All tennis players, regardless of their level, need the same essential equipment to play. Although the quality and cost may vary, racquets, strings, balls, shoes and tennis equipment are vital to the game of tennis. Here are some tips on buying, using and caring for these items. Rackets and Strings When buying a tennis racket, study the material of which it is made. Labels, stickers, cards and tags give us important information about the racket’s blade size, length, string tension, adjustability and various features. Wilson, Prince and Head sell 75% of all tennis racquets.

About 3/4 of racquets today are made of low quality aluminum or graphite and are priced between $20 and $90. For amateurs, racquets between $50 and $90 are acceptable to start with. The remaining 25 percent of racquets cost between $90 and $400 and are made of materials such as high-modulus carbon fiber, Kevlar, graphite and even a limited amount of titanium, probably more for promotional reasons than to improve racquet performance.

Moderate players should switch to racquets in this class, whose prices usually range between $100 and $200. Rackets used to weigh between 311.85 and 396.9 grams (11 to 14 ounces). By the time the second English version was released in 1995, the racquets had dropped to 255.15 grams (9 ounces). Today, racquets weigh only 226.8 grams (8 ounces) or a maximum of 354.38 grams (12.5 ounces). Students should use a racquet that weighs less and is usually not flexible (to give more strength). Light racquets should provide more weight on top of the racquet. Otherwise, it can be extremely difficult for a tennis player to create power. There is nothing wrong with using heavier racquets, but they require the effort and training of an average or advanced player to be viable.

In general, stiffer racquets provide more power, while adaptable racquets are thought to provide more control. Regardless of whether a racquet is suitable or not, ball control depends more on the skill of the player than on the type of racquet. There is no single approach to measuring overall adaptability. Each organization has its own technique for representing adaptability. Examine the cards or labels that come with new racquets, or talk to a store representative who knows something about racquet manufacturing. This will help name the different parts of the company. Figure 1 describes the entire racquet from the top or base to the highest point of the head. As you do the exercises for success in tennis, develop your style of play. Tennis players with a short swing usually perform better with a stiffer racket. Fast swing players prefer really adaptable racquets. Other tennis players have a medium swing and should look for a racket with medium adaptability. Although the racquet has become less heavy, the size of the top of the racquet has increased, as mentioned above.

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