In August 2007 the ATP announced major changes to the tour that were introduced in 2009. The Masters Series was renamed to the "Masters 1000", the addition of the number 1000 referring to the number of ranking points earned by the winner of each tournament. Contrary to earlier plans, the number of tournaments was not reduced from nine to eight and the Monte Carlo Masters remains part of the series although, unlike the other events, it does not have a mandatory player commitment. The Hamburg Masters has been downgraded to a 500-point event. The Madrid Masters moved to May and onto clay courts, and a new tournament in Shanghai took over Madrid's former indoor October slot. As of 2011 six of the nine "1000" level tournaments are combined ATP and WTA events.
By 1975, aluminum construction improvements allowed for the introduction of the first American "oversized" racket, which was manufactured by Weed. Prince popularized the oversize racket, which had a head size of approximately 110 square inches (710 cm2). Howard Head was able to obtain a broad patent for Prince, despite the prior art of the Bentley Fortissimo (the first oversize, made in Germany of fiberglass) and the Weed. The patent was rejected by Germany but approved in the USA. The popularity of the Prince aluminum oversize had the side effect of popularizing rackets having other non-standard head sizes such as mid-size 85–90 square inches (550–580 cm2) and mid-plus sizes 95–98 square inches (610–630 cm2). Fairly quickly, midsize frames began to become the most-used frames in the pro tours. Martina Navratilova popularized the midsize graphite racket, with her wins using the Yonex R-7, the first midsize graphite racket made by Yonex. Nearly at the same time, however, she said the "jumbo" rackets (midsize included) should be removed from the sport for making it easier. She said she would use them only because other players could, as they were tournament-legal. Fewer players chose to use oversize rackets, and some switched to midplus frames after their earliest career for more control. Fiberglass frames also had a brief period of limited popularity, making fewer inroads among top players than aluminum. Also, the earliest composites, such as the Head Competition series, used by Arthur Ashe, were made without graphite. These were more flexible than a typical early graphite composite but stiffer than wood, fiberglass, and aluminum.
I have sought many cures for this. I have repeatedly watched a YouTube video of Roger Federer, in slow motion, ripping a one-hand topspin backhand and not lifting his head for a full beat after the ball has left the picture frame — it’s as if he is studying the contrails of a missile he has just launched. Early one morning last year at Wimbledon, I stood in the cool damp and watched Federer up close during a workout, doing much the same thing, repeatedly, as if he had no interest in whether a ball he struck cleared the net or landed in (which it mostly did, and did). It was — there is no other way to describe it — beautiful, in that unobtainable way.
When both sides have won the same number of points then: when each side has won one, or two, points, the score is described as "15-all" and "30-all" (or "15-up" and "30-up"), respectively. However, if each player has won three points, the score is called as "deuce", not "40–all". From that point on in the game, whenever the score is tied, it is described as "deuce", regardless of how many points have been played.
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.
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.