20 Things You Didn’t Know About Tennis Racquets



October 14, 2015

20 things you didn't know about tennis racquets

  1. Racquets featuring strings strung across an oval frame were first used to play tennis-like games in the 15th century. Prior to this time ball players had used their bare hands, custom-made gloves or rope wrapped around their hands to strike the ball.
  2. Between the 15th century and 1965 all tennis racquets were made from wood. They were commonly stringed with cow intestines that had been twisted and stretched to create a high-tension elastic surface on the head of the racquet.
  3. Nylon strings were the first modification to traditional racquets, replacing gut strings before any adaptations to frame materials were made.
  4. French tennis player Rene Lacoste built the first steel frame racquet. This revolutionised the tennis racquet as it allowed racquet manufacturers to increase both the size of the head and the string tension.
  5. For several years many professional players refused to use steel frame racquets, believing that the wooden racquet provided greater accuracy and ball control. The wooden racquet was, however, no match for the power of the steel framed racquet.
  6. Jimmy Connors was the first professional tennis player to openly embrace the use of steel framed tennis racquets.
  7. The ‘graphite’ used to make modern tennis racquets does not describe the mineral of the same name. The word is used, instead, to describe the reinforced thermoplastic visco-elastic polymer used to create the strong, lightweight frames that make graphite racquets so popular.
  8. John McEnroe popularised the use of the graphite tennis racquet.
  9. The vast majority of the world’s tennis racquets are manufactured in Asia, with Japan serving as the hub of international tennis racquet production.
  10. The best quality racquets are sold without strings, as experienced players prefer to decide what strings should be used with the racquet and at what tension they should be strung.
  11. The heads of some modern tennis racquets are dotted with tiny chambers containing ball bearings. These are believed to help absorb the impact when the racquet makes contact with the ball, thereby preventing tennis elbow.
  12. Low string tensions provide more power when a tennis racquet connects with a tennis ball, whilst higher tensions give a player more control over the behaviour of the ball.
  13. The ITF banned the ‘spaghetti string’ racquet design in the 1980s, as this racquet improved players’ games to such an extent that low ranked players using it were consistently able to defeat more skilled players.
  14. The spacing of the strings on a tennis racquet has a substantial effect on the angle of deflection of the ball. There are therefore rules restricting the distance between strings to 1.3 cm.
  15. The wooden racquets used until 1965 weighed an average of 350 grams, with some racquets weighing up to half a kilogram. Today’s racquets average around 250 grams, with lighter racquets readily available.
  16. The surface area of the head of a modern tennis racquet can be as large as 137 square inches. This is roughly double the maximum head area that was possible with wooden racquets.
  17. Players who choose lighter racquets pay for this choice with a reduction in power, more vibration and a smaller sweet spot.
  18. There are no laws governing the length of tennis racquets. This has been exploited in recent years with the invention of the ‘stretch’ racquet, which improves both power and reach.
  19. The size of the grip on a tennis racquet is potentially more important than any other factor. There are 6 basic grip sizes, and it is essential to select the correct sized grip to play optimum tennis.
  20. Diminishing vibrations on impact with tennis balls is the primary goal driving the evolution of the tennis racquet.

Recent Posts

William Hill vs bet365

bet365 or William Hill? Which bookmaker is best for you?

When it comes to battles of the bookmaker heavyweights you won’t find a more […]

By betHQ on December 18, 2023

Rebelbetting logo

Rebel Betting Review

Rebel Betting is one of the oldest and best-known names in sports investment software, […]

By betHQ on July 12, 2023

A steeplechase

What is steeplechase horse racing?

Steeplechase horse racing is believed to have originated in Ireland in the 18th century. Huntsmen […]

By betHQ on