never experience another racquet quite like it. It had great plow through and made my shots heavier. The racquet also has a lot of spin, comparable to the APD in my opinion. After hitting for 30-45 minutes my arm started to tire and that's when my game fell apart. The racquet maybe isn't that heavy itself and is headlight but as others have said, it has a big swingweight and over a course of 1.5 hours, it's not durable. I have tried but it is just not for me. I've switched to the Radical Graphene Pro and although it doesn't have the stability or plow through, I can go all day with that swingweight.
From: Anonymous, 8/16

Comments: After 30 years of playing with the Pro Staff 85 and 90 versions and other player's models, I tried this one about 3 months ago. I love this racquet. This is my new stick and I will never buy anything else. Awesome racquet! I am a 5.0 player with a one handed backhand.
From: Fernando, 8/16

Comments: I began my tennis "career" eleven years ago with a Head Prestige Mid Flexpoint, under the assumption that a pro stick would educate me into playing like one; A Wilson 6.1. 18x20 would succeed and be a solid companion for more than 5 years. Coaches kept mumbling something about topspin, and eventually I left the road of virtue and tried out lighter, polarized spin racquets. But something didn't click. Serves were sub-par, volleys difficult, precision shots impossible, sharp slices out of the question. With this one is said to myself: "I'll be back." And here we are: better backhand slice than the 6.1 (never thougt is possible). The ball goes where you wanted it. It provides you with the topspin you need to secure a shot, and that it; nothing like Nadal. You have to be concentrated 100%, stay on the accelerator, play full throttle. This one is not for the timid. You really have to go for it. Then it will reward you oh so much. It is an attacker's dream. It is not a classic control stick, it has much more power. You don't have to be eight foot tall and 280 pounds and have hand like a gorilla to move this one. But this stick tells you immediatetly whether you apply second rate technique.
From: Andrew, 8/16

Comments: Now that I'm in my 40's I really appreciate the bigger more forgiving sweet spot and the terrific feel. String with Gamma Zo tour 17 crosses, VS team 17 gut mains at 60 lbs, serve is ultra controlable, volleys have great touch. As I grew up on ProStaff Original 85s and find the same feel and touch with added power and forgiveness. Now I just need the all black version!
From: Netrat, 8/16

Comments: I demo'd this racquet for a week recently. In short, it's a demanding racquet that can do your bidding on anything, if (big if) you have the skill and strength to wield this club. Massive plow through and a very solid feel, like the old school box beam racquets but with a lot more power. The weight will make it harder to impart topspin unless you have the strength to generate racquet head speed. Frankly, I feel that the old 6.1 95 line was a more well-rounded racquet. A little lighter, similar amount of power and just more versatile for a non-professional player. Don't get me wrong, the RF97 is a fine racquet and I enjoyed demo'ing it, but if what Wilson says is true that it really is what Roger uses in stock form, then this is a racquet designed specifically for one man and not the masses. Definitely worth a demo, but I would recommend other racquets over this one, or at least wait until the RF97 goes on sale.
From: Steve, 8/16

Comments: @Boris, Same weight with a slightly more headlight balance (or thinner beam to increase speed through the air) would have been slightly better for my personal liking. A tail leaded version of the 97S fits your description.
From: Anonymous, 8/16

Comments: I'm a 5.5/6.0 player. Demoed this racquet and played a few times for a couple of hours each time. I found this racquet to be very similar to the Yonex VCore Duel G97 330. Stability, control and comfort were the best features, especially at net where control was exceptional. Spin potential is there but I found it very difficult to generate the kind of head racquet speed that I would have wanted to, and because of that, my shots were not dipping as much as I would have liked and lacked a little bit of speed despite the massive plow through of the frame. On 2nd serve hard kickers I would actually give the edge to this racquet over the Yonex one and ball was coming with a ton of pace and movement. Where I did find an issue was with forehands on the run. That was the toughest shot to execute with this racquet along with the service returns. I felt I had to change the technique to shorten the swing to get the racquet into position, otherwise, I would feel the drag of the balance and hit the shots late rather than in the preferred contact zone. Overall strengths are comfort, control, stability, no arm issues, lots of pace! The only down side is the maneuverability. I think this maybe a good play test for someone with short swings. Same weight with a slightly more headlight balance (or thinner beam to increase speed through the air) would have been slightly better for my personal liking.
From: Boris, 7/16

Comments: I've been playing with the Fed racquet for a year now. It's a big stick and into the 3rd set I feel it in my serves. That said, it's a fantastic racquet for control and power. Even off center shots come off clean because the plow through makes the sweet spot seem bigger. The precision and control is very good; lots of depth and spin and hitting my spots became much easier. Hitting through the court is noticeable compared to a regular Prostaff 97. The RF just goes faster and flatter on command. i don't know how long I will be able to wield the RF, but enjoying it now and it's worth a serious test drive.
From: Stan, 8/16

Comments: Volleys are solid from anywhere on the court. Overheads easier than I was expecting at this swing weight, racquet does all the work really. Racquet is much plusher than I imagined it would be for the stiffness rating. You can really nail the corners and leave your opponent for dead with pace. I found the grip size slightly small for a 4, but happy to tail weight it with a shrink wrap grip as I would like it to be a little more head light. Overall better than a PS85 down the line, for volleys, overheads, for pace. Easier to get moving than a K88. I liked the comfort compared to K90s. A little too easy to overcook some shots but can fix that with a deader string or a hybrid. So far so good, and I can win a lot of cheap points with heavy slice and net approaches.
From: Anonymous, 8/16

Comments: First, it literally took me 5 minutes to get used to the racquet, I really have no idea why people in the comments are saying they just can't get used to it. I used to use a Babolat Aeropro Tour which is at 11.6 ounces but amazingly the Aeropro Tour felt heavier than this 12.6 ounce RF97. My serves went from 115 mph with the RF97, which was the same as the Aeropro Tour but I seem to get more of a curve from the RF97 with slice and topspin serves compared to my Babolat. Forehands and backhands got a little bit of an increase in speed and power and most importantly, accuracy. Less topspin though compared to my Babolat. Strung with ALU Power Soft at 53 lbs.
From: Vasil, 8/16

Comments: This is the very best racquet ever. Why? It has everything: spin, feel, control, head light balance, stability, and power. Of course, managing the right balance with string and tension, not to mention technique, has a lot to do with that as well. When I first hit with this racquet, I was surprised by the power (strung with NRG2 16 mains and Dunlop Explosive 17 crosses at 56/53 lbs), so the ball was flying on me a bit. Mainly this was due to laziness. For some reason I hit flat at first, not trusting that I could access spin easily. When I woke up from my delusion and laziness, access to spin turned out to be rather easy. When I did what I was supposed to (move, get into position, stay low, and step into the ball), I got the response I desired. I guess I expected the racquet to do those things for me somehow. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Who knows what I was thinking, if I was at all. Like the old Tour 90s, you have to work. If you do work, this racquet will reward you in ways other racquets simply can't. Previously I had played with a Pro Staff 95 (leather grip, some lead in the handle, and some lead at 10 and 2), but no matter how I tinkered with it I the sweet spot was always small (it was so dead the closer you got to the hoop). Honestly, my K Six One Tour 90 had more of a sweet spot than the 95. The RF 97 has a tremendously large sweet spot, so it's very forgiving. This is another plus for those of us who don't hit the ball in the middle of the string bed as much as we used to or move quite like we once did.
From: Brian, 7/16

Comments: I feel I should leave an update since I got so many comments about my shoulder injury which I believe was from this racquet. I was the one who essentially injured my shoulder serving. Let me say this. I by no means am a wimp, nor am I in a state of lacking condition. Many others have stated how grueling this racquet is to wield on serves. Not even Federer is a power server. To be clear, when I compete, I often have played at a minimum of ITF level, and have won at the open level. Having said that, I am no pro, nor am I Federer. I am 6'1", 190 lbs, mostly athletic muscular, and I usually play with quite heavy racquets. In fact, one of my favorite frames ever weighed in at about 13 ounces after I had weighted it up. I am kind of offended that so many people including TW attributed my injury solely to me or my form, and gave no fault to the racquet. In fact almost all of the TW review board commented on how heavy it was for them, and how they would not consider using it (despite it being one of the most expensive/highly prestiged racquets on this website) When you look at racquet specs, remember swing weight. Swing weight is very different than static weight. For whatever reason this racquet swings very heavy in my opinion and I am allowed to have an opinion. (I know its headlight measurements.) Go out and see for yourself. Having said all that, go back and read my comment. It was filled with praises. This racquet is an unbelievable racquet stock. I feel this is one of the closest to pro form racquets you can buy stock as an average person, compared to what most of the top pros have evidently been using. No weight is really needed to give it that rock solid stability for taking balls early on the rise or handling heavy groundies. (Most pros obviously use customized and weighted racquets.) Heavy racquets are not the enemy. Quite the opposite. In fact, I am still considering going back out to the court with this frame sometime to see how the shoulder feels. Unfortunately I have not made a full recovery, even though this injury took place last year. I still get referred pain to that area after long hitting sessions. I had never had even an idea of shoulder pain before this happened. (Only elbow.) Buyer should beware, this is a magical stick, but pay your dues in conditioning and if you are coming from any lighter racquet, spend many days, hours, drills at strengthening all your muscles, and especially your shoulder. Even then, remember that a very heavy racquet can give your shoulder more injury/fatigue. Let's be reasonable here and not get caught up in it being the stick of the greatest of all time to this point. Like my original comment said, it all but cured my elbow tendonitis which I developed from underweighted racquets. I just don't want others to be sitting on the sidelines, when tennis is their main recreational passion like me.
From: Anonymous, 7/16

Comments: I've been playing with this racquet for about 6 months now. Unlike most players, I only play recreational once or twice a week at most. I'm not ranked nor do I know what level I play at. I play a modern game with a good all-around the court play. I'm currently using a hybrid poly and mono setup before I even consider gut. Currently at 54 lbs tension. I can tell you this racquet gives you a lot of confidence. It's a solid racquet if strung correctly and used properly, you will play one of your best games. First off, you have to load early with this racquet to get its full potential. It can be very forgiving even if you miss the sweetspot and volleys are definitely excellent on this. It's tough to judge the racquet because everyone is comparing it to the older Pro Staff models but you really can't because this is a beast of its own to match the modern game. I personally love this racquet, it is heavy keep in mind so you better work out your arms or improve your technique because if you don't it will take a toll on you. Nevertheless, this RF 97 Autograph helped me improve my game, my technique, my confidence, and most of all my tennis elbow. That's right, it did because of its weight it really takes a shock from each hit and exudes confidence because it is the most stable racquet I have ever seen on paper and laid my hands on.
From: Aaron, 7/16

Comments: This is a fantastic racquet. I added a little weight to the head, now the swing weight is 360 and total weight is 13.2 ounces. If your playing ability is between a 4.0 to 7.0, light racquets are not the way to go (check out any reputable racquet technician -- most of the pros we admire are playing with swing weights from 360 to 418, like Andy Murray). So do your game and arm a favor and use a properly weighted racquet. This racquet does play stiff so 50 pounds in the mains and 47 lbs in the crosses and plays really well. I'm a 6.0 and have been playing a long time!
From: Sreve, 7/16

Comments: I have been playing with this racquet for around 3 months now. Previously I used the K Factor 90 and the BLX Six One 90. This racquet is the same weight and same balance, but it feels lighter. The first thing you notice is the more springy sweet spot and the greater access to spin. Overall, the RF97 is more forgiving than the 90 square inch predecessors. The extra spin helps a lot on second serves and the feel on volleys is right up there. I have opted for a 4 1/2 grip whereas before I had 4 5/8s on the 90s. It seems that the bigger headsize demands a smaller grip. The racquet is still heavy and similarly to the 90 versions, the best way to play with this racquet is to hit heavy, deep balls with spin, staying aggressive and taking the ball early. I'm 6'3" and 210 pounds so I can't afford to run back and forth all day! It suits me very well indeed!
From: Farid, 6/16

Comments: I have demoed this racquet on several occasions and my conclusion is that this is not a Pro Staff racquet. It may have the Pro Staff name but it does not have the Pro Staff feel and control. I played with the PS 85 in high school and college. I have used the K 90 tour, BLX tour 90, and BLX PS 90 and all of these racquets had the control and feel of a Pro Staff. This racquet reminds me of the PS Classic blunder by Wilson. Now I am using the 2014 PS 90 and it is very close to the PS 85. I know that the game of tennis is changing but this racket is garbage! I am an older 4.5 player that use to be a 5.5 before I got old and fat.
From: William, 6/16

Comments: Hate this RF 97. Too heavy, about as maneuverable as a 2x4. Tried playing with the racquet for well over a year, just couldn't make it work. Should never have tried for that long. On top of being heavy its very stiff, the stiffness just means you are pounding your arm on mishits. I finally had to give up on this racquet when my arm started to feel stiff after every play session. Despite the stiffness there isn't any exceptional feel from this racquet, its below average in that regard.
From: Shane, 6/16

Comments: After reading (and demoing) that the newest Head Radical Pro was revamped and lost some of its control, I started looking for a new racquet. At almost an ounce heavier, I was slightly worried about the weight, but after playing several weeks, I'm loving this racquet. Lots of control, easy to generate deep shots with massive plow through, and extremely solid. I haven't found the stick to be very tiring, either. I use YTex Quadro Twist (co-poly), strung at 50 lbs due to the stiffness of the racquet -- I would suggest that as well. I would suggest this racquet if the weight doesn't scare you. Very solid!
From: Anonymous, 6/16

Comments: This is an update to my review from 5/16. I have now had ample opportunity to play with this racquet in competitive matches as well as in a large tournament. I made the switch to gut mains. I am now using Klip Legend 16g in the mains and Signum Pro Poly Plasma 1.18 in the cross. It's the best string set up I have ever used. I have settled at 53 lbs mains and 49 lbs crosses. This took care of the issue with the stiffness. I, as well as other reviewers, have mentioned the weight. It does seem to play a bit heavier than the BLX 90 but at my last tournament I played 2 tough 3 set matches on the first day. Around the 2 hour mark in the second match, I started to gas out a bit and the weight was noticeable but not bad enough to keep me from winning. Still on the down side, however, is the issue with the accuracy on big strokes. I still have not managed to bring the accuracy back. I have had to double the size of the target area, which is causing me to play longer points. The exception to this is on net volley and slice shots. They are both a dream to play with this stick. I was never really much of a slicer, but I am now winning a large number of points with pinpoint accurate placement on slice shots. To be perfectly honest, I briefly find myself missing my BLX 90s, but this is usually after I lay a shot 2 inches outside the side line knowing that I have laid thousands of the same shot just inside the same line. All prior Fed racquets have simply taken each others place. I am having to adjust my game (in positive ways) to perform as well with this one. FYI: I am in my mid 40s -- a 4.5 player (have been as high as 5.0). I've played school and college tennis, leagues, tournaments, and recreational tennis. On average, I play 6-10 hours each week.
From: Anonymous, 6/16

Comments: I have been playing with this racquet for about a month now. I have always used a players racquet, I am coming from the Volkl Power Bridge 10 Mid. I gave this a try because I strung up a demo for one of the pros I play with. Within 5 minutes of hitting I was sold. The plow through is absolutely incredible along with the large sweetspot. I have always had a huge forehand, but if I choose to flatten it out with this racquet it is off the charts. With the weight of this racquet one handed slice backhands are automatic. I hit a one handed topspin backhand and it more penatrating than with other racquets I have used. In 40 years of playing and college tennis also, this is by far the best racquet I have ever used for overheads and volleys. It will absorb anything at the net, you will feel like you can't miss a volley or overhead. Like everyone says it is a heavy racquet, in my opinion it's good for advanced players with some serious strokes -- and if you have them, it is a must try for you!
From: Anonymous, 6/16

Comments: I recently purchased 2 of these. I am coming off of a decade of 6.1 Tour 90s, my favorite being the BLX. I have played 4 matches and had a few "hits" without competition. I feel like I know the frame well enough to confidently give an accurate review. I strung using the same set up that I have always used. This racquet is considerably stiffer than Fed's previous versions. I love a plush, soft feel. I string using Signum Pro Poly Plasma 17L at 46 lbs in the mains and Forten Competition Nylon 16 at 48 lbs as the cross. It is soft, plush, and leaves me feeling very connected to the ball due to the ample dwell time. This is not the case with the RF Autograph. I will definitely be adjusting my string set up, but since I am already as low as the SPPP mail will bare and I will be trying gut mains. I believe the stiffness issue will be easily solved by tweaking my strings. This is the ONLY negative I have to report. I swing a western FH and 1HBH, both with heavy topspin. My contact point is well ahead and my trajectory is generally flatter with a lower net clearance. This has, in the past, given me issue with too many of my shots landing short of the service line on the other side of the net. With no adjustment, I am landing the majority of my shots 2-3 feet deeper. Accuracy, in all respects, from serves to groundstrokes to volleys was very slightly diminished, (maybe by 10% but still noticeable) but is improving with increased use of the racquet. Having said this, mishits have been greatly reduced, especially on my stretched out forehands and backhands. I am taking more high one-handed backhands with much more ease and confidence. Slice shots are a breeze and as a huge bonus, my block back return of serve is actually "useful" rather than "utility." I regularly need to return 100 mph+ serves and this is easier with the Autograph. Hopefully this did not ramble on too long, but to conclude, I would definitely recommend this stick and am very glad I switched.
From: Anonymous, 5/16

Comments: I used to play with only 18x20 frames because I loved the control on flat shots. This is the first open patterned frame that allows me to have the best of both worlds. Strung with Kevlar/ALU Power at 53 lbs, I have no durability issues either. Some lead tape up top was needed for me to make it 32 cm balance at 12.6 ounces. In stock form, it was a hair to headlight. No arm or shoulder issues with the frame stiffness or Kevlar because I lift weights. This is the most well-rounded frame I have ever used. I'm a 5.0 level baseliner.
From: Greg, 4/16

Comments: Regarding William's comment about the weight and balance difference in the RF97. I have found the same problems with other Pro Staff models, it seems Wilson's quality control is not that great. I understand that racquets are going to be different, but I have found that Wilson racquets can have huge weight and balance differences. With a $219 price tag Wilson should be doing a better job.
From: Brian, 4/16

Comments: I have played with the Dunlop Biomimetic Max 200g for 2 years or more and cannot get a replacement racquet. I demoed the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 and the Wawrinka Yonex VCORE Tour 97 (330g) and I really liked both racquets. I purchased both racquets and was extremely disappointed to find the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 I demoed weighed more than the racquet I purchased. I was shocked so I found another two people with the same racquet and 1 racquet was heavier than mine and the other person. After questioning the other players, I found the older racquet weighed more than the newer racquets. The newer racquets are 12HL and the older racquets are 9HL. This should be advertised and clearly stated! Very disappointed with the RF97. I now use the Wawrinka Yonex VCORE 97 (330g).
From: William, 3/16

Comments: I've played with a Prince Tour Diablo Mid for over 10 years. Mine weighs 352 grams. I don't really need to switch, but I wanted something a little more comfortable on the arm, as I had surgery to my elbow (not tennis related). I managed to get the RF97A dirt cheap as the person I bought it from couldn't play with it. He went with a Blade 98. I went into hitting with the RF97A pretty easily. I have good technique, I'm a former UK county standard. The first impression was increased penetration with plow through and the power level is huge. Compared to my Diablo 93, theres more bite on the ball due to a less dense 16 main section on a 93 square inch head. But what I really don't like is the stiffness of this thing. It does not feel nice. I've swapped with a curious Blade user, and they're in totally different universes. Blade is too light for me. Although compared to anything else out there, I would say the RF97A is unique. I'm 6'2" in good shape, my serve is a strong weapon, but I find it a little more difficult to do kick serves with this frame. I think it may be an issue more to do with the balance point for my personal tastes rather than overall mass. Each to their own. Overall, it gives me too much power with my strokes. If you're a strong player, you don't need this kind of artificial power, although it can be quite gratifying at times. My serve goes like stink with this thing. I like the stock balance of the Six One 95. This one I don't. This is a very stable stock racquet however, and for a modern frame, of which most are too light, this is one of the most stable stock frames you can get. It's far too stiff for a full bed of poly however, and I do find it is fussy with it's characteristics on the basis of what it's strung with. For a single handed backhand, it helps a lot. But due to it's balance point and weight, I personally can't generate as much top spin as I'd like. I think this could change if it were more head light. But bearing in mind, I do have injuries I've had surgery. Do I like it? It's likeable, but I don't like how stiff it is, and it's too wide. I shank the frame sometimes which I never do on my backhand slice and slice serve. This is 22.5mm compared to 19mm on my Diablo. Sounds tiny, but it's noticeable. I can get used to it over time, but I prefer a narrower beam which would assist with overall manoeuvrability too. Power level is similar to a Pure Drive from what I can remember of it. I may go Pro Kennex, C10 Pro or for something that I know I can play very well with most days of the week, a Prince Original Graphite. I might look at the 100. The number of younger players who have developed wrist and arm injuries that I never developed to much later on, and I'm a big hitter, I can only attribute to stiffer frames and plank like high vibration, less absorbent strings. It's unnecessary, and I feel Wilson ditching the Six One line was a big mistake. One of the most accessible lines of racquets. I feel this racquet will get a lot of attention because it's got that dudes name on it, but there are better frames out there. I will keep looking.
From: Danny, 3/16

Comments: I used the Babolat Aeropro Drive for two years since my freshmen year in high school. While looking for another racquet, I decided to try out this racquet by demoing from Tennis Warehouse, but I had never dreamt of actually switching to this racquet because tennis players at my school told me that the racquet was too heavy and will cause arm problems. However, I noticed that I played in a different style compared to my high school peers. They held their handle with a semi-western to a western grip to add a lot of topspin to their shots, while I learned the traditional way of holding the racquet with an eastern grip. So my Aeropro Drive was rather unsuitable to my game as much as this one was. During the demo, I really thought this stick was for me but I do admit that I was exhausted after playing with this stick for 20 minutes. After getting used to it, I loved the feel which allowed me to improve on my volleys and my flat groundstrokes. I am still working on the serve but other than that, I am happy with the switch. I would encourage everyone to try it out even if you have no intention of switching. This stick demands the player to have a good technique, so I think it will improve certain aspects in one's game. Some days I look at other traditional Wilson racquets (6.1 95), but this stick is probably the best one out since it has the biggest head size plus the connecting feel to the stick.
From: Anonymous, 2/16

Comments: I got this racquet when I was deciding to invest in a serious player racquet after 4-5 months of playing. My initial few weeks Pro Staff 97 was not fun, it hurt my arm, so I could never play for more than 90 minutes at a stretch or consecutive days. I used to play with a lighter racquet. As my forehand, backhand preparation and swing got better, I started to use my core instead of just hitting with my arm, this racquet has become a lot of fun to play with. I think most people complain and give up with this racquet because it doesn't let you get away with sloppy technique. You can definitely see the benefits in the plow through of the 97 RF. Hope this helps.
From: Neil, 2/16

Comments: I have been using a BLX Six.One 90 for the last 4 years. I loved it -- tons of power, a solid stick, good spin. Then in December I decided to get the RF97 Autograph. I purchased two racquets, strung them with ALU 16L power string from LXN at 58 lbs. My first forehand groundstroke from the baseline had incredible power and topspin. I knew from that moment on that this was a different level of racquet. I'm a 4.0 level player who hits with a variety of ages from D1 college students to 40 and over 4.0 league players. I noticed that the increased head size provides a bigger sweet spot when compared with previous Pro Staff and BLX models. The Autograph is a bit lighter than my BLX and less strain on my arm. I never had arm problems until I popped the strings on my Autographs and had to go back to the BLX. The racquet is very solid and has such a beautiful sound when you hit the ball. I broke strings after 5 weeks of playing 4 times a week. The increased head size is an added bonus and I rarely frame a shot or miss the sweetspot. If you like a heavier racquet and hit hard groundstrokes with a ton of topspin I suggest this racquet. It hasn't faded in any sense and no shot I've gotten at a 4.0-5.0 level has even made the racquet shutter. This racquet is very solid, smooth and steady. I recommend it for any player 3.5 and up who doesn't mind a heavy stick.
From: Will, 2/16

Comments: Follow up to an earlier review -- I have been playing with a full bed of Discho Iontec strung at 45 lbs, and have to say it's terrific. Generally, I hate full poly setups because my arm is sensitive, but this has been working well for me. Plenty of ball pocketing, spin and power. I do not intend to go back to a hybrid setup anytime soon. Still think it's a great stick. Downsides are the grip is a bit large and the weight does tire you out sometimes.
From: Biggles, 2/16

Comments: Truly an amazing racquet! I could go on and on about the numerous positives this racquet contributed to my game, but I'll keep it short and to the point. In every aspect of my game, be it serves, groundstrokes, slice, returns, etc., I saw immediate improvement. I typically use a heavy racquet (12.2 oz) so the transition wasn't too difficult. The RF97 offers the perfect balance between a traditional players frame and a modern frame. It added power and spin to my game without sacrificing control, feel, and plowthrough. I never thought a racquet could have such a powerful impact until I played with the RF97 Autograph. Well done Wilson!
From: Jeremy, 2/16

Comments: This is the one. Used the Pro Staff 85 as junior in the '80s. I play with heavy topspin on both sides with a two-handed backhand. Have been playing the last several years with a Blade 98 18x20. Against heavy hitters, there was the need to over swing to get the ball back deep. Led to too many errors. The RF 97 Autograph has similar swing weight, but my goodness the difference given the overall weight. If needed, I can shorten strokes to return fast, heavy balls, using my opponent's pace against them. If using long, fluid, loose strokes, the weight of the racquet, 12.6 oz. strung, will produce a very heavy, offensive ball, making up for slightly diminished racquet head speed, compared to the Babalot's of the world. No worries about weight causing unpredictability. This racquet does what you tell it to do, and then some. Prepare early, organize feet, use legs and core the help produce shot, the RF 97 Autograph will reward you in spades. Also very arm friendly. Played several hours today, no arm fatigue whatsoever. Demoed this racquet against the now discontinued Wilson 6.1 (great racquet, but RF97 is better), Pro Kennex Ionic 5 (heavier, but softer, less power), Pro Kennex Redondo 98 (similar to Blade 98, but softer), Babalot Pure Stike Tour (too unpredictable), and the Prince Response 97 (uncomfortably stiff). The winner -- Wilson RF 97 Autograph, with Babalot Addiction at 54 lbs. I recommend going down one grip size from normal. You can always build up grip with sleeve or extra overwrap. Thanks Roger Federer and Wilson for developing this amazing racquet.
From: Anonymous, 2/16

Comments: I am a 5.0 player that plays regularly with top NCAA players and Top ITF singles players. I don't have time to play tournaments anymore so I am not ranked. I have played with the Pro Staff 85/90 all my life. I finally tried this racquet. In my opinion, it is more stable that the PS90, but that does not mean that translates into a better stick. I tried both a 1/4 and 1/2 grip, and I will tell you that smaller is much better for swinging this stick. The 4 1/4 grip made a huge difference in my timing as well. The slice backhand is great. Having said that I found myself swing late at the ball at times. The racquet I used had Babolat RPM strings. I am sure that a combination of poly/gut probably suits better this racquet. I don't think I will change to this racquet. I prefer my PS 90 with some lead at the head instead. However for taller (I am 5'10"+) and fit players, I think it is a great stick and one they could play for years without having to change frames.
From: Fernando, 2/16

Comments: I have not demoed or purchased this frame yet. First on my list of things to do for this spring is to demo, then buy this stick. I respect the comments and criticism of the posters below. I would also like to urge those wanting to demo this racquet to go ahead and do it. I have used Fed sticks since 2008, and have always used a heavy set up. I also play tournament tennis and am a 4.5 -5.0 player. I routinely add a bit of weight to either match, adjust the sweet spot, or give more power to my set up. As a High School tennis coach, I routinely persuade players to switch to heavier racquets. Do the research and make your own decision. I feel for the poster below who is injured, as a few years ago, I injured my knee and was down for quite a while. I know what he is going through. For me, it was the accumulation of years of higher level competition and too much hard court. For the injured poster below, it is entirely possible that it was just time for that joint to go bad. I hope the lower weight frame will help him, we need all the players we can get out there.
From: Anonymous, 2/16

Comments: I'm a 52 year old 4.5 to 5.0 player who is 6' 170 lbs with a one handed backhand player who grew up playing with the PS85. Stopped playing with the PS85 a few years ago (the best stick around I only when you're "on," but a little unforgiving at other times), and moved to the Six.One, which I was never truly happy with. Tried a few other racquets along the way (K90, 88) with no success. Picked up a RF97A upon release but couldn't get to grips with the stiffness, board like feel and lack of manoeuvrability and sold it. After a few months I though I'd give it another try and picked up another. This one plays like a totally different racquet. Weight is 12.7oz, but much more headlight than the last. I now know I've found my stick. Like others have already stated, if you have sound technique this racquet does all the work for you. I'm now hitting with way more power, spin and penetration. Great plow through and plenty of forgiveness has made my game better. Against big hitters this racquet has all the stability you could wish for yet retains great (not PS85 level great but which racquet does) feel for the ball. Strung with YTex Square X at 58 lbs. Now looking to buy another.
From: Ed, 1/16

Comments: I like this racquet, but it's not an easy one to swing so it takes good form to play well with it. I really had to focus on footwork. One can't be lazy and whip the racquet around at the last second to make up for bad positioning. So it is a racquet best suited for somebody with good fundamentals to build on. On serve, again, you need great fundamentals to make it work properly. Because of the weight there is a narrow range of movement that will power this racquet optimally. I am 6'4" and pretty strong, so I'm learning to use it but it's taken time to adjust my play style accordingly. I'm now working to set up as early as possible on ground strokes and start guiding the racquet forward well before the ball arrives. And, I have found this racquet works best when you can hit the ball in front of your body, so I really work hard to get to the ball, get set, guide the racquet forward, and swing for a target in front of my body. If I'm late to the ball on the forehand, I try to setup while I'm running. Basically using this racquet properly requires working your body and thinking ahead. There's a process for every shot and that process must be learned and followed. This racquet is great for all aspects of the game you just need to have good fundamentals and you'll probably figure it out.
From: Shawn, 1/16

Comments: In response to the comment from the fellow with the shoulder injury: First, I am very, very sorry that you are hurt, and hope you recover quickly and fully. Second, yes, the RF is heavier than most frames out these days, but when I was a 5'6" 115 lb. 14-year-old, I played with a Kramer autograph that weighed over 13.25 oz, up to 9 sets a day, with no ill effects. Now undoubtedly, the RF and your current conditioning and service motion were an unfortunate match- up, but there is nothing intrinsic to the frame (unlike the very high stiffness of early composite frames) that would make it dangerous to players in general. I'm now 62, still only 5'8" and 150 lbs., and after well over a year, find the RF to be one of the most comfortable frames available. I'm very sorry it did not work out for you. Be well, and I hope you are out playing again soon.
From: Rob, 1/16

Comments: My 15 year old, 145 lbs son plays with this racquet. He is a beanpole, weakling, though he is in top 10 in the country and he is sponsored by Wilson. Not that his ranking has to do with anything other than you should know we did our due diligence in play testing all of Wilson's frames having access to every single stick they make along with string. This racquet, RF97, is without a doubt perfect for an attacking, first strike game style player especially if you have a big serve and one-hander. For a baseliner who has to hit 20-25 balls sometimes to win a point, no -- go with a lighter frame (but not too light). Jay Bosworth (pro racquet customizer) would absolutely confirm that heavy is the way to go. You may not hear about the pro's specs but people don't believe they match what is on the rack. You are much more likely to get injured by a racquet that is too light than one that is too heavy. Think about a car collision, would you rather be in a smart car or an SUV? Same with a racquet colliding with a ball -- if the racquet is not heavy enough, your arm and shoulder take the brunt of that force. Over time, that is much more likely to cause damage than a granny stick. Read the feedback, see how many people complain about getting injured from hitting with this racquet. I only see one, of course there are several that are just not used to the weight, discount those people!
From: William, 1/16

Comments: I feel compelled to leave an updated review, since I cannot go play tennis right now because of this racquet, and many of you may really rely on these reviews for valuable input as I have in the past. My story, I started gravitating towards heavier racquets since I play open level divisions, and many times the pace is just so high, you often feel the need for a racquet with heft and plow through to deliver ample returns on huge ground strokes rallies and serve returns. Well, I stumbled upon this racquet, and I fell in love with that addicting plow through and heft that dominates any pace from any angle. What this translates into, is a racquet that can really do it all. If you can get the racquet in position, you can make the shot. All shots, except maybe excelling in mph's on serve, since it is so heavy and I could never seem to get my pronation timing right through the toss etc. I usually rely on a big serve as part of my game plan, so this was disappointing, but easy to overlook since it does all the groundstrokes so well. It's no wonder how Federer looks so relaxed and effortless with his volleys, net play, and change of angle/pace. The heft of the racquet does wonders, and of course he is Federer. Well, over the course of a few months, I essentially sold off all my other racquets so I could buy 3 or 4 of these for my bag. That is when the problems started. It first started as a slight soreness/fatigue in the shoulder. Note that my elbow pain all but subsided, which I dealt with/played through for years. However, my shoulder started getting more and more fatigued. I play 3-5 times per week, I am 6'1" and I am medium to muscular heavier athletic build. Well, I thought my shoulder would just build more muscle over time to help wield this device, as with anything else. Sadly, it did not, and I believe I injured it with this racquet to the extent of a possible rotator cuff tear. If you are Roger Federer and you can pay a team of physios to keep you healthy and in an unbreakable fitness, and you can pay for brand new strings every time you go out on court, maybe this racquet is for you. You will need to perform your shoulder band exercises daily and practice intense shoulder health maintenance. Otherwise I would not recommend. Not because the racquet underperforms, quite the opposite. This racquet performs everything well, just as TW numbers suggest, expect for maneuverability. Over time those maneuverability issues catch up with you, on your serve, on overhead smashes, on high returns, can cause you injury, especially if you have not played with ultra heavy racquets all your life! This racquet actually improved most all of my strokes except the serve. But with that serve, is where my shoulder gave way. Even 10+ years of competitive play could not protect my shoulder from the abuse this racquet gave it!I tried all different kinds of string setups including ultra soft mains like Fed's setup suggest. This is an extremely string sensitive racquet, but not even meticulous string experimentation, can hide the extreme heft and weight your body will lug around on every shot. This is not even to mention if you need to play more than one match in a day or weekend which is nearly impossible etc. Now, I am out with injury and searching for other racquets to help me get back out!
From: Anonymous, 1/16
Note from TW: Sorry to hear about your issues with this racquet. However, we do want to note that this racquet does not have a history of causing injuries and wouldn't necessarily blame the racquet in this case.

Comments: I had this racquet on demo and played with it twice. I also own a Wilson 95 Classic. The new RF97 feels pretty similar, except that it's more forgiving. The RF97 is a players racquet with amazing feel and ability, if you love that old school feel with a new school forgiveness -- this is it! I do want to say that the leather grip was really bad on the demo, easily changed out if you don't like it.
From: Kent, 1/16

Comments: Insanely stable with power, feel and great directional control. You can hit monster serves with this frame. I believe the best frame on the market for a one hand backhand. At times, as most reviewers of this frame have pointed out, forehands can be late due to the high static weight and healthy swing weight. You can eliminate these maneuverability issues by hitting your groundstrokes on the rise. Let the frame do all the work. No need to flail away with this baby. Fed helped design this frame and he hits all his groundstrokes on the rise, so it kinda makes sense.
From: Kevin, 1/16

Comments: Here is my 1 month review -- after some consistent use and time to try different string setups and playing styles here is my review. I normally play with Babolat racquets and don't generally prefer this brand, however this is an amazing racquet. I play mens Open tourneys and train with top juniors. The weight of this racquet is much higher than I had previously used (I went to heavier racquets for stability and plow when playing big baseliners etc.). Probably the most string sensitive racquet I have ever owned, and I've owned most of the popular flagships. The basic concept of this racquet is just as many have already said. If you can get the racquet, and yourself, in the right position it will do whatever you want it to. Any stroke will be rewarded with this racquet. It is very forgiving with the right strings. The perfect mix of modern power and trickery with the solidity and old school precision many desire. A sublimely comfortable racquet. Yes, you must have different muscles to play with it, I found my elbow sensitivity went down, as my shoulder became more sore. After time you build your muscles up. I will not waste time saying what shots are good, and which are bad with this racquet. Fact is, they are all perfect, if you are. So, I will mention strings. I started with multiple hybrids and setups to imitate what the Fedex and others use. However, I found my favorite setup for this racquet is actually a multi (Technifibre X-One Biphase 17G at higher tensions like 60 Ibs, not 16G or 18G). More of the modern players should look at heavier frames like this. There is a reason lots of the top players use heavier or weighted sticks. Look at the great Federer, he is not built like a tank, as I have watched him up close. If this is good enough for the best player of all time, it's good enough for me! And good it is!
From: Reuben, 12/15

Comments: I have played with this racquet for about two weeks on demo. It is very stiff and my arm feels the reaction when I hit with it. I find it so different from the other racquets of this pedigree. There is the mass for power and it has good control. I am going to stick with a previous model with 90 square inch head size. Federer has gone from 90 square inch head size to this 97, which is quite a change.
From: Stuart, 12/15

Comments: Like Tennis Warehouse playtester Mark said, I really had to train my arms to be able to handle the weight of this racquet. On volleys, I felt undefeatable with this, and my shots were so stable. Yet, the serves and groundstrokes felt noticeably sluggish, and I came up to the net so much that my opponents kept lobbing me. If I could have a bit more muscle to my arms, this would be 90% perfect. I just don't like having to hit overheads with this.
From: Matthew, 12/15

Comments: I used the RF97 for the last 6 months. I weigh 165 lbs. For me, this is kind of an offensive racquet with a heavy weight. I used Wilson Revolve strung in it and my game has become dramatically better. My serve speed is accurate and my serve return and volley have been fantastic. However, few disadvantages are (because of the heavier weight), the fast swing might be limited and in the long run it could cause possible fatigue. My daily stroke speed and spin are excellent. I strongly recommended it for medium built players.
From: Than, 12/15

Comments: I have used the Wilson Pro Staff 90 for at least 10 years and recently switched to RF97. I loved it in the beginning and hit wonderful forehands with it. But in the long run, I can't hit my backhand properly. Its a good racquet to block shots with but lousy to hit regular backhands with. I have now switched back to the 90 and my backhand is back. Never going to switch again.
From: KJell, 11/15

Comments: Here is my 1 year review: One of the great racquets of all time, but requires customization for consistency. Most pros play with racquets that are far heavier than stock. You can see the lead tape lining the hoops of Novak's and Stan's racquets. I have heard that Ferrer's weighs 370 grams. One of Roger's own customized 90's was measured at 362.5g, 31.5cm from bottom balance. While the weight of the RF97 seems to be tightly quality controlled, the balance points are not. Both my two RF97s and those of a local coach with touring pros as clients are so different in stock form that they play like different racquets. However, if you use weight to bring them up to Roger's specs, as Priority One does for Roger, you will experience what he does. I've brought my two frames into conformity at 361g, 31.5cm and they play great. I string with Volkl Cyclone 16 at 57 pounds tension. My opponents report an increase in the speed, weight and spin of my shots. I experience total comfort and lack of shock, even on framed balls (not that I ever hit the frame!). Control is supreme, but feel is somewhat less direct than my old PS85s. Your control must come more from practice and the shape of your strokes than from direct feedback from the frame. The racquet dominates the ball. Your strokes must be long and loose to take full advantage of this racquet. Volleys are powerful. Drop shots can be carved to spin in any direction. It is rock solid on all shots. I can generate massive spin with it. There are really no downsides to this frame for me as I have it configured. I never feel that the racquet fails me in any way. If you are strong and aspire to play more like Roger or Stan, this is it. I am a strong club player with a one-handed backhand, an all-court game, and an attacking style.
From: Rob, 11/15
Note from TW: While each racquet from Wilson may differ slightly in spec, we do offer a customizing service to help players find racquets of similar spec, or customize your frames to be identical -- for more information on those services, feel free to email us at info@tennis-warehouse.com

Comments: I am a medium build, level 3, all-court player using Babolat strings at 50 lbs and I don't feel the RF97 to be heavy. I used to play with Wilson 88, K90 and currently playing with Dunlop 2hundred Tour with a swingweight of 356 and strung swing weight of 360 in stock form. I alternate my RF97 with my Dunlop 2hundred Tour. These two racquets are the breath of my life, particularly the Dunlop 2hundred Tour. The RF97 has the power, spin and control and is slightly not as maneurable but manageable. My key when playing with RF97 is always early preparation.
From: Elcer, 11/15

Comments: Everyone told me the weight of this racquet is way too heavy -- hogwash! Play with it for a week and you will realize it's one of the best, if not the best racquet out there. I was playing with the Steam 99S then the Pro Staff 97, and the RF97 is miles above in spin and in solid feel. Shots really just rocket off this stick and the control is phenomenal! Don't be a weeny and try it for yourself and discover all the "its too heavy" talk is just that -- talk.
From: John, 11/15

Comments: The weight didn't bother me as much as the lack of feel. It felt way too stiff on touch shots. I must say I was disappointed that it hit so much like a board. My Six.One's have so much more feel and control. They did play better at a looser tension like 42 lbs.
From: Cary, 11/15

Comments: My current racquet of choice is the Volkl PB Mid 10 and I am looking for a racquet which has a little bit more power and good control. I played 10 hours with this Wilson using my standard strings (Luxilion ACE or Signum Control). The RF has more power but I missed the control of the PB Mid 10. Often shots have been too long or too short. For me the racquet is also too stiff. In addition the buttcapp is too big whereas the grip itself is almost too small. Maybe that's the reason why I got wrist problems. So my search goes on. Next I will check the Volkl CPro 10.
From: Andreas, 11/15

Comments: This racquet has a much 'crisper' feel to it, compared to the PS 90s. Overall, mishits don't even register, and when you get the ball in the center the power is 10-15% more. A great stick, although I would say a single handed backhand is a must to fully enjoy it. The stability is unreal. Stung at recommended specs and feels great.
From: Anonymous, 11/15

Comments: This racquet is like a good, complex red wine; you need to converse with it. If you are used to light, tweener racquets which, supposedly, make it easier for you, you probably may not like this at first. But if your technique is on par and you like taking the ball early, "throwing" the racquet and enjoy feeling the shot, then this will be one of the best racquets you'll ever try. There is absolutely nothing this racquet is not good for, and your game will get more "spectacular" as you get more and more used to the racquet. Only thing, hope you have a one-handed backhand 'cause that's a big part of the fun. Good technique on the OHB will reward you with immense shots. But again, concentrate, and take the ball early. I suggest a gut-poly hybrid or an underpowered co-poly.
From: Fede, 11/15

Comments: This is an attacker's racquet. You don't want to use it to hit 20 shot rallies because it's tough to swing on the run all day. The RF97 hits a heavy ball. Flatten out a forehand with this stick and you'll feel that exhilaration watching the ball jet across the court and beyond the reach of your flailing opponent. I will say that every shot has to be played with intention with the RF. It rewards racquet head speed and penalizes you if you decelerate your swing. Serves can be monstrous, but after 3 sets it can be a bit tiring to swing. I hit a 2-handed backhand and same story; swing with an attacker's mentality to extract what the RF97 can do. Slices stay flat, low and go deep into the opposing court. You never feel the impact even receiving a big serve. Like flying an airplane, you do need to stay ahead of this stick and swing earlier than with the lighter rackets being played with today. It's a great racquet as long as your mechanics and physicality are sound!
From: Stan, 10/15

Comments: This stick is not for weenies! When I was 8, I was trudging around the court with a 13 ounce Don Budge autograph block of wood. No sympathy for anyone that "feels it" the next day in their forearm. That just means you are out of shape and probably should be playing badminton. Man up, buy this and you will soon learn that you can swing easier because your racquet is going to go through the ball and bear the brunt of the collision vs your arm (with the lighter sticks). The pros are not stupid nor are they The Rock. They're all your weight or under and probably don't bench more than 135 lbs. But they're smarter than you because you fall for "lighter, faster, more powerful" -- all of the marketing gimmicks. Choose a heavier stick, play around with the set up and the strings until you find something you like, and your arm (and shoulder) will thank you! It's really simple people!
From: Will, 10/15

Comments: For me, this is the worst buttcapp of all time. It makes the grip feel bigger than it is. Uses the tab system so leather will always creep up exposing the awful sharp edges. If you're not going to change the buttcapp you might want to get a smaller grip.
From: Chad, 10/15

Comments: This may be one of the most stable racquets that I have ever played with. The inherent plow through is excellent on just about every shot. I feel as if I can play with the most aggressive hitters because of the stability of the racquet. I use a combination of natural gut in the mains and Luxilon in the crosses strung at 55 lbs. This has worked well for me. It is a heavy racquet, and I am noticeably sore (arm/medial epicondyle region) after a long match. Fortunate for me, I am 6'3"and 200 lbs and can handle the weight fairly well. I am happy that I made the switch to this racquet, for I have become a better player.
From: Ken, 10/15

Comments: If you are an attacking style of player with a one handed backhand, this is a great frame for you. Some will tell you it is too heavy. Nonsense. Yes, it is heavy but it is stable and will take the brunt of the force instead of your arm. For those that experience arm pain, I suggest you look at the set up you are using. Try loosening your tension if using poly or better yet, get rid of poly altogether and go back to hybrid or even better, all synthetic. If you want to really feel the ball and like to volley, polys should be avoided anyways. If you are a baseliner or have a two handed backhand, this is not the stick for you. Find something you can swing all day. This racquet is a weapon in the hands of a player who knows how to put forward pressure on their opponent.
From: David, 10/15

Comments: I am a former 5.0 player and now a consistent 4.5. I've played with all the Federer variations of the Pro Staff and its equivalents (nCode, BLX, etc.) and for the past 3 years, settled back on the original Pro Staff 85 currently sold on TW for $119. To me, still the greatest racquet ever, but I just cant keep up with new style of play of today, especially when other players using Babolat and the like, hit balls with such ease. So I knew that I had to get a bigger racquet. I did not do the demo, I just bought the RF97 straight out and played with it yesterday for the first time. My feedback: In quick summary, you get 90% of the Pro Staff 85 traits, but with a far more powerful and forgiving racquet. Not as sharp, not as maneuverable, not as easy to swing, but then again, nothing is. This is a very accurate racquet. My serves did not suffer, but my overheads were way off in terms of timing. I love the fact that this racquet can do things for you. If you have good strokes, it has great plow through and hits very nice shots deep in the court. Volleys have seen the biggest improvements from what I can see. Exceptionally solid. For anyone who is playing with the Federer variations and thinking of switching, I would highly recommend this racket. Especially for one handed backhand players. Returning high topspin shots to the backhand side was far easier with this racquet than with the 85, especially when you're on the run. I got it strung with a multi in the mains and poly in the crosses at 53 lbs -- it felt great.
From: Sam, 9/15

Comments: Incredible difference in my shots compared to my Steam 99S. I'd say 30% more speed and 10% more spin. The ball rockets off the strings. Incredible precision, like driving a Porsche. Rock steady on volleys. I noticed the difference immediately and the Steam (my first try at a modern racquet) is a wonderful racquet. I've been playing with wood racquets (Davis Topspin) until now, so the weight some people talk about is not an issue for me -- wood racquets are heavier. In fact, the Steam 99S feels a bit too light. Also, playing with the wood racquets has forced me to have good mechanics. This would not be a good racquet for people who try to get power just from their arm and don't get their whole body behind their shots. But if you have good mechanics, you'll do fine once you get used to it. I have it strung with Luxilon Alu Big Banger at 55 lbs because my stringer and I had a misunderstanding. That sometimes makes it a tiny bit harsh on my 56-year-old shoulder. I think it really needs gut, so when my second racquet arrives, I'll either go hybrid or all gut and compare.
From: Seth, 9/15

Comments: By far the best racquet ever made for a one hand backhand. Every slice, topspin or flat backhand is so penetrating and heavy it's just unreal. I can really see how Fed helped design this stick to help him handle high backhand shots, to be able to to return them on the rise. Forehands have to be hit with purpose. You have to be aggressive and you have to move those feet to get into optimum position. When you do, you are rewarded for sure. Definitely the perfect frame for an attacking style of tennis. Serves and volleys are great as well. The entire racquet face is a sweetspot. Initially it was difficult to maneuver coming from a mid K90, but after several months, I got used to it. I do believe the grip sizes are sized too big. To me the 4 3/8 felt like a 4 1/2. I usually use a 4 3/8 and switched to a 4 1/4 and it's perfect.
From: Kevin, 9/15

Comments: I almost gave up on this racquet but I am glad I did not. The most important variable is the strings. I initially strung it with lux at about 57 lbs. It felt like I was hitting with a cutting board. No feel, just heavy. Just absolutely brutal. So I got it restrung with some softer strings however they ignored the tension I wanted and it felt only slightly better and I was ready to give up on it. When a very knowledgable friend of mine played with it he said it was strung way to tight and he restrung himself at 48 and 52 with a combo, and now it feels fantastic. So much more feel and power. It is a process for me, of putting less muscle on the ball and using the racquet to do it for me. My serve has more pop, I am having some trouble with my backhand as I really need to get over the ball otherwise it can fly. It is heavy and that takes some getting use to. So my advice is be very cognizant of how you string it. The racquet is so stiff and heavy, that you should err on the looser side with softer strings. I have not played with a racquet before where how you string it can have such a major effect on the stick.
From: James, 9/15

Comments: This racquet is the reference for all others, there is no other racquet with the same qualities. Thanks Roger for making it together with Wilson and making it available for the public. Since most other top- players all play with prostock frames different from the models they endorse, not this one -- it is one of the very few frames with true prostock properties and weight. It is heavy so if you can handle the weight and let the racquet do the talking you will be in the best shape and have a material advantage over all the other people using different frames. It's simply the best. If you cannot handle the weight, stay away from it because it will make you feel unhappy. The lighter frames of this model are all a lot less logical since they do not carry the same weight or construction.
From: Jim, 9/15

Comments: Ever hit a tennis ball with a refrigerator? Try this stick and you'll know what that feels like. Solid is an understatement. This stick is awesome against hard hitters -- extremely stable. Just put the stick out and redirect the ball or take a swing. Even the hardest hit balls won't twist this racquet in your hand. The stability is great for powering flat winners from all over the court, but it's a bit tougher to generate spin than other racquets. Takes a bit to get used to serving with this one -- the serve will probably be the last stroke that feels comfortable, (along with quick flips and touch shots) but volleys you can hit solidly from minute one. A lot to lug around, a real tree stump, but if you can handle the weight, it's well worth it. FYI -- I played with the RD Power 10 Long and the Hyper ProStaff, I'm a previously 5.0, now a 4.0 player who also competed in college many moons ago.
From: Jim, 9/15

Comments: The handbook for those switching from the old 90 Fed frames to the new Wilson 97s: 1. The Autograph is stiffer, therefore use softer strings. 2. The Autograph's swing weight feels much more than the 90's. 3. Therefore, consider this lighter version to decrease the swingweight, use the same strings as the 90s since the lighter version has less power, and then add extra weight only if needed, e.g. the leather grip and 3 grams or so, of lead on the head.
From: Pedro, 8/15

Comments: I wanted to echo many of the accurate reviews here and say that the frame is amazing, but quite heavy. I used to play with the Tour 90 racquets with multifilament strings. Now, playing with this racquet and Luxilon strings, I almost feel like I'm playing a different sport. If you let the racquet do the work, you can absolutely blast away from the baseline. High, one-handed backhands are much easier to deal with. Groundstrokes feel like guided weaponry. But -- if you're not using your legs and relying on a lot of arm on your shots, you might have to spend much more time in the weight room. Playing with this frame leaves me in awe of how Federer can execute some of his flickier shots. The only downside of this frame for me was on the serve. I'm simply not strong enough to generate the racquet speed I'm used to. When you time the serve well, the ball is super fast and heavy. But don't expect to make last moment corrections to your swing or chase after bad tosses -- there's just too much mass for that. I am going to hit the gym and keep playing with this great racquet.
From: Dan, 8/15

Comments: Since the spec on paper is very similar, I tried this one to replace my BLX6.1 95 (18x20) 2010 version. They hit very differently! Although having similar swing weight, the RF97 obviously swings slower than the 6.1. That said, you will have to be earlier for every step of your swing to get a similar outcome. Similar to Chris, it's easier to hit a forehand down the line than cross court, mostly I think it's due to the slower swing speed. This racquet really needs you to do every step right, and do it early. Definitely for more advanced players. Serve is solid once knowing how to manipulate the mass. Very solid racquet, will still need to learn from this racquet.
From: Pat, 8/15

Comments: This is a great racquet. I switched from the Babolat Aeropro Drive 2013 and it felt good from the moment I held it and hit my first shot. Definitely gives me more power. I need to adjust my style to continue getting the same spin though. I used RPM Blast 17g at 56 lbs and Wilson Pro Overgrip.
From: Sumit, 8/15

Comments: I am very happy with this racquet. Just one thing I noticed when playing outside vs. on clay -- you cant have as high tension on the strings when playing outside because the power becomes muted if the tension is too high playing on clay. Go down a couple of pounds and you will be fine. I am using Wilson Ripspin in mine and it works very well. I also tried Signum Pro Poly Plasma in it and that string gives a better slice and serve. My tension is prety high around 63- 65 pounds and I like that because it gives me that extra control, the only thing is that my usually hard serve then becomes a little bit lowered powered. In my friend group, this racquet family with the new Red and Black Pro Staffs has been revolutionary -- we all use everything from the PS97LS to the RF97 Autograph and they are all good! If you haven't tried it yet, buy it, you wont regret it! Good luck!
From: Kjell, 7/15

Comments: I'm a 4.5 player with a one handed backhand. I used the n90 since I was 14, and reluctantly switched to the k90. I played around with the AeroPro Drive for a while too, but the k90 has been my go-to racquet for 5 years. I was considering a bigger head size since I often miss-hit volleys, and decided to try the RF97. I strung it at 56 lbs with Natural Gut/ALU Power, with the k90 I would do 51/49 lbs. I found the RF97 more head heavy and of course more power. The frame is more stable than the 90, a miss-hit hardly registers, where as the 90 might rotate in my hand. I really liked it for groundstokes and volleys, but I was having problems with the weight on my serve. My racquet head speed on the serve is much slower with this racquet, but I still need to do some adjusting. Overall, I hit more spin and more power with the RF and more margin for error.
From: Matt, 7/15

Comments: This racquet ia so amazing! I got this racquet today to demo and so far I'm very impressed. I'm a current Babolat Pure Drive 2012 user and this new Wilson racquet is the bomb. It feels so great on serve, groundstorkes, etc. I'm very impressed with this racquet. Please don't let the weight scare you in trying it, its not as bad as it seems. Recommend it for someone who can handle a heavyweight racquet and wants a solid feel.
From: Florentino, 7/15

Comments: Here's an update and correction from my previous feedback: Having complained last week that my 2 RF97s were vastly different in weight and balance, I thought I owed it to Wilson to double check, so I bought an electronic scale that is accurate to .5 grams. It turns out that the racquet I thought was much lighter is, in fact, 2 grams heavier. My mistake. I think 2 grams different, which works out to about .5% is very good consistency, and I applaud Wilson for this. However, the problem comes in with the balance point. I currently have both racquets strung and gripped identically. The heavier frames weighs 363.5 grams, has 2 grams of lead in the hoop and the balance point is 12 1/8 inches from the bottom of the handle. The lighter racquet is 361.5 grams, has 2 grams of lead on the butt cap and the balance point is about 12.5 inches from the bottom -- so still 3/8 of an inch less head light. I figure it will take about 6 to 10 more grams on each to make them identical, for a total of about 370 grams. Since I have about 10 grams of overgrip and use a medium rubber band for a dampener, this puts the weights pretty close to TW's stated strung weight for the racquet, and about 7 to 9 point head light, so I withdraw my complaint. I will state that without customization they do play very differently, but averaged out, they are within 1% or so of spec., and, I like them very much.
From: Rob, 7/15

Comments: This is an amazing racquet if you are able to deal with the weight. It is very stable and solid when struck right. I moved from the PS90 (K-Factor) and initially the weight difference was a concern. But after just a couple of sessions with it, the weight difference was hardly noticeable. It is much more forgiving than the PS90 but not very much different in terms of the "classic" feel the PS90 offers. I would recommend the lighter version for those not used to heavy frames. So far I have tried stringing it with Dunlop Black Widow (17G), Ashaway Crossfire II (17G) and Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 (17G). All were strung at 46 lbs. The Dunlop Black Widow and the Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 snapped after just 2 sessions of doubles. I've just bought a second piece and this time, I decided to try the 16G Tourna Big Hitter Black 7. Let's see how long these would last. All in all, a great frame by Wilson. I have always been a fan of the PS series and this did not disappoint.
From: Prashant, 7/15

Comments: I'm a former college player and teaching pro. I used the PS 85 many years ago (college/post college), and eventually a few of the PS 90 series. I tried Babolats twice, but didn't like the lightness, stiffness, and lack of plow through. So, I sold four of my old sticks and purchased two of the RF97 Autographs. I like the feel on groundstrokes and volleys. Very solid. As I'm out of practice (and a little out of shape), getting my serve back will take a little time. I can hit decent spin serves with power. But don't think I'll be blasting flat ones for awhile until I loosen up and get my timing and rotation back. It is more racquet to get through on the server compared to a Babolat Pure Drive. Polar opposites. If you liked the PS 90 series, then you should like these. To those who had issues with their racquets not matching in terms of weight and balance: I would suggest working with whoever you are buying from to match your sticks before buying. I didn't do so, and have not noticed a difference yet. However, I had this issue with previous PS 90s and it is very frustrating.
From: Will, 6/15

Comments: I love my RF97s, too. I have 3 of them. My one concern is how different they are from one another weight and balance-wise. One stick is quite light and head light. My other two racquets are heavier by about 0.3 ounces and head heavy by 0.5 cm. Is this typical?
From: Stan, 6/15

Comments: I have been using the RF97A since they first became available and intend to stick with it. However, I do want to notify the community here that my two frames are very different in weight and balance. I've been playing for over 50 years and have never seen this much variation. In fact, the difference is so pronounced that it could easily account for a lot of the variation in the reviews below. My second frame felt lighter the instant I picked it up, and measured 1.5 inches more head light. It has noticeably less plow through, but is far easier to whip through serves or "late" groundstrokes. I've tried to match them with lead (which has always been easy with past multiple racquets I've had) but I can't make it work with these. Don't get me wrong -- these are still great racquets, but they are so different that I use one of them now only when a string breaks on the primary. I can't use them both in the same match without taking a few games to adjust, and the difference can really do a number on my serve. They are strung and gripped identically, but the same swing on the same shot will produce balls that land far apart. If you are considering buying these, I suggest you request that your supplier provide you with frames that are weight and balance matched to the demo frame you liked, and if possible get them to tell you precisely what they weigh in grams and the balance point, so you can order another one that matches.
From: Rob, 6/15

Comments: I love this raquet. It's heavier than the Pro Staff 6.0 but my arm is now used to it. It's a lot more forgiving than the 6.0 and I feel I have so much more range of play with it. Serving has improved a lot more too I get way more control and because I can top spin better with it my second serve is going great. I used Wilson Duo NXT2 on the mains at 57 lbs and Lux on the crosses at 54 lbs.
From: Alesandro, 6/15

Comments: Has anyone tried this racquet with Head Intellitour 16? Do it and witness how divine your strokes will feel!
From: Karan, 6/15

Comments: I have three generations of the PS90, and I love them all. But I don't think they are a match for the RF97 at winning points. The RF has a bigger sweet spot and significantly more power without any loss of control. Yes, it plays stiffer, so if you can afford a hybrid setup, you should. Or at least go for a comfortable 17 gauge poly. Otherwise it will feel boardy and uncomfortable. The grip size is indeed slightly larger than the PS90, but not enough to be an issue. Getting topspin on the second serve is a little harder, but again, not a deal breaker. Better than the PS90 at volleys, first serve and groundstrokes. Slice is a close call. The swing weight definitely feels high compared to the 90s, but you quickly realize it helps with the overall game. Bought this from someone who had strung it up with a stiff poly, and I hated it. Gave me some elbow pain as well. But after switching to a hybrid setup with some cheap natural gut in the mains and Sonic Pro in the crosses, it's been great. It may not have the PS90 softness, but it'll win you more matches. Definitely a ProStaff.
From: Biggles, 6/15

Comments: This racquet is heavy. This racquet is rock solid. This racquet shows no respect for the ball as it mercilessly carves spin into its felt with polyester blades. All you have to do is stay smooth, stay relaxed, ride that fluid wave and when you fall off? Ask yourself -- "what would Federer do?"
From: Anton, 6/15

Comments: I am an average tennis player. Im not great and I am not rated. I switched over from the Six One to this racquet and am using Luxilon ALU Power at 57 pounds with a 1/2 grip size. To start with some weaknesses, at least for my game, I found that this racquet makes it more difficult to generate topspin and can be especially hard when trying to spin it over the net when you get a really short ball. When playing against an opponent that hits the ball lighter and shorter this racquet does not perform to its full potential. However when playing against an opponent that hits hard this racquet excels. It generates a ton of power and you can dominate from the baseline. Depending on who I play against I either use the RF97 or my Six One. The RF97 is unforgiving as well. When you make a bad hit it will hurt your arm, but when you hit it right it feels almost perfect. If you are used to a heavier racquet, and can move quickly to hit the ball in the right spot, and are good about bending your knees when you hit, the RF97 will work incredibly.
From: Jason, 6/15

Comments: I've used the Hyper Carbon, NCode, and KFactor 90 (still use the NCode) for a while now and the RF97 is very different from the traditional 90. Groundstrokes and serves have significantly more power and spin to them and is overall more maneuverable. The volleys are also extremely powerful, but the frame lacks the supple feel that the 90s have. The extra spin and power also caused a slight decrease in precision and accuracy. In summary, it is a excellent racquet for players looking for a heavy, stable, and maneuverable racquet, but it does that some adjustments if you played with the 90s. Strung with Kirschbaum ProLine at 65 lbs.
From: Ash, 6/15

Comments: Compared to the k90, it is better in every aspect. It has power when you need it and it has the same pinpoint accuracy with more forgiveness, plus you are not tired at the end of the day. This is the racquet you must choose to play with from now on!
From: Dr70194, 6/15

Comments: If I were to write a book entitled "Instruction Manual for Those Switching from the 90 Federer frames of Yesterday to the RF 97 of today" then the book would simply say this: consider softer strings. I have played with VS Gut on the mains and Lux on the crosses for the past 10 years, like Fed. I tried this at 56 lbs and 53 lbs on the RF 97. Too much power. My serve had trouble finding the box. My groundstrokes kept landing 1-2 inches long. Going to an extreme grip didn't help, but just created more off-center shots. I had great difficulty hitting the slice backhand. After stocking up on more 90" frames, I then decided to try one more option. Technifibre X-One Biphase at 53 lbs. Wow! I can hit my slice backhand. I can hit all 3 serves. My forehand is accurate, etc.! Perhaps a stiffer, thicker beam requires a softer string? I must say, I love the softer feel of synthetic gut! Makes playing more fun.
From: Pedro, 5/15

Comments: I just demoed this racquet. I am a loyal Pro Staff 90 user and sadly must say this has none of the traits that made the Pro Staff 90 special to me. Very sad about this will pick up a few Pro Staff 90s while they are still available.
From: Anon, 5/15

Comments: I have to agree with most of Grant's comments below. I too have played with almost every revision of the Pro Staff 90, my favorite was the K90 version and the most recent PS90. The RF97 is a very different animal. I agree about the grip comment, the 4 3/8 does feel closer to 4 1/2. "The PS90 is like a 911 and the RF97 is more like a muscle car." However, like all muscle cars they are extremely sensitive to the tires you put on them. I have experimented with a great number of high performance strings but I will focus on Luxilon, Solinco, Kylano, and Dunlop for this feedback. One of my previous go to ALU Power 125 strung at 50 lbs felt a little odd on this racquet. I couldn't get the comfort I previously got with the PS90. The Solinco Tour Bite strung at 52 lbs was just too stiff and non responsive, no feel but good spin. My other previous go to string, the Kylano Tour Destiny strung at 50 lbs provided a nice pop and excellent launch angle off the string bed, huge spin and ball pocketing. The Dunlop Black Widow, recommended by another player in the forum, strung at 54 lbs felt a little to uncontrollable but definitely comfortable and plush; perhaps I will try this at 56 lbs. I also got to try the Kylano Nucleus at 54 lbs and it may be my favorite so far. Plush like the Black Widow but with the pop of the ALU 125 and spin of the Tour Destiny. So at the time of this feedback, I have one racquet strung with ALU 125 which I really like now, it's just different than it was in the PS90. Another racquet strung with Tour Destiny which I use mostly because of the spin and pop I crave. And the third racquet is strung with Nucleus with is my most comfortable ride with great spin still for those cold chilly days. I'm going to probably stay with one of these three strings on two racquets and use the third one as a test racquet for new options and tensions. But I do prefer the European made strings such as the Luxilon and Kylano, they really do provide best feel and performance or handling and grip as in Grant's analogy of cars. So in conclusion, I believe the RF97 is very string sensitive and prefers a top of the line solid string. Just for reference, I was a D1 player and now play three times a week with my 4.5-5.0 co-worker at our country club after long days of litagations. I have used mostly the Pro Staff and Prestige racquets in the past. Hope this helps those on the fence about this wonderful racquet, it really is a gem in the right hands with right string combo.
From: Tom, 5/15

Comments: I'm a former college player who used to hit with the Six.One 90 for more than 10 years. My relationship with this racquet after attempting to switch to it from my previous racquet has been, "complicated." I am a strong player, now closing in on 30 years old and I've used the old Federer racquet (six-one tour 90) for basically little more than a decade. I've wanted to switch racquets for a few years. Finally, I though that moving from a 90 to a RF97 would be feasable as the weight distribution and overall weight was suppose to be extremely similar. Wrong! It's closer to the 90 than anything I've previously tried but there are some glaring issues. First off, the grip sizes seem to not be correct. I don't know if I just got a bad batch, but the 3/8 grip size is closer to a 1/2 grip size. (before you think I'm crazy, I've gone through maybe 20-30 Six-One Tour 90 racquets over the past decade and they all felt identical on the grip. (I also measured it and sure enough it's wrong). This was quite unacceptable. But let's set that aside for a moment. Back to the weight and balance. The overall weight does feel the same, and it should; it is afterall within a few grams of the 90. The weight distribution however doesn't feel the same compared to the 90, even though Wilson sold this racquet as being the same HL balance as the 90. It 100% feels head heavier than the 90. Specifically, you feel it right on the top frame of the racquet, not the sides. Stroke-wise let me compare the Six.One Tour 90 to this racquet - - the RF97 has more power as one would expect, but the ball doesn't feel as "carve-able" as the 90. The RF97 can get you out of tough spots and definitely is more forgiving if you tend to hit the ball late. It's also easier to turn what should be a defensive shot into an offensive shot. Overall, the groundstrokes can present more power, but you do sacrifice feel. Let me mention the backhand specifically. I have a one-handed backhand and it's great compared to the 90. It's the one reason I'm still tinkering around with this RF97 racquet. On groundstrokes, I would say there is some give and take overall. You will lose feel and a little bit of that "carve-ability" compared to the 90 but you will be able to hit more offensive shots instead of having to rely solely on placement. So I'd say on the forehand, the 90 wins, but the backhand for me, clearly the RF97 wins. Volley time -- similar to the 90 actually. Yes, bigger sweet spot, but I don't notice it in volleys as much. The "carving" issue does crop up in volleys from time to time. So I would say on volleys, the edge goes to the 90. Now for the serve -- oh boy, this is where it gets interesting, and now you will see why I'm very hesitant in switching completely over to the RF97. I'm a very strong server who regularly hits in the 120s on my first serve, and can hit basically whatever I want on the second serve in the 90-100s with as much spin as I want (kick or slice). My serve is my strength and sadly the RF97 is really poor compared to the 90 in this category. First serve is just different with the weight distribution, but not a problem on the first serve. Second serve however, it's a completely different story. I lost a ton of precision and accuracy on the second serve and this is where that "carving" feeling really came into play. With the 90 I can just put the ball where I want it. The best way I can describe it, the 90 is like driving a Prosche 911 on a track. In the right hands you can put the car exactly where you want it. The RF97 is more like an American muscle car. It's going to be hilariously fun in a strait line (groundstrokes) then when you need to hit a precise corner, it just falls apart. Switch racquest at your own risk.
From: Grant, 5/15

Comments: This racquet has everything! I am a long time user of Wilson Pro Staff 90 and believe me when I say this is revolutionary! It's so stable and the sweetspot is enormous compared to the 90. You'll hit clean shots all the time and the volley feels unbelievable. Buy it, you wont regret it!
From: Kjell, 5/15

Comments: This is the best racquet I have played with in my life, and I am very picky. I am a heavy- racquet 23 year old user, 5.0 NTRP. 350-360 grams is my ideal weight for a racquet and 330-340 is my ideal swingweight. Having used a BLX Six.One Tour before that gave me control, decent power when using proper form and most importantly a smooth swing thanks to its heft, transitioning to this larger headsize and wider beam size was a win-win for me. I am not expecting to suddenly play like Federer, after all him using this racquet was one of the last things that I took into consideration, I just do not want to have to add a lot of lead to a light racquet and would rather have a heavy-stock racquet that can last me a long time. I feel that my game has become more aggressive and I am now going so much more to the net even though I don't have to in order to win the point. Slice is prime, and if you can handle the weight serves will be a strength. You might have to work a little harder to add spin to your kick serves, but that is ok. I will be buying another one soon, keep the BLX as a 3rd in my inventory and I am good for now. I'm so happy and excited with this purchase. I recommend it for players who can dominate and use the perks of the extra weight and not let the weight dominate them. If you are coming from a lighter frame, I recommend a demo. Good job Wilson!
From: Andrew, 5/15

Comments: I'm a 34 year old 4.5 player. Traditionally, I like heavier racquets; I've been using a Head Prestige ll.3 oz (unstrung) for the last year or so. I like it but I'm not in love with it, so I was excited to give the RF97 a try. What I'll say probably mimics a lot of the existing reviews out there already. It is A LOT of racquet. It was hard for me to handle while serving; I could hit some really heavy serves, especially up the 'T', but spin and placement were difficult. My forehand lacked the snap and bite that I'm used to just because the racquet is so heavy. My two handed backhand held up fine, but again I had trouble generating much spin. With this racquet I had a really hard time generating spin on any of my shots (although different strings/tension may certainly make a difference, as I was playing with a demo). Overall, if you're playing singles and you're name is not Roger Federer you'll probably struggle with this racquet . This racquet is not for mere mortals. I can see where it would suit Federer's game with the one handed backhand and plow through shots, but it's just too heavy to wield trading heavy blows from the baseline for most players. Now, doubles on the other hand, if you like to keep the ball low and heavy, and you love to chip and charge/serve and volley this could be your racquet. Put away power around the net is excellent. As long as you make clean contact this racquet does all the work for you on volleys. This racquet will do well for guys that hit stiff, flat, low shots created by compact short swings. But if you're looking for any kind of whip/spin on shots where you like to 'load up' and take a rip at the ball you'll probably want to keep looking IMO.
From: Lee, 5/15

Comments: Having toyed with this racquet a few times over the last couple of months I decided it was time to put my Babolat Pure Drives in the cupboard and really see how i got on. Yes, it is a beast to get in position at times but it is worth the effort. Service games are now easier as the power and placement are just better. While my forehand has not improved the backhand slice is a real weapon, and not just as a defensive shot. I am a 55 year old 4.5 level player and if I can get used to the added weight, then most others can too. I string with Tecnifibre Razor Code in the mains and HDX in the crosses at 48 lbs.
From: Kevin, 5/15

Comments: Love this racquet. Smooth feel when hitting the ball because of the heavier weight. I would recommend this racquet.
From: Zander, 4/15

Comments: Chris, Granville and Troy's feedback are dead on. I'm not confident enough to play a 3-set match if it came down to it. Best updated Pro Staff so far to date.
From: KuDawgg, 4/15

Comments: It's such a difficult stick for mere mortals to get used to but the fantastic "true" swing and control when you're on makes you actually love tennis that much more. Coming back to earth, the weight is a big problem for me on serve and overall I have difficulty completing a 2 hour session with it. Happy I stuck with it and made the following 2 modifications -- First, I removed the leather grip (too hard for me) in favor of my usual Gamma replacement grip and one overgrip and second, I experimented with strings quite a bit. Even my trusty Luxilon 4G made the thing feel and hit like a heavy plank. I finally settled on the much more user friendly Tecnifibre X1 Biphase (17) and suddenly it's looking up. Much easier to hit the ball and I don't feel the weight so much. What I love about this stick: the rock solid feel gives you total confidence when you are on, the balance is great on groundstrokes and the weight makes volleying very reliable. I did not serve as well (the weight for some reason bothered me most on this stroke) but since the above string change, it's much better. Best in breed on touch shots, you know there will be no surprises with this racquet.
From: D, 4/15

Comments: I'm a 60 year old 4.5 player and have played with the Fed racquets since the K90 -- nothing beats the feel of those, the purity of striking the ball with a small, heavy frame like a baseball bat. The RF 97 seems to be stiffer (wider beam), and feels to me like the old Wilson Ultra II. Stiffer frames require a faster swing, and a larger head makes the racquet feel shorter. So after a couple of string sets, I'm getting used to it, and enjoying the "extra" work it does for me. I've always had a good volley, and it accentuates this strength by virtue of the extra 7 square inches. For sure, the RF 97 is a better doubles racquet, but nothing will ever feel as good as the 90 square inch sticks. There's so much power in the game now, the extra stiffness helps though. I will have to play with it in some tournaments this summer to come to a final conclusion.
From: Tim, 4/15

Comments: For those of you on the fence with this racquet, here are a couple points to keep in mind. Re: the weight, which most find as a barrier to this racquet -- in my opinion, this racquet is more appealing to those with efficient strokes, those with snappy arm and wrist strokes will have to be very strong to manage this weight, but efficient strokes will like the patience it makes easier to achieve. I do not think big, fast, topspin strokes will like a racquet like this. Now further to tweaking the weight, here are a couple thoughts. First the weight and balance are usually spec'd at the 3/8 grip size. so as the grip increases the total weight increases from spec and the balance moves more HL. So the racquet actually feels lighter as the grip increases. I love big grips and usually add two over grips, this adds .33 oz. to the weight but as I said the head feels lighter. Next try 18 ga. strings such as Luxilon TIMO as it will lower the weight by almost .3 oz., hopefully you can find a tension so the strings do not pop too often, I break few strings so it is not an issue for me. These two factors make the racquet feel more like a 12 oz. one like a Head Prestige or Radical Pro with a head size of 97 and 16x19 pattern, 18g a is very compatible. It is hard to demo the above, but good luck with your evaluations and feedback would be cool on these issues.
From: Jess, 4/15

Comments: Awesome update! Just a tad too heavy for 3 sets for me. But great to practice with!
From: Ku, 4/15

Comments: I am a 5.0 player and have been hitting with this racquet for a couple of weeks. I've played a couple league doubles matches and a few singles matches with it. I have a technically sound backhand, and that's the shot this racquet really shines on for me. I don't get any fatigue from the weight of the racquet. I can hit flat, topspin, and slice (slices are amazing!). Where I suffer is my forehand and serve. My forehand isn't as technically sound as my backhand, and I tend to arm it. This causes me to both not get racquet head speed on the ball (especially low balls) and also to fatigue. I have to work on using my body on this shot to avoid the issues. I have the same issue with my serve. I lost a lot of serve speed due to the weight of the racquet and I also experience fatigue. I have to adjust my serve so that there are no hitches and I'm using my legs to avoid this problem. The racquet generates great spin and accuracy on the serve, as well as a heavy ball. The moral of the story is that the racquet rewards good technique and punishes bad technique (arm shots) with lack of racquet head speed and fatigue. The racquet is an absolute gem at the net. It's a huge improvement of the Prestige Pro in this regard. It's easy to find the sweet spot and hit solid volleys of hard hit shots from the opponent.
From: Sam, 4/15

Comments: So very much wanted to like this. It wasn't necessarily the weight for me that was an issue but how it was distributed that made it difficult to play with. I didn't experience any arm pain but it was just too tough to get used to and not for me. If you are used to heavy racquets, then I think this would be a must demo. But if you are coming from something lighter, I would highly recommend trying other heavier racquets before trying this one. With that said, power is off the charts, and because of how stable it is, directional control seems to come a bit easier, but for me it was harder to keep the ball from going long, and just too sluggish to wield.
From: Jay, 4/15

Comments: 219 dollars for a glorified ProStaff Classic 6.1. It plays almost identically to the classic but because it has RF on the frame the price goes up. it has nothing in common with the Tour 90. It is a whole new racquet although not that new at the same time.
From: Julian, 4/15

Comments: I used to play with the Six.One 95 (16x18), I love heavy racquets, hence I wanted to try the RF97. I've been playing with it for the last 4 months and unfortunately I've developed tennis elbow. I don't think that the problems is the weight but rather the balance. I got 2 of these from 2 different stores, and both of them came to be almost identical in weight and balance. Although, the official specs state that this racquet is 9 pts HL strung and a 335 swing weight, both of my racquets are 7 pts HL and a 339 swing weight. Compared to my Six.One 95 that is 10 pts HL strung (as advertised), this is a major difference that significantly impacts how the racquet feels. I am going back to the Six.One 95. I really wanted to love the RF97 because it feels amazing when I was 100% set on every shot. But the moment I swung from not an ideal position, I definitely felt the weight and how head heavy this racquet is.
From: Mike, 4/15

Comments: I've been using the same racquets as Federer since he became number one in the world. When I first demoed the PS RF97 late last year I thought the racquet was not for me since I found it a little heavy to swing. A month after, I decided to demo it again and still didn't like it. But I demoed it again for the third time two months ago and something just clicked! I began to like it -- the extra power on my groundstrokes and serve, the Pro Staff control is there, and it's great at the net. Even my tennis friends noticed the big difference in my game. You definitely can't be pushed around with this stick when playing against hard hitters or big servers. If you have the right techniques, this racquet will elevate your game to the next level. I'm so glad I didn't give up on this racquet and finally fell in love with this stick on my third demo. I'm a 4.5 player, two- handed backhand, using Luxilon Alu Power 16 at 56 lbs.
From: Joe, 4/15

Comments: I have been playing with this racquet for two months now. Like everybody else, I have played with all the Wilson creations for the last 10 years a la Federer. This racquet does not vibrate or shudder when you use it and the larger head size seems to challenge the current Babolat market, in my opinion. The head is of a slightly strange oval design, which I feel has been designed to rebound the ball. The weighting is really perfect and there are no dead hands here. Any racquet at 12 ounces is going to be a challenge, but you can't live without them. A clever tool for an aging genius and a great player like Fed!
From: Graham, 4/15

Comments: I have had the PS RF97 for over 3 months. Like many of the TW reviewers said, this is a demanding racquet. Since levels are arbitrary and relative, I have competed at the 4.5 NRTP level, and believe to have a consistent FH, OHBH, and serve, etc. Having said that, those shots are better executed with the RF97 better than any other racquet I have known. However it requires more time. I do not find this racquet as maneuverable as my previous racquets. All things will go well if the necessary prep/setup/technique is done. Otherwise, this is my practice/wall hitting racquet. (My default racquet is the Yonex VCT89, previously the BLX 2012 PS 90.) I found the PS RF97 to be a great practice racquet, it forces one to do all the right things. When the stars are aligned, this racquet is awesome.
From: GS, 3/15

Comments: Here's my 6-month review: This is my third review of this frame and we have completely bonded at this point. There is no shot I can't hit with it. It is slightly less precise than my old PS85s, but the extra power, spin, and forgiveness more than make up for that. I'm 5'8", 61 years old, with a strong upper body and good speed around the court. My tennis favorites are Laver, McEnroe, Sampras, and Federer, and I model my game on Fed's, although I don't run around my backhand, as that's my most consistent shot. This racquet works perfectly for me with this style. It is really exciting at my age to be hitting the best shots of my life. Serves like canon shots, forehands leaping off the baseline or diving at the feet of net- rushers, slices like katana strokes, and drop shots staying within a foot of the net...amazing. Volleys like a dream and can turn even ankle level desperation blocks into aggressive angle returns. It is a unique frame and requires 1) full commitment to your shots 2) good footwork and preparation 3) watch the ball through contact 4) Stay loose and smooth with your strokes. If you do these things you will play well with any racquet, but for me this one produces truly amazing results. This racquet never hurts my arm, and I never feel like it let's me down. I string it with Volkl Cyclone at 57 lbs, and have gone down to a 4.25 grip with Wilson Pro Sensation over-grip, and no string dampener. I've put lead on every racquet I've used since 1984 -- except this one, which comes perfectly weighted (for me) stock. If you are a strong old-school all-courter, and take the time to learn this frame's characteristics, you will be richly rewarded.
From: Rob, 3/15

Comments: I played with this racquet and found it was a bit light compared to my Wilson Matrix. The older racquets have a definite feel to them and you feel assured of a good hit every time. Nice finish to it and the balance point was not bad.
From: George, 3/15

Comments: I'm a 4.5 player with an all court game, although I like to come to net whenever I can. I've been playing with a Blade 98 18x20 for the last year or so. I enjoy how the Blade plays, but of course I've been curious about this racquet ever since Federer showed up with his first blacked-out prototype. I've demoed the RF97 a half dozen times now, and I'm really torn. I didn't notice the weight, to be honest. I've played with Wilson 6.1s in the past, and this frame seemed more nimble than some of those. What I did notice was the stiffness. Boy, is it stiff. Strangely, though, unlike other overtly stiff frames I've played, contact feels very, very muted. It's neither as crisp nor as harsh as I expected. I did instantly miss the flex of the Blade, which gives me a better, softer "feel" for how I'm hitting the ball. The only way I could tell I'd made exceptional contact with the RF97 was by its sound. (It sounds like a cannon when you get it right.) Some people have described contact with the RF97 as "plush" but to me it lacks feedback the same way 6.1's sometimes do. It's like the weight and stability of the racquet rob you of information by generously compensating your off-center garbage. But, look, I hit quality shots with this thing that I'd really struggle to hit with my Blades. Slice backhands are just unbelievable with the RF97. They leave the racquet face low and they stay low (and deep). Stretch volleys are a breeze, and I could direct them predictably to either corner just by angling my wrist prior to contact. The racquet does the rest for you. Unconventional, sure, but tons of fun. My groundstrokes were okay. I didn't notice any appreciable increase in spin or power over the Blades except when I sliced under the ball. More of the shots I would normally hit long with the Blades did fall in with the RF97, and I attributed that to a dip in power (don't know if it was real or perceived). It's definitely a control frame. When I switched back to the Blade mid-test I realized how blunt and deadened the RF97 feels by comparison. I found the Blade punchier, softer, and almost as capable in most situations. If that sounds like a dig at the RF97's expense, please know that I'm still considering it. It does some truly magical things that make it hard to say "No, it's not for me." I'm just undecided about whether those things truly constitute an upgrade for my 4.5 game.
From: John, 3/15

Comments: I bought this racquet as a gift to myself after playing with my old racquet for well over 8 years. I was hesitant buying it at first because of other people complaining how heavy the swing weight is, so I didn't want to waste so much money on a racquet that could disappoint. However, I went with my gut and ordered it anyway. I can feel how solid the racquet is when I hold it, and the weight is just perfect. Strung it with Luxilon ALU Power Rough at 59 lbs in the mains and Wilson DuraMax 56 lbs in the crosses. This racquet is worth all the bucks because of the control and power it gives you when playing. You just need to get used to the weight.
From: TramuHuynh, 2/15

Comments: Still love the racquet after 3 months but I started developing tennis elbow and it is now getting bad. My arm never got pain when I played with Yonex.
From: Shereef, 2/15

Comments: I'm a 5.5 level player, all court, western topspin forehand, double topspin backhand and single slice backhand, played with the original Pro Staff for years then switched to the Six One 95, and most recently a Graphene Speed Pro. I have my RF 97 strung with Kirschbaum Premium Syn gut in the mains at 52 lbs and Kirschbaum Spiky Black Shark 55 lbs in the crosses. The lower tension in the mains softens the feel of the poly crosses and provides a little more power. The first thing I noticed when compared to the Speed Pro was how much easy power came from the RF 97, much more action and control. It is incredible from the baseline all the way to the net. I prefer a heavy racquet and this thing feels perfect, for me the best feeling racquet I have ever played! If you are a fan of the original Pro Staff you should definitely give this one a try. Just remember, string type and tension will greatly affect how it plays or any racquet for that matter.
From: John, 2/15

Comments: Pro Staff plushness with exceptional control and power! Started with Wilson Champions Choice strung per Federer's specs on the racquet and thought that was great! It produced good depth, control, and quality serves. As with many reviewers, I found it was a bit more difficult to produce heavy topspin like I was used to on my antiquated Pro Staff 6.1 Classics. I tried Gamma Glide Hybrid with Moto (Moto mains at 51 lbs, Glide crosses at 54.5 lbs), it was as if I had a different racquet. This combination produced good topspin on groundstrokes, good kick on serves, plush volleys, and exceptional slices. Better still, I didn't feel I needed to swing as hard as I thought I would to get good results. The racquet does feel heavy at times, and it does require getting used to, but once you find your groove, it really is fantastic! If a 12.6-13 ounce racquet is not your gig, this won't work for you. If it is, don't expect to swing away immediately as you have with your favorite racquet. It takes time to find out what works, but once you do, it is as advertised by every positive comment in these reviews and TW's play testers.
From: Pep, 2/15

Comments: Extraordinary! It took me two weeks to "get" this racquet, but I just got home from a doubles match that convinced me -- it's the best I've ever used. I'm a 4.0 and a twenty-year user of all the Wilson 6.1 line. Still, this is different enough to need some adjustment time. I played against a big server, and this thing absolutely neutralized his advantage. Mass and stability produced low, hard returns. Maneuverability? I won 8 out of 10 quick exchanges -- this stick simply wins the contact point, and volleying, as everyone here has said, is the stuff of dreams. Serve? Stay loose and let the RF97 do the work. Repeat this for groundstrokes, and enjoy the added pop and direction on your one-handed backhand. Whip a topspin lob? I was unsure about this, but the one I attempted was a dead winner. Are others noticing groundstrokes coming out harder and flatter? I'm still catching the net cord now and then, but less and less often. Yes, it demands that you prepare intensely, but it rewards you out of proportion to your effort. I hit at least four winners this evening that were "different" for me, that surprised me. I ended the evening saying to myself, "Why would I want less racquet than this?"
From: Len, 2/15

Comments: An absolutely amazing racquet -- it is so stable, it's unbelievable. It will return any groundstroke your opponent throws you with ease and this stick makes me want to change my own play style to be more aggressive at net because the volleys with this racquet are absolutely jaw dropping good -- the same with groundstrokes, it will take anything and be unaffected by it. It's the best stick I've used in my life. For those of you that are unsure about this racquet due to its weight, I was stuck with the same decisions but I jumped the gun and went with this racquet and it sure didn't disappoint me. If you have good stroke technique that comes from the rotation of the core muscle then the weight really isn't a big issue and this is coming from person who previously played with the HEAD Rev Pro that weighs in at under 300g (a 50g increase in weight). Groundstrokes will be much deeper inside the court, power is much more easy to access (even strung at 58 lbs), slices are sublime and have so much feel to it, a bit harder to generate spin off serve but that comes in time with more practice with the stick. And volleys are just solid. Finally, as others have said, you have to be quite punctual with this racquet, if you are fashionably late, unlike most sticks, this one will condemn you for it.
From: KC, 2/15

Comments: Coming from an APD and then to a Radical MP, the RF97 is a truly incredible stick. My last two racquets lacked stability and plow through, this racquet is as solid as they come. Groundstokes land deeper and penetrate the court, it is an absolute rock at the net. Just keep the face open, step, punch and let it do the work. Serves are more consistent and placement is pinpoint. The racquet was heavy at first, now I dont even notice the weight. Below someone said don't buy it if you're a baseliner, I like to play from the baseline and come in any chance I get but can stay back for as long as I want if I feel like it. Someone also said its your best coach because it teaches you to be on time and commit to your shots, I 100% agree and it has taught me to do just that. I tried the recommended Champion's Choice hybrid strings by Wilson and ran the hybrid like Fed does (Gut in Main, Cross with Poly). I'll take a full bed of Lux 4G at 50 lbs any day. I have never liked Wilson products other then their tennis balls, I bought two of these! It is an absolute must demo. I'm a 4.5 player with a semi-western forehand and two hander backhand.
From: Geoff, 2/15

Comments: A nice upgrade from the BLX90. No more mishitting on my backhand side. I strung it with Lux ALU Power at 45 lbs and it was just perfect.
From: Ciodens, 1/15

Comments: Incredible racquet -- if you can stay loose it does things your opponent will not understand!
From: Chas, 1/15

Comments: Amazing racquet overall! I'm a 6.0 player and can tell you that everything with this racquet feels great. I've been playing for 26 years and this is one of the best racquets I have used so far. Serves really big, groundstrokes are stable both on FH and BH with good topspin and penetration. I felt an improvement on my one handed backhand in terms of stability and accuracy. Slice is heavy and deep. Volleys are solid and precise. This racquet does not feel heavy if you are a serious player with experience and know how to create racquet head speed by being relaxed. I can now see why Fed himself improved his game with this racquet! Thanks Roger and Wilson for an amazing collection racquet!
From: Rafa, 1/15

Comments: I've been in the hunt for a while now for a change. I'm a USPTA Pro, 45 years old, top 150 USA in my age group, big hitter, one hander, and play a ton with many whipper snappers. I've tested basically all the tour level rackets (25 +) from all major brands. I played with the Volkl PB Mid for a while and shifted to the stiffer world like many for the next 3 years. My body was feeling it (in a bad way). I thought initially I need to go to a lighter, softer racquet, but when you compare those to tour or pro level weights you quickly see what you give up. I craved the free power and stability of this RF97. Many reviews freaked me out with cries of too much weight, but if you've been close to this weight (11.7-12.1) or so, you won't notice the change much. I love the 10+HL weight on this. The backhand is so sweet. You want power, it's absolutely there. Just stay smooth and it goes! Serves are total bombers. I don't see how other reviewers haven't dialed in their serve. Spin is very noticeable (I strung it with Solinco Tour Bit). Control -- absolutely. Volleys -- I liked very much. Yes, it's a bit less maneuverable, but you also don't have to swing much to get the ball moving. Comfort -- better than the super stiff ones for sure, but you will feel a bit sore initially. I was feeling a bit of tennis elbow before, not now. With overwrap and dampener this is 12.8 ounces. This is a game changing racquet for many, but this is not for kids or intermediates. Wilson should offer a double shot of Jack prior to checkout just to see if you man-up for this stick! Kudos Fed. Nice job!
From: Jester, 1/15

Comments: Great racquet! But, as reviews have stated, it is heavy. After 2 sets of play, I had enough. Returning mine for the lighter version.
From: Ken, 1/15

Comments: I have owned and played with hundreds of racquets over the years and I have never owned a prostock racquet or anything that pros play with. Now I understand why they sell for so much more than the regular stuff. This RF 97 has a very unique and refined feel. Something like a good Napa wine ($150+) vs the regular $100 ones. It's very unique and gives you a lot of confidence on the court. Try it. It's good stuff.
From: Don, 1/15

Comments: I've been playing with this racquet for 2 months now. In one word: Solid. If you're a doubles player who loves playing at the net, this racquet is exceptional due to its stability and minimal distortion, if any, on high velocity incoming balls. It's the same with return of serves. You will not get pushed around with this racquet. If you have a one- handed backhand, this will add the additional stability and leverage you need. All these attributes come from its weight and balance. On the flip side, you cannot hesitate or be indecisive with your strokes as this racquet quickly becomes less accurate if you don't commit right away to the stroke and get your timing right (i.e. otherwise you'll be late), that's why it's your best coach! I use a 4 5/8 grip which you can find if you look around enough. I used to play with a Volkl PB 10 mid and the Pro Staff 90 2013 version. Those were also good, stable racquets but this one edges them out. I string with Luxilon Alu Rough Big Banger. -bed; 56 lbs. tension.
From: Christian, 12/14

Comments: I just demoed this RF 97 and it is great! I love hitting with it in every dimension. It took a little getting used to, all that control, spin, power, finesse. All fantastic once you know you can do almost anything with it.
From: Patrick, 12/14

Comments: Played with the RF97 tonight. It plays very similar to my 6.1 Classic. Everything is identical except the RF97 felt a little more comfortable due to less stiffness. Definitely an upgrade to the 6.1 classic. Glad I bought it.
From: Txoov, 12/14

Comments: Having used this racquet for about 12 hours of hitting, I can attest to its greatness by proclaiming this the best stick I've ever used. The feel is what impressed me most. It has such an incredible sound and feeling upon contact, and this is attributed by the combination of the classic Wilson Pro Staff comfort and the higher stiffness rating, which indicates a more modernized approach. It's truly a bridge racquet between two times, blending smooth with crisp and raw with muted. The control is also spectacular. I found incredible control on my forehand, and my backhand slice was finding all sorts of corners. My one- handed topspin backhand managed as well, but I had to shorten my follow through because the plow through on this racquet is so high. My serve lost some pop, and so did my defensive game, and this is probably because of the lack of maneuverability. It's a slower racquet, but this isn't a racquet for everyone's game: it's as simple as that. If you're purely a baseliner, there isn't a point for you to use this really, since it's so great at the net as well. I think the pros of this new ProStaff heavily outweigh the cons, so in my mind, it's the greatest racquet I've ever had the pleasure of wielding. I can play my best tennis with it, and I hope that I can raise my level to unlock more of the potential this stick offers.
From: Brian, 12/14

Comments: Strings can obviously have a big impact on the power. When Roger moved to this racquet he increased string tension significantly, from 48/49 lbs to around 55/57 lbs (he uses a gut/poly hybrid, gut on the mains, and likely the poly a couple of lbs looser on the crosses). Higher tension will take away some of the power. Would love to try that with this racquet, but haven't. Only tried the multifilament TW demo. Not sure what the tension was on the demo. Otherwise, I echo the sentiments of many on this racquet: solid plow through, control with power, much more forgiving than the old Fed 90 (my current stick), but a lot of racquet to wield. Not as maneuverable as the 90.
From: PaulB, 12/14

Comments: This is a great overall racquet. I played with it for 2 months before I finally realized it was too powerful. I am used to the traditional Pro Staff 90. The RF97 is very accurate racquet yet the power of this racquet is for players who prefer the serve and volley tactic. It is a great baseline racquet but the more I played with it, the more I realized it had too much power. Overall, great racquet but I would definitely advise you to demo before you buy.
From: Mattyboy13, 12/14

Comments: This is one amazing racquet. It combines the traditional Wilson box-beam feel with an updated modern feel that is somewhat firmer. The result is the best feeling stick I've ever used, feeling both plush and crisp, yet not muted like the BLX iterations. The plow through is exceptional. I was sending shots long but after adjusting, my shots were deep and heavy. Spin and control are good as well. It volleys like a dream. The one expected gripe is maneuverability: this isn't the fastest swinging racquet. The Pro Staff RF 97 is more suited towards players that play the whole court as opposed to purely baseline hitters who often seek whippier, more topspin-friendly sticks. Not to say this racquet isn't good at the baseline -- it is, but it's better for volleys and serving, thus it suits the all-court game best. I love this racquet, and I really think it's the best Pro Staff yet.
From: Barron, 11/14

Comments: I've been hitting with this racquet for the last 3 weeks. There is something about the balance on this racquet that I love. Seems to be perfectly balanced for my personal liking. Yes, it's on the heavy side however very maneuverable. I've hit with the Wawrinka racquet which in comparison feels much slower to whip around. I've found that strung with RPM or Quadro Pro at 50 lbs gives very nice feel and very good control. You will not be pushed around with this racquet, it can handle heavy balls with ease as long as you read and move well. Heavy balls can be produced at will. Serves do take a bit longer to get weight on the ball, however once you've adjusted it is precise and produce good movement on the ball. Return of serve is awesome! Worth a try to anyone who enjoys a heavier racquet and has good movement and preparation.
From: Shereef, 11/14

Comments: I think it is important to note that I just started picking up the game of tennis about one year ago and this is my first racquet review. I currently play baseball and football in college so picking up the game comes fairly easy to me considering the similar hand eye coordination required in baseball and tennis. I do have a considerable amount of knowledge of tennis and the equipment just purely from growing up and having my father been a former tennis professional. Keeping all this in mind, I have to say that this racquet is superb. I think that the racquet has exceptional plow through and an ability to return heavy shots unlike anther other racquet (Pro Staffs in general). I think it is important to note that with a dampener and overgrip, the racquet does become a little heavy; but don't worry because you can and will get used to it. (Don't get rid of it because of the weight, worst scenario if you love the racquet get the lighter version). Overall, this racquet is tremendous around the net with your volleys/half volleys while providing amazing feel and stability; while generating tons spin. Finally I would say that despite this racquet being a low level power racquet, I would have to disagree. I feel the racquet does provide great power and forgiveness with the added weight and 97 square inch head. Overall, a great racquet. There is a reason Federer is using it.
From: Jason, 11/14

Comments: Agree with John 11/14, below, but have to say that if you want to experience all the feel that this racquet has to offer then string it below mid tension. Shines at around 50-52 lbs with a full bed of Alu Power.
From: Sean, 11/14

Comments: Breathtaking racquet, but your arm will feel it after a few hours. Adds about thirty percent of "heavy," to deep forehands and backhands. Superb feel at the net and controllable. As a 5.0 this really has added two very distinctive dimensions to my game in terms of negative to neutral shot recovery (cross court) and better penetration on the shorter balls. This racquet requires the player to let go and have the weight do the work.
From: Michael, 11/14

Comments: This is a superb racquet with excellent plow through and produces solid and heavy shots but also provides enough feel for delicate shots at the net or mid-court. If you buy this racquet give yourself a few weeks to get into the groove -- but after that you will find yourself hitting great top spin forehands and backhand and solid volleys. This really is an advanced players racquet because of the weight and the fact that you have to generate your own power and in essence is a much evolved version of the Pro Staff Original 6.0 (as used by Sampras, Edberg, Courier, etc.). On the string side of things -- any good Wilson string will suffice and have it strung between 57-60 pounds to get the best results! Love it!
From: John, 11/14

Comments: I am a 4.0 player and have been playing Wilson Pro Staff racquets for 20 years. The RF Autograph has had a huge impact on my game. There is tremendous stability, power and precision. The spin potential is excellent. My groundstrokes are significantly heavier and deeper with this stick. It does take a while to get used to as this racquet is heavy. It is relatively maneuverable as it is head light but the heft took me about 20 hours of play to really lock in. I can now trade groundies with better players and stay in points hitting a much heavier ball. I would highly recommend this raquet to advanced players with sound strokes who like a heavier, more stable stick.
From: Dan, 11/14

Comments: I have officially renamed my RF97 "The Pancake." That is exactly what this racquet does to any ball it contacts. Love the (one-handed) backhand shots especially when you try to hit a winner on the rise. What is even more unbelievable is the backhand slice. The weight makes the racquet so stable and excellent to control. The downside is of course the swing weight. I found that with my forehand, I am generating less topspin and because of the weight my wrist has to overcome to brush through the ball. That, of course, won't be a problem for anyone with strength like Federer. After 4 weeks playing with this racquet, it's back to the gym for more weights and my good old Prestige Mid.
From: James, 11/14

Comments: I'm an alpha male -- smart, handsome, strong; but one thing I can't do is play with this frame. I did not want to admit it because of my big ego but after 4 weeks of agony I gave in. And I used to play with the PS85 and Tour 90.
From: Rooinek, 11/14

Comments: A lot of folks are comparing the RF97 to the PS85. It is only like the PS85 in that it is a potential game- changer, solid, and arm-friendly. If you want an updated PS85, get the Wawrinka Yonex. That Yonex is a great racquet and would be my choice if it were not for the RF97. I have found that the combination of weight, power, and comfort in the RF97 unique, and new enough that it's taking me some time to adjust. It usually takes me several months to adapt to a new frame and tinker it to my liking, and i'd say I'm about half way there with the RF97. I started using Champions Choice, but found that for consistency, it must be changed too often for me to afford, so I've gone back to my stand-by Volkl Cyclone 16. I get more consistency over time and more spin with the Cyclone. I'm at 53 lbs right now, but may go up in tension a bit. I have also reduced my grip size still further. I'm down from the 4 5/8 I used as a kid to an actual 4 1/4 including over grip. This smaller grip allows me more wrist freedom to snap this beast around for spin and serve pronation, while the weight and stability of the racquet mean it doesn't twist in my hand. The result is my serve is now harder than it has ever been. My first serve winning percentage is through the roof. I am serving and volleying more and more, mainly because my opponents are having a lot of trouble getting the first serves back with any authority. I'm a bit down on second serve consistency, but that's improving. My volley put-away percentage is also up, and will improve as I get used to the power and hit fewer balls 'just out.' I'm still working on dialing in my ground ground strokes but the upside potential is huge. The backhand slice is no longer just to set up weak returns, but can easily be hit for clean winners. Topspin backhand (one-handed) is still a little flatter than I'd like, but hit well has come through so hard that one of my opponents actually whiffed on one last Saturday -- back court to back court. Forehands are driving my opponents well off the baseline. I'm still working on handling the weight and power to create more spin for shorter shots with pace and drives with more net clearance, but it's coming. I've always played an aggressive game, but I feel this racquet really puts the match in my hands. If I hit my shots, I win. If I miss, I lose. My opponents still hit great shots and win points, of course, but a far higher percentage of points are in my hands to take after the power and spin of the serve, volley, or ground stroke takes effect. In the past, when getting a new frame, I've always gone back and forth with my old one for a while, but I have not been tempted to use anything else since getting the RF97. My preference has always been for heavy, comfortable racquets, and the Wilson grip shape, so the over all package 'feels' right to me. I don't disagree with the commentators who find it too heavy -- everything they say is true -- for a lot of people it is. But if you can handle it, the upside potential is huge.
From: Rob, 11/14

Comments: I just grabbed a demo tonight and hit for a couple of hours. Had a Signum Pro orange string (I think Hextreme) strung at 52 lbs. Yes, it is heavy, however good footwork and smooth long fast swings generate a ball so heavy it burst of the ground. Beautiful balance all together. Volleys are solid and so is my one handed backhand. Serves I had a little trouble then I adjusted allowing more of the racquet heft to do the work and started hitting spots I'm going for. I think I need more time with the racquet to get a heavy kick serve. If you can handle the weight and generate smooth strokes, it truly performs. Let the weight work for you and it is not tiring or a too much to handle. Again, the trick is if you're able to use the weight to your advantage with good foot work and smooth delivery.
From: Shereef, 11/4

Comments: Honestly, my comments with this racquet are the same as Jann down below. Everything is the same even from the Six One 90 BLX ProStaff. But, I'm trying to adapt to the new one since it is more forgiving and I was starting to have arm troubles with the 90. It's an investment that I hope will be worth it in the end.
From: Dave, 11/14

Comments: Well, there are racquets and then there are racquets, but there is only one RF97! Wow!
From: Ajit, 11/14

Comments: I finally tried out the RF97, unfortunately I'm not sharing the same feel-good experience as the other players. In terms of power, this racquet is excellent, the 97 inch headsize does provide alot of power as compared to the Pro Staff Six.One 90 I'm currently using. However, the swing weight is not of my taste. It's much heavier to swing with, and more over, the feel and touch is not, in my opinion, comparable to the PS Six.One 90. I love my PS Six.One 90, it does have similar overall weight as the RF97. The PS Six.One 90 is very headlight, in which it is very easy for maneuverability. Although it doesn't have so much power, it is possible to generate power depending on your swing technique. In conclusion, I felt it was clumsy for me to play with the RF97, the swing weight is a bit too heavy, although the racquet gives more power in the Pro Staff series. Having said that, I've been playing with the PS Six.One 90 for some years now and am very satisfied with this racquet!
From: Jann, 11/14

Comments: Precision, stability, and aesthetics are all there. You just need to have the right technique to allow the weight of the racquet to do the work for you. But on serve, technique is not enough. You will also need strength and stamina from your core, legs, and shoulders to consistently achieve the racquet head speed and power potential of the racquet. Just think of a pitcher using a heavier weighed baseball trying to throw at the same speed as a regular baseball. Unless you have the strength and endurance, your serve will become more vulnerable the longer your match plays. Volleys are easiest with this stick. For groundstrokes, if you do not have a full wrap around follow-through, which basically means you are exerting energy to stop the momentum of your swings prematurely, this racquet will tire you out. If you do, more than likely you can unleash the full racquet potential.
From: Dave, 11/14

Comments: Interesting stick. I was a previous user of the PS 90 for a little while and loved most attributes of that stick except the small sweetspot, like most people. It was especially hard to serve with but the precision and feel were amazing. I ordered this new stick without demoing as, on paper, it seemed perfect. It's a nice racquet but really it's nothing like the 90. The beam is thick and stiff meaning it's very powerful and while it was a massive improvement in terms of the sweetspot and serving, I simply could not hit a forehand with it. I tried to persevere for 6 weeks or so but there is just no feel with the thick beam and the weight combined with the power means if you're late just a tiny bit, the ball will just fly long. In an effort to find out if it was me or the racquet regarding this unusual forehand issue, I demoed the Yonex 330g and that is an incredible stick. That is the stick that's like the 90 on steroids, not this Fed one. Underrated stick and the best I have ever hit with -- check the Yonex out.
From: Louie, 10/14

Comments: Very good frame in terms of feel, touch, and control for groundstrokes and great touch for volleys. But, after 30 minutes of hard and continuous play, the racquet gets kind of hard to manage as its weight comes into the picture. As an ex collegiate player I can handle it, but I d rather the weight be around 11.5 oz.
From: Jon, 10/14

Comments: I was originally afraid of using a raquet with more weight, I respect weight a lot. It can be very beneficial if and only when you are able to get to the ball well ahead. This means legs. If you don't have that type of game this stick can be rather overwhelming. It can even severely damage your technique. You end up over pronating. Wrist can get injured and tennis elbow is very likely to emerge. This is an amazing, amazing raquet. But it is essentially made for Federer's game. If you don't know what you are doing, forget this raquet. If you have the legs for it; there is no better sword in the game. It just rips everything to shreds.
From: Christian, 10/14

Comments: I purchased 2 RF97 Autograph racquets. However, the specs were different for each raquet. R1 (unstrung), Weight: 342g, Balance Point 12HL, SwingWeight: 300. R2 (unstrung), Weight: 339g, Balance Point 12HL, SwingWeight: 316. I didn't measure again after stringing the racquets. During my first week, the R1 felt similar to the ProStaff in terms of swingweight, that is, most of the weight felt in the handle. However, the R2, felt more Head Heavy. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the R2 much more! Both racquets were heavy and solid, but the R2 swingweight made my shots effortless. I had to adjust my timing but beyond this, my one handed backhand was solid, and all my shots were heavy and I didn't even hit full speed. I really recommend players to test heavier racquets because the stability you get is awesome, you don't need much effort to hit against heavy hitters and so on because the weight of the racquet will take care for you. Your confidence goes sky high, even when I was losing the set, I never lost my confidence, because I was sure that all my shots would return to the opponent, even against good servers. I am a 4.5-5.0 level player. During the first week, I played a tournament (4.0 level) and got second place (4 matches in two days under scorching sun). Hence, the racquet weight wasn't an issue for me. Last week, I matched my racquets to Weight: 373g, BalancePoint 7HL, SwingWeight 355. Needless to say, I made the racquets less HL and upped the swingweight. However, even though the specs are the same, one of them feels different when swinging. Hence I am still tuning them up. Overall, I liked the racquet. Everything is easier with this racquet. It is not like the PS85 in terms of feel, but no racquet will ever feel like PS85. So I guess it is time to move on. The RF97 is a great racquet if you can handle the weight for long hours or matches, so forth. If you play for short periods of time, it is definitely a GO. Until now, there are only a few lucky people that purchased the racquet, and everyone that I have played against have asked hit a few balls with the RF97A. I am not thirsty anymore, because I always say: "You want to try it? If you get me a water bottle, I will let you try a few hits." I feel bad. But that's how bad people want to try this racquet. I played against a tennis coach, and he has a Babolat AeroPro Drive, after hitting with mine for a few minutes, he cursed me. The weight difference is huge and after switching back to his racquet, he mishit the first 5 balls. For me it is a keeper because I could move deep into a tournament without complaining about the racquet weight or anything else. The only downside to this racquet is the quality control. If you order two or more, make sure you ask racquets with similar specs, or ask if they can customize to your liking before shipping. Because over here in my hometown, there are only a few professionals that do these type of jobs and it is quite expensive trying to match them since it takes a while to narrow them down. Overall, I recommend this racquet, but I don't want to recommend it that much since I don't wan't competitors having the same racquet and advantage that I am having. Cheers!
From: Peter, 10/14

Comments: I've been using this racquet for 10-12 hours worth of playtime now and I've gone from liking it a lot to now loving it. I used to use a Roddick Pure Drive, then went to a Wilson K Six.One95 for years, then tried a Babolat APD for a couple of years but now decided to go back to something more like my K Six.One95. I had read a lot about "plow through" and stability but didn't fully grasp how big a deal it was until I spent some time with the APD. It never had that stable, powerful "I can handle anything" feel that my Wilson had. Even when striking the ball well it always felt a little unstable and "flimsy" for lack of a better word. Now let me get to the RF97: With switching to the RF97 I've gained all of that stable feeling back and wow do I "get" what plow through is now. This racquet can take the heaviest ball and turn it around with no problem at all. On groundstrokes it crushes through the ball and gives me that stable and solid feeling I've been missing. On volleys and half volleys that stability makes for wonderful control and feel and also slices are excellent. The main adjustment, as many have mentioned is going to be the weight. This racquet isn't going to be for everyone as it's a beast. But if you can comfortably swing it for hours, you're going to love it. If you're the type that finds yourself adding weight to racquets than definitely check this stick out. This is what I started doing to my APD which made me realize I just needed to toss it aside and go back to a racquet that's heavier to start with. If you're not ready for the 12+ ounces than I would strongly recommend checking out the Pro Staff 97 as it sounds like it has similar characteristics in a more manageable weight. This stick feels like the racquet I've been weighting (haha get it?) for and so far it's been everything I want in a racquet. I love the slightly above mid size head and the balance feels spot on. It feels slightly more head heavy than my K6 even though their balance ratings are the same (or maybe even slightly more head light on the RF). And I think this is a good thing. This stick gives great access to power and spin while also maintaining a great feel. In summary, love everything about this racquet and if you can handle the weight, so will you. If not, check out the lighter versions! Thanks Wilson!
From: BK, 10/14

Comments: I have been using the Wilson BLX Six.One 95 for 3 years now. It's a great racquet and the feel is amazing. But I found off center shots to be a little unstable, so I would shank a lot of them. I tried the new Pro Staff 97RF a few days ago and I was amazed at the feel and stability of the racquet. It is heavy, 11 grams heavier than my Six.One, but the stability it gave me on off-center shots was amazing. I am not a volleyer but this racquet has changed that -- at the net most of the points are mine. Spin generation is good, but you need decent technique. The plow through of this racquet is incredible against heavy hitters and I was easily able to change direction of the ball or hit a heavy flat down the line winner. If you can get over the weight, I think this is one of the best racquets Wilson has made, especially for those one handed backhand players out there.
From: Azan, 10/14

Comments: This is a stick for men, not boys. I play with a Babolat APD and tested the RF out and what a pleasant surprise. Like everybody says, this is not a lightweight racquet so if you are not strong and in shape, forget about it. Groundstrokes are solid and deep. Great spin comes off the racquet. I had no troubles with the racquet head size. Volleys were firm and crisp. Serves were solid. I give this racquet an A+ overall. Loved it.
From: Christian, 10/14

Comments: My level is 5.5 and I have been playing tennis since age 5, now I am 44 and decided to try the RF 97. It is a modern frame with enough power capable of delivering a heavy and penetrating ball with tremendous power that helps me in situations of attack and defense, and of course, serve and volleys. Some feel uncomfortable with the weight of the racquet, but it's certainly a much more manageable than the K 88 which felt uncomfortable and I suffered much to move it, but that is not the case with RF 97 having everything perfect.

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