Pete Sampras, who played with a Wilson Pro Staff racquet with a small head for his entire career, discusses Roger Federer’s switch to a Wilson racquet with a 98-square-inch head size. Federer, who also played much of his career with a Wilson Pro Staff (90-square-inch head), has been playing with a blacked-out prototype. He is scheduled to return in Cincinnati next week and is it is unclear whether he will stick with the prototype.
“Roger can play with a broomstick. He’s that good,” Sampras told reporters at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, where he played an exhibition against James Blake. “I think a bigger racquet can help in certain areas, maybe on the high backhand. That’s the shot I feel like it’s helped me (Sampras is now playing with a larger head size). Maybe a little bit more pop on the serve. But it’s more racquet, it’s more power.
“Roger’s forehand is such his bread and butter and if he’s thinking twice about it, that’s not a good thing. I think it’s worth trying. He needs to win some tough matches. I don’t think he needs to panic and feel like he needs to change everything. He’s still a great player and always will be. Just to try something a few weeks here would be fine.”
Sampras added that he is curious to see how Federer will perform at the U.S. Open if he plays with the new racquet.
“It’s just mental, gets in your head. Look at [golfer Rory] McIlroy and his clubs. It takes one slight little thing to get you off kilter, and I just hope Roger just, if he sticks with this racquet, can win some tough matches. Once he does that, he will be fine.”