Did you know that the first Wimbledon was played in 1877? Yes, tennis has been around for a very long time. It first started in 1873, even though there were similar games played before that. It’s one of the representatives of fair play and sportsmanship. It’s a fun sport that will keep you active and healthy for a long time since there are no age limits for it. But even the greatest players in the world didn’t rely on their talent only when it came to winning. They also needed the right equipment – high-quality racquets, suitable clothing and the right tennis shoes to make their win.
Buying a tennis racquet is one of the most important decisions you have to make. It has to be the right fit, height, length and shape. The different sizes and strengths of a tennis player will require different racquets. If you’re naturally strong, you’ll want to choose a racket that provides you more control while not adding too much power to your game. On the other hand, you may feel that you need assistance delivering more power. Your choice also depends on the type of swing you have, the style of your play and your technique.
The head size varies between 612-709 centimetres square. A larger head means more power and more surface to swing the ball. But players use a smaller head if they’re confident enough to hit the ball clearly without a miss. When you buy tennis racquets, pay attention to their length as well. The ones made for adults vary between 68-73cm. Longer ones are lighter and have more reach and power when you serve, but they can be harder to control.
The weight plays a big part in your swing, so it’s a huge factor when buying the right tennis racquet. Its weight will vary between 310-320g, and manufacturers often offer different racquets in different weights, so ask for the one that suits you the most. Heavy ones are hard to handle sometimes but offer a more powerful swing. If you can, always try out the racquet you want to determine the type of balance you need and the level of stiffness you’re comfortable with.
The grip will vary from person to person. An excellent way to decide the size of the grip is to measure the length from the ring finger to the second line on your palm. Get the measurement in mm and transfer it to the diameter of the racquet. Experts recommend always buying a size smaller grip and adding overgrips that you can replace once they’re overused. It may take some time to learn how to put them on, but it’ll be easier and cheaper to use in time.
Always buy two tennis racquets because you don’t want to borrow your friend’s racquet when your strings snap. It will be completely different with another weight, length and balance. Of course, different players require different racquets.
- Beginners – oversize head size, lighter frame, more power;
- Intermediate – oversize or mid plus head size, medium-light structure, less energy and more control;
- Advanced – mid plus to midsize head size, medium to heavyweight frame, racquets that provide control and feel.
Did you know that the first yellow tennis balls were introduced in 1972? Before that, they were white, but after realising that they were hard to follow on the court, the ITF changed it to yellow, a bright, noticeable colour. Even if it doesn’t seem like there is a lot of difference between tennis balls, that’s not the case. They depend on the surface you play on, your personal preferences and how much you play.
Extra Duty Balls
Hard surfaces, including asphalt, concrete, and other outside hard courts, require extra-durable balls. Because of their thick felt, extra duty balls are generally more durable. On these difficult surfaces, the extra felt will help the ball survive longer. Extra duty balls will last longer than ordinary ones, but they will not play as quickly.
Extra-duty balls’ felt opens up or “fluffs up” early, which extends the life of the felt and helps to balance out the quick speed of most hard courts. These balls are under pressure and will eventually lose their bounce. Extra duty balls are sometimes referred to as “XD” balls.
Regular Duty Balls
Regular duty balls are designed with less felt than extra duty balls and are suitable for slower, softer courts. The theory is that because the softer court absorbs more of the ball’s impact, ordinary duty balls require less feeling. A regular duty ball’s felt also meant to stay compressed for a longer period of time, which aids in ball speed and balances out the surface.
These balls are also suitable for indoor courts; however, regular duty balls will not be as durable as extra duty balls when used on outdoor courts. Balls that are used on a regular basis are also pressured and lose their bounce over time.
Beginners and recreational players often prefer pressureless balls. Instead of being packed with compressed air, they have thicker walls on the core, giving them a distinctive sound as they hit the ground. They also have a longer lifespan than a pressurised ball and keep their bounce over time. Because pressureless tennis balls are heavier and tougher than pressurised balls, they will strike the racquet harder. These balls will not be very arm friendly because of the force on the racquet.
Buying tennis shoes is not the same as buying regular sneakers. They’re an essential part of the game, and the most significant factor in deciding which ones you’ll get is the outsole. Depending on the terrain you’ll play on, they are flatter and have a specific design on the sole. But most importantly, they’re sturdy. When it comes to size, the perfect fit should have a 13mm gap between the toa and the front of the shoe. This prevents toe injuries and allows for good blood flow and enough space to move the foot in every direction.
Many people prefer that the ankles don’t touch the shoe because it can cause discomfort. So be careful about this; you don’t want sore ankles and irritated skin. Look for shoes with generous midsole; this will give you support and comfort. A combination of a good sole, comfortable width and toe space provides the perfect stability on the court. All of those movements in different directions must be supported the right way.
The weight of the shoe is closely associated with the player’s speed. A lightweight shoe is fast, and a heavier one will make you sluggish. Always try the shoes you’re planning to buy. Make a few moves, go in different directions, and make a few jumps and slides to see if that’s the right fit for you.