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Development of the tennis racquet since 1945.

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Introduction

Task 2 - Development of the tennis racquet since 1945 The development of the tennis racquet has been radical and dramatic too bring the game too what it is today. The changes have been the most dramatic in terms of size, shape and weight (the weight changed due too the massive change in materials used). The racquets being used in 1940's would have been constructed with a simple wooden frame, with a leather grip (http://www.firstservein.com/images/decor_237_th010.jpg) Although at the time metal racquets of some description were available very few people used them; professionals and amateurs alike preferred the wooden racquet to produce the best results in competition. This was the metal racquets which were designed as early as 1889 were very heavy and uncomfortable to use in comparison too the wooden racquets of that time. Although the wooden racquet had it's limitations; especially in terms of head size, as the very small heads in use restricted the size of the "sweat spot" to generate maximum power and accuracy so it was inevitable at some point would design a new more effective racquet. The first real challenger to the traditional racquet came in the form of a Wilson metal racquet, called the T2000. It was made from steel and so had a stronger and lighter than wood, but was made with a similar frame as the older wooden racquets (with a long handle and a small head). ...read more.

Middle

The two racquets were the best selling racquets of there time. They had progressed from the popular T2000 as they had a shorter handle and a larger head that increased the accuracy and power of the player because the head was larger and therefore had a larger surface area for striking the ball and creating more power. It was approximately 50% larger in terms of aluminium frame and head than the standard wooden racquets. This very large sweet shot and light aluminium frame made the game much easier for amateur tennis players yet professionals found that the large string bed and aluminium frame became too altered when striking the ball and sometimes sent the ball in the wrong directions. This mainly occurred when shots were hit off centre, as it would alter the aluminium frame because it was too weak so the strings would be facing the wrong direction and thus hit the ball in an undesired direction. The solution to these problems came in the form of titanium. The advantages of Titanium over Aluminium While Titanium and aluminium are both still metals with quite similar properties throughout, titanium has obvious advantages. Mainly because titanium is much better at vibration dampening or shock absorption, which plays a large part in the game. In the short term it could often cause players to miss direct their shots because of the large vibrations but in the long term ...read more.

Conclusion

Other variations to the standard racquet shape were head's with a wider end nick named "hammer head" racquets: (http://www.mcsports.com/graphics/product_images/p804323reg.jpg) The standard racquets being used by professionals in 2003/2004 have a very oval shaped head a reasonably long handle for double handed shots which many players use, in particularly for their back hands: (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/viewlarge.html?PCODE=WAVE) The advantages of Graphite over Metal Graphite racquets have a very good stiffness and very light weight; which the previous materials such as wood and metal could only achieve one of these 2 desired aspects for any tennis player. The very good stiffness meant the racquets had good shock absorption and also the ability to produce powerful shots without any sign of damage. Although titanium is still widely used throughout the amateur tennis world due too it being very light and much less expensive than graphite; but in terms of weight to strength ratio graphite still had a big advantage over titanium racquets. Most professionals nowadays use graphite racquets simply because the material is the best suited for tennis, yet we still see titanium racquets in the shops today because they are cheaper to build and therefore cheaper to buy; this is why they most amateur/casual tennis players will use titanium racquets because they are effective but not as expensive as graphite racquets. ...read more.

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