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How Tennis Rackets Got Their Shape

November 4, 2019


The design of the modern tennis racket goes
back to England in 1874 and a man named Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. Wingfield patented the rules for a game known
as lawn tennis, standardising elements like balls, nets and rackets. For the next century rackets would be made
of wood and remain similar in shape to Wingfield’s original design. But in 1961 French tennis legend Rene Lacoste
unveiled a radical invention. “The Crocodile” – as he was nicknamed – had
made a prototype using metal. Just a few years later Wilson released the
T-2000, the first stainless steel racket whose futuristic design caught the eye of players
like Billie Jean King and Jimmy Connors. Its small head and open throat reduced air
resistance and helped Connors win the US Open 5 times. The 1970s ushered in an era of aluminium which
was lighter and easier to mould than steel. This was followed by fashionable oversized
racquets that had a larger sweet spot and gave players more power. Eventually the quest for lightness and durability
led to graphite rackets as well as other materials like kevlar and graphene. Today Wilson and French brand Babolat dominate
both the men’s and women’s game with the two brands winning 71% of professional tournaments
in 2017. Precise and powerful this is the design that’s
helped to create legends with every stroke.

10 Comments

  • Reply Aspect Science August 24, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    The real question is: why keep your tennis gear in a sound proof room? … 🤔

    It makes quite the racket….

  • Reply Edwin Contreras August 24, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    1:25 👉🏽👌🏽❓

  • Reply Nacho TV August 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Wonder how a pro tennis player would do with those classic wooden raquets

  • Reply Rafael Santos August 24, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Graphite and graphene rackets? Are you sure about that? Graphite would most certainly be too weak, and we're still unable to this day to mass produce graphene.

  • Reply Jamil Khan August 26, 2018 at 1:05 am

    Why does this look like vox?

  • Reply Brian Tameta August 29, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    It's pronounced "lah-coast"

  • Reply Anzu Wyliei August 29, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    What's all this racket?

  • Reply 名無しいつもの September 1, 2018 at 11:11 am

    確かに10年ぶりに使ったピュアコントロールは面の安定性が増していた
    ポリエステルに特化したというのもあるけど
    正直待ち望んでいたような進化は今のところ遅いと思う
    カーボンの進化で薄ラケットを出さないのがなんともメーカーのやる気のなさを感じる
    100XR-Jの部分的に16.5の厚みはやっと出たかって思う遅すぎる
    売れるラケットしか作らないのはなんとも悲しいと思うんだけど
    アマチュアほどラケットって重要だし個性の高い物どんどんでてほしいよなー

  • Reply Khawar Ahmed September 1, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    This video had only started explaining how the rackets got their shape and ended. You've got to be kidding me.

  • Reply just ask for bob September 18, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    mmmm… yes but what is the reason the shape is like that? what is the point of it?

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