Net Worth: The Radical Pro was what was sitting in Andy Murray’s hand when he rocked Wimbeldon, so it damn sure deserves a place in your bag. At 11.5oz it is a nice mid-weight racket, though thanks to the way its balanced it moves like a much lighter piece of equipment. On power swings you are going to notice some sluggishness, but barely enough to make a difference. This is definitely a control players racket with its 98 square-inch head which allows for decent serve speed but sluggers won’t get the crushing power they desire. For smooth operation when making a net play, it works wonders and allows for sniper-level ball placement. For pure power it’s not a winner. [Purchase: $190]
Advanced players improve their performance through a number of accoutrements. Vibration dampeners may be interlaced in the proximal part of the string array for improved feel. Racket handles may be customized with absorbent or rubber-like materials to improve the players' grip. Players often use sweat bands on their wrists to keep their hands dry and head bands or bandanas to keep the sweat out of their eyes as well. Finally, although the game can be played in a variety of shoes, specialized tennis shoes have wide, flat soles for stability and a built-up front structure to avoid excess wear.
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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.
In the early 1980s, "graphite" (carbon fibre) composites were introduced, and other materials were added to the composite, including ceramics, glass fibre, boron, and titanium. Some of the earliest models typically had 20% or more fiberglass, to make them more flexible. Stiff rackets were typically not preferred by most players because of their familiarity with the comfortable softness of wood. These early models tended to be very flexible and not very powerful, although they were a power upgrade over wood and metal rackets. Wilson created the Jack Kramer Pro Staff, the graphite version of the wood racket of the same name extremely popular in the late 70's and early 80's. This was the origin of the extremely influential Wilson Pro Staff 85. Chris Evert's first graphite racket was this Jack Kramer version, which had 20% fiberglass. It was not a market success and she, along with everyone else, quickly replaced it with the stiffer Pro Staff 85, which had 20% kevlar. It used the same mold and had the same braided graphite, but offered a very noticeable improvement in power. The very popular Prince original graphite, an oversize in its most popular form, was also quite influential and used by many pros, especially as juniors. Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles, for instance, used the Prince graphite to contest their influential Wimbledon match in 1991 that has often been hailed as the beginning of the power baselining game in the WTA, although that claim is somewhat hyperbolic and is, in large part, due to the mistaken impression that the players were hitting much harder when, in fact, the rackets were more powerful. However, the very large head size, when compared with the midsize and, especially, the old "standard" size, made it easier to produce power. The racket also had an open string pattern. The Prince "original" graphite name is rather a misnomer, as it went through some significant design adjustments over its lifetime. For instance, the truly original model had a reverse teardrop head shape, something no subsequent versions had. Stiffer composite rackets, when compared with the first and second generations of graphite composites, are the contemporary standard. The last wooden racket appearing at Wimbledon appeared in 1987, long after they were abandoned by practically all professionals. Borg tried to stage a comeback with his standard wood racket, after his premature retirement, but it quickly ended in failure, as the standard wood was no match when placed against a stiff midplus graphite. It is also commonly argued that Chris Evert would have been able to beat Martina Navratilova during the latter's most dominant period if she had switched from her wood racket years sooner. Additionally, the last influential wooden racket, the Prince Woodie, had layers of graphite to increase its stiffness and was an oversize. It was used by Tommy Haas, Gabriela Sabatini, and quite a few others. It offered very little power but did offer much more surface area than a standard-size wooden frame. Sabatini found it helpful, as compared with smaller rackets, due to her production of heavy topspin. The only woman to beat Martina Navratilova in 1984, Kathleen Horvath, used the Prince Woodie, one of only six losses Navratilova suffered in a three-year stretch involving 260 matches.
This really depends on your experience level to be truthful. Many pro players will buy a racket they like and then get it strung with a particular type of string that they like.We don’t really recommend that for the average player. First, do a little string research, then get a racquet that is already strung with a type of string that you think will work well for your playing style. Remember, you can always restring your racquet later if you are not happy with it.
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