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tennis history/ racket history

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technological development history of tennis racket By many accounts, tennis was first played by French monks in the 11th or 12th century, and the first racquets were just there player's hands. It was more like handball, played first by hitting against a wall, then later over a net. Hitting a ball with there 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 wooden paddle. By the 14th century, players had begun using what we could call a racquet, with strings made of guts of animals in a wooden frame. The Italians are said to of made 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. ...read more.


First wire strung rackets. In 1976, Howard Head, then working with the Prince brand, introduced the first oversized racquet to gain widespread popularity, the Prince Classic. Weed USA is quick to point out, though, that they had introduced an oversized racquet in 1975. The Weed racquets never took off, but the Prince Classic and its more expensive edition, the Prince Pro, were top sellers. Both had aluminum frames and a string area more than 50 percent larger than the standard 65 square inch wood racquet. The light weight, huge sweet spot, and greatly increased power of these first oversized racquets made tennis much easier for non-advanced players, but for powerful, advanced players, the mixture of flexibility and power in the frames resulted in too much unpredictability in where the ball would end up. Hard, off-center shots would momentarily distort the aluminum frame, changing the direction in which the string grove was facing, and the lively string bed would then send the ball rocketing off in a somewhat unintended direction. ...read more.


The Profile was a monster of a racquet, with a frame 39 mm wide at the middle of its tapered head, more than twice the width of the classic wooden frame. By the mid 1990's, such extreme widths had fallen out of favor, but the wide body innovation carries forward: most frames sold today are wider than the pre-wide body standard. The racquet makers have, to some extent, suffered from their own success. Unlike wood racquets, which warped, cracked, and dried out with age, graphite racquets can last for many years without a noticeable loss of performance. A 10-year-old graphite racquet can be so good and so durable that its owner has little motivation to replace it. The racquet companies have met this problem with a stream of innovations, some of which, like the oversized head, wider frame, and lighter weight are evident in almost every racquet made today. Other innovations have been less universal, such as extreme head-heavy balance as seen in the Wilson Hammer racquets, and extra length, first introduced by Dunlop. A graphite tennis racket. Information sources www.tennishistory.com www.google.com/images ?? ?? ?? ?? Joshua walkden-smith technological development 1 1 ...read more.

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