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.
Jeu de paume, an older version of modern-day tennis, was very popular in the 17th century and played an important part in the education of princes. As a royal sport, it was codified with etiquette and rituals. Although the Louvre Palace and the palaces at Vincennes, Fontainebleau, Compiègne and Saint-Germain all had their own tennis court, the Palace of Versailles had been without one since the room built under Louis XIII was destroyed in 1682 to ease the way for the building of the Grand Commun. Four years after Louis XIV and his Court moved to Versailles (in 1686), a new room was built for Nicolas Creté, Tennis Master to the King, a few hundred metres south-east of the Palace in the Old-Versailles district. Although built with private funds, it was frequented by Parisian tennis masters, the Court, and the royal family. According to the memoirs of Charles Perrault, Louis XIV's physician had recommended "jeu de paume" to him as a salutary hygienic exercise.
Here is an oldie but goody from the very reputable tennis racquet manufacturer prince. They were among the first tennis racquet companies to take the technology used to build them to a whole new level. This is the type of racquet that is preferred by more traditional players that like to make the ball react because of their swing and not because of some fancy tennis racquet design.
The rules of modern tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tiebreak in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point-challenge system, which allows a player to contest the line call of a point, a system known as Hawk-Eye.
×