Tennis Racquet

Tennis Racket

Racket is a key equipment in the game of tennis. The parts of a tennis racquet are the head, rim, face, neck,butt/butt cap, handle, and strings.

Modern tennis racquets vary in length, weight, and head size. 21″ to 26″ is normally a junior’s length, while 27″ or 27.5″ are for stronger and taller adult players. Weights of a racquet also vary between 8 ounces (230 g) unstrung and 12.5 ounces (350 g) strung. Racquets originally flared outward at the bottom of the handle to prevent slipping. The rounded bottom was called a bark bottom after its inventor Matthew Barker. But by 1947 this style became superfluous. Head size also plays a role in a racquet’s qualities. A larger head size generally means more power, and a larger “sweet spot” that is more forgiving on off-center hits. A smaller head size offers more precise control. Current racquet head sizes vary between 88 sq. inches and 137 sq. inches, with most players adopting one from 95-105 sq. inches.

An Evolutionary History of Tennis Racquets

From Hands to Wood

By most accounts, tennis was first played by French monks in the 11th or 12th century, and the first “racquets” were made of human flesh!
No, this wasn’t some medieval horror. It was more like handball, played first by hitting against a wall, then later over a crude net. While not gruesome, hitting a ball with one’s hand proved a little too uncomfortable after a while, so players began using gloves. Some players then tried using webbing between the fingers of the glove, while others took to using a solid wooden paddle.
By the 14th century, players had begun using what we could legitimately call a racquet, with strings made of gut bound in a wooden frame. The Italians are often credited with this invention. By the year 1500, racquets were in widespread use. The early racquets had a long handle and a small, teardrop-shaped head. With a more oval head, they would have looked much like a squash racquet. The game itself was somewhat like squash too, in that it was played indoors with a fairly dead ball. By this time, though, it was, unlike squash, always played across a net, not against a wall.
In 1874, Major Walter C. Wingfield registered his patent in London for the equipment and rules of an outdoor lawn tennis that is generally considered the first version of what we play today. Within a year, Wingfield’s equipment sets had been sold for use in Russia, India, Canada, and China. The racquet head had grown by this time to roughly the size seen on wooden racquets into the 1970’s, but the shape wasn’t quite as oval, with the head usually wider and often flattened toward the top.
Racquets saw only minor changes between 1874 and the end of the wooden racquet era more than 100 years later. Wooden racquets did get better during these 100 years, with improvements in laminating technology (using thin layers of wood glued together) and in strings, but they remained heavy (13-14 ounces), with small heads (around 65 square inches). Compared to the contemporary racquet, even the best wood racquets were cumbersome and lacking in power.

Modern Racket

Throughout most of tennis’ history, racquets were made of laminated wood, with heads of around 65 square inches. In the late 1960s, Wilson produced the T2000 steel racquet with wire wound around the frame to make string loops. It was popularized by the top American player Jimmy Connors. In 1975, aluminum construction allowed for the introduction of the first “oversized” racquet, which was manufactured by Weed. Prince popularized the oversize racquet, which had a head size of approximately 110 square-inches and opened the door for the introduction of racquets having other non-standard head sizes such as midsize (90 square inches) and mid-plus size (95 square inches). In the early 1980s, “graphite” (carbon fibre) composites were introduced, and other materials were added to the composite, including ceramics, glassfibre, boron, and titanium. The Dunlop Max200G used by John McEnroe from 1983 was an early graphite racquet, along with the very popular Prince “Original” Graphite. Composite racquets are the contemporary standard.
Longer racquets were introduced by Dunlop in order to give additional reach for shots such as the serve and volley where shorter players may be at a disadvantage. Midsize or mid-plus racquets are the general standard for professional players.
Stringing (material, pattern, tension) is an important factor in the performance of a tennis racquet. A few elite players use natural gut, but the vast majority of strings are a nylon or polyester synthetic. Some (American champion Pete Sampras is a prominent example) consider the natural string to be more responsive, providing a better “feel”, but synthetic is favored for its much superior durability, consistency, as well as much lower cost. String pattern (the vertical/horizontal grid) is a function of the racquet head size and design. A tighter pattern is considered to deliver more precise control; a more “open” pattern to offer greater potential for power and spin. Modern racquets are marked with a recommended string tension range. The basic rule is that a lower tension creates more power (from a “trampoline” effect) and a higher string tension creates more control (the less ‘trampoline effect’ the more predictable the power and angle of the departure from the string bed.)
Double strung tennis racquets were introduced in 1977 and then banned because they permitted excessive spin. A modern version of a legal double strung racquet has been introduced.

Source : en.wikipedia.com & tennis.about.com

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Psprint San Francisco | Thanks to homeinbayarea.com