Posted on April 12 2022
Roger Federer's partnership with tennis giants Wilson began in 1998, the same year he turned professional. Throughout his lengthy career, Federer has dominated professional tennis, winning a total of 103 ATP singles titles and 20 Grand Slams. His all court playing style is considered unique and athletic, with his racket specifications staying largely the same over his career.
His loyalty to Wilson may trace back to his tennis idol Pete Sampras. A young Federer idolized the tennis legend, convincing his father to bring him to a tennis shop to pickup the Wilson Pro Staff 85 6.0
Wilson Pro Staff 85 6.0
Head Size: 85 sq. in. / 548.39 sq. cm.
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight: 12.5oz / 354.37g
Balance: 10 pts HL
Swing weight: 321
Beam Width: 17mm / 17mm / 17mm /
Composition: 80% Braided Graphite 20% Kevlar
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 18 Crosses
Ironically, this racket was used by Sampras and Federer during their fourth round encounter at Wimbledon 2001, in which Federer won. The racket had an 85 square inch head size, which is tiny compared to today's standards. Federer used this racket between 1998 and 2002, winning four finals and losing six. In 2002, up until the French Open, Federer used the Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.1. This racket was a paint job (sliver) of the Wilson Pro Staff 85 6.0, with some minor tweaks. At the French Open, he transitioned to a 90 square inch head size with the Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.0. A major change for the young Federer, he would make a serious impact in 2003 with the Wilson Pro Staff Tour 90.
Wilson Pro Staff Tour 90.
Length: 27 inches / 69 centimeters
Head Size: 90 square inches
Weight: 12.7 ounces / 360 grams
Balance Point: 12.375 inches
Composition: 80% Graphite / 20%Kevlar
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
One of Wilson's best selling rackets ever, Federer used the Pro Staff in 2003 to win his first Grand Slam (Wimbledon) against Mark Philippoussis. He continued to use the Pro Staff until the 2004 French Open. With the introduction of Wilson's nCode technology, Federer changed to the Wilson nSix-One Tour 90. He used this racket between 2004 and 2006, and some consider this period as his best years on the ATP tour (11 Grand Slams won).
In 2007, Wilson released the Wilson K Factor Six One Tour 90 and Federer used this paint job up until the end of 2009. From 2010 to 2011 and 2012 to 2013, Wilson released the Six One Tour BLX and BLX Pro Staff Six One 90, with Federer using their paint jobs. It is worth noting that Federer likely used the same racket (Pro Staff) from 2003 to 2014, with some minor tweaks, enhancements, and paint jobs of new versions. Like Sampras before him, Federer needed to make a major change because of the now topspin-heavy game. Testing out a few prototypes, he decided to switch to the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph in 2014.
Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph
Length: 27 inches / 68.58 centimeters
Head Size: 97 square inches
Weight: 12.0 ounces / 340 grams
Balance Point: 12 pts Head Light
Construction: 21.5mm Flat Beam
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
This was a huge switch for Federer due to the 97 square inch head size and modern feel. With Nadal's heavy topspin game, Federer needed to finish points quicker with more power, and he needed a forgiving feel to improve his one handed backhand and returns. The change proved to be beneficial, as Federer returned to winning ways in 2017, his comeback season. He won his first Grand Slam since 2012 (Australian Open) against Rafael Nadal. He made history by winning an 8th Wimbledon title against Marin Čilić, holding the record for the most single title wins at Wimbledon. Since that record winning season in 2017, he's used these paints jobs from several Wilson Rackets:
Launch Edition 2014
All Black 2016
Tuxedo Paint 2018 (black/white)
He also used an all-red Laver Cup edition in 2018 and an all-blue Laver Cup edition in 2019.
Federer uses a grip strength of 3, or a 4 and 3/8 grip size with an over grip on his rackets. He uses a hybrid setup, stringing his racket with Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L in the crosses and Wilson Natural Gut in the mains. Throughout the years, Federer has remained loyal to Wilson. While he probably has experimented with different specs, The 90 square-inch head with a 16x19 string pattern remained his tools of choice, changing to a 97 square inch head size to adjust to the modern game. It seems Wilson provided him with that versatility, to match his all court playing style.
At the present time, Federer is likely to return to the ATP Tour at some point in 2022. We wouldn't be surprised if Wilson releases a new racket to mark the occasion....