Tennis also became popular in France, where the French Championships dates to 1891 although until 1925 it was open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs. Thus, Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open (dating to 1905) became and have remained the most prestigious events in tennis. Together these four events are called the Majors or Slams (a term borrowed from bridge rather than baseball).
The frame of rackets for all sports was traditionally made of solid wood (later laminated wood) and the strings of animal intestine known as catgut. The traditional racket size was limited by the strength and weight of the wooden frame which had to be strong enough to hold the strings and stiff enough to hit the ball or shuttle. Manufacturers started adding non-wood laminates to wood rackets to improve stiffness. Non-wood rackets were made first of steel, then of aluminum, and then carbon fiber composites. Wood is still used for real tennis, rackets, and xare. Most rackets are now made of composite materials including carbon fiber or fiberglass, metals such as titanium alloys, or ceramics.
If I had come too late to tennis to get very good, or for the game to play a role in who I am, there are experiences and sensations it has been providing me while I’m on the court that are new and surprising. I feel helpless when I tire and lose focus — focus has never been an issue for me. I get angry with myself at times while playing, Andy Murray angry, though I have never gone so far as to repeatedly slap my forehead with my palm. I think you have to be really good to get away with that.