Throughout most of lawn tennis' history, most rackets were made of laminated wood, with heads of around 65 square inches (420 cm2). A small number of them were made of metal, such as a 1920s racket by Dayton. Some, rarely, also had metal strings. In the late 1960s, Wilson popularized the T-2000 steel racket with wire wound around the frame to make string loops, after having purchased the design from René Lacoste, who produced the racket first in a more limited run. It was popularized by the top American player Jimmy Connors and was also, prior to Connors using it, by Billie Jean King in her early career. Many players said it lacked control but had more power, when compared with wood frames of the period. Connors used the rarer "firm" model that had additional throat welds to increase its stiffness. In 1968 Spalding launched an aluminum racket, called The Smasher. Aluminum, though lighter and more flexible than steel, was sometimes less accurate than wood. The biggest complaint, however, was that metal rackets caused strong cases of tennis elbow, especially the kind that had holes for the strings directly in the frame, rather than using an external wire wrapper, as in the T-2000. Because of that drawback in particular, most of the top players still preferred to use wooden frames.
When playing a match, it is usually best to report each score out loud with one's opponent to avoid conflicts. During a game, the server has the responsibility to announce the game score before serving. This is done by announcing the server's score first. If, for example, the server loses the first three points of his or her service game, he or she would say "love–40". This is to be done every time. After a set is complete, the server, before serving for the first game of the next set, announces the set scores so far completed in the match, stating his or her own scores first. If the server has won the first two sets and is beginning the third, he or she would say, "two–love, new set." If the server had lost the first two sets, he or she would say, "love–two, new set." Finally, after the completion of the match, either player, when asked the score, announces his or her own scores first.
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!
A volley is a shot returned to the opponent in mid-air before the ball bounces, generally performed near the net, and is usually made with a stiff-wristed punching motion to hit the ball into an open area of the opponent's court. The half volley is made by hitting the ball on the rise just after it has bounced, also generally in the vicinity of the net, and played with the racket close to the ground. The swinging volley is hit out of the air as the player approaches the net. It is an offensive shot used to take preparation time away from the opponent, as it returns the ball into the opponent's court much faster than a standard volley.
Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to maneuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.