The Wilson Pro Staff line of racquets gets an upgrade in 2018 with this classic and sleek frame. From first glance, you’ll notice the black matte and white look that gives this racquet the ‘tuxedo’ effect. In fact, this is the same paint finish as the one you see Roger Federer playing with on tour. The difference with this light version is that it gives the beginning to intermediate player the same solid frame and technology without the heavier weight that can be tough to carry through long rallies. As a fan of the Pro Staff racquet line, I was excited to see how the newest Wilson would feel and play on the court.
Smooth, steady, and comfortable is how I would describe my groundstrokes with this racquet. I personally always prefer the light versions of racquets, but this racquet, at a little less than 11 ounces, felt especially light. Hitting the ball felt absolutely effortless and was consistently smooth. The light weight of this 97L made it easy to create pace and get good head speed. With a head size right at 97 square inches, this racquet helps maintain good control of the ball all the way from deep cross-court slices to flat winners down the line. One of the biggest differences I felt between previous lines and this line was my ability to produce heavy top spin from both my forehand and backhand side. Top spin is king in today’s tennis game, so I was pleased to see Wilson produce a racquet that is keeping up with the new style of the game.
I absolutely loved how this racquet felt when I was putting away the high, sweet-spot, flat volley. The racquet provides great stability and stiffness to defend against hard hit shots. I also really appreciated its easy maneuverability as I approached the net. I was able to create good pace and top spin on the approach shot and then get my hands up quickly to defend against the next shot. The volleys that proved a little more challenging with this racquet were touch volleys. When I tried to tap a ball within a few feet of the net, it always seemed to land 3 or 4 feet farther back than I had hoped.
Serves & Overheads
This is a fun racquet to serve with. I felt like I could hit 100 serves without getting fatigued. I was able to move through my serve motion quickly and get a nice pop off the racquet, specifically on flat serves. This racquet really felt like it was made for the fast-moving flat serve. This racquet is great for producing a penetrating serve that will quickly put your opponent on defense. While I felt my flat serve was particularly good with this racquet, this 97L provided great accuracy while maintaining a decent pace with my slice and top spin serves as well.
This racquet helps you feel at home on the court for hours at a time. It has effortless maneuverability and is easy on the arm and elbow with its under-11-ounce weight. It is incredibly comfortable and will maintain its comfortability no matter how long you play. The feel and touch you are able to get with this racquet is second to none. This is the type of racquet that I can see myself wanting to play with for a decade or more.
Overall, I am incredibly pleased with the new Wilson Upgrade. I definitely experienced the improved feel of this racquet and its natural ability to create top spin from the baseline. This racquet will be great for any player looking for a light weight racquet that will go the extra mile with their long-rally game.
About the Reviewer: Crystal Fain currently serves as the Head Tennis Coach for Stratford High School in Houston, TX and plays in various USTA Leagues. She played at the super champ level in the USTA Texas section before going on to play at Washington & Lee University.