Both of these rackets are popular with recreational players, especially those who like to hit a single-handed backhand.
Wilson Blade 98 vs Pro Staff 97 Comparison
Racket Specs Comparison
Main Differences: The Blade 98 has a bigger head size (98in vs 97in), a lower strung weight (320g vs 332g), a lower swing weight (317 vs 321), a less head light balance (5pts HL vs 7pts HL), a lower stiffness rating (61 vs 66), and a thinner beam width (21mm vs 21.5mm).
Similarities: Both rackets have the same racket length (27in), string pattern (16×19), and come with a Wilson Pro Performance grip as standard.
|Specs:||Blade 98||Pro Staff 97|
|Strung Weight:||320g (11.3oz)||332g (11.7oz)|
|Balance:||5 pts HL||7 pts HL|
|Beam Width:||21.0 mm||21.5 mm|
|Colors:||Green and Black||Black|
|Grip Type:||Wilson Pro Performance||Wilson Pro Performance|
See below for a short video summarising the difference between the two rackets.
Head Size and Length
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the Blade 98 has a head size of 98in while the ProStaff97 has a head size of 97in, with both rackets having a standard 27in racket length.
Having played with 97in and 98in tennis rackets in the past, there isn’t a huge difference between the two but I have always felt like the sweet spot on 98in frames is slightly bigger than on 97in frames.
Strung Weight, Swing Weight, and Balance
The Pro Staff 97 (332g (11.7oz)) has a much higher strung weight when compared with the Blade 98 (320g (11.3oz)) so the ProStaff97 will feel heavier in your hand and you may find that you get tired more quickly playing with the ProStaff97.
However, the swing weight of the ProStaff97 (321g) is much closer to that of the Blade 98 (317g).
This is mainly due to the ProStaff97 (7 pts HL) having a more head light balance than the Blade 98 (5 pts HL).
The Blade 98 has a slightly thinner beam width than the ProStaff97 but the difference is very small so both will have a similar amount of control and power potential.
Both rackets have a 16×19 string pattern so they will be a good option for players who like hitting balls with lots of spin from the baseline.
If you are a beginner to intermediate player then I would not recommend that you play with either of these two rackets as they are heavy frames that require you to have good technique to get the most out of them.
However, if you are more of an advanced player who has a full swing and who can generate their own power then either of these two tennis rackets will be a good option (especially if you play with a one-handed backhand).
However, I would recommend that most advanced tennis players pick the Blade 98 rather than the Pro Staff 97 as I believe the lower swing weight and stiffness rating will suit a larger proportion of recreational tennis players.