Have you ever walked into an antique store, seen something from your childhood and thought, “that can’t be an antique; I used to have one of these!”? When I saw this wood tennis racquet that was my thought, and I was stopped in my tracks. I have played tennis since I was very young, and the wooden racquet was the first that I ever played with. I remember being a child and getting frustrated when trying to tighten the screws of the wood tennis cover. Leaving the cover off was not an option, because my mom or dad would simply tell us to put it back on!
It was a short time that I played with one of these racquets. In the late 1960’s, Wilson introduced the first steel racquet; the T2000 was made popular by Jimmy Conners. Aluminum racquets soon were produced. Lighter than steel, and more flexible, they still did not provide the accuracy of a wooden racquet. Many top players of the game continued to use wood.
By the mid-70’s, aluminum construction improved, and the first oversized racquet was brought to the market. Graphite composite racquets were made in the early 1980’s and soon replaced all other racquets. The last wood tennis racquet was used at Wimbledon is 1987. Today, composite racquets are the standard.
Having played tennis for the majority of my life, I have used a number of different racquets. From wood to steel to graphite, I have held and played with many. Seeing the wood racquet, with that wood brace across the head, made me think about the progression of technology in my lifetime. It makes me wonder what could be next in the world of tennis racquets.