The Wilson Pro Staff line is one of the most iconic in tennis. Wilson themselves advertise that 117 Grand Slam titles have been won with Pro Staff rackets, and there will undoubtedly be much more to come.
The Pro Staff 97 V13 is one of the best Wilson tennis rackets and, quite frankly, one of the best in the world. While it is not recommended for all players, especially if you are a beginner, it certainly has a special appeal and some unique characteristics that make it so popular.
In this review, you will find our analysis of how the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13 performs on the different types of shots and if it is the right racket for your playstyle, depending on whether you are more of a control-type of player, how much spin do you typically apply and how much you use powerful groundstrokes in your game.
Let’s get to the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13 review.
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Head size: 97 sq. in / 626 sq. cm; Length: 27 in / 68.6 cm; String Pattern: 16×19; Weight (unstrung): 11.11 oz / 315 g; Swingweight: 321 kg / cm2
Our expert testers unanimously considered the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13 as the best Wilson tennis racket, and it is undoubtedly in the top 5 of the best tennis rackets overall.
What this racket provides is unparalleled control. Roger Federer played with a slightly modified version of this racket, so that’s the kind of control we are talking about.
While control-oriented rackets are typically stiff, we found the Wilson Pro Staff surprisingly comfortable and manoeuvrable.
The only downside we could find on this racket is that it is not very forgiving since it is heavy and has a small sweet spot (for this reason, we only recommend it to intermediate and advanced players). You have to intentionally apply power to achieve those powerful groundstrokes. But, as a control-oriented tennis racket, this is expected.
And, as a control-oriented racket, finding a better choice in the market will be tough.
Hitting groundstrokes with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13 is a breeze. We found ourselves effortlessly finding opponent’s lines all over the court – this is definitely a different level of control from most rackets on the market.
The spin came easily and naturally, and surprisingly, the sweet spot was not as small as we thought it would be. This is still a control-oriented racket, so it will be less forgiving to form-related errors than your typical power-oriented racket – Having this in consideration, we were pleasantly surprised.
The only downside of this racket is the lack of natural power. We felt like we really had to push in every swing we wanted to hit a potent shot. However, this isn’t much of a problem if your form is on point.
Groundstrokes rate: 9.2 / 10
As is typical with control-oriented rackets, this racket shines when volleying. There is a level of control that favours going up on the net.
While it is not the lightest of rackets, it definitely didn’t feel as heavy as its specs indicate – we found the Pro Staff 97 V13 quite manoeuvrable.
If you’re the kind of player who likes to spend time at the net, look no more – this is the ideal tennis racket for you.
Volleys rate: 9.3 / 10
This is the area of the game where we felt the Pro Staff 97 V13 could be better (well, it can’t have it all!). Plain and simple, control-oriented rackets are not meant to hit those big, powerful serves. It would require a different setup regarding weight distribution and a more prominent sweet spot to do so – losing all its great features in the process.
It’s not that it is terrible in serves – it isn’t by any means. However, your technique needs to be on point to hit powerful serves.
A good point is that it is relatively easy to control where the ball will hit. The racket itself favours a nice, spined ball to the line.
Serves rate: 8.5 / 10
Given its specs, we immediately thought it would be great to return the ball. And it didn’t disappoint.
Our expert testers all found it extremely precise when returning. While it’s not the most forgiving or lightest of rackets (meaning you have to concentrate on hitting the ball with proper form), it really excels when returning powerful serves.
It is an absolute marvel to turn a big, powerful serve into your advantage by effortlessly banging the ball through the line. Channel your inner Roger Federer and get the game going in your favour.
Returns rate: 9.5 / 10
Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13’s control levels are simply unparalleled. Being a control-oriented racket, this is its standout feature.
It is incredibly satisfying to hit the court lines with ease. While your technique must be on point to do so, since this racket isn’t the most forgiving one, when you do, you simply connect with the racket.
The Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13 is the best tennis racket for control we’ve ever tried.
Control rate: 9.8 / 10
Power is Pro Staff’s Achilles tendon. You must be mindful and use perfect technique to hit those powerful shots. While power and control are a tradeoff, a little more power is appreciated. If you feel like this racket is too underpowered, check out our Wilson Blade 98 review. If you are looking to unleash your inner Rafael Nadal, check out our Wilson Ultra 100 review, the best tennis racket from the brand’s power line.
Power rate: 7.6 / 10
The Pro Staff 97 V13 is engineered in such a way that the spin comes out of the racket in the exact proportion needed.
Spinning the ball feels easy and natural, which is a big plus to compensate for the lack of power.
Spin rate: 9.1 / 10
While control-oriented tennis rackets are known for being uncomfortable and stiff, this is not the case with this model.
It isn’t as comfortable as a light power racket, but is way more comfortable than its specs suggest.
Much technology has been developed in recent years to make tennis rackets more comfortable to play with, and you can feel it with this Pro Staff iteration.
Comfort: 8.5 / 10
Babolat Pure Strike – Babolat’s control-oriented tennis racket is a viable alternative to Wilson’s Pro Staff 97 V13 if you need a little more power. While the control levels of the Pro Staff are unparalleled in the market, this racket still maintains high control levels while turning the power and forgiveness up a notch.
Head Radical MP – Again, larger sweet spot and more raw power than the Pro Staff. However, it might be a suitable alternative if the Pro Staff is too unforgiving for you.
One of the best tennis rackets on the market.
If you’re looking for an exquisite control-oriented racket with a tremendous spin that is relatively comfortable, look no further.
However, be advised: If you are a beginner, this racket is not for you. It requires an experienced player with on-point technique to bring out the best Pro Staff’s 97 V13 offers. This racket will certainly not disappoint you if you have such a technique in your arsenal.
Overall rate: 9.2 / 10