A tennis racket is required for striking a tennis ball during a match. The tennis rackets vary widely according to their length, weight, balance point, stiffness, beam thickness, pattern and density of the string and the size of the head. Some of the popular brands for tennis racket manufacturing are Prince Sports, Yonex, Wilson, Babolat, Dunlop Sport, Head and Tecnifibre. The major manufacturers use graphite composite to make the rackets. The wooden rackets or those manufactured from other materials such as steel, fibreglass or aluminium are regarded as obsolete but are technically legal for play. However, the inexpensive rackets have poor performance due to its inadequate weight balancing and excessive flexibility.
The game of tennis was originated in 1100 BC when monks played the sport for the first time and used their hands as rackets. In 1874, the first tennis racket was manufactured by Major Walter C. Wingfield in London. It was composed of solid wood and was comparatively heavier. In 1947, laminated wood was used to manufacture tennis racket. Later in 1975, with the increasing popularity of tennis, American brand Weed manufactured the first oversized aluminium racket.
By 1980s, wooden rackets became obsolete. Many tennis racket brands like Dunlop and Prince started manufacturing graphite frames. Meanwhile, Dunlop Max200G racket was dominating the court and used by world-class players John McEnroe and Steffi Graf. Later in the 1990s, Japanese brand Yonex started dominating the market. The modern rackets have some graphite in it as it aids in flexibility, stability and more power. Some companies also add little titanium and Kevlar to improve the performance of rackets. The modern rackets are durable, lighter and customizable depending on the requirement of the players.
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