As the world number 1 junior, Grigor Dimitrov was the hype. Because of his striking technical similarity to Roger Federer and high degree of success in the juniors, he quickly received the moniker “Baby Fed” as he burst into the big time on the ATP tour.
He has shed that nickname in his veteran years, though, perhaps because of his somewhat enigmatic career. His eight tour titles, career high ranking of #3 in the world, World Tour Finals title, and semifinal appearances at three of the four majors are nothing to scoff at.
The man with a reputation for being basically unbeatable in practice has shown bouts of inconsistency through the years.
At his best, his forehand is explosive, and his athleticism allows him to pull off impressive shots from any corner of the court. Pair that with what might be the best slice backhand on tour, and Grigor is about as dangerous as they come on his best days.
Let’s take a look at Dimitrov’s racquet!
- Endorsed Racquet: Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13 (check price here)
- Actual Racquet: Wilson Pro Staff 97 with custom string 18×17 pattern
- Strings: Natural Gut mains & Luxilon 4G crosses around 24 kg (53 lbs)
Dimitrov’s Racquet History
Grigor has an extensive history of switching and tweaking his racquets. Typically, players with one handed backhands opt for heavy, headlight racquets – see Wawrinka, Gasquet, and Federer – to provide them maneuverability on the non-dominant side, but Dimitrov used a balance of 33 cm strung for quite some time.
This relatively head heavy balance gives him more power, and he can make up for the lack of maneuverability with his potent athleticism and shotmaking skills.
Primarily, Grigor’s racquet journey has been with Wilson. He did use a Head Prestige Mid or a prostock layup of the classic prestige mold for a bit but has been playing some version of a Pro Staff since coming on with Wilson early in his career.
Grigor initially played a 93 square inch version of a pro staff. The most similar retail frame would have been the Pro Staff 90 endorsed by Roger Federer, again adding credence to “Baby Fed.” Grigor eventually converted to an 18×17 string pattern in his Pro Staff 93 sometime during Wilson’s testing of its Spin Effect technology.
Is Dimitrov a Chronic Racquet Switcher?
He often tested other frames like Head’s PT313 mold, Wilson H22s, and other versions of Pro Staffs.
In fact, in 2018 and 2019, he switched at least 4 times from his Pro Staff 93 in 18×17 pattern early in the year to the Pro Staff RF97 mold with 16×19 pattern at Laver Cup 2018, then to the same RF97 stick with 18×17 in Brisbane ‘19, back to his 93 in Miami, and to the 97 mold at the US Open where he scored a win over Federer.
It appeared that Grigor has settled on the RF97 mold with 18×17 string pattern, but he did use what appeared to be an H22 at Wimbledon in 2021 before returning to a pro staff 97 mold.
He strings with natural gut mains and 4g crosses between 23 and 24 kilos or 50.7-52.9 pounds. His specs have been reported by a stringer on Instagram as 339 grams, 32 centimeter balance, and 322 swingweight unstrung.
This translates to about 356 grams, 33 cm, and 352 swingweight strung up. Quite a hefty stick. This was his custom 93, and he seems to be experimenting with lighter and more headlight setups these days. I think that’s a great move for him to get a bit more maneuverability and reliability from the racquet.
Does the Testing Never End?
A reputable merchant of pro stock racquets has had multiple racquets of Dimitrov’s available recently, including one with an odd 18×18 string pattern.
All of these sticks measure with a more headlight balance around 32.5 cm rather than his previously reported 33 cm and a static weight under 350g which is lower than before. It seems he’s seeking just a slightly easier to maneuver racquet after settling on the pro staff 97 mold.
Regardless of the racquet he’s using, the man once known as Baby Fed always has the potential to bring electric shotmaking and fierce competition to the tennis court. Though 2022 has not been his best year, Grigor did make the quarters at Indian Wells and semis at Monte Carlo.
Not bad for somebody considered to be closer to the end of his career than his beginning. Here’s hoping that he’ll keep producing his fun brand of tennis for us to enjoy for a few more years!
If you’re interested in other ATP players’ racquets, I listed all the top 100 players’ racquets in this post.