Wilson Sporting Goods just unveiled its new 2020 Pro Staff v13 Collection of high-performance tennis racquets (stay tuned for my review!) Pro Staff is one of the most iconic franchises in the modern era of tennis and the racquet of choice for many of the sport’s greatest players, including present and past Wilson Advisory Staff Members Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, and Chris Evert. The 2020 Pro Staff v13 line fuses new cutting-edge technologies with a heritage-inspired, yet contemporary design that harkens back to the Pro Staff Original introduction in 1983.
Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager of Wilson Racquet Sports comments:
The Pro Staff is a 37-year-young, storied franchise with an amazing, passionate following of highly competitive tennis players. As such, we never want to change any aspect of the racquet unless we can do so in a meaningful way that gives our players a true advantage on the court. For the 2020 line, we brought forth new, advanced technologies to enhance Pro Staff’s playability and precision, while honoring the racquet’s roots with cues from its iconic past and 117 Grand Slam wins.”
ABOUT THE 2020 PRO STAFF COLLECTION
The Pro Staff Original line was introduced in 1983 as one of the world’s first Graphite tennis racquets. Over the years, Wilson LABS, the innovation hub at Wilson, has released 12 new versions of the franchise. Each iteration has been designed to improve and complement the Pro Staff athlete’s attacking style of play. Version 13 of Pro Staff is no different, and features the following new technologies:
- To enhance the racquet’s pocketing feel while maintaining its stability, Wilson LABS engineers arranged the racquet’s hallmark graphite and para-aramid fiber braid at 45-degree angles. Called “Braid 45”, this strategic placement of the braid allows the frame to “breathe” more upon impact while maintaining its stability and preserving that classic Pro Staff feel.
- To deliver unmatched precision and feel across the racquet face, product designers used String Mapping. This technique updates the racquet’s string pattern to add density to the string bed by decreasing the space between each string. This approach tightens the zone where most players hit (towards the upper 1/3 of the racket’s frame).
- To improve Pro Staff’s comfort and playability, the racquets now feature an ergonomic end cap at the bottom of the handle. This end cap is the same one found on all Wilson performance racquet lines. The Pro Staff RF97 Autograph model maintains the traditional end cap Roger Federer uses on court.
The 2020 Pro Staff v13 line’s design aesthetic pays homage to the Pro Staff Original’s look from 1983, with a modern, sleek black frame and vibrant red and yellow racing pinstripes. The Pro Staff RF97 Autograph model differs slightly with silver and gray racing pinstripes — key accent colors utilized on Roger Federer’s previous Pro Staff RF97 Autograph and that signifies his contributions to the modern Pro Staff franchise.
An interesting design element includes exposed carbon fiber at the tip of the frame underneath a gloss layer. Wilson LABS added this element to showcase the carbon fiber weave, which has made Pro Staff a favorite among players.
Five models make up the 2020 Pro Staff v13 collection, including the Pro Staff RF97 Autograph and Pro Staff 97. Two lighter weight models, the Pro Staff 97L and Pro Staff 97UL round out the adult models. Two junior models, the Pro Staff 25 and Pro Staff 26, which are smaller and lighter than the 97L and 97UL, are designed for younger athletes.
Wilson Advisory Staff Members Grigor Dimitrov, Petra Kvitova, Reilly Opelka, and Kyle Edmund, among others, will play the 2020 Pro Staff v13 Collection on the 2020 Tour. Roger Federer will play the 2020 Pro Staff RF97 Autograph when his Tour play resumes.
Players and Pro Staff fans can purchase the 2020 Pro Staff v13 line on wilson.com right now. The collection will be available for advance purchase worldwide on September 21 via tennis specialty retailers (in-store and online). The full line goes on sale globally on September 28. The Pro Staff 97UL is exclusive to the European tennis market. The adult racquets retail between $219 and $249 (MRP), based on weight, while the junior models start at $119 (MRP).
Note: Pros often customize the racquet they use. Racket specifications on endorsed consumer models may vary from the models used by pros for match-play.