My New tennis racket (RF97A black)

Martin B.

New User
Hello to everybody :giggle: ! This is my first post here. A week ago i bought a new racket and its the RF97 autograph Black edition. I bought it from Tennis warehouse Europe and it arrived in 4 days (I am from Bulgaria). I will upload some pictures of the racket so you can all see it :). Unstrung ; Throat ; Throat2 ; Strung; Strung with grip . I`ve used the ncode ncode six one 95 both Team and the 333grams version. I was playing with the heavier before transitioning to the RF97A. I`ve measured all specifications and it comes exactly at 9.5HL balance and 357grams strung. For now i`ve tried it only with Luxilon ALU power Rought on mains and Wilson sensation on crosses (25/24kg) and still i have played with it only for a week but i already can say that this racket feels amazing ! It also feels very manueverable for its weight. It is exactly 362 grams with the overgrip on. It makes me concentrate a lot more on the length of my strokes and proper technique. Serves are very accurate with it also.

Expect further updates and let me know your opinions if possible :) .
 
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Martin B.

New User
Welcome to the RF97 club! Hope you enjoy your stay! I have mine in Black/White because of the sale. Luxilon Gut 16G in the mains at 58-59 lbs and Wilson Revolve 16L in the crosses at 55-56 lbs.
I was about to get the black and white version also because of the sale but kind of overspent because i really like the simplicity of the all black one. By the way even though many people report problems with the paintjob i don`t encounter any. On Wilson`s site you can see reviews with attatched pictures of rackets (used only for 10 matches) on which the paint has chipped a lot. You think it could be due to someone trying to make an anti advertisementl ?
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
It's possible, but I don't think so. I'm pretty protective of my racquets, never going for hard contact with the court for low balls and never throwing my racquet. Despite that I have two small paint chips that I'm pretty sure could only have happened in the bag because of where they're located. It wouldn't surprise me that many people have the same issue. For $250 USD Wilson really should be putting out better cosmetic quality and factory tolerances. For $170 USD I can let it slide.
 

Fairhit

Semi-Pro
It's possible, but I don't think so. I'm pretty protective of my racquets, never going for hard contact with the court for low balls and never throwing my racquet. Despite that I have two small paint chips that I'm pretty sure could only have happened in the bag because of where they're located. It wouldn't surprise me that many people have the same issue. For $250 USD Wilson really should be putting out better cosmetic quality and factory tolerances. For $170 USD I can let it slide.
For any amount of money it is not acceptable to sell bad quality unless you are buying bootleg products, in that case no one can complain.
 

Fairhit

Semi-Pro
I just found an online sale, I bought from them a Pro Staff 97 2015 for US$55 and was planning on buying another one, I entered their site and found a 2015 RF97 for the same price, should I buy it? It's rhetorical because of course I'm going to buy it.
 

Martin B.

New User
I just found an online sale, I bought from them a Pro Staff 97 2015 for US$55 and was planning on buying another one, I entered their site and found a 2015 RF97 for the same price, should I buy it? It's rhetorical because of course I'm going to buy it.
Could you post a link ? Sounds too good to be true.
 

Martin B.

New User
Im open to all types of advices on what strings to use with the racket, what tension, modifications (except removing the main grip). Please share your configurations and impressions :). I am using power pads and with the strings i`m using i found that the Wilson Sensation (on crosses) lost tension pretty quick and the racket lost a bit of its control which is crucial with that weight. I`m playing with Wilson Revolve (the non edgy one) on both of my other rackets (the ncodes i mentioned) but it seems to lose a lot of its qualities over time. I am not a string breaker but i can see that the Sensation won`t last long (and i hope it wont because i don`t like the setup). In the beginning i was getting a lot of topspin but once the ALU power rough started cutting through the Wilson sensation the strings stopped sliding and i didnt like that. The WIlson Revolve doesnt have that problem. What strings do you use and which ones did you find most suitable for this tennis racket ? (if possible put down the weight and balance of your rackets). Any of you guys using power pads ?
 
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Fairhit

Semi-Pro
Could you post a link ? Sounds too good to be true.
I had doubts myself but as I said before I already bought a frame from them and is not a fake o is it in any regard damaged, it is a perfect, new, original Wilson Pro Staff 97, it sounds too good to be true because this site is around here Latin America and here tennis is not a huge sport and the people doesn't pay that much attention to the specifications of a frame, there's people like us in this forum but is not common behavior, around here the racquet market moves around nice looking racquets and this Pro Staff is old news so they have to sell or keep them around and no one buys if is not a new shiny frame.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I just go with full-poly. The RF97 is a string breaker. I used Sensation and it was good for five hours at most.
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
I just go with full-poly. The RF97 is a string breaker. I used Sensation and it was good for five hours at most.
I'm around a 4.5 with an extreme eastern forehand grip and one-handed backhand with moderate topspin, and I get around 20-22 hours out of my gut/poly hybrid. I also try to keep points short though so that might be why.
 

Martin B.

New User
So guys, do you have any advices on what strings i should use ? I like being able to play with a lot of topspin but i also like to have control on my shots. Any other string close to the price of the Wilson revolve (that is my maximum i would give for a string) ?
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
So guys, do you have any advices on what strings i should use ? I like being able to play with a lot of topspin but i also like to have control on my shots. Any other string close to the price of the Wilson revolve (that is my maximum i would give for a string) ?
I'm going to suggest you don't look at just price; look for price per hour of play instead. If you play with heavy topspin, I'm guessing you cut out the Revolve after about 10-12 hours of court time because the tension loss is too high to keep balls in play after that point. That puts you between $.84-$1.00 per hour. Look for strings that will give you that kind of economy.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
ive played a full bed of cyclone and a hybrid of 4g and sensation in mine. both work well but multis dont last long
 

Bogdan_TT

Professional
I have 2 reds and 2 blacks. In the last 1.5 years I played with the 2 blacks only. I modified them a bit, as they were 6 grams apart and balanced all over the place. All 4 are now exactly at 366g 31.4mm 340sw strung and with overgrip.
I like the black ones more, can't say why. The string is Yonex Polytour Pro 1.25 at 26/24.5. I love them. Have fun with yours.
 
I love this racket too, but I've got to ask because I feel inadequate, how in the world do you play with this in real matches? If I do a singles tournament I will play 4-7 hours of singles in a day, then more the next (of course just one more match for finals etc.), I tried using a 330 gram Vcorepro for this and there is no way. My serve just gets pedestrian compared to the potential in the last couple hours. I have successfully used the RF in doubles, great for that.
Maybe weather is a factor, can get to 100 degrees where I am, in the afternoon. (36-37 Celsius).

Anyway I am fit, 200 pounds/90 kilos 6'4", I mean I doubt I am lacking the strength or average strength of a tennis player. So, how do you go so long with a stick that heavy?

I also ask for research, because the 4.5, 5.0 and open players I hit with stick with 11 oz - 11.3 oz, which I guess is about 310 grams to 320 grams.
 
I had doubts myself but as I said before I already bought a frame from them and is not a fake o is it in any regard damaged, it is a perfect, new, original Wilson Pro Staff 97, it sounds too good to be true because this site is around here Latin America and here tennis is not a huge sport and the people doesn't pay that much attention to the specifications of a frame, there's people like us in this forum but is not common behavior, around here the racquet market moves around nice looking racquets and this Pro Staff is old news so they have to sell or keep them around and no one buys if is not a new shiny frame.
Where in Latin America are you? I’m in LA too.
 
You have to play differently with a "heavy" racket than a light racket, and if you play right, it is less tiring than banging a light racket.
I think I know what you mean on groundstrokes, I learned tennis in the 80's so my swings are the "less tiring" type I think compared to a helicopter whip forehand. But, I think, for tall guys, the serve is still tiring because you have to lift and crank that thing, if you want the 100mph plus serves, you can't let the racket do the swinging, and that is where my game suffers with the heavier racket, I think. Does that make any sense?
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm around a 4.5 with an extreme eastern forehand grip and one-handed backhand with moderate topspin, and I get around 20-22 hours out of my gut/poly hybrid. I also try to keep points short though so that might be why.
Poly usually lasts me 9-10 hours before it goes dead.

Gut can last an incredibly long time (I have a racquet with VS from the 1980s).
 

Martin B.

New User
Poly usually lasts me 9-10 hours before it goes dead.

Gut can last an incredibly long time (I have a racquet with VS from the 1980s).
That exactly the problem im facing with the Wilson revolve. It becomes too big of a difference after this many hours of play and I cant afford to change strings every 20 hours. Im from the balkans after all. Im afraid to use Wilson champions choice hybrid because I cant afford breaking these and its super expensive. Can anybody suggest me another way? May be the way I headed with the ALU power on mains and Wilson Sensation on crosses isnt that bad but the Sensation feels like really low quality string. I dont like not using my own force so we cant talk about full bed of gut. Can you guy give me suggestions for a poly/multifillament setup and for gut/poly setup or a very durable poly?
 

tribesmen

Professional
I think I know what you mean on groundstrokes, I learned tennis in the 80's so my swings are the "less tiring" type I think compared to a helicopter whip forehand. But, I think, for tall guys, the serve is still tiring because you have to lift and crank that thing, if you want the 100mph plus serves, you can't let the racket do the swinging, and that is where my game suffers with the heavier racket, I think. Does that make any sense?
Maybe you just need to slightly change a swing or throw the ball slightly higher or more in front of you, etc. If you don't have problems on grounstrokes also a serve should not be a problem.
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
Guys, can someone give any advice ?
For a durable gut/poly use Babolat Tonic 15(L?) And Yonex Poly Tour Pro 16L. Caveats are that you aren't a spin monster who tries to spin the ball so hard that on the bounce it increases the revolution speed of the earth, and you avoid playing on clay courts since clay cuts gut's life in half at the very least. I hit with moderate pace and spin on my rally balls with some occasional flat slap shots when I smell blood and I got around 25 hours with that setup in my PS90 back when I used that hybrid. The price in USD for that setup was $23 plus any additional stringing fees. I string my own racquets so I get to save there. Otherwise it would have cost me a total of $40 for the strings and labor from a pro shop.

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Rally

Semi-Pro
Have you tried Roger's set-up (Champion's Choice gut/poly)?
Champion's choice snaps too fast for it to be recommended to someone on a budget. $40 before labor costs for 10 hours before the ALU Power Rough snaps the gut. Makes for a better birthday present than a daily driver if you don't have deep pockets.

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Dansan

Rookie
Champion's choice snaps too fast for it to be recommended to someone on a budget. $40 before labor costs for 10 hours before the ALU Power Rough snaps the gut. Makes for a better birthday present than a daily driver if you don't have deep pockets.

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I hear this a lot. I've done my own experiment with this because back when I had a string job of champion choice in my RF97A, I found that I could not for the life of me break them. This was going on quite a while until they clearly lost their life and tension a bit...I took it to a racquetball court and just started smashing the ball as hard as I could. Even let me friend who claims that he breaks strings constantly and try smashing it for a while. Nothing...It notched, but never broke. Strung at 59lbs gut mains/56lbs alu crosses. I had to just cut them out eventually.

It's a remarkably resilient setup for some reason in my experience, and that is all I use in mine. Could be how it was strung, who knows, maybe I'm not hitting hard enough :laughing:

To the OP:
As far as getting through a match....I've had to use my body and less of my "arm". The most demanding strokes for me use to be the serve, and volleys until I made some adjustments.

To combat the fatigue, I choke up slightly on the racquet for volleys. Use a relaxed grip.

And most importantly, let gravity and your body work FOR you. On serve, I was bringing the racquet down and then back up using my arm....this is seriously fatiguing in 90+ heat midway in match. Now, I let gravity drop it, and use more of my entire body and shoulder to get it behind me and dropping behind my head...bending and dipping with the legs helps get it back in the service motion to unload on the ball. Seriously, watch how pete sampras serves. He gets his entire body into it, and brings the racquet back and behind him using a dip and shoulder movement rather than lifting it with his arms. Saves a lot of energy
 

Martin B.

New User
I hear this a lot. I've done my own experiment with this because back when I had a string job of champion choice in my RF97A, I found that I could not for the life of me break them. This was going on quite a while until they clearly lost their life and tension a bit...I took it to a racquetball court and just started smashing the ball as hard as I could. Even let me friend who claims that he breaks strings constantly and try smashing it for a while. Nothing...It notched, but never broke. Strung at 59lbs gut mains/56lbs alu crosses. I had to just cut them out eventually.

It's a remarkably resilient setup for some reason in my experience, and that is all I use in mine. Could be how it was strung, who knows, maybe I'm not hitting hard enough :laughing:

To the OP:
As far as getting through a match....I've had to use my body and less of my "arm". The most demanding strokes for me use to be the serve, and volleys until I made some adjustments.

To combat the fatigue, I choke up slightly on the racquet for volleys. Use a relaxed grip.

And most importantly, let gravity and your body work FOR you. On serve, I was bringing the racquet down and then back up using my arm....this is seriously fatiguing in 90+ heat midway in match. Now, I let gravity drop it, and use more of my entire body and shoulder to get it behind me and dropping behind my head...bending and dipping with the legs helps get it back in the service motion to unload on the ball. Seriously, watch how pete sampras serves. He gets his entire body into it, and brings the racquet back and behind him using a dip and shoulder movement rather than lifting it with his arms. Saves a lot of energy
Thank you for your advice ! You are really making me consider trying the champion`s choice.
 

jered

New User
You have to accept that this racquet eats strings. Poly and multis especially seem to get chewed up. I restring each racquet every 10 or so hours now which is fine because: a) I play best with a fresh string bed, b) I string my own.

Playing with Grapplesnake Alpha right now which is a fantastic poly and not too expensive. 53lbs.

If you really want amazing durability with good spin and control, check the thread on Ashaway Crossfire ZX. It’s a Kevlar Zyex hybrid setup that you can easily get 30+ hours out of. Some people are getting over 50. I only stopped because I love fresh string beds and I love the spin and control of full poly beds.
 

Martin B.

New User
You have to accept that this racquet eats strings. Poly and multis especially seem to get chewed up. I restring each racquet every 10 or so hours now which is fine because: a) I play best with a fresh string bed, b) I string my own.

Playing with Grapplesnake Alpha right now which is a fantastic poly and not too expensive. 53lbs.

If you really want amazing durability with good spin and control, check the thread on Ashaway Crossfire ZX. It’s a Kevlar Zyex hybrid setup that you can easily get 30+ hours out of. Some people are getting over 50. I only stopped because I love fresh string beds and I love the spin and control of full poly beds.
After playing another time today i noticed the ALU power rough and Wilson sensation make a good combo for slices. Can you suggest any cheap natural gut which i can try put on my mains and some poly on crosses ?
 

jered

New User
I don’t really use gut setups so maybe someone else can answer but I know a slick cross helps a lot.
 

Martin B.

New User
Guys, you know we are all trying to play with this racket like federer and trying to do the wrist lag snap movement ? Well say you face an oponent playing nadal like and does these crazy angles due to the tons amout of topspin and youre running to the right direction and trying to catch a fast topspin high ball. What do you do and how do you generate power then ? The racket is so heavy for these situations. You cant just arm it. So what do we do with this racket in this situation ?
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
Guys, you know we are all trying to play with this racket like federer and trying to do the wrist lag snap movement ? Well say you face an oponent playing nadal like and does these crazy angles due to the tons amout of topspin and youre running to the right direction and trying to catch a fast topspin high ball. What do you do and how do you generate power then ? The racket is so heavy for these situations. You cant just arm it. So what do we do with this racket in this situation ?
Step in, take it on the rise, feel like a god from the clean contact you made, watch the ball leave your racquet with authority, and then shed dry tears when the ball goes into the alleys or behind the baseline.

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Martin B.

New User
Step in, take it on the rise, feel like a god from the clean contact you made, watch the ball leave your racquet with authority, and then shed dry tears when the ball goes into the alleys or behind the baseline.

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Haha! That is way too accurate. Good one. But I mean these high balls which you dont have the time to reach them while they are still on the rise so when you reach them they are already high. So I just dont understand how you return these without arming it. Even Federer cant cope with them. This is such a big minus of playing with a heavier racket.
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
Haha! That is way too accurate. Good one. But I mean these high balls which you dont have the time to reach them while they are still on the rise so when you reach them they are already high. So I just dont understand how you return these without arming it. Even Federer cant cope with them. This is such a big minus of playing with a heavier racket.
Honestly I just try to carve the ball when it's above my head as if I were hitting a slice serve. Worst case scenario it floats in and I live to fight another point. Best case scenario it skids and bounces low so my opponent has to hit a weaker shot back in play.

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Martin B.

New User
Honestly I just try to carve the ball when it's above my head as if I were hitting a slice serve. Worst case scenario it floats in and I live to fight another point. Best case scenario it skids and bounces low so my opponent has to hit a weaker shot back in play.

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Im talking about the case where you run in the right direction chasing the ball which comes at head hight. Answer is you just can not not arm it. Disappointed
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
Im talking about the case where you run in the right direction chasing the ball which comes at head hight. Answer is you just can not not arm it. Disappointed
Are you saying the ball comes to the body or the ball stretches you wide? On the wide stretch head height balls I just flick my wrist and slice down from high. 8/10 the ball lands close to the baseline and 3/10 it's a low trajectory. If you're talking about balls that come at the body then the only thing I can do is dink it over by blocking the ball from hitting me in the face.

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Martin B.

New User
Are you saying the ball comes to the body or the ball stretches you wide? On the wide stretch head height balls I just flick my wrist and slice down from high. 8/10 the ball lands close to the baseline and 3/10 it's a low trajectory. If you're talking about balls that come at the body then the only thing I can do is dink it over by blocking the ball from hitting me in the face.

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Yes I was talking about when you are on the stretch and when you wanna return it with topspin
 

Rally

Semi-Pro
Yes I was talking about when you are on the stretch and when you wanna return it with topspin
My arm only reaches so high so I just carve the ball instead of try to hit with topspin. Physically I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to topspin the ball back in play without serious injury to myself. Full disclosure: I'm only a 4.5, and I'm not supremely talented. There might be a better shot but I'm not smart enough to think of it.

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Martin B.

New User
My arm only reaches so high so I just carve the ball instead of try to hit with topspin. Physically I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to topspin the ball back in play without serious injury to myself. Full disclosure: I'm only a 4.5, and I'm not supremely talented. There might be a better shot but I'm not smart enough to think of it.

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Thank you for all your replies! I really appreciate it. I cant wait till the next time I play. After every time it gets better. Slices with this racket are really good. Especially with the strings configuration I use. The bad thing is I play on a cement court for free and the distance from the baseline till the end of the court is very small and its forcing me to take on the balls earlier.
 

USPTARF97

Hall of Fame
Congrats! Welcome to the family. Been using the RF97 since 2014.
RF97 (Black)
Klip Legend 1.30/BHBZ 1.25 58/55
$16 a frame

Strings stay in my frames for months until I cut them out. Great frame that takes more getting used to than most. As good as it gets for my game.
 
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Martin B.

New User
Congrats! Welcome to the family. Been using the RF97 since 2014.
RF97 (Black)
Klip Legend 1.30/BHBZ 1.25 58/55
$16 a frame

Strings stay in my frames for months until I cut them out. Great frame that takes more getting used to than most. As good as it gets for my game.
Nice setup. I may try it :) I started playing with a loose wrist when I switched to this racket not only to save my shoulder but because I think that's the proper way. I am getting some huge spin compared to my 18x20 ncodes. What I find hard on my shoulder is backhand slice volleys above chest hight. Any suggestions? My height is 173cm.
 
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