A stalwart of the top 50 in the ATP Rankings for the better part of the last eight years, David Goffin is the highest example of a pro’s pro.
Hard-working and with an even bigger fight, Goffin has battled his way through what might be tennis’ best era.
In the online tennis gearhead circles, Goffin can be a bit of an enigma because he essentially uses a racquet we could get off the shelf. With that said, let’s take a look at his frame of choice!
- Endorsed Racquet: Wilson Blade 98 v8
- Actual Racquet: Wilson Blade 98 Pro Stock
- Strings: Luxilon ALU Power 125 with mains at 22 kilos and crosses at 21 kilos
Wilson Blade from Day 1?
Ever since he turned pro in 2009, Goffin has been wielding a Wilson Blade 98 in 18×20 pattern. At that point in time, the KBlade (the second iteration of the Blade 98) was what was available, and is likely what he is using under the paint to this day.
There is no good way of identifying which Blade is truly under the paint: we can tell it is v4 or prior, as in a close-up photo, the grommets are smaller throughout the frame: from the v5 onward Blades had uniformly large parallel drilling grommets throughout.
Most striking about Goffin’s Blades, though, is his lack of customization. He has long been reported to play the racquets like they were straight off the shelf.
There has been a trend of professionals using lighter and lighter racquets, primarily with the “Next Gen” ATP players like Fritz, Tiafoe, Sinner, and Alcaraz. But, it seems that Goffin may have been one of the first to use something us regular folks can get off the shelf.
If I were going to pick a racquet under 320g a pro should pick up and use, though, it would be something like a Blade.
The frame’s thin beam and tight string pattern provide control while the stiff hoop, head heavy balance, and 330+ swingweight allow for stability and power. Goffin’s use of a light spec has been confirmed by a professional stringer.
As mentioned above, Goffin uses an pro stock Wilson Blade 98 with no noticeable modifications. It’s safe to assume he may have minor modifications to match swingweight, or the Wilson Pro Room team may just pick matched or nearly matched frames for him…I suppose he might not be picky either!
Anyway, his specs as measured by a stringer on the pro tour are: 306g and 32.5 cm balance unstrung with overgrip which translates to 323g and 33.5 cm balance strung up.
I’ve personally owned multiple pro stock v2-v4 Blade 98s obtained through a connection at Wilson and can confirm that these are the typical unmodified specifications on these racquets.
Swingweights tend to range from 330-340, so it’s safe to assume David might have some slight weight added under the bumper to match things, but very little might be required if there are enough in the batch that match from the factory.
- Goffin’s frame on said professional stringer’s machine at a tournament
Goffin uses a rather unremarkable but dependable – quite like his game 😉 – string setup of Luxilon ALU Power in a full bed with the mains at 22 kilos and the crosses at 21 kilos.
It’s not super tight but not super loose and should provide his counterpunching game with just the right balance of playability.
So, as we can see a stock, off-the-shelf spec racquet is more than enough for a talented player to reach a top-ten ranking. Goffin has used an unmodified Blade his whole career.
Yes, it’s a pro stock, but it used to be something we could buy off the rack, and he just refuses to change to the new version. I can’t blame him considering the millions he’s won! Just goes to show that the skill of the player is much more important than the racquet.
If you’re interested in other ATP players’ racquets, I listed all the top 100 players’ racquets in this post.