Federer Pro Staff RF97 Autograph Too Heavy?

baowow

Rookie
I picked up a used rf97 v12 randomly one day and really liking it to my surprise...

Can anyone confirm that rf97 v12 and v13 is the same? Keep hearing different things. I know Michelle with TW said it's the same but some people said v13 is different and actually better.
 

John

Semi-Pro
I can assure you they are different. RF dumped the texido painting because he think the different painting(chemical combination to make up the color) does affect ball hitting.
on top of that, we have clear paint at 12 o’clock. so we have another painting patter change. The feeling , least to RF, is different.
‘we also have different color of buttcap and who knows what under the paint had changed.
some times, change doesn’t mean a bad thing. The v13 is not getting worse for sure. But it does make difference to player used to it for the last 3-4 years.
it’s different, I am not joking. For people who used to the old one probably don’t want to switch.
for new comers, v13 is a good solid product. It hits ball well. They are just very minimum but noticeable difference To seasoned player.
 

nyta2

Professional
i've gone back and forth between heavy (rf97) and light (sw104, aero+)... my takeaways:
* heavier forces me to make (good) technicque adjustments (eg. better footwork, swing with body vs arm) - caveat i did get injured serving with poor technique last summer, but after adjusting, i feel like i'm serving much better, more effortlessly (with a lighter racquet i think i could have "gotten away" with less than ideal technique for much much longer)
* heavier amazing for plowthrough on all shots (volley, groundies vs heavy hitters, etc...)

but:
* i need to be in better shape to play with it (because it demands bettter footwork, and no short cuts (eg. arm swings)).... but isn't that the point of playing, more exercise :p
* if i'm late, it's terrible (so don't be late)
* arguably slightly harder to get consistent contact (eg slightly slower rhs) - but the tradeoff is that when i am grooved, and on time, my ball has higher accuracy/depth (but not as much spin)

it's kinda the same argument for why i'd want kids to be using a slightly heavier/longer racquet (encourage them to swing with their body vs just their arm)
 

Mischko

Rookie
@baowow it's the identical carbon frame, just the paint is changing. in 2016 they made it black with a rubbery matte paint, designed in switzerland, but the racquet is identical all the time, since 2014. that 2016 matte black v11 was very very slightly different in feel, but again, it's the same racquet. also, that rubbery matte paint was slightly heavier than normal paint, so my frames for example are 343g instead of 340g, but that can easily be attributed to other variances. now we have v13 again only with new paintjob, but same racquet. nothing changed with leather grips and buttcaps, they are the same through all versions.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
i've gone back and forth between heavy (rf97) and light (sw104, aero+)... my takeaways:
As a user of the SW104, I've hit recently with the RF97A and the SW104's swingweight is noticeably higher. Static weight is lower in the SW104 but the extra length is what contributes to the 340+ swingweight, while the RF97A is somewhere in the 335 swingweight range (assuming the racquets are in spec).

My SW104's are all a bit heavier than spec in stock configuration, and I've added 20-25 grams in the handle to each of them so the RF97A that I hit with, strung with gut/poly, was very easy to swing in comparison.
 

baowow

Rookie
Now I'm even more curious about hitting with the rf97 v13. I have the tuxedo color scheme. I personally like the white on the side. I normally play with softer racquets too (63 RA and below). That's why I find it odd that I liked the rf97 so much (coming from ezone tour, blade v7 18x20, blade pro 18x20, new prince synergy). Stiffness of Babolat and tecnifibre I don't jive with for whatever reason.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
I have used 12.2 - 12.5oz racquets since I was a kid, so the weight doesnt bother me and I love the strengths that a heavy racquet provides. But as I am now 42, I do realize I need to be constantly training to have the speed and footwork to benefit from a racquet like the RF97, especially against better players. The good news is most of my opponents dont hit that hard so the RF97 is fine. But occasionally when I play someone who hits a very heavy ball, it‘s a struggle. I cant even play proper defense bc I just dont have the racquet speed with such a heavy racquet. All I‘m saying is, play with what you enjoy, but keep an open mind that an RF97 may not actually allow you to play your best tennis and if youre ok with that, by all means, stick with it. Wilson specifically produces a lighter racqet (the PS97) that looks just like the RF97 so players can have the best of both worlds (lighter, easier to handle racquet, and still feel inspired by thr Maestro) ;)
 

nyta2

Professional
As a user of the SW104, I've hit recently with the RF97A and the SW104's swingweight is noticeably higher. Static weight is lower in the SW104 but the extra length is what contributes to the 340+ swingweight, while the RF97A is somewhere in the 335 swingweight range (assuming the racquets are in spec).

My SW104's are all a bit heavier than spec in stock configuration, and I've added 20-25 grams in the handle to each of them so the RF97A that I hit with, strung with gut/poly, was very easy to swing in comparison.
i similarly added weight to the handle on both, making them much easier to swing (IMO)
 

nyta2

Professional
I have used 12.2 - 12.5oz racquets since I was a kid, so the weight doesnt bother me and I love the strengths that a heavy racquet provides. But as I am now 42, I do realize I need to be constantly training to have the speed and footwork to benefit from a racquet like the RF97, especially against better players. The good news is most of my opponents dont hit that hard so the RF97 is fine. But occasionally when I play someone who hits a very heavy ball, it‘s a struggle. I cant even play proper defense bc I just dont have the racquet speed with such a heavy racquet. All I‘m saying is, play with what you enjoy, but keep an open mind that an RF97 may not actually allow you to play your best tennis and if youre ok with that, by all means, stick with it. Wilson specifically produces a lighter racqet (the PS97) that looks just like the RF97 so players can have the best of both worlds (lighter, easier to handle racquet, and still feel inspired by thr Maestro) ;)
i'll agree that that rf97 is not a defensive racquet... IMO lighter racquets are better for defense - eg. where you can flick/bunt the racquet in an often stretched/compromised position.
the rf97 needs more of a "body" swing...
that said, my game style is not to be defensive, i'm always trying to attack the contact point
 
From another thread:


I am suprised that a big, strong young man like Tsitsipas uses such a light frame to generate tremendous spin and power.

Definitely convinces me that I made the right move to the lighter racquet.

Now to hit the ball like Tsitsipas...
 

Novichok

Semi-Pro
From another thread:


I am suprised that a big, strong young man like Tsitsipas uses such a light frame to generate tremendous spin and power.

Definitely convinces me that I made the right move to the lighter racquet.

Now to hit the ball like Tsitsipas...
He also uses a full bed of Luxilon 4G at 59/56 lbs in an 18x20 pattern and a swingweight of 359 kg-cm^2.
 
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Arak

Hall of Fame
I have used 12.2 - 12.5oz racquets since I was a kid, so the weight doesnt bother me and I love the strengths that a heavy racquet provides. But as I am now 42, I do realize I need to be constantly training to have the speed and footwork to benefit from a racquet like the RF97, especially against better players. The good news is most of my opponents dont hit that hard so the RF97 is fine. But occasionally when I play someone who hits a very heavy ball, it‘s a struggle. I cant even play proper defense bc I just dont have the racquet speed with such a heavy racquet. All I‘m saying is, play with what you enjoy, but keep an open mind that an RF97 may not actually allow you to play your best tennis and if youre ok with that, by all means, stick with it. Wilson specifically produces a lighter racqet (the PS97) that looks just like the RF97 so players can have the best of both worlds (lighter, easier to handle racquet, and still feel inspired by thr Maestro) ;)
The problem is that the PS97 is a mediocre racket even if it looks like the RF97 but it plays nothing like it. In my experience, the Blade 18x20 would be a worthy lighter weight option that plays somewhat similarly.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
i'll agree that that rf97 is not a defensive racquet... IMO lighter racquets are better for defense - eg. where you can flick/bunt the racquet in an often stretched/compromised position.
the rf97 needs more of a "body" swing...
that said, my game style is not to be defensive, i'm always trying to attack the contact point
Agree. On defense, what the RF97 is good at is slicing, which doesn’t require that much energy either given the downward swing and the later contact point.
 
I think several WTA players use the PS97, so it gets some love among pros. Not sure about the men's side though.

On another note I've been playing with some R27s bulked up to 13.4 oz for the past several weeks now. I'm still amazed what a heavy ball they are capable of and the spin even from synthetic gut. I don't know what the stiffness of the R27 is, but it feels like 62-63RA, and that's where the nasty spin comes from. One handers are pretty easy to hit even at 92 or 93 square inches.
 
Rf97a is way too heavy to swing…but at the same spec, the ps85 is a beauty.
PS85 is soo much easier to swing and use..
yes, the ps85 has that particular pinpoint accelerated feel , scalpier quality than my kps88. Sadly I finally gave up on the ps85 (the tw '14 reissue) last year and tried the k6.1 95 reissue, which felt too awkard for me, so I moved on, and couldn't find a good quality tour90 or ktour90 for the price, so I settled on a kps88 acquired in new condition. I just couldn't get the timing and full swing well enough to bring enough spin or depth with the ps85. Well I think I improved with the kps88 after a year now, and could probably hit with the ps85 with a better stroke, but (enough) spin is still hard for me generate and I'm not a good (& tall) enough flattish hitter since I often tend to hit with it (ps85) unintended too high over the net. So I strung it up with 75lbs kevlar and tourbite cross, and kept it in the car or extra space for fun, if myself or guest wants to play around with it and intentionally stressing tennis elbow. Or maybe a good enough type of kevlar-string club in an emergency to fend off a night robber or something..

As for the RF97, I kind of wish Wilson had kept making a few new models with at least the 18-19mm beam like Prince does in some of their "tapered" models. Like an RF97 18mm beam version in 93, 95 or 97 sq. in.
 
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I have been playing with the Federer Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph for years. I bought these racquets because Federer uses them, obviously. Also, Sampras used the Pro Saff as well.

I am currently on a Memorial weekend trip to visit family, and I had left my racquets on the dining table as we were running late to the airport. Getting three little children packed and out the door is stressful.

I borrowed my brother's racquet (see below) to play with. He had made a switch to a lighter frame as per the recommendation from his teaching pro.

I was shocked how well I could whip my arm so much faster with a lighter frame. I thought I would not have as much power than the Federer frame, but I actually think the increase in racquet speed whip makes up for the lighter weight.

I also could maneuver the racquet much easier at the net.

I just bought four Wilson Pro Staff RF97 v13 Racquets, and I may end up returning them.

Watching Federer court level on YouTube makes you want to use his racquet. His swing is so relaxed yet generates so much topspin.

However, I am not Federer so I cannot duplicate his swing with the heavy racquet he uses. He also uses an old school Eastern grip which I have tried and failed to duplicate.

If I am completely honest with myself, I must sadly admit that these racquets are too heavy for me.

you are not the only person to find the RF 97 v13 Racquets too heavy, a tennis friend of mine let me hit w/his , after about 20mins I knew they were not for me and he doesn't use them any longer. I do experiment w/lead tape on my Yonex racquets and recently removed just a little, and was also pleasantly surprised that the improved maneuverability resulted in increased power due to the racquet moving faster through the air. In theory a heaver racquet is a more powerful racquet but there is a point for each individual when weight becomes a deficit.
 

TennisManiac

Hall of Fame
I moved from the Blade 98 to the RF97... I also found the stock RF97 too heavy so after some experimenting, I ended up replacing the leather grip with a light synthetic grip removing about 15g off the weight. I actually enjoy the new balance better than the original super headlight version. I can also play 3-4h no problem with it whereas I would get arm fatigue after 1.5h with the original setup.
You can generate a ton of RHS with light whippy frames, but you gotta be on the gas 100% all the time in order to hit deep heavy balls.
The RF97 excels on serves, returns, volleys, blocking and groundstrokes where you are in attacking position.
A light frame won't be as good on returns, volleys, blocking but you can defend well it it.
Depends on your game.
I play my best tennis (high 4.5 / low 5.0 level) with this frame, and I have tried a ton of combinations. I also have no arm issues with it. I've previously played with the Aero and the Blade -- and had issues with both.
Before you sell all your frames, buy some Wilson Feather Thin grips, replace the original Leather and see how you like it.. 15g does not sound like a lot but it's a huge difference.
Yep
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
you are not the only person to find the RF 97 v13 Racquets too heavy, a tennis friend of mine let me hit w/his , after about 20mins I knew they were not for me and he doesn't use them any longer. I do experiment w/lead tape on my Yonex racquets and recently removed just a little, and was also pleasantly surprised that the improved maneuverability resulted in increased power due to the racquet moving faster through the air. In theory a heaver racquet is a more powerful racquet but there is a point for each individual when weight becomes a deficit.
Interesting points. I do believe that physically strong players can use any racket they choose, and might even benefit from lighter rackets because they can use their forearm strength and firm grips to compensate for the racket lightness. However, if you are not exceptionally strong and play often against stronger players, you will get bullied on serve and heavy groundstrokes. Therefore a heavy racket is a must as it is in my case. I willingly put up with the weight and reduced maneuverability to gain on my serve, return of serve, and to be able keep up with my opponents on aggressive groundstrokes.
 
Interesting points. I do believe that physically strong players can use any racket they choose, and might even benefit from lighter rackets because they can use their forearm strength and firm grips to compensate for the racket lightness. However, if you are not exceptionally strong and play often against stronger players, you will get bullied on serve and heavy groundstrokes. Therefore a heavy racket is a must as it is in my case. I willingly put up with the weight and reduced maneuverability to gain on my serve, return of serve, and to be able keep up with my opponents on aggressive groundstrokes.
I don't disagree, I sacrificed a little on my serve for much better (quicker) maneuverability so as to have better net play and to have the racquet more quickly positioned for all other shots. Gives me a reason to continue working on better service form, learning to hit the ball properly in all respects always helps, a work in progress.
 

brownbearfalling

Hall of Fame
I had an epiphany on this recently. I’ve always gravitated toward heavier frames because they “felt” better. my epiphany is that I liked heavier frames because they were more stable on off center hits. And I always hit off center. Lighter frames would torque and vibrate more on Mis hits. I have been focusing more on hitting clean, fine tuning my timing and a little bit stronger. As I am hitting the ball more center I can feel the benefits with a slighter lighter frame. I still feel the twanginess in Nish it’s on lighter frames but it is not as bad as I remember. Also with more racquet speed now, the lighter frames have plenty of stability. It always baffled me why top level players would play mid weight frames like stock Wilson blade or stock head radical. But now from my experience it makes sense. By all means a good ball striker can immensely benefit from a heavier racquet too but the lighter racquet increases speed slightly and decreases fatigue.

To sum it up, if you the ball clean and and have good racquet speed, you can harness the benefits of a lighter frame.

For reference: I used to play the K90 and ksixone 95. Currently using 2015 blx sixone 95 I have been wanting to switch to either tuxedo ps97 CV, or yonex vcore 98 305g. It’s just hard to give up my trusty six ones.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Professional
If I see an opponent with the black Wilson I ask them if it is the autograph. If so, and they aren't 5.0 and they aren't looking super super insanely fit, I know I am going to have a good time jamming them with lefty spin. 90% of these players shouldn't be using that racket.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
If I see an opponent with the black Wilson I ask them if it is the autograph. If so, and they aren't 5.0 and they aren't looking super super insanely fit, I know I am going to have a good time jamming them with lefty spin. 90% of these players shouldn't be using that racket.
You can’t just look at the racquet and see if it’s a 97RF? Or do you just ask them for dramatic effect? pffffft!
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Professional
You can’t just look at the racquet and see if it’s a 97RF? Or do you just ask them for dramatic effect? pffffft!
Sometimes it's hard to see, asking them is fun, some people don't know at first which I think is crazy and then I lose all respect for them, and then those that have it I compliment them. Like most here have said, it's in a lot of hands that shouldn't really be using it to win, but I understand it is popular and "fun" I guess.
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
I like the Rf97 but don't play with it any more,using 6.1 95 18x20. If Rf97 had 18x20 version or slightly softer I'd be on it. Needs taming for my ability, hit long bit too often only solution was increase string tension and change often.
I would go back but find 6.1 95 18x20.
 

FIRETennis

Professional
If I see an opponent with the black Wilson I ask them if it is the autograph. If so, and they aren't 5.0 and they aren't looking super super insanely fit, I know I am going to have a good time jamming them with lefty spin. 90% of these players shouldn't be using that racket.
You are correct.
The racquet shines at the higher end of 4.5 level because the things that it excels at are 'problems' that come at that level.
Volleys against harder pace, serving, returning big serves.
It's also an attacking racquet which is a style that does not work well at sub 4.5.
For pure ground strokes, defensive tennis it's *not* the best choice of frame.
EDIT: *not* the best choice for defensive tennis :)
 
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onehandbh

Legend
You are correct.
The racquet shines at the higher end of 4.5 level because the things that it excels at are 'problems' that come at that level.
Volleys against harder pace, serving, returning big serves.
It's also an attacking racquet which is a style that does not work well at sub 4.5.
For pure ground strokes, defensive tennis it's the best choice of frame.
I know a guy that uses the RF97 decently and it seems to fit his game. He takes very relaxed, slow swings and hits the ball very flat. The weight of the RF97 helps to give him enough power to hit the ball deep. This guy is consistent but does not hit any one shot very hard or with much spin.
 

bnjkn

Semi-Pro
It's probably not ideal for low recreational level but if I'm not competing and just playing for fun, it doesn't really matter to me. I'm not consistent at all but sometimes I hit some good shots with it. To me it feels very solid (the PS97 feels much worse, like a hollow toy imo). I find the RF very comfortable actually.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Been playing with the RF97’s for years and recently received two of the V13’s on a USPTA contract. Haven’t strung them yet. Playing with the Blade Pro. What’s the difference between the V13 and the black V11’s. Hear frequently they are different. How?
 

Curtennis

Semi-Pro
Been playing with the RF97’s for years and recently received two of the V13’s on a USPTA contract. Haven’t strung them yet. Playing with the Blade Pro. What’s the difference between the V13 and the black V11’s. Hear frequently they are different. How?
Not sure where you heard they are different. All ive ever heard is that it’s been the same racquet for years. The non-rf v11 and v13 differ with how the graphite is put in, but that’s all ive ever heard.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Not sure where you heard they are different. All ive ever heard is that it’s been the same racquet for years. The non-rf v11 and v13 differ with how the graphite is put in, but that’s all ive ever heard.
Thanks, keep hearing the V13 frame is easier to swing. Curious to know because have 4 of the V11’s with synthetic grips. Wondering if I should do the same with the V13’s. Will give the leather a try first. Cheers
 

morten

Hall of Fame
The reason is Wilsons poor quality control, people think they are different, truth is they are all different, each and every one of them regardless of versions..
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
The reason is Wilsons poor quality control, people think they are different, truth is they are all different, each and every one of them regardless of versions..
Have 3 V11’s that are really close and a 4th one that is an absolute beast. Too heavy to play with even with a synthetic grip.
 
So I recently got a used ncode ntour six-one 90 , (retail version with the 5 grommets on the pws) , restrung it, and put a wilson leather grip on it as it came with just an overgrip but no regular grip. And this supposed "ancestor" of the RF97 static weighed more than my kps88 at 383g! I'd even cut off the sides of the headguard as it was half gone already, but I had also put protective tape around the hoop edges but that should only add 5-10g. Maybe I should replace the leather grip with a 'feather' thinner grip and see how that does. It's currently at 9.5pts headlight, compared to 1.5pts hl on my kps88. This ntour90 feels more stiff maybe than the kps88 which feels even flexier and not more of this ntour90's "metal bar"-like feel. It feels like an old make 90's racquet as it's probably 17 years old now. I guess wilson's k-factor, blx, etc., since ncode, materials tech really changed things up to feel more light or damped?
 
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Mischko

Rookie
v11 has rubbery black paint which is slightly heavier and very slightly muted, so it seems that racquets went slightly up in swingweight and have a very slightly less crisp feel. my frames are at 343g for example.

with v13 it is said to go back to the original 2014 feel. and if the difference is indeed ~3g, well 2g extra in the head on such a heavy frame is something I would care about. carbon frame and leather grips are the same throughout, since 2014
 

John

Semi-Pro
Been playing with the RF97’s for years and recently received two of the V13’s on a USPTA contract. Haven’t strung them yet. Playing with the Blade Pro. What’s the difference between the V13 and the black V11’s. Hear frequently they are different. How?
You won’t find a correct answer unless you got some one measure the difference of weight distribution and break down the material characteristic . Since the location and type of paint changes. The inner layer got some updates, we all know the change is unavoidable. But we really care how we feel against these changes. I can assure you the v13 is not terrible. It’s like you go to different Starbucks. The coffee won’t be the same. Even within same shop, it could be made by different staff at different time. That is the difference you are dealing with. And on top of Wilson QA. You will get more variation from QA than the model version.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Do you find the Blade Pro easier to use than the Rf or do you just prefer the feel and flex of the Bp?
Love them both but the only set up that works for my game out of the RF97 is Gut/poly and the only set up that works out of the Blade Pro for me is full poly. Playing with the Blade Pro its about $4.00 a frame stringing. Expensive over time playing with Gut/poly.
 

jmysun

Rookie
Love them both but the only set up that works for my game out of the RF97 is Gut/poly and the only set up that works out of the Blade Pro for me is full poly. Playing with the Blade Pro its about $4.00 a frame stringing. Expensive over time playing with Gut/poly.
i assume you’re using the 16x19 blade pro right? What poly are you liking for it and what tension? Might give the blade pro a try.
 
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