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The effects of the evolution of the tennis racquet.

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Introduction

Task 4 - The effects of the evolution of the tennis racquet The game has changed dramatically over the last 30 years with the advancement of racquets being the major factor, of which most of the tactical techniques are finally being based around. This is because the racquet technology is increasing the power at which players can hit the ball which is changing the game in terms of technique hugely. This has in particular helped the service dominate matches, often leading to very little break of serve; simply because the services can be so powerful that it's near impossible for a player to return them at all/with any accuracy. The power at which the ball can now be hit is the major factor in terms of tactical changes by players and coaches in tennis, as in the 1980's players were struggling to reach 110mph yet with the modernization of the tennis racquet players are aiming to serve at 130-150 mph; which is obviously a dramatic increase and will obviously have to play a part in the tactics of the game. A big change which has been noticed as new players have been coming through to be successful are the lack of serve volleyer's, in particularly on the grass court. ...read more.

Middle

? The new racquets were so powerful it meant rallies weren't lasting very long at all, often over after 1, 2 or 3 shots. Thus making it very boring to watch and reducing the amount of actual skilful tennis required to play them game as players with good services could almost win matches just simply by having a very good service. ? Players could concentrate more on learning the two main parts of their game to take full advantage of the huge amount of power that the ball could now be hit with; these two components being serving and base line play. ? On the other hand players who pre dominantly relied much more on their tactics (ex, serve and volley tactics) were became less successful due to baseline players being able to hit the ball with so much power and accuracy it became to hard to react to these shots from the net. ? The materials used to make the racquets were much lighter, making it easier for players to use the racquets to their greatest advantage. ? Many commentators and spectators are un willing to pay to go and watch much less exciting tennis due to big servers easily being able to dominate matches. ...read more.

Conclusion

While this may be down to player skill it's more likely that it is down to the development of the tennis racquet as in the 1980's and 1990's the average shots per rally were much higher than they are nowadays. To make the men's game in particular more exciting to the viewing public measures should be taken in order to reduce the power at which the ball can be hit; this will reduce the big servers advantage and make serve returns easier and thus making the rallies average length increase again. This could be done by putting limitations on the racquets which would cause a lot of complications and would be hard to standardise the racquets to meet each players need but still make them less powerful. Another much easier way of effectively slowing the game down and making it more aesthetically pleasing would be to change the type of balls used; as this would be simple to test and put into use in comparison to trying to change all the racquets which would cost much more money and cause a lot more hassle for tennis players and governing bodies. For example they could make the balls more absorbent and so absorbing some of the power from the racquet and making it travel slower and bounce less. ...read more.

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