The tennis racket is perhaps the most prestigious piece of equipment and has traditionally attracted the most attention in terms of technological development.
This is possibly because the racket is the individual's tool: it is the only equipment not shared by the players and can be tailored to the physiology and playing style of the individual.
The materials used for rackets have changed throughout the decades: beginning with wooden frames, experimenting with metal alloys, and arriving at carbon-fibre composites. Manufacturing methods have evolved accordingly, but there remains a considerable amount of manual labour involved in crafting a racket.
A typical modern racket is likely to be between 25 and 40% lighter than those of 30 years ago and have a noticeably bigger head size. These changes are more commonly appreciated by recreational players than by professionals, although both groups have benefited from the improvement in frame stiffness, and lighter weight.
In this section there is information on:
- Research into tennis racket performance and spin
- Background on how strings have developed over time and racket stringing
- Product conformity: results of rulings on equipment since 2001
More background can be discovered through the links on the right which detail further the manufacturing process, a short history of tennis rackets over time, and rules regarding racket conformity.