• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The evolution of the tennis racket.

Extracts from this document...


Until about thirty years ago, wooden rackets were largely the popular rackets used by the majority of tennis players. As the trend to developing new technologies and increasing one's ability to play, new rackets arose from many new companies. These new rackets were made of metal and metal composites as well as included many advantages over the older wooden rackets. However, the introduction of this new generation of rackets proved not to be as valuable to companies and to the game as the wooden rackets were beforehand and thus changed the future of tennis. In the following paper, the new metal rackets of today will be proven to be an elevator for the game of tennis instead of stifling the growth of tennis, contrary to popular expectations. French monks first played tennis in the 11th and 12th centuries using their hands to hit the ball against a wall. Over time, people began to use other mechanisms to hit the ball because the constant pressure on the hand from hitting the ball caused pain. Gloves were the first innovation to the game and a few years later, players used webbed gloves to increase the hitting area. From gloves arose paddles and then the first strung rackets. According to Jeff Cooper, a tennis professional and historian, ancestors of the rackets that we formally know today were widely used by the 14th century (Cooper 1). However, it was not until the 1500's that Italian inventors developed wooden rackets and tennis was first played across nets. Nevertheless, tennis still did not have real rules. According to Jeff Cooper, it was not until the late 1800's that Major Walter Wingfield published the first rules of tennis similar to the tennis rules of today in London (Cooper 1). ...read more.


The stringing of the racket also affects the racket performance. Lower string tensions have been proven to provide more power while higher string tensions provide more ball control (Basic 1). The handle or grip of a racket is also important in the rackets' performance. Handles usually come in sizes between four and five inches and are made from wood or plastic covered in leather. Currently, racket grips are covered in polyurethane and are made with unique designs to provide the most comfort to the player according to Wilson Sporting Goods (Cushion-Aire 1). Added up, all of these characteristics are required to complete a good racket that meets the public's standards. The ever popular wooden rackets of the 1900's and earlier were originally made from wood with ash, maple, and okume. Wooden rackets usually weighed approximately 14 to 15 ounces and consisted of a balance centered at the neck of the racket with a small head. Because of the excessive weight of wood in making rackets, frames could not be made very thick or the racket would be too heavy to swing comfortably. However, this resulted in a flimsy, twisting racket with flexibility at the tip of the racket and smaller racket heads. If one had wanted to have a string tension reasonable for play, the head had to be small as a result of the pressure the string tension would produce. A larger wooden racket head would fold under the force of the string because of the limitations in the strength of wood. In addition, the wooden rackets featured a small sweetspot closer to the neck of the racket compared to the rather large sweetspots of modern rackets. As a result of these wooden racket characteristics, the wood rackets had a habit of causing tennis elbow. According to F. ...read more.


And with more frames than ever being designed for specific types of players, finding that magic wand has never been easier." (2001 Racket Guide 1) In addition, modern rackets are designed for all different types of players including strictly baseliners to serve and volleyers. Mark Macky, Dunlop's director of racket sports, shows this in the following statement, "It's no longer enough to make a racket for one ability level - beginner, intermediate, advanced. Today, companies make rackets that are targeted to specific styles of play. A serve and volleyer, for example, will want a different type of racket than a baseliner." (2001 Racket Guide 1) Although while racket manufacturers may have suffered from the introduction of modern rackets, consumers seem to benefit. According to "New York Times" newspaper, the new metal rackets prove to last longer and need restringing less often saving consumers money (Tenner 3). Furthermore, metal rackets can last up to ten years or more contrary to the wooden rackets that were damaged by age, warping, and cracking. In conclusion, although many tennis professionals believe that wooden rackets would increase the charisma of tennis, there is undeniable evidence that proves modern rackets to be better for the game and all levels of players. Newer rackets provide more options for tennis players, giving them more power and control than ever before therefore elevating the level of play in the game of tennis. They also appeal to lower levels of players making the game easier to learn and in effect, better for everyone. In addition, although the market seemed to be falling, it is currently rising for the game of tennis and showing this, the U.S. Open has had more viewers in the year of 2001 than ever before in the history of the game. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Contemporary Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Contemporary Studies essays

  1. Analyse the effects that staging a major sporting event can have on an area.

    The city of Athens and the surrounding region will have overhauled and upgraded every major sector of the economy, channeled investment, and re-invigorated public life throughout Greece." - (www.athens.olympics.org) In the period leading up to 2004, Greece will receive $40.23 billion USD from the European Union to improve highways and other infrastructure projects.

  2. The tennis rackets' different types of failures.

    in one match: 4) Bad contact with the tennis ball Bad contact with the tennis ball, in other words hitting the ball no where near the sweet spot of the racket could result in string breakage. This could happen at any point of a tennis match, be it while serving, returning or even just playing a normal stroke.

  1. Investigating the nature of thesports industry

    In more recent times, the security that follows large scale events such as the world cup has seen many new security features, to irradiate football hooliganism and terrorist threats. Since the atrocities of September 11th 2001, security has never been higher.

  2. The use of illegal Steroids in baseball has single handily degraded and disgraced the ...

    It's not fair that history's greatest baseball players prior to the steroid era should be passed up in the record books by players that made themselves better by an illegal drug. Not only is it a disgrace to the violators name, but more importantly it's a disgrace to the game of baseball.

  1. Applied Sport Science - Tennis

    Currently this has produced 568 accredited mini tennis clubs and centres, trained 1200 coaches and encouraged 48,000 young people to play mini tennis (LTA�, 2002). In a survey conducted by the LTA (LTA 2003) it was discovered that 4-11 year olds tennis participation had increase from 6-7% in 1998-2001 to

  2. The effects of the evolution of the tennis racquet.

    For example in the rankings at the moment we can only really see one player ranking inside the top 10 that uses the serve volley tactic effectively; which is A. Agassi, although in comparison to players such as Tin Henman he uses the tactic rarely.

  1. This report will analyse the effects that staging a major sporting event can have ...

    which handles Grand Prix racing's commercial affairs, and the BRDC, which owns Silverstone itself. To investigate whether the inward investment is sustainable I will be using the following case studies: Athens 2004, previous Olympic games, World Cup 2002 (Yokohama), World Student Games 1991 (Sheffield).

  2. Under Slammin' Pressure - Slam by Walter Dean Myers.

    Derek and Slam have a pretty good relationship between the two of them, even though they do have their rough times. Even when Derek lost the schools' camera, that Slam borrowed, Slam didn't make him suffer any repercussions. Another main character in Slam's life is his girlfriend, Mtisha.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work