Stan the Man is one of the few players to snag a grand slam title during the era of domination by the Big 4 of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray. At his best, his fearsome backhand and elite endurance enabled him to fight for any major title.
Sadly, Stan has been hampered by injuries and is currently on the comeback trail. The former world number 3 currently sits at #191 in the rankings but notched a win over Medvedev in Metz and should climb back into the top levels of the game if he can remain healthy.
Alright. I’m done doting on Stan. Let’s go over the racquet he produces that beautiful backhand with!
Here’s Stan Wawrinka’s racquet setup:
- Endorsed Racquet: Yonex VCore Pro 97H (330g)
- Actual Racquet: Yonex Vcore 95D
- Strings: Babolat RPM Blast 16 (1.30) @ 28/26 kg
Which Yonex Is It?
Just like nearly every other player on the pro tour, Stan’s racquet is not what it appears. He endorses the Yonex Vcore Pro 97H, and while that’s the closest current offering to what he uses, it’s not what is camouflaged underneath.
Wawrinka has played with the Yonex VCore 95D since switching to Yonex in 2012. When he switched the racquet had already been discontinued, so he’s never endorsed the racquet he is truly using.
The VCore 95D has gained a bit of a cult following for its crisp and controlled response in tandem with its elusive availability and being a stick Stan played some god-mode tennis with.
Some of the giveaways for Stan’s use of this frame under his various paintjobs include the unique geometry of the throat and its 16×20 string pattern.
Stan’s Vcore 97 Duel G paintjobs were particularly conspicuous due to the lack of shared holes in the stringing pattern on his compared to retail versions.
It stands to reason that the man with so much firepower uses a racquet to complement his game, and Stan’s sticks do just that.
Coming in at 375g, 32.3 cm balance, and 360 swingweight after stringing, lead tape, and a leather grip plus overgrip, this racquet is a suitable replacement for Thor’s hammer.
The sheer mass of it facilitates huge pace when swung with proper technique while the thin beam provides feel and control. The high swingweight lets Wawrinka block returns and bunt back deep balls off both wings, facilitating his ability to turn offense into defense.
It’s no surprise that he can hit a winner from almost anywhere on the court with his talent amplified by this beast of a racquet.
Stan strings his racquet with RPM Blast 130 (16 gauge) at 28 kg in the mains and 26 kg for the crosses. That converts to 62 and 57 pounds which is staggeringly high when compared to what’s trending on the tour and recreationally right now.
Stan needs this high tension because of the huge inherent power from his heavy, high swingweight frame and his flatter game style.
Because he restrings his racquets each match, his strings maintain what little elasticity they have at these high tensions for the small windows of time he uses them.
Though I would not recommend stringing a thick, stiff, dead polyester string this high for recreational players, it makes sense for Stan Wawrinka.
When we talk about players in the latter stages of their career like Stan, there’s often talk that they should be changing their racquet or tweaking something in their games in order to maintain longevity at the highest level of tennis.
Though Stan isn’t back in the top 100 yet, he’s shown he can still compete with the best of them by beating Daniil Medvedev not long ago.
His high-powered offense and commitment to fitness allow him to keep points short when necessary and wear opponents down over the course of long matches.
As long as he can keep his injuries at bay, I think Stan has a few more deep runs at majors and Masters 1000s in him, especially indoors where it’s easiest to finish points quickly and blow people off the court. His racquet suits him almost perfectly and shouldn’t be going anywhere!