Federer had great success with the Pro Staff 90, winning 17 of his 20 grand slam titles using this racket, therefore it wasn’t an easy decision for him to change his racket but it definitely paid off as he went on to win a further 3 grand slam titles when many pundits had already written him off.
In this article, we will look at the main differences between the Wilson Pro Staff 90 and the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph.
Comparison of the Wilson Pro Staff 90 vs RF97
Racket Specs – Wilson Pro Staff 90 vs RF97
|Wilson Pro Staff 90||Racket Name:||Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph|
|354g (12.49oz)||Strung Weight:||357g (12.59oz)|
|8 pts HL||Balance:||9 pts HL|
|66 RA||Stiffness:||68 RA|
|White / Red||Racket Colours:||Black|
|16 Mains / 19 Crosses||String Pattern:||16 Mains / 19 Crosses|
|21.5- 26.5kg / 48-58 pounds||String Tension Range:||22-27kg / 50-60 pounds|
|Check Price on Pro Stock Tennis||Price:||Check Price on Amazon|
Although the two rackets share many similarities e.g. 27in racket length, head light balance, and a 16 x 19 string pattern, there are still some major differences between the two rackets that cause them to play very differently.
The most obvious difference between the Wilson Pro Staff 90 and the RF97 is their head sizes, which is one of the main reasons Federer made the switch as the bigger head size he has with his RF97 allows him to stay in points for longer as the bigger head size is much more forgiving than his old Pro Staff 90.
Another big difference is the beamwidth of the two rackets, with the Pro Staff 90 being 4 inches thinner than the RF97. The thinner beam on the Pro Staff 90 means it will be much harder to generate power on your shots and you will need good technique to have any chance of hitting winners with this tennis racket.
In terms of weight, this isn’t a huge difference with the Pro Staff 90 having a slightly lower strung and swing weight when compared with the RF97. The two rackets also have similar stiffness ratings at 66 for the Pro Staff 90 and 68 for the RF97.
Why did Roger Federer switch to the RF97?
There was a number why Roger Federer switched to using the RF97 including:
1. With his older rackets (Pro Staff 90 and Pro Staff 85), Federer used to hit a lot of shanked balls as the sweet spot on these rackets was very small. The RF97 with its bigger head size and sweet spot helped roger to reduce the number of shanked balls he would hit in a match.
2. It helped him be more consistent on his backhand side. Before he made the switch to the RF97, many opponents e.g Nadal would attack his backhand side as they knew this was Federer’s weaker side and he was more likely to make an error on this side.
Once he made the switch to the RF97, Federer’s backhand was much less of a weakness as he was able to deal with high balls much more easily with the new racket. This was illustrated beautifully when he beat Rafael Nadal at the 2017 Australian Open.
3. It helped him get a little more easy power on his serves. Although Federer’s serve was always a strength throughout his career, the bigger head size and the thicker beam of the RF 97 has helped him get more power on his serves.
Wilson Pro Staff 90 vs RF97 FAQ
When did Roger Federer first use the RF97?
Roger Federer used a matte black prototype of the RF97 at the Brisbane International Tournament in January 2014.
When did Roger Federer use the Pro Staff 90?
Roger Federer played with the Pro Staff 90 from 2003 until the end of the 2013 ATP Season.
Can you still buy the Wilson Pro Staff 90?
The Wilson Pro Staff 90 is no longer produced by Wilson but you can find PS90 rackets for sale on sites like eBay and Pro Stock Tennis.
Which tennis racket is better for recreational players?
Neither racket is suitable for recreational players as they are way too heavy for the average player.
But if you really wanted to give one a go, then the RF97 is definitely the more appropriate racket to try as it has a much bigger sweet spot and a good bit more power than the PS90.
Will Federer Switch Rackets again?
It is very unlikely that Federer will switch rackets again before he decides to retire. The only changes to his racket are likely to be purely cosmetic.