Expert Review: Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung

This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for one week in October of 2022.

The Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung laying on a tennis court.

All photos courtesy of Russell Christensen

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for one week in October of 2022.

My take

The Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet is geared towards the tactician player who can generate their own power and pace in their shots. This racquet provides excellent control on groundstrokes, smooth volleys, and heavy servers for the intermediate to advance player.

A tennis player hitting a tennis ball with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung.

About the racquet I tested

  • Model: 2020 Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13
  • Grip Size: 4 3/8
  • String and Tension: 52 lbs, Tennis Warehouse Polyester String
  • Head size: 97 sq in
  • Racquet Length: 27 in
  • Any Customizations: None

About me

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 210lbs
  • Previous Racquet Played With: 2019 Babolat Pure Aero
  • Experience: 23 years of tennis
  • NTRP/UTA Rating: 8/9

Test conditions

  • When I tested these: October 2022
  • Days tested: One week
  • Court Surfaces: Hard Court
  • Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
  • Where I’ve used it: South Jordan City Park courts

How it performs

Control
5/5
Feel
4/5
Ground Stroke
3/5
Maneuverability
4/5
Power
2/5
Serve
5/5
Stability
3/5
Volley
4/5

What I was looking for

I wanted to try something heavier and see how I would perform with it. The Pro Staff is known for its sturdy and heavier style of racquet.

The Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung.

Why I chose to test this gear

I grew up playing with the Pro Staff (this model has been around for sometime) and wanted to see how it plays in comparison to what I play with now. I picked this because it is a classic; this racquet dates back to the 80’s.

A tennis player hitting a ball with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung.

What I love about it

  • Control: This racquet is geared towards control. It is built with graphite woven in with aramid, and it is very sturdy when contacting the ball. It gives me the feeling that I know exactly where I am going to put the ball.
  • Feel: Similar to what was mentioned in control, the sturdiness of the racquets gives a smooth hit when I hit the sweet spot.
  • Maneuverability: The racquet is definitely heavier, but I don’t feel like it compromised on positioning my shots. As long as I have the correct timing, it plays pretty smoothly.
  • Versatility: I loved this racquet on my serves and my slices. I felt like I could hit a heavier flat, slice, and kick serve and not compromise on trying to hit harder. The slice felt clean and came back heavier to the opponent, causing issues for them. Though this racquet isn’t built for the super aggressive player, more so for a tactician who is good with their hands.
  • Features: This racquet felt awesome with my slices and serves. I hit a couple of aces and a couple serves in the 110 mph range, which felt awesome.
A tennis player hitting a ball with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Power: This racquet is heavy, so I need to give it a good swing in order to generate some pace or power. It’s not ideal for anyone that’s starting tennis, and probably not for a lot of intermediate players.
  • Stability: The sweet spot on the racquet felt smaller than on most other racquets. When it wasn’t on that spot, the racquet was not forgiving.
  • Other: I will say, after playing with this racquet for an hour, my forearms are feeling pretty tired. It gets exhausting after hitting a lot of groundstrokes.
A tennis player hitting a ball with the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung.

Favorite moment with this gear

I had a great service game where I won all the points pretty quickly due to the heavy serves I was adding on the shots. My down-the-line forwards felt nice when I connected. Also, I hit an amazing dropshot on my opponent, which made me very happy.

Value for the money vs. other options

For those who are serious about playing in tournaments, league play, etc., and are more of a tactician on the court, this racket is totally worth the money. This racquet goes for around $259, so if that is too pricey, I would recommend the Head Radical Pro, the Head Prestige Pro, or the Babolat Pure Strike Tour racquet. They aren’t cheap, but they are cheaper than the Pro Staff.

Final verdict

This racquet isn’t for the faint of heart. This racquet is geared towards a player who is an all-around player who places a variety of shots and has a smooth swing. If one likes to hit dropshots, a variety of serves, slices, then this is for them. I would recommend some intermediate and advanced players to use this racquet. Though not for a beginner.

Selling Wilson on Curated.com
Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung
$279.00
Tennis & Racquet Expert Russell Christensen
5.0
Russell Christensen
Tennis & Racquet Expert
Russell here! How can I help?
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Written By
20+ years tennis experience 16 years tennis stringing experience Division 1 collegiete tennis player High School state tennis champion Local high school tennis coach Played with variety of tennis-related gear, including Babolat, Wilson, Head, Dunlop, Adidas, Nike, New Balance, K-Swiss. ​

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