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

Published on 12/01/2023 · 3 min readCurated Expert, Russell Christensen, has tested this product to give you their unbiased, definitive take.
Russell Christensen, Tennis Expert
By Tennis Expert Russell Christensen
13 photos
Photo by Russell Christensen

The Curated Take

3.7/5

The Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 racquet is well suited for intermediate to advanced tennis players who prefer control and precision in their shot selection. It excels in serves and volleys, offering a weighty and controlled play experience. However, it may not be the best choice for players seeking a lot of spin or those who prefer a racquet that generates power for them. Its slightly smaller head and heavier weight demand good technique and strength from the player. This racquet is great for those who enjoy playing different styles of shots and value precision over raw power.

Ideal for
  • Geared for those who like to hit different styles of shots
  • Offers control and precision on shot selection
  • Good for hitting a heavier ball on serves and volleys
Not ideal for
  • Not geared for players who want a lot of spin
Volley
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
This racquet is fairly sturdy. The big pitch is that one has excellent control with this racquet, especially with volleys. Any time I was practicing volleys with this racquet I...Read more
Durability
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
The biggest thing about this racquet is the material is made with braided graphite. Most racquets have graphite, so the braided aspect makes it feel really dense as a racquet....Read more
Comfort
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
When it comes to making contact with the ball, the racquet has a pretty limited sweet spot on the racquet. One needs to really watch the ball to make sure...Read more
Control
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
When I made a conscious effort to really watch the ball closely, I felt like I had great control. But I felt like I couldn't hit as big of a...Read more
Ground Stroke
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
I realized that this racquet isn't made for huge swings because of the small head size. I typically made huge cuts on my ground strokes, and I noticed that my...Read more
Stability
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
I feel like a broken record, but stability correlates to the sweet spot on the racquet. The Pro Staff is pretty limited on the sweet spot, so stability on this...Read more
Versatility
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
The all-around playability is pretty good, it plays well on the serves, it hits pretty smooth volleys, and I like it with the slice shots. The only limiting factor in...Read more
Feel
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
When I hit it on the sweet spot I feel invincible. It feels like I'm hitting through butter, feeling effortless when making contact with the ball. However, if the shot...Read more
Maneuverability
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
The pro staff racquet is one of the heavier racquets in the Wilson line. It's a very dense racquet, so maneuverability is a little more difficult. Timing on the shots...Read more
Serve
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
When I started hitting with the pro staff, I felt so confident with my serves. I felt like I didn't have to swing 100% in order to get some extra...Read more
Sweet Spot Size
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
I've noticed when hitting ground strokes that it took me awhile to hit the ball on the sweet spot and that I was shanking more balls on the frame of...Read more
Power
Russell Christensen, Curated Expert
Some racquets have easy access to power, but this one doesn't. One definitely needs to generate their own power. I would gear this toward intermediate to advanced players. If one...Read more

Curated Experts are not sponsored by brands. Their reviews are based on their honest experiences testing products.
About the racquets
  • Model: Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung
Test conditions
  • When I used these: 2022
  • Where I’ve used it: Outdoor tennis courts.
  • How many times I've used it: 20

Expert Reviews of the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet

Russell Christensen When it comes to hitting with the Pro Staff V13.0 racquet, I found some things I really enjoyed about the racquet and some others that took me a while to adjust to. - I love this with serves and volleys. The serves came in heavy, and I felt I had excellent control of my volleys, as though my racquet was listening to where I was thinking of putting the volley. I really enjoyed it. - Ground strokes were a little tougher. The Pro Staff is a pretty heavy and sturdy racquet, so my timing was a little off, which took some getting used to. - I needed to be able to generate my own power. I definitely felt like looser strings would work better for this racquet in order to produce a little more power. The racquet is very control oriented, so I wouldn't recommend it for someone who can't generate power. All in all, I would recommend this for someone who is intermediate to advanced and likes precision and placement of shots over overpowering their opponent. Great racquet for doubles, in my opinion.

Product Specs

Age GroupAdult
StringingUnstrung
Head size (sq in)97 sq. in.
Length (in)27"
BalanceHead light
Beam width21.5 mm

Review Ratings

Volley

5/5
Russell Christensen gave 5 of 5 stars. This racquet is fairly sturdy. The big pitch is that one has excellent control with this racquet, especially with volleys. Any time I was practicing volleys with this racquet I felt like they were going exactly where I wanted them to go, I felt like I couldn't miss a single shot. Gave me some confidence with my shots.

Durability

5/5
Russell Christensen gave 5 of 5 stars. The biggest thing about this racquet is the material is made with braided graphite. Most racquets have graphite, so the braided aspect makes it feel really dense as a racquet. It feels like one of those racquets that will never break, as though you could use it as a hammer for everyday appliances. It's a beast of a racquet.

Comfort

3/5
Russell Christensen gave 3 of 5 stars. When it comes to making contact with the ball, the racquet has a pretty limited sweet spot on the racquet. One needs to really watch the ball to make sure to hit that sweet spot. When one hits that spot, it feels wonderful. However, it is harder to hit that spot compared with other modern racquets.

Control

4/5
Russell Christensen gave 4 of 5 stars. When I made a conscious effort to really watch the ball closely, I felt like I had great control. But I felt like I couldn't hit as big of a cut with my swing. When I had a controlled swing, my shots had pretty good precision. Excellent control on the volleys and serves. Ground strokes were a little of an adjustment.

Ground Stroke

3/5
Russell Christensen gave 3 of 5 stars. I realized that this racquet isn't made for huge swings because of the small head size. I typically made huge cuts on my ground strokes, and I noticed that my shots were hit and miss. When I made good contact I hit the ball well and really enjoyed it; I just felt like it was harder than usual to hit on that spot on the racquet.

Stability

3/5
Russell Christensen gave 3 of 5 stars. I feel like a broken record, but stability correlates to the sweet spot on the racquet. The Pro Staff is pretty limited on the sweet spot, so stability on this racquet is limited as well. The racquet isn't the most forgiving because of this issue, causing vibration in the arm that some people won't like.

Versatility

4/5
Russell Christensen gave 4 of 5 stars. The all-around playability is pretty good, it plays well on the serves, it hits pretty smooth volleys, and I like it with the slice shots. The only limiting factor in my opinion is the ground strokes. There is very limited room for error when it comes to hitting ground strokes. It won't be an issue for professionals, but I don't recommend this for beginners.

Feel

3/5
Russell Christensen gave 3 of 5 stars. When I hit it on the sweet spot I feel invincible. It feels like I'm hitting through butter, feeling effortless when making contact with the ball. However, if the shot isn't clean, it's not very forgiving and can hurt your arm. For those with arm issues, be aware of this.

Maneuverability

3/5
Russell Christensen gave 3 of 5 stars. The pro staff racquet is one of the heavier racquets in the Wilson line. It's a very dense racquet, so maneuverability is a little more difficult. Timing on the shots takes some getting used to. Once that adjustment is made and one gets used to the weight of the racquet, one gets used to the swing weight.

Serve

5/5
Russell Christensen gave 5 of 5 stars. When I started hitting with the pro staff, I felt so confident with my serves. I felt like I didn't have to swing 100% in order to get some extra meat on the ball. I felt like it provided excellent relief on my arm when serving and that I could be bolder in serving and volleying. I really enjoyed it.

Sweet Spot Size

3/5
Russell Christensen gave 3 of 5 stars. I've noticed when hitting ground strokes that it took me awhile to hit the ball on the sweet spot and that I was shanking more balls on the frame of my racquet. The sweet spot wasn't as bad on serves and volleys, since I could control the timing better and wasn't taking huge swings. It really takes some time to figure out the sweet spot.

Power

3/5
Russell Christensen gave 3 of 5 stars. Some racquets have easy access to power, but this one doesn't. One definitely needs to generate their own power. I would gear this toward intermediate to advanced players. If one can learn how to generate their own power with this, one can get even more meat on the ball compared to other racquets because of its weight.

FAQs

Why did you choose this product?

Russell Christensen I've always been a fan of Roger Federer and most of the players who use this racquet. The Pro Staff has been around since the 80s and still is going strong. This review is based on the 13th version. I grew up playing with this racquet and wanted to try it out again to see how much has changed.

What do you love about this product?

Russell Christensen The unique thing that the Wilson Pro Staff brings to the table is the strength of its material. The racquet is built like a tank. Most racquets these days feel light and sometimes cheap, but the Pro Staff doesn't feel that way. It feels strong, as though it will last a long time. Quality goes a long way with me.

What was your favorite moment with this gear?

Russell Christensen This racquet reminds me of the great player Pete Sampras, who was notorious for serving and volleying. I see why that is. Anytime I serve, come up to the net, or serve and volley, my shots feel clean, and I am dictating on the court.

Find out if the Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet is right for you

Answer a few questions and get personalized recommendations from an expert.
Quiz takes about 3 mins
product-image

Shop Tennis & Racquet on Curated

Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 Racquet · Unstrung
$279.00
Yonex EZone 100 Racquet · Unstrung
$269.00
Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S Racquet · Unstrung
$199.00

Browse more Wilson Tennis & Racquet

Babolat Pure Strike 100 Racquet · Unstrung
$219.00
Babolat Pure Aero Racquet · Unstrung
$259.00
Babolat 2021 Pure Drive 100 Racquet · Unstrung
$229.00
Head Boom MP Racquet · Unstrung
$249.00
Head Boom Team L 2022 Racquet · Unstrung
$219.00
Wilson Blade 98 V8 (18x20) Racquet · Unstrung
$249.00
Yonex EZone 100 Aqua Night Black Racquet · Unstrung
$269.00

Browse more Wilson Tennis & Racquet

Read next

New and Noteworthy