The Evolution of Tennis Rackets
In its early stages, tennis was played with the hands, and the ball was hit against a wall, or through hoops.
The first official tennis racket was made in London by Major Walter C. Wingfield. It was called the “Major Wingfield Original” and was made with solid wood— usually ash because of its strength and moldable characteristic.
In 1947, Lacoste’s rackets taught people to laminate (layer different types of wood) their wooden rackets to reach the desirable resistance, strength, and weight. These rackets, despite their heavy weight and small-headed sweet spots, were popular until the 1970s.
Wilson created the first-ever steel racket called the Wilson T2000. Though this made the racket stronger, it was still heavy.
Finally, a lighter racket came into the game with the Weed Aluminum. This was also the first racket with an oversized head, which creates a larger sweet spot for the player.
An official limit to head sizes was imposed.
Dunlop came up with graphite frames, which were lighter and stiffer than the weed aluminum, and allowed the ball to be hit harder.
Wilson created the first wide body racket, allowing for more powerful shots.
The Japanese brand Yonex joined the game thanks to World No 1 player Monica Seles. It was also around this time that Wilson created a racket called the Wilson Hammer with a heavier head, enabling more solid shots for the player.
Prince created larger string holes in the racket for more speed.
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