Does Federer Actually Play With the RF97?

Have you come across anyone who is so picky/meticulous that even though the final spec is 100% exactly on point, prefer racquet A to racquet B beacuse the individual customization method is different between the two? (lead placement and so on)
Definitely not Fed. His hairpins are 100% to spec upon arrival to P1.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I have no idea what they do before they send us racquets. For all I know, they just grab some and send them to us, or just as likely, they meticulously check all the racquets before sending us particular frames. We don't need to know their procedures since we're able to customize all the ones they send us to his final desired specs.

As for shoes, you'll need to talk to the people that customize shoes for pro players. I have absolutely zero knowledge as to what goes into designing/manufacturing/promoting/distributing shoes.
Are RA differences an issue? That seems to be the one aspect which cannot be changed by customization.
 

RJYU

Rookie
Are RA differences an issue? That seems to be the one aspect which cannot be changed by customization.
RA differences can be an issue, but that issue comes up extremely rarely. The manufacturers are pretty good when it comes to RA tolerances. Most racquets of the same model are with +/- 1 RA unit according to our ancient RA machine. We haven't really come across any players who can feel the difference in 1 RA unit when all other things are equal.

Its been a nice change of pace to post a bit on this thread the last couple of days, but I'm going to be off TT for a while. Need to actually do some work!
 

PeterFig

Professional
RA differences can be an issue, but that issue comes up extremely rarely. The manufacturers are pretty good when it comes to RA tolerances. Most racquets of the same model are with +/- 1 RA unit according to our ancient RA machine. We haven't really come across any players who can feel the difference in 1 RA unit when all other things are equal.

Its been a nice change of pace to post a bit on this thread the last couple of days, but I'm going to be off TT for a while. Need to actually do some work!
As always it's a treat to have you post! Thank you.
 

jsm1373

Rookie
I have no idea what they do before they send us racquets. For all I know, they just grab some and send them to us, or just as likely, they meticulously check all the racquets before sending us particular frames.
Do the frames Wilson sends you have no hologram stickers upon arrival or do you remove them? Having removed them from my RF97s, it isn't easy and leaves a slight "depression" in the clear coat...

My hunch is they come to you sans sticker (like my pro stock 6.1 95 paintjob "97")... If so, they have at least been selected, if not given a different paint process than the retail ones. At least with the 2015/16 red & black ones. Know on the 2017 black version the retail holograms are inside the throat but not on Roger's pro stock version. I remember you posted a pic stringing one of BG's black RF97s and it did have the hologram visible.

Thanks for your time posting!! Really appreciate all of your posts/insight/real information!
 

dr325i

G.O.A.T.
I'm not sure what you mean by "100% to spec." I can assure you that there are differences in the weight/balance/and swingweights of the pegs when they arrive. If there weren't any differences, our clients really wouldn't need us. Our ability to match all their desired specs is what they pay us for.
I am sure you guys have tons of experience and obviously doing a great job, however, not to brag here, I match all of my own rackets, they come as hairpins or as already customized to a completely different spec.
With no machines (RDC) and with very primitive tools (Home Depot Silicone, etc.), I have been able to match ALL of my current rackets (2x PT113B + 1 PT310 to within 1g static weight, 1mm balance and within 1 "point" of swing weight, measured on my Stringer's RDC after the completion).
 

RJYU

Rookie
I am sure you guys have tons of experience and obviously doing a great job, however, not to brag here, I match all of my own rackets, they come as hairpins or as already customized to a completely different spec.
With no machines (RDC) and with very primitive tools (Home Depot Silicone, etc.), I have been able to match ALL of my current rackets (2x PT113B + 1 PT310 to within 1g static weight, 1mm balance and within 1 "point" of swing weight, measured on my Stringer's RDC after the completion).
Yup, I'm sure that you do a good job. I think that most decent shops should also be able to to match weight/balance/swingweight to the level that we do. Its honestly not at all difficult if you understand what you're doing. I'm pretty much an idiot at a lot of things, but racquets just take a bit of knowledge and understanding of basic physics. We probably have a few things we do that you can't, but that is purely because this is our livelihood, and we've invested in the equipment that allow us to do it. I think what probably sets us apart is our attention to handles and grips. Also, a big part of it is the trust factor involved. We got lucky in that Nate started the company when traveling with Sampras, and I was around traveling with Agassi when working for another company. You tend to get a good reputation when those guys trust you to take care of their sticks.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
But some psycho on the internet with some bizarre emotional stake on a tennis racquet is way more reliable!
RDressing had a crusade going for a while. He was building huge momentum until TW sniffed it and banned his IP and now he proxies in under an angry sockpuppet account only to have PeteFig drop a truth bomb all over the place.

Sometimes the truth is not that sexy or exciting as a solid 10 page message board conspiracy rant, so it can be tough for some to let go.
 

dr325i

G.O.A.T.
Yup, I'm sure that you do a good job. I think that most decent shops should also be able to to match weight/balance/swingweight to the level that we do. Its honestly not at all difficult if you understand what you're doing. I'm pretty much an idiot at a lot of things, but racquets just take a bit of knowledge and understanding of basic physics. We probably have a few things we do that you can't, but that is purely because this is our livelihood, and we've invested in the equipment that allow us to do it. I think what probably sets us apart is our attention to handles and grips. Also, a big part of it is the trust factor involved. We got lucky in that Nate started the company when traveling with Sampras, and I was around traveling with Agassi when working for another company. You tend to get a good reputation when those guys trust you to take care of their sticks.
Very cool job, would love to do my own racket thing when I am close to retirement. However, right now, I have 5 mouth to feed and an expensive hobby to support ;)
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Very cool job, would love to do my own racket thing when I am close to retirement. However, right now, I have 5 mouth to feed and an expensive hobby to support ;)
How about developing a production RDC machine for $200?
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
Sometimes the truth is not that sexy or exciting as a solid 10 page message board conspiracy rant, so it can be tough for some to let go.
What's insane about it is that rarely do the players themselves care that much about their own equipment. It's just a tool to do a job. I've volunteered at the Nationals (juniors) for quite a few years now. Every year they have us volunteers take racquet and string choice for each player. They're all off the shelf racquets and few have any modifications. Heck, some of the kids who lose in the main draw will use some of the racquets that vendors on site are pushing in their back draw matches.

It seems like everybody just forgets that the tennis world is far larger than TV tournaments. Most players don't have time to try this or that, they're busy living out of a van (down by the river....lol), going from one Futures/Challengers tournament to another, playing in front of mayyybeee five people (who are only there because they showed up wanting to play tennis like they normally do and didn't know a tournament was going on). Paintjobs are prevalent specifically because of this reality. It's hard enough to make any money at this game as it is and players need every bit of confidence they can take and that means using familiar equipment as one less thing to think about.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Yup, I'm sure that you do a good job. I think that most decent shops should also be able to to match weight/balance/swingweight to the level that we do. Its honestly not at all difficult if you understand what you're doing. I'm pretty much an idiot at a lot of things, but racquets just take a bit of knowledge and understanding of basic physics. We probably have a few things we do that you can't, but that is purely because this is our livelihood, and we've invested in the equipment that allow us to do it. I think what probably sets us apart is our attention to handles and grips. Also, a big part of it is the trust factor involved. We got lucky in that Nate started the company when traveling with Sampras, and I was around traveling with Agassi when working for another company. You tend to get a good reputation when those guys trust you to take care of their sticks.
Glad to see you jumping in and having a chat with all of us! I gotta say I'm curious, what do you find to be the most difficult customizing task? I love messing with balance and weight, using silicon and lead, but I can honestly say that I completely detest replacing grommets. Especially Babolat woofers.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Glad to see you jumping in and having a chat with all of us! I gotta say I'm curious, what do you find to be the most difficult customizing task? I love messing with balance and weight, using silicon and lead, but I can honestly say that I completely detest replacing grommets. Especially Babolat woofers.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
I tried replacing the Grommets on some Head racquets and was unsuccessful - I gave them to my stringer and he took care of them. So experience is definitely helpful.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
I tried replacing the Grommets on some Head racquets and was unsuccessful - I gave them to my stringer and he took care of them. So experience is definitely helpful.
The thing that I noticed was that I had a lot of success heating the grommets up with a blow dryer and then working them in with an awl. Once I solved that riddle it went pretty smoothly.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Glad to see you jumping in and having a chat with all of us! I gotta say I'm curious, what do you find to be the most difficult customizing task? I love messing with balance and weight, using silicon and lead, but I can honestly say that I completely detest replacing grommets. Especially Babolat woofers.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
I tried replacing the Grommets on some Head racquets and was unsuccessful - I gave them to my stringer and he took care of them. So experience is definitely helpful.
The thing that I noticed was that I had a lot of success heating the grommets up with a blow dryer and then working them in with an awl. Once I solved that riddle it went pretty smoothly.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
Head grommets all day any day.

Bab woofers? **** you man. Seriously, I'll do it, but I'll hate you while it lasts :mad:
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Are Roger's Lindt chocolates retail or prostock?

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There's a Lindt factory here in New Hampshire so at least some of them are made locally. They're pretty easy to find in the stores around here.
 

yonexRx32

Semi-Pro
I can tell you that the electronics inside does not cost more than $25, including the display.
No idea about all of the mechanics...
You can make your own without electronics. Just $15 worth of lumber and a piece of 1" stainless steel pipe. You also need one of those little laser pointers and a 25lbs dumbbell and two bench clamps. It will have the advantage providing you the flex anywhere along the length of the racket, instead of a fixed point.
 

yonexRx32

Semi-Pro
They are easy to find anywhere in the US. Then you taste them in Europe (Switzerland in particular) and you question...WHY?!
Same with Nutella, Toblerone, and other US modified crap
Proof that (US) consumers get the shaft also on the chocolates.. Eating US made chocolate is like playing with a retail racket: may seem fine until you taste the difference.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Proof that (US) consumers get the shaft also on the chocolates.. Eating US made chocolate is like playing with a retail racket: may seem fine until you taste the difference.
The only retail racquet that I've used in the past six years is the RF97 and that's a pretty nice racquet after some customization.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
I think one that Federer uses has Swing weight of like 366. it is very hard to swing but it has similar static weight as in store frames.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I think one that Federer uses has Swing weight of like 366. it is very hard to swing but it has similar static weight as in store frames.
It's north of 350 if it's set up like his 90s and I can see high swingweight behind those groundstrokes.

Mine has 15 grams of lead from 10 to 2. It's a rough setup as it was just a playtest but it's a pretty good frame once you customize it.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
It's north of 350 if it's set up like his 90s and I can see high swingweight behind those groundstrokes.

Mine has 15 grams of lead from 10 to 2. It's a rough setup as it was just a playtest but it's a pretty good frame once you customize it.
that is how he get that good power and accuracy on his serves.... and ACES people all the time... it looks like he isn't even trying in his serve swings.......
 

dr325i

G.O.A.T.
You can make your own without electronics. Just $15 worth of lumber and a piece of 1" stainless steel pipe. You also need one of those little laser pointers and a 25lbs dumbbell and two bench clamps. It will have the advantage providing you the flex anywhere along the length of the racket, instead of a fixed point.
So, you make the racket flexier while stringing? Did I read it right? If so, you should patent it before Babolat takes the idea for their "Pro Stock" rackets ;)
 

yonexRx32

Semi-Pro
So, you make the racket flexier while stringing? Did I read it right? If so, you should patent it before Babolat takes the idea for their "Pro Stock" rackets ;)
Hmm.. not sure how flexier it gets.. but that's how racket flex was measured before machines became available. Google it.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Hmm.. not sure how flexier it gets.. but that's how racket flex was measured before machines became available. Google it.
I have a set of four racquets and just used two of them for several years. They are more flexible than the other two frames which are in rotation now. I can tell which ones are which - the less-used ones hit with more power. I don't have a problem adjusting.

I think that this is why Del Potro stuck with his one set of frames for so long until he was down to one. New sticks couldn't duplicate the softer feel from years of use.
 

yonexRx32

Semi-Pro
So, you make the racket flexier while stringing? Did I read it right? If so, you should patent it before Babolat takes the idea for their "Pro Stock" rackets ;)
There are a few posts from other threads describing this:





To the best of my knowledge, a 2.8kg weight was used; below is a photo showing Wilson's tip deflection machine:



Hope this can be of help,

ProStringing
So use a smaller dumbbell...
 

PeterFig

Professional
I don't want to start again really, but @PeterFig, can you say something about this pic:
https://twitter.com/priority1/status/848506142443679744
there is no print inside the throat area, but a retail stick should have some print there. How come? It seems not only the be a retail stick hairpin [emoji33]


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Yup, easy one. Roger didn't want the specs there - wanted to keep the inside of throat clean. Cleary he doesn't need to see / read the specs so that decal is not put on for his batch near the end of the production run. But it's still same racquet, same factory, same everything. Stringers already put stickers on there for him with tension/date etc so it was just a visual preference he asked for.
 

moon shot

Hall of Fame
Yup, easy one. Roger didn't want the specs there - wanted to keep the inside of throat clean. Cleary he doesn't need to see / read the specs so that decal is not put on for his batch near the end of the production run. But it's still same racquet, same factory, same everything. Stringers already put stickers on there for him with tension/date etc so it was just a visual preference he asked for.
Doesn't have the hologram, signature, or silhouette either...

edit: looks like the butt cap isn't retail either, but I guess that is common with a custom molded handle.
 
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PeterFig

Professional
Doesn't have the hologram, signature, or silhouette either...
Very possible. I know he asked for inside of throat to be clean. I know specifically about the request to remove the specs but quite possible he asked for other details to be removed too afterwards as well.
 

moon shot

Hall of Fame
Very possible. I know he asked for inside of throat to be clean. I know specifically about the request to remove the specs but quite possible he asked for other details to be removed too afterwards as well.
Odd that he didn't do that with the first 97 but did on this one even though the decals were lower contrast. I guess thats what fixed his backhand.
 

PeterFig

Professional
Odd that he didn't do that with the first 97 but did on this one even though the decals were lower contrast. I guess thats what fixed his backhand.
He was much more involved in the design all the way through with the new one. So more in tune to the details and also a big proponent of the clean minimalist design.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
...Cleary he doesn't need to see / read the specs so that decal is not put on for his batch near the end of the production run. But it's still same racquet, same factory, same everything.
Lol! After all these 2-3 years of people arguing we have the first direct evidence that his frames are not made in the same run as the rest. I like how it's spun as a mere case of them just not putting those decals on as opposed to the more likely, imo, scenario where they make him a batch which is overseen more closely during the process and a little more time spent to each layup etc to make sure they're more uniform - even if that is the only reason to do so.

This is the least amount of additional effort you would expect for a guy who comprises probably half of Wilson's entire tennis marketing efforts. Yet we're supposed to believe they make custom frames for a dozen other Wilson sponsored players but not the sole player who really matters to their brand.
 

PeterFig

Professional
Lol! After all these 2-3 years of people arguing we have the first direct evidence that his frames are not made in the same run as the rest. I like how it's spun as a mere case of them just not putting those decals on as opposed to the more likely, imo, scenario where they make him a batch which is overseen more closely during the process and a little more time spent to each layup etc to make sure they're more uniform - even if that is the only reason to do so.

This is the least amount of additional effort you would expect for a guy who comprises probably half of Wilson's entire tennis marketing efforts. Yet we're supposed to believe they make custom frames for a dozen other Wilson sponsored players but not the sole player who really matters to their brand.
That is your opinion and you are entitled to it.
My goal is not to convince you (or anyone else) of anything, I have no such agenda. I'm just posting some facts and knowledge for the general interest of posters.
Unfortunately your opinion is misinformed and does not match the facts.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
That is your opinion and you are entitled to it.
My goal is not to convince you (or anyone else) of anything, I have no such agenda. I'm just posting some facts and knowledge for the general interest of posters.
Unfortunately your opinion is misinformed and does not match the facts.
For a start Peter, and respectfully, you do their artwork. Everthing else you've said is the same as what they tell anyone else which, historically, was sometimes untrue when closely scritinised.

Secondly, ages ago you said that his frames were straight off the production run but before they had the handles put on. Now you say they are not only not chosen at that point but even earlier prior to the decals being put on. Who's to say they haven't done a batch of 80 frames just for him which someone more senior than the random factory guy was there to make sure a bit more care was put into them, to reduce the tolerances and variation a bit more to save both time and money later (given how broad the variance of Wilson frames generally is)?

It sounds way more plausible given what I posted earlier and the fact that people on the "retail frame" side have even said that they just chose his batch from the general production run but given what you said about the decals now we're supposed to believe that they go through and pick his frames from the bunch BEFORE any of them have had the decals added which would both slow the production run and waste time pointlessly. It would probably be more efficiant given how fast the factories run just to do him a separate bunch of 80 frames once a year so Wilson has the 60 or so he needs plus a handful of spares in case of some catastrophe.

As if it doesn't need stating again, dozens upon dozens of pros who are hardly recognisable at all have custom made frames, whether using the same or a different mold to a retail version, yet it's constantly argued as being some myth that Federer gets specially made frames despite him having previously had exactly that for years. And it's all based on basically Federer saying he wanted people to be able to use the same frame as his. He used to say similar-ish things when it was well known his frames were not the same as the (then) current retail frame he was being marketed as using.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
For a start Peter, and respectfully, you do their artwork. Everthing else you've said is the same as what they tell anyone else which, historically, was sometimes untrue when closely scritinised.

Secondly, ages ago you said that his frames were straight off the production run but before they had the handles put on. Now you say they are not only not chosen at that point but even earlier prior to the decals being put on. Who's to say they haven't done a batch of 80 frames just for him which someone more senior than the random factory guy was there to make sure a bit more care was put into them, to reduce the tolerances and variation a bit more to save both time and money later (given how broad the variance of Wilson frames generally is)?

It sounds way more plausible given what I posted earlier and the fact that people on the "retail frame" side have even said that they just chose his batch from the general production run but given what you said about the decals now we're supposed to believe that they go through and pick his frames from the bunch BEFORE any of them have had the decals added which would both slow the production run and waste time pointlessly. It would probably be more efficiant given how fast the factories run just to do him a separate bunch of 80 frames once a year so Wilson has the 60 or so he needs plus a handful of spares in case of some catastrophe.

As if it doesn't need stating again, dozens upon dozens of pros who are hardly recognisable at all have custom made frames, whether using the same or a different mold to a retail version, yet it's constantly argued as being some myth that Federer gets specially made frames despite him having previously had exactly that for years. And it's all based on basically Federer saying he wanted people to be able to use the same frame as his. He used to say similar-ish things when it was well known his frames were not the same as the (then) current retail frame he was being marketed as using.
Why don't you buy one of his match-used frames and let us know?

Until someone does and reports on it, we'll have speculation vs insider knowledge.
 

haqq777

Legend
People with speculations and zero proof still going at it with people who are actual insiders and are providing first hand facts :rolleyes: - TTW never ceases to amuse me. Like someone mentioned earlier, I would trust Peter Fig and Ron over these anonymous posters any day of the week.
 
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