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Evolution of Tennis Racquet Materials

Brian D. Ladin

Delos Shipping founder Brian D. Ladin is responsible for people, ships, and investments all around the world. He concurrently serves as a director of the German company Konig & Cie. When his duties permit, Brian D. Ladin enjoys playing tennis, a sport he has practiced for more than 30 years.

As technology has improved, tennis racquet materials have improved dramatically over the last 40 years. In the early days of Bobby Riggs and rival Billie Jean King, tennis racquets were almost universally made of wood. This led to all manner of problems, most notable warping.
Manufacturers began to experiment with different materials in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Composites with aluminum and titanium were favored for a while, but ultimately replaced by the introduction of carbon-based materials. Racquets made from carbon fiber and ceramics were lightweight and stiff, and they reduced irksome vibrations. Manufacturers competed to develop lighter and lighter racquets during this time.
Today, elite players favor slightly heavier racquets, as they allow for increased stability. Decades of constant improvements to equipment has made most racquets so efficient that top pros are choosing racquets bought right off the shelf, rather than requiring custom gear.

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