The Evolution Of Tennis Racquets
As Tecnifibre unveils its new range of ATP racquet, we take a look at the evolution of racquet technology.
Modern tennis is faster and more demanding than ever, with highly-conditioned athletes competing for success on the ATP World Tour throughout the year. The power and precision of today’s game is made possible by the many innovations in racquet technology, as Tecnifibre describes in this detailed infographic.
The wooden racquet era lasted almost a century, from the late 19th Century to the mid-1980s, but it only took two more decades for metal, fibreglass, and finally, graphite racquets to emerge. A cutting-edge graphite racquet features a hitting surface twice as large as that of a classic wooden racquet, but weighs nearly 30% less. This allows players to hit the ball harder and with more spin, which has far-reaching implications in other phases of the game.
“The major evolution linking the frame and strings is the introduction of light and powerful racquets about 25 years ago,” said Tecnifibre product manager, Laurent Blary. “Before that, the main role of the strings was to produce power. With these new racquets, we had to find new characteristics for strings. This led to the introduction of polyester strings which bring control and increase spin.”
Breakthroughs in equipment technology is also changing how the players themselves approach and prepare for the game.
“Advances in racquet technology have allowed players to increase racquet head velocity and increase post-impact ball velocities, increasing the speed of the game and decreasing the amount of time players have to react to and return the ball,” said ATP Vice President, Medical Services, Todd Ellenbecker. “This has forced players to improve their fitness in all areas but especially in court speed, and overall explosiveness to respond to the increased ball velocities and meet the demands of the present game.”
Note: Tecnifibre is the ATP's official string and racquet provider.