Roger Federer is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the greatest tennis player that has ever walked the planet. It should come as no surprise to you, then, that requests about his tennis gear flood our inbox daily!
We hope this article will clear up some of your questions regarding his choice of racket and string tension.
However, as we always advise with our pro player setup articles, going out and copying Roger’s setup may not work at all for your game, unless you are a very advanced player. Additionally, even advanced players may not like the particular feel of Roger’s very heavy, “log” of a racket, and so, proceed with caution!
Roger Federer endorses the Wilson RF 97 Pro Staff, but according to reputable sources, actually plays with a weight of around 364g/ 355 swing weight instead of the standard 340g racket sold in shops.
If you are not familiar with pro setups, it is very normal for pros to play with specifications different to the standard. Virtually ever professional player plays with a “pro stock” frame, where the frame weight comes in differently to that which you can buy in stores. Additional silicone (in the handle) and lead tape can be added to the edges of the racket to affect the balance, and ultimately, performance of the racket.
It’s common knowledge and also used as part of Wilson’s marketing campaign for the Pro Staff that Roger put forward the specs “he loves” during the creation of the racket available to consumers.
Therefore, we don’t believe Roger’s individual specs are a million miles out from those of the RF 97 available in shops. It would be difficult to nail down his exact specs for you as he will likely change these depending on the surface and how he is feeling in his game that particular season.
With that being said, we believe he is using a racket around 7 points headlight with a 32.2 cm balance point.
Why Does Roger Use the Pro Staff?
Because he likes it!
Okay, only joking with the short answer, although he definitely does love his racket!
To please you techy players out there, here’s a fuller description…
Roger is an attacking all-court player who still loves to serve and volley. The Pro Staff is a dream for attacking players who already have a lot of their own power from physical strength and technique, as it helps them to swing big and keep the ball in court.
The downside of this “players” racket lies in the fact that on off centre contacts, you don’t receive any forgiveness from the racket like you would from, say, the Babolat Pure Drive, which has a considerably larger head and thicker beam.
For that reason, only advanced players who almost always find the sweet spot should be looking at the 340g version of this racket.
Roger plays with Champions Choice, which features a half set of Wilson Natural Gut and a half set of Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L. Federer chooses to string the gut in the mains, and the harder, more durable, polyester string in the crosses.
This gives him a lethal blend of power, spin and touch; the Wilson Natural Gut sliding back against the slick Alu Power Rough before shooting off with a huge amount of RPMs and velocity.
Hyperbole aside, Roger’s choice of stringing complements his game and racket perfectly.
A natural net player, the natural gut gives Roger superb feel on his volleys whilst, constrastingly, supplies him with plenty of power from the baseline to dominate the groundstroke game.
The Pro Staff is actually a relatively low powered, control orientated racket, so the gut string gives a little extra pop to the frame compared to that which a poly string could bring.
Roger chooses to string his poly (Luxilon Alu Power Rough) in the crosses in order to tame some of the elastic response of the natural gut, and also, to provide easier access to spin than the gut string on its own could ever produce.
We hope you enjoyed that little summary of Roger’s equipment. If his game style sounds like yours, give this setup a try. I’ll warn you though, the gut might not last you string breakers out there very long!
Article by: Tom