When Roger Federer plays evening matches at the U.S. Open, he likes to do it formally dressed in all black. His Darth Federer ensembles and ruthless treatment of night opponents was why his pre-match struts on court were accompanied by the “Imperial March” from Star Wars.
Since Federer started using his new prototype Pro Staff frame in competition this season, the matte-black cosmetics would seem to be the perfect accessory. However, starting this week the final graphics of the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph will be in full display. And while black is still prominent, Federer’s opponents will also be seeing red.
The roulette wheel color combination pays homage to Pro Staff tradition—the black throat reflects the color’s prevalence in previous Pro Staffs—and one of its signature Swiss user’s favorite shades, red. Peter Figasinski, a freelance graphic designer and lifelong Wilson racquet user, is responsible for the configuration. When Federer started using his prototype, Figasinski posted a design concept on a popular tennis forum. Wilson saw it, tracked Figasinski down, and signed him to a one-year contract to do a variety of design work for the company.
“When I saw the designs from Wilson, I knew right away that this was the look that I wanted to represent my legacy with the brand,” said Federer in a statement released by Wilson. “The design is young and modern, with a classic feel. It is a fitting look for the next generation of the Pro Staff racquets.”
It’s the first Wilson Autograph racquet in almost 40 years, the last being Chris Evert Autograph released in 1976. Federer took to Twitter last night to show off his new paint job.
Wilson also released the third and final episode in the “betterer” series of the racquet which chronicles (comically) the evolution of the frame. The reconfigured Pro Staff line is projected to be available in stores on October 1. No word yet on the price.
So what do you think? Does the final look live up to expectations?