Tennis Technology

The game of tennis has a long history which goes back to the sixteenth century England. Original tennis courts have existed at the Falkland Palace in Scotland from 17th century. Initially, the only object of a tennis player was scoring points by striking the ball in way that it goes over the net and lands at side of the opponent. More consistent tennis equipments were necessary as the game continuously grew in popularity. With the rapid advancement of technology, the tennis innovators made various latest developments in different aspects of tennis.

Tennis Racquet technology

The tennis racquet has undergone the biggest technological change among all the equipments used in the game. All aspects of the racquet including its weight and shape have been changed so that it could better suit the modern concept of the game.

Racquet Size

The 1st major change to tennis racquet was introduced by Howard Head in the year 1976: its large head that resulted into the current racquet size classification. The large head allowed the players to strike the ball better with a wider hitting part.

Tennis Technology

Size classification

  • Mid - 600 cm2 (93 square inches) and below
  • Mid-plus - 610 to 680 cm2 (94 to 105 square inches)
  • Oversized - 680-790 cm2 (106 to 122 square inches)
  • Super-oversized - 790 cm2 (122 square inches) and larger

Along with the head size, the tennis racquet's grip size and balance point also underwent many technological changes. At present, a player can adjust the racquet's balance point as desired.

Materials

Earlier, tennis racquets made of wood were used for playing the game. This caused various problems including wood warping. Using different types of wood for making the racquet affected its feel and performance. After some years, various racquet manufacturing companies introduced the use of various metals for the purpose. Different metals including magnesium, aluminum and titanium were used for making these racquets. Later, many companies started experimenting with other materials like ceramics, graphite, boron and composites including d3o. Each of these materials produced good quality racquets. But graphite and ceramics were most preferred as racquets made with these were very stiff and had excellent vibration reduction properties.

Tennis Strings

Earlier, cow intestines, now known as natural gut, were used for making the strings. The material served the purpose properly, but it was very expensive. As the technology advanced, manufacturers tried to use synthetic materials to produce the same springy feel of the natural guts. At present, the synthetic strings provide the players with greater power, spin, and durability. However, it cannot be said if these technological innovations in product architecture, materials and size are affecting the player's performance.

Tennis Balls

In the beginning, rough cloth strips were bound together tightly to make the tennis balls. After some years, felt or finer cloths were sewed around the cloth strips to manufacture the balls. Optic yellow felt was used for the purpose in the year 1972. At present, the mass produced high performance balls are manufactured at very low costs.