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Weights of a racket also vary between 7 ounces (200 g) unstrung and 12.6 ounces (360 g) strung. Until the 1980s, rackets weighted at "medium" were produced. "Heavy" rackets were produced during the height of the wood era (e.g. the 1960s), very sparingly. The "medium" weight is heavier than any of the rackets produced since it was discontinued by companies. Many professionals added weight to their rackets to improve stability. Many continue to do so. Pete Sampras added lead tape to make his racket have a 14 ounces (400 g) weight and Venus Williams is known for using a frame modified to be quite heavy, in terms of the recent times average. By contrast, Andy Roddick surprised many when he said he used a stock Pro Drive series model, series of racket which was light when compared with the rackets used by most top professionals. In both recreational and professional tennis, the trend has been away from heavy rackets and toward lighter rackets, despite the drawbacks from light rackets, such as increased twisting. Lawn tennis rackets originally flared outward at the bottom of the handle to prevent slippage. The rounded bottom was called a bark bottom after its inventor Matthew Barker. But by 1947, this style became superfluous.[clarification needed] More mass gives rackets "plow through", momentum that continues once the player has managed to get the racket into motion and which is more resistant to stoppage from the ball's momentum. This can give the perception that the racket produces shots with more power, although this is complicated by the typically slower stroke production. Higher mass typically involves a slower swing but more energy to execute the swing. More mass also provides more cushioning against ball impact shock, a source of injuries such as tennis elbow. However, high racket mass can cause fatigue in the shoulder area. Typically, it is safer for the body to have higher mass. More mass, additionally, provides more stability. It makes the racket more resistant to twisting forces and pushback. The drawbacks are that heavier rackets have lower maneuverability (reducing reaction time) and require more energy to move. As a racket gets heavier, the player finds it increasingly difficult to do fast reaction shots such as quick volleys and returns of serve. However, the additional mass can help with return of serve, in particular, by making the racket much more resistant to twist from a high-powered service. Light rackets have the additional drawback of making it easier for beginning players to use inappropriate wrist-dominant strokes, which often leads to injury. This is because poor stroke mechanics can be much easier to produce with a lightweight racket, such as in using one's wrist to mostly swing the racket. An extremely typical mistake beginning players make is to choke up heavily on the racket (to try to compensate for twist from a light racket, as well as too high racket angle upon impact) and use the wrist too much. The only professional well-known player to have had success with a strongly choked-up grip is Zina Garrison.
Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is also a popular worldwide spectator sport. The four Grand Slam tournaments (also referred to as the Majors) are especially popular: the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open also played on hard courts.
The four Grand Slam tournaments are considered to be the most prestigious tennis events in the world. They are held annually and comprise, in chronological order, the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Apart from the Olympic Games, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and Hopman Cup, they are the only tournaments regulated by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The ITF's national associations, Tennis Australia (Australian Open), the Fédération Française de Tennis (French Open), the Lawn Tennis Association (Wimbledon) and the United States Tennis Association (US Open) are delegated the responsibility to organize these events.
If you've tuned in to the Australian Open to catch the action but are feeling a little confused by what's happening on the court, don't fret. Tennis scoring can seem complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll feel like a seasoned fan. Here's a primer on scoring as the tournament heads toward the finals — so you can keep up with the matches!
As you are looking at tennis racquets in the store or shopping online it is important to note the head size of any racquet you are thinking about purchasing too. It stands to reason that the bigger the head is on your tennis racquet the bigger the sweet spot on it is also. A bigger sweet spot means you a less prone to mishitting the ball when you go to return it. Just be careful the head size is so big it adds extra weight or it throws off your game because you are not used to it.
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The tennis scoring system is a way to keep track of tennis matches (including pick-up games). Some tennis matches are played as part of a tournament. (Tournaments may have various categories, such as singles and doubles.) The great majority are organised as a single-elimination tournament, with competitors being eliminated after a single loss, and the overall winner being the last competitor without a loss. Optimally, such tournaments have a number of competitors equal to a power of two in order to fully fill out a single elimination bracket. In many professional and top-level amateur events, the brackets are seeded according to a recognised ranking system, in order to keep the best players in the field from facing each other until as late in the tournament as possible; additionally, if byes are necessary because of a less-than-full bracket, those byes in the first round are usually given to the highest-seeded competitors.
During the 19th century the Royal Tennis Court played a variety of different roles. It served as a theatre storeroom, a workshop and storage space, and a studio for the painters Antoine-Jean Gros and then Horace Vernet. It was listed as a national monument in 1848, then became a games room again under the Second Empire. Approaching the centenary of the oath, under the Third Republic, architect Edmond Guillaume was invited to restore it and convert it into a museum of the French Revolution. The architect used original engravings to reconstitute the spirit of the room, which had been modified and had deteriorated over the course of the century. The museum housed the statue of Bailly, busts of the most important signatories of the oath, and a monumental canvas by Luc-Olivier Merson, based on Jacques-Louis David's preparatory drawing. The museum was inaugurated on 20 June 1883 in the presence of Jules Ferry.
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The head-light balance point is rarer in professional tennis than it once was, as the sport has converted to larger-headed rackets, stiffer rackets, stiffer strings, more western grips and accompanying stroke production, and more topspin. The head-light balance point is most optimal for the serve and volley style with a continental grip. Serve and volley is no longer a viable option for nearly all professionals as the mode of playing for most points in a match. Head-heavy rackets became popular, mainly with recreational players, primarily with the introduction of the Wilson ProFile widebody racket. The head-light balance makes volleys and serves easier to produce, while groundstrokes are less stable. The head-heavy balance makes groundstrokes more stable, which typically increases the player's comfort for swinging harder to add power, but makes serves and volleys more cumbersome. A head-heavy balance also puts more stress on the elbow and shoulder.
Advantage sets sometimes continue much longer than tie-break sets. The 2010 Wimbledon first-round match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, which is the longest professional tennis match in history, notably ended with Isner winning the fifth set by 70–68. The match lasted in total 11 hours and five minutes, with the fifth set alone lasting eight hours, 11 minutes. Whoever wins by a margin of two wins the set, but this could take a very long time to finish.
For right-handed players, the backhand is a stroke that begins on the left side of their body, continues across their body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the right side of their body. It can be executed with either one hand or with both and is generally considered more difficult to master than the forehand. For most of the 20th century, the backhand was performed with one hand, using either an eastern or a continental grip. The first notable players to use two hands were the 1930s Australians Vivian McGrath and John Bromwich, but they were lonely exceptions. The two-handed grip gained popularity in the 1970s as Björn Borg, Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors, and later Mats Wilander and Marat Safin used it to great effect, and it is now used by a large number of the world's best players, including Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams.
The best marks for this racquet were awarded to the services on which the racquet split the air with power on contact to allow them to reach their targets. However, the EZONE 98 (305 g) will not suit everyone. Some players will enjoy the more damped feel of the DR, while others will prefer the firmer, more powerful response offered by this new version.
Head size plays a very key role in a racket's performance characteristics. A larger head size very generally means more power and a larger "sweet spot". This is an area in the string bed that is partially more forgiving on off-center hits and which produces more ball-reflective power from string deformation, known as the trampoline effect. However, large head sizes can increase twisting, which makes off-center hits more difficult to control and can reduce a player's overall power production due to the playing compensating for the extra inherent power, typically with stiffer strings to reduce the increased string deformation of large heads. A smaller head size generally offers more control for many shots, particularly the service and groundstrokes aimed near the lines, but can lead to more shanks (wild misses, from hitting the frame or missing the sweet spot). This drawback is most common for professional players using single-handed topspin backhands, as well as for recreational and aged players at net. Shanking due to small racket head size is typically exacerbated by racket weight, which slows the reaction time, as well as, to a lesser degree, the racket's balance point. In professional tennis, currently-used racket head sizes vary between 95–115 square inches (610–740 cm2), with most players adopting one from 98–108 square inches (630–700 cm2). Rackets with smaller and larger head sizes, 85 and 120–137 square inches (550 and 770–880 cm2), are still produced but are not used by professionals currently. A very small number of professionals, such as Monica Seles, used 125 square inches (810 cm2) rackets during some point in their careers. Rackets with smaller heads than 85 square inches (550 cm2) have not been in production since the 1980s and rackets with larger head sizes than 137 square inches (880 cm2) are not currently legal for the sport, even though only elderly players typically choose to use rackets beyond 115 square inches (740 cm2) and it is nearly unheard-of for a serious player who is not elderly to choose a racket over 125 square inches (810 cm2). The WEED company, founded by Tad Weed, specializes in producing very large rackets, primarily for the elderly market. Rackets that are moderately higher in power production, moderately lower in weight, moderately larger in size, and which typically possess a slightly head-heavy balance are often called "tweener rackets." Rackets that have the smallest heads in current use, the highest weights in current use, and headlight or even balance are referred to as "players' rackets". Oversize rackets, typically 110 square inches (710 cm2) in size, were once pejoratively referred to as "granny sticks" but resistance to them being seen as illegitimate rackets for younger players decreased dramatically with the successful use of these rackets by a small number professionals such as Andre Agassi and Pam Shriver. Originally, even midsize frames (85 square inches (550 cm2)) were considered jumbo, and some top players, such as Martina Navratilova and Rod Laver said they should be banned for making the sport too easy. Later, these same professionals, including John McEnroe, signed a letter supporting a switch back to wood frames, or a limitation to the original standard size of approximately 65 square inches (420 cm2). Perhaps the last professional to use a standard-size racket in professional tennis was Aaron Krickstein, known for the strongly-contested match against Connors at the 1991 US Open. He used a Wilson Ultra-II standard-size graphite racket also used in the 1980s by the hard-hitting teen Andrea Jaeger. The first oversize, the fiberglass Bentley Fortissimo from Germany, was praised by racket designers but was considered too large to be taken seriously by the small number of players who were exposed to it.
A frequent topic of discussion among tennis fans and commentators is who was the greatest male singles player of all time. By a large margin, an Associated Press poll in 1950 named Bill Tilden as the greatest player of the first half of the 20th century. From 1920 to 1930, Tilden won singles titles at Wimbledon three times and the U.S. Championships seven times. In 1938, however, Donald Budge became the first person to win all four major singles titles during the same calendar year, the Grand Slam, and won six consecutive major titles in 1937 and 1938. Tilden called Budge "the finest player 365 days a year that ever lived." In his 1979 autobiography, Jack Kramer said that, based on consistent play, Budge was the greatest player ever. Some observers, however, also felt that Kramer deserved consideration for the title. Kramer was among the few who dominated amateur and professional tennis during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Tony Trabert has said that of the players he saw before the start of the open era, Kramer was the best male champion.
The tiebreak is sometimes not employed for the final set of a match and an advantage set is used instead. Therefore, the deciding set must be played until one player or team has won two more games than the opponent. Of the major tennis championships, this now only applies in the French Open. In the US Open, a tiebreak is played in the deciding set (fifth set for the men, third set for the women) at 6–6. Starting in 2019, in Wimbledon, a tiebreak will be played if the score reaches 12–12 in the final set. In the Australian Open, a "first to 10" tiebreak is played in the deciding set if it reaches 6–6. (When the tiebreak was first introduced at Wimbledon in 1971, it was invoked at 8–8 rather than 6–6.) The US Open formerly held "Super Saturday" where the two men's semi-finals were played along with the women's final on the second Saturday of the event; therefore a tie-break was more prudent where player rest and scheduling is more important.
In Tennis: A Cultural History, Heiner Gillmeister reveals that on December 8, 1874, British army officer Walter Clopton Wingfield wrote to Harry Gem, commenting that he (Wingfield) had been experimenting with his version of lawn tennis “for a year and a half”. In December 1873, Wingfield designed and patented a game which he called sphairistikè (Greek: σφαιριστική, meaning "ball-playing"), and was soon known simply as "sticky" – for the amusement of guests at a garden party on his friend's estate of Nantclwyd Hall, in Llanelidan, Wales. According to R. D. C. Evans, turfgrass agronomist, "Sports historians all agree that [Wingfield] deserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis." According to Honor Godfrey, museum curator at Wimbledon, Wingfield "popularized this game enormously. He produced a boxed set which included a net, poles, rackets, balls for playing the game – and most importantly you had his rules. He was absolutely terrific at marketing and he sent his game all over the world. He had very good connections with the clergy, the law profession, and the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in 1874." The world's oldest annual tennis tournament took place at Leamington Lawn Tennis Club in Birmingham in 1874. This was three years before the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club would hold its first championships at Wimbledon, in 1877. The first Championships culminated a significant debate on how to standardize the rules.