Tennis Essay

1074 words - 4 pages

19th Century and 20th Century Tennis, their Similarities and Differences Imagine a girl, young and beautiful, with a wooden racket hitting a ball over a net wearing her lingerie and her very thick dress over it. See her run with her tiny little feet in those tiny leather formal shoes. Imagine a man, doing the same thing, wearing leather shoes, pants, and a long-sleeved collared shirt with a tie. Think about how the tie would smoothly glide through the breeze as he moves. Can you picture it? If you can, then you have just seen how a tennis player looked like in the 19th century.Now imagine, Elizabeth Ryan, or any woman, running around with a wooden racket in her lingerie like apparel with rubber shoes on. Imagine Rene Lacoste, the owner of Lacoste, also doing the same thing in a collared shirt, long shorts and rubber shoes. Were you able imagine them? If you were, then you have just seen apparel of tennis players in the first half of the 20th century.Imagine again. Imagine Martina Hingis, Chris Evert, Margaret Court and Steffi Graf, in their short skirts, and Anna Kournikova flaunting her flawless legs playing with state-of-art metal rackets, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi wearing collared shirts and shorts just covering their buttocks. Have you pictured all of them? If you have, then you have just seen the development, changes and the apparel itself of tennis players in the latter half of the 20th century.Look at the obvious change in attire. It is clear that in the 19th century tennis was a sport of the upper class maintaining that classy appearance at the expense of poor movement. In the 20th century, however, it is evident that tennis was developing as a sport, one in which competition is honored and not the apparel. The attires of the said century altogether help the players improve movement and are more appropriate to wear for playing such a tedious sport.How about equipment? Rackets have definitely changed through the decades and each one bringing in a better performance. In the 19th century, rackets were simply made of wood and the strings were similar to those used in clothes. But thankfully that improved to gut and plastic strings. In the early 1900s, rackets still had that wooden frame for a long time but the string improved to nylon the and types of wood changed to those of better durability and lighter weight. In the latter half of the 20th century, rackets were already being made of aluminum and graphite for better movement and durability. The strings were made of nylon containing various fibers within to enhance a better bounce and create a better spin on the ball when hit. The balls in the 1800s on the other hand were plain hollow rubber ones coated with white paint. A century later, the balls were still being made from rubber but with wool reinforcement and artificial covering usually colored light green for contrast while the ball is aloft.Like almost all sports, the rules of play have remained...

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