Wilson Tennis Racquets
In-Depth Buyer’s Guide
In-Depth Buyer’s Guide
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Wilson is one of the most prominent companies in tennis, and its racquets are hands-down some of the best. One area where the brand excels is its extensive selection of racquets, which caters to players of all ages and levels.
However, if you’re exploring Wilson’s tennis racquets and trying to select one, it can quickly become overwhelming. To help simplify, I’ll explain each of Wilson’s racquet lines for easy comparison and provide tips on choosing the best frame for you.
I’ll also answer common questions about their racquets, so you have all the information necessary to purchase confidently.
|Racquet Line||Latest Release|
|Wilson Pro Staff||2020|
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Founded in 1913, Wilson is a dominant sporting goods giant that sells tennis equipment and is one of the most popular brands among recreational and professional tennis players worldwide.
In 1989, Amer Sports acquired Wilson. However, in 2019, Chinese multinational corporation Anta Sports bought out Amer Sports, so Anta officially owns Wilson now.
Like many others, Wilson manufactures their tennis racquets in China, but it’s an American company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
Wilson is among the savviest racquet marketers whose emphasis on player endorsements, influencer marketing, trendy design, and racquet customization has helped them gain significant market share.
Wilson offers several lines of performance tennis racquets, each with distinct overarching playing characteristics.
Within each family, you’ll find a variety of tennis racquets that use the same paint job but offer differing specifications, such as lower weight, to cater to a wide range of player needs and preferences.
Wilson’s latest edition to their family of tennis racquets is the Clash, which was first released in 2019 and aimed to provide players with a balance between power and control.
However, beyond providing well-balanced performance while hitting, the racquet also quickly gained a strong reputation as one of the most comfortable tennis racquets on the market due to its high flex.
Traditionally, players who wanted a more comfortable racquet had to opt for a heavier, more flexible frame, but the Wilson Clash fills a gap by supplying players with optimal comfort, mid-range power and control, and a moderate weight that’s easy enough to swing.
Here’s a table that lists available racquets within the Clash line and their specs, so you can quickly and easily compare.
*L = lightweight, UL = ultra-lightweight
All the racquets in the Clash line feature the same materials, construction, and technology. The only exception is the Wilson Clash 108, which features a slightly modified construction, which you’ll notice at the racquet’s throat.
The Blade is Wilson’s most popular and best-selling tennis racquet, which you’ll find in use by recreational players to the pros.
Like the Clash, the frame offers excellent comfort, but its power is lower, which results in more control and is ideal for big hitters who like to generate their own pace with plenty of topspin.
*L = lightweight
Players evaluating the Wilson Blade 98 often question the difference between the 16×19 and 18×20, which have different string patterns. The 16×19 is better suited for those looking for a bit more topspin and power, while the 18×20 enhances control and stability.
The 100L offers an excellent option for players looking to use the Blade line but aren’t ready for a heavier racquet, and the 104 is perfect for those who want a bit of extra power and spin and a larger head size for a bigger target when swinging to hit the ball.
Smaller head sizes are one of the key differentiators of the Pro Staff line compared to other Wilson racquets, which helps players to hit with maximum precision and accuracy.
The frame’s unique braided graphite and Kevlar construction also gives the racquet a distinct feel that’s less comfortable than the Blade but provides excellent feedback.
With his signature racquet, the RF97, Roger Federer is closely associated with this line of tennis racquets.
*L = lightweight, UL = ultra-lightweight
The RF97 is Roger Federer’s signature racquet with identical specs to what he plays with on the court. It’s one of the heavier frames on the market and is ideally suited for advanced players who can handle the added weight.
The Pro Staff 97 is the most popular option within this line, while the 97L and 97UL offer lower weighted alternatives providing a more accessible entry point into this line of racquets.
Players interested in Wilson racquets who desire maximum power and excellent spin will find what they’re looking for with the Ultra line.
These racquets are stiffer, have mid-range head sizes, lower weights, and thicker beams, which together deliver effortless power that’s easy to swing for generating plenty of topspin.
*L = lightweight, UL = ultra-lightweight
The Wilson Ultra 100 is this line’s flagship model with lighter weight options available as the 100L and 100UL. For maximum power and spin and a larger head size that increases your margin for error when swinging, the 108 is available to consider.
The Burn line of tennis racquets offers many similarities to the Ultra but, in comparison, places a greater emphasis on spin with open string patterns that help to grip the ball for effortless topspin.
The frames still offer plenty of power through a combination of thicker frames, higher stiffness ratings, and mid-range head sizes, which is ideal for aggressive baseline play.
*L = lightweight, UL = ultra-lightweight, S = spin
Like the Ultra, the Wilson Burn 100 is this line’s most popular racquet, but for added spin, you can opt for the 100S, 100LS, or 100ULS, which have fewer crosses to enhance grip on the ball.
All the racquets we reviewed in the previous sections were full-sized frames that aren’t ideal for kids or juniors.
However, Wilson does offer a selection of tennis racquets that are shorter in length, making them ideal for younger players.
Although you’ll find different designs, the most important attribute when selecting a kids racquet from Wilson is its length. Here’s a table that outlines the ideal height and age for each.
Wilson’s 26-inch racquets use graphite for their construction, which is standard for adult tennis racquets and helps ease the transition for young players who will eventually move to full-size 27-inch racquets.
All other kids’ racquets from Wilson use aluminum, which is lightweight, inexpensive, and durable.
One of the easiest ways to begin narrowing down a Wilson tennis racquet is by considering your skill level, which will help determine your racquet’s ideal head size and weight. Here’s a table outlining how to select each by skill level.
Early in a player’s development, a larger head size provides players with a bigger sweetspot and target when swinging to hit the ball while also improving power for depth of shot. Similarly, a lighter frame is easier to maneuver, which aids players in learning proper technique.
To help you pinpoint a Wilson racquet that’s right for you, I’ve organized all of Wilson’s frames by skill level so you can more easily discover one that will work well for you.
Keep in mind that these are generalizations based on each racquet’s attributes, so there is some crossover. For example, you may want to opt for a slightly heavier racquet, even as a beginner.
All three of these racquets have a mid-range head size and are ‘ultra-lightweight,’ hence the UL in their name.
Remember, the larger head size helps increase a player’s margin for error when swinging to hit the ball while enhancing power for depth of shot. Plus, the lighter frame makes it easy to maneuver.
If you’re bigger and stronger, you may opt for a heavier racquet, but you’ll still want to maintain at least a 100 in² (645 cm²) head size. However, if you opt for a heavier option, I wouldn’t surpass the racquets in the Intermediate bucket.
If you’ve been playing for a while and are starting to become comfortable with the fundamentals of the sport, then a little extra weight can be helpful for added stability.
These are also good options for smaller players who require a bit less weight for added maneuverability.
As your confidence builds and you’re technique improves, added weight for handling more pace from your opponents or a smaller head size to enhance control and accuracy are worth considering.
If you’re interested in the Pro Staff models above, it’s helpful to recognize that the 97 in² head sizes will likely require a transition period if you’re coming from a larger racquet. Smaller head sizes require more precise hitting and are less forgiving on off-center shots.
Experienced players often rely on heavier frames to maintain stability when fielding powerful shots from their opponents. However, added weight also helps enhance power for those with sound technique.
Finally, smaller head sizes improve a player’s control, so there are more options reflecting that need.
Roger Federer’s racquet weighs in at a hefty 12.6 oz when strung and is one of the heaviest racquets available. Although it’s a fantastic racquet, it’s harder to swing and takes more stamina and strength to use throughout a match.
It’s worth noting that some strong intermediates may also find they can use this racquet effectively.
Wilson’s oversized racquets are reasonably lightweight and provide ample surface area for hitting. As a result, these racquets are good choices for beginner through intermediate players who want to give themselves a more user-friendly option.
I especially like these racquets as alternate options for beginners.
It’s challenging to pin down the best Wilson tennis racquet because what works well for one player isn’t always ideal for the next. In other words, finding the best racquet requires thoughtful consideration of your skill level, style of play, and preferences.
However, with that said, I’m sharing my picks as I have experience playing with and reviewing Wilson’s entire line. At the very least, my selection can serve as a guide for your consideration.
My pick for the best Wilson tennis racquet for beginners is the Wilson Clash 108. Its larger head size makes connecting with the ball significantly easier for new players while providing an approachable weight that’s reasonable to maneuver. Add a quarter inch extra in length at 27.25 in (69.22 cm), and the Clash 108 helps new players hit with added depth and plenty of topspin.
Players who are beginning to develop a strong feel for the game will find it hard to go wrong with the Wilson Clash 100. It’s an excellent tennis racquet to continue building a solid foundation for the game, and its exceptional comfort will help reduce the likelihood of arm issues that plague many improving players.
There’s a good reason the Wilson Blade 98 is one of the game’s most popular tennis racquets, and it’s my pick for Wilson’s best tennis racquet for advanced players. Everything from the racquet’s solid weight to its flex, thinner beam, and smaller head size is ideal for highly skilled players who demand control for aggressive play. Add to that a 16×19 and 18×20 string pattern to choose from, and it’s easily one of the best options on the market.
Wilson has one of the biggest rosters of professional tennis players using their tennis racquets, which isn’t surprising considering the popularity of their racquets for younger players who develop into professionals on the ATP and WTA tours.
Of course, when it comes to endorsements, Wilson is no slouch either. They identify players early and have secured some of the best players worldwide, including Roger Federer and Serena Williams, two of the best players that have ever played the game.
The following table lists the most prominent pros using Wilson racquets and the models they endorse.
Please keep in mind that most professional players play with customized or older versions of the racquets that Wilson paints to look like the model they endorse.
Also, this list isn’t exhaustive, and players change racquets periodically, so I’ll do my best to keep the list updated.
If you’re purchasing a new tennis racquet from Wilson, you may wonder if there’s a difference between men’s and women’s racquets. Thankfully, for simplicity, there’s not – all racquets are unisex.
Furthermore, no defining characteristics make one racquet better for men or women, so you can confidently choose a racquet that best fits your needs independent of this factor.
With that said, it’s common for women to opt for Wilson racquets that fall on the lighter end of the spectrum, which often aligns with their size and builds. However, many female tennis players use heavier weighted racquets, so it’s not cut and dry. Instead, focus on finding the best racquet that fits your needs and demo where possible.
If you do enough digging online about tennis racquets, you’ll likely come across the concept of quality control. Simply put, it refers to how closely the racquets match the specifications quoted by manufacturers. For example, if Wilson markets that a model tennis racquet weighs 11.3 oz (320.35 g), how close do they get to the mark.
No manufacturer is perfect, including Wilson, which fabricates its tennis racquets in China, and generally, players appreciate that perfection isn’t the goal. However, it can be frustrating when the specs differ dramatically from one racquet to the next, especially if you buy multiple racquets and expect them to be equally weighted, balanced, etc.
Luckily, Wilson does a solid job with its quality control. Again, they’re not perfect, but they’re consistent, and minor variations in weight are easy enough to adjust with a balance board and scale if you care enough to make sure your racquets are nearly identical.
If you’re not up for customizing your racquets, you can look up ‘racquet matching retailers’ online to find one. They’ll charge a small fee but will ensure you’re racquets are a close match.
If you’re buying a new tennis racquet from Wilson, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to demo two to three racquets before you dive in and make a purchase.
There’s no substitute for testing a racquet yourself, comparing it against others, and deciding what feels best in your hand. If you’re a beginner, I’d heartily recommend this to find a racquet with the right weight that you feel comfortable swinging for an extended period.
Wilson used to offer a demo program in the US, but I’m no longer seeing it on their website. Luckily, some prominent online tennis retailers offer demo programs, so you can still test a few racquets that you’re interested in from Wilson.
Best of all, in some cases, they’ll apply the amount you spent on the demo toward your racquet purchase if you buy one from them, making the demo process a complete no-brainer.
Wilson offers a one-year limited warranty on their tennis racquets, but there are a handful of caveats to keep in mind. For example, you must be the original purchaser of the racquet with valid proof of purchase.
Furthermore, there’s plenty the warranty doesn’t cover, such as normal wear and tear, misuse, etc. Ultimately, there needs to be a reasonably substantial defect you experience for a claim to go through, but I’d encourage you to check out their full warranty details. Here’s a link to the claim form if you need to submit one.
I’ve owned many Wilson racquets for extended periods, take good care of my racquets, and I’ve never experienced any significant issues. With that said, the silky matte pain jobs many of their racquets have these days aren’t as durable as the old-school gloss, so you’ll want to keep that in mind and take good care of yours.
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