Over the last few years, Roger’s RF97 has been one of the most popular rackets on the market, so I decided to publish the below guide with the aim of helping people to understand what racket Federer actually plays with and whether the retail version of the RF97 is anything like it.
Since announcing himself on the world stage by beating Pete Sampras at the 2001 Wimbledon Championships, Roger has gone on to amass 20 grand slam titles as well as gain fans from all across the world.
There is still a debate on which player is the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), but there is definitely no contest when it comes to the most popular player of all time, and although he decided to retire in 2022, there is still a lot of interest in Roger’s Racket from recreational players, looking to emulate their hero on their local court.
You can also check out this Facebook video, where Roger unwrapped his new RF97 for the 2021 ATP Season.
Wilson has yet to confirm whether a new version (V14) of the PS RF97 Autograph will be released in 2023.
As Roger played his last tournament at the Laver Cup in September 2022, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wilson releases a new version (V14) to commemorate Fed’s career sometime in 2023.
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Specs (Retail Version)
16 x 19
12 pts HL
Swing Style Required:
You need a long and fast swing
Low powered (you need to generate your own power)
Advanced player (not recommended for beginners)
Over his 20+ years on the ATP Tour, Federer has endorsed a number of different rackets but in reality, he probably only used three different frames over the course of his career with Wilson only updating the paint job on the frame he played with so they could sell a new version of the retail version.
As you can see from the image below, Wilson has regularly updated the retail version of the Roger Federer Racket, even though it is likely that Roger did not change his specs as often during this time.
Federer started out on tour using the Wilson PS 85, which was also used by the great Pete Sampras.
In 2003, he switched to the Wilson Pro Staff 90 so he could benefit from the larger head size and sweet spot.
With the PS 90, he would win his first grand slam singles title at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships and would go on to win 17 of his 20 grand slam titles with the PS 90.
Then in 2014, he switched to the first version of his current racket, the Wilson PS RF97 Autograph as he wanted a frame that would be better at dealing with the massive topspin that was becoming a big part of the modern game.
Wilson PS 85
Wilson PS 90
Wilson PS RF97 Autograph
What Grip Size did Roger Federer use?
There has been some discussion around what grip size Roger Federer uses but it is generally accepted that he uses a 4 and 3/8 grip size with an overgrip on his RF97.
This is a surprise to many who would expect a professional like Federer to use a larger grip size.
Federer uses the 4 and 3/8 grip size so he can get extra wrist snap on his serves and to make changing his grips easier.
Please bear in mind that although Federer uses a 4 and 3/8 grip size, that doesn’t mean you also should use it, as everyone’s hands are different and you need to get the grip size that suits you.
If you regularly play with a grip size that is too small or too large for you, then this can lead to tennis elbow issues.
Did Roger Federer play with a Vibration Dampener?
I found an interesting video (see below) of an interview between Roger and Matthias Stach on the MyTennis Youtube channel.
In the video, Federer explains that he used to play with a vibration dampener but at some point, he lost it.
Since then he has not played with a vibration dampener in his strings.
How did Roger Federer string his Racket?
Roger strings his racket with Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L in the crosses and Wilson Natural Gut in the mains with Wilson selling this combination as their Champions Choice.
In a video for Luxilon, Federer explains that he choose this combination because it gives him extra control and spins on his shots and that he has been using this combination since 2002.
Like many ATP pro Players, Federer varied the tension on his strings, depending on a number of different factors including what surface he was playing on and who his opponent was.
Generally speaking, his string tension was in the 56 – 60lbs range.
I also found this interesting YouTube video, showing Federer leaving his rackets in to be strung with Wilson at the Laver Cup in 2017.
Where can I buy the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph?
There has been no confirmation as of yet from Wilson that they will be releasing an updated Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph V14 for 2023 so the V13 may be the last version released as Roger has now retired.