Improvement Of Tennis Equipment Essay

3981 words - 16 pages

Improvement of Tennis Equipment

Improvement is certainly one of the main principles which define American culture and its people. It is evident in politics, economics, technology and even in sports. The improvement in sports is continuously producing higher standards for athletes and their performances. Stronger clubs, faster engines, safer pads, lighter bats, and longer lasting balls are just a few of the elements in the grand arsenal of ever-improving weapons. Such is certainly the case with the sport of tennis and its required equipment and apparel. The twentieth century has marked a new era of ever-improving athletic achievements and tennis is one of the primary examples. Other than golf and race-car driving, tennis equipment changed and improved more than any other sport. Since World War II, tennis racquets, strings, and grips have improved greatly, making today's tennis players better than ever, regardless of their skill level and type of play. No other tennis equipment improved more than the racquets themselves. Although not much changed regarding racquet material for twenty years after the Second World War, tennis makers had began introducing new shapes and sizes as early as 1946. In that year, a small British company called Harrington Lawn Sports introduced a new, egg-shaped racquet head design with the intent to provide more power to the players who lacked it. These players primarily included beginners and amateurs. That same year and with the same intent, American Wilson company started selling its first line of 28-inch long racquets. These racquets were an inch longer and provided more power than the standard-length racquets. Wilson would later add the British egg-shaped design to its long body racquets to gain more sales among the amateur players. Not until 1965 did tennis racquets start to experience significant changes. By that time Wilson emerged as the leader of tennis racquet manufacturing. With the popularity of tennis growing, Wilson introduced a line of aluminum racquets. These racquets, however, did not have much of an impact on the buyers who were very skeptic of giving up the traditional wooden racquets. Although aluminum racquets were light and provided power, they lacked control and stiffness, which are one of the essential elements in the performance of a player. During the late sixties, many other American and international tennis companies began to emerge, providing competition and variety to the world of tennis. Some of the companies such as Spalding and Fischer were already well established sporting equipment companies who saw a promising potential in the tennis business. Spalding, in fact, was one of the first sporting equipment companies in the United States, starting its production of baseball bats and gloves in 1894. Today's second largest tennis manufacturing company is also an American company, called Prince. Prince began its production in 1967, introducing its own version of aluminum racquets aside from...

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