2020 Pro Staff 97 v13
First Look & Impressions
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It’s lighter and more maneuverable but has the same ingredients that make it a Pro Staff and one of the game’s most popular racquets.
Today, I’m sharing an early look and first impressions of the latest version of the Pro Staff 97 released in September 2020.
Note: to gain early access to these racquets through 9/27/20, you’ll need to sign up as a Wilson Insider on their website.
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Right off the bat, I’m super excited about the new look of the Pro Staff line. Not only has Wilson returned to the all-black matte frames that I loved from 2016, but they’ve refined it further.
For the Pro Staff 97, my favorite part is the tasteful red and yellow strips added to the frame as a nod to the Pro Staff Original 6.0. It’s a classic look layered on one of the most elegant looking silhouettes in tennis.
However, the boldest change to the frame’s design shows the braided graphite at the top of the hoop under a clear gloss finish with the heritage stripes flanking either side of the grommets.
All in all, the Pro Staff line’s design is subtle and understated, but if you look closely, it’s refined and tasteful, which is a breath of fresh air with so many racquets these days screaming for attention.
Although Wilson has made a few updates to the Pro Staff 97, the racquet’s specs compared to the previous generation remain unchanged.
Here’s a look at what to expect.
*I don’t have access to a racquet diagnostic machine to take these measurements, but expect they’ll be near if not identical to the prior model. I’ll update this article when I learn more.
Pro Staff Line
The Pro Staff line of tennis racquets includes the RF97, 97, 97L, and 97UL.
One of the significant distinguishing factors between each of these four racquets is their weight. Here’s a look at how they stack up.
- Pro Staff RF97 v13: 12 oz (340 g)
- Pro Staff 97 v13: 11.1 oz (315 g)
- Pro Staff 97L: 110.2 oz (290 g)
- Pro Staff 97UL: 9.5 oz (269 g)*
Many Pro Staff fans often gravitate toward the Pro Staff 97 as a more user-friendly option to the RF97, while the lighter 97L and 97UL are great options for players looking to drop the weight even further.
At the same time, all of these racquets feature the same core Pro Staff technologies, including braided graphite and perimeter weighting system.
*Note: The Pro Staff 97UL will only be available in the European tennis market.
The Pro Staff 97 v13 retains the essential ingredients, including braided graphite and perimeter weighting system, but offers up a few updates.
Perhaps most significant is Wilson’s new approach to braided graphite and kevlar for this racquet, which they’ve dubbed Braid 45.
The new technology references the braid’s unique 45-degree angle for the weave, which intends to improve ball pocketing for enhanced feel without giving up on the stability front.
Beyond the update to the racquet’s braided graphite, Wilson has made some adjustments to the string bed’s density with the goal of enhancing precision and feel. You’ll find this toward the upper third of the frame.
It’s a subtle update that can have a noticeable impact on the racquet’s performance.
Perimeter Weighting System
Although it remains unchanged, it’s worth noting that the Pro Staff 97 retains the added weight at three and nine o’clock of the racquet’s head to reduce the frame’s twisting on contact and improve control.
Last but not least, you’ll find that the latest generation of this racquet offers a more comfortable red butt cap with rounded edges, which you can find on many of their other racquets like the Wilson Clash.
Hopefully, you enjoyed my first look and initial impressions of the Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13. Stay tuned for a full review and playtest.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.
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