Friday, 28 October 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Tennis Racket

I know, I know, buying a tennis racket is freaking confusing right? No fear, we made this process easy for you. Check out our tennis algorithm or read this blog to take a self-guided tour on how to buy a tennis racket.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Tennis Racket

Buying a tennis racket can often be a difficult and confusing process, particularly for those who are new to the game, as a variety of manufacturers promote their products and promise you the best results with the latest ground-breaking racket technology. This simple guide however will set you on the path to successfully purchasing a tennis racket that will suit and improve your game.

“Try Before You Buy!”

When considering buying a new tennis racket, there is one golden rule to follow – try before you buy! Although the internet does offer great deals, and it is tempting to click a button and order a racket you like upon first glance, you can never be sure that it will suit you personally. Even by just feeling a racket in your hand, you can learn a lot about it, and you’ll probably know whether or not it is appropriate for you. Many websites allow you to demo a racket you’re interested in by sending it to you to test.

Know Your Standard

Be honest to yourself before you look into buying a racket, by accepting your standard of tennis. Different rackets are designed to help players of different abilities. Beginner rackets offer more power than rackets that are meant for advanced players, because obviously beginners may have problems developing power on the ball entirely by themselves. Therefore, it is imperative to buy a racket that is suitable for your level. If a beginner were to invest in an expensive, heavy racket with a small head size (a racket suitable for an advanced player), they would not benefit from this purchase, and would struggle to improve their game. Being truthful to yourself is the best approach to take in the long-run, and if you start with a beginner’s racket, then don’t worry. It won’t be long before you move on to better things.

Don’t be Fooled by Advertisements

Most notably with younger players, it is easy to be fooled by the manufacturers and big brands in tennis. Despite seeing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal using the latest and most expensive rackets on television, we shouldn’t be fooled by this. The pro’s obviously do not use the same rackets that are sold in sports shops and on the internet. Their rackets will have been finely customized to suit their game and maximize their potential. However, the stickers and paint on their rackets will be the same as the rackets that Wilson and Babolat are selling to the public. Buy your racket for the right reasons – primarily if it improves and helps your game.


Lastly, an often overlooked matter when it comes to buying tennis rackets is sizing. If a racket is not the right size for you, then it comes as no shock that you will not be able to perform well with it. To determine what size of racket you require, you must know your grip size, and desired racket length and head size. If you are an adult, your racket length will probably be 27 inches, and for a child it can be calculated by examining your age and height. The size of the head of your racket depends upon your skill level; larger head sizes are recommended for beginners, and smaller head sizes for advanced players. Your grip size is based on the size of your hand and can be calculated by vertically measuring the distance from your ring finger to the intersection between your thumb and index finger in the middle of your palm.

Tennis Racket Length – It Matters!

Yes, length matters, don’t listen to the skeptics. Tennis racket length matters because it allows you to extend more into the ball, which makes a world of difference. In tennis, every inch counts.

Tennis Racket Length – It Matters More Than You Think

A frequently overlooked specification of rackets is tennis racket length. The length of a tennis racket affects many aspects of a players game, as this article will prove.


When Michael Chang changed to his new Prince racket which was 2 inches longer than his previous one, his game changed dramatically. All of a sudden he was popping 120 mph serves.
The greater the length of a tennis racket, the greater the force a player can put behind the ball. Therefore, a longer racket can obviously produce more power than a shorter racket. To put this to the test, one need only try hitting a shot with a junior racket and then a full sized adult racket. Unsurprisingly the outcome is that the longer, adult racket helps the player to hit the ball with the most power.


It will come as no shock, that a longer racket also gives players a greater reach – which is the ability to hit the ball despite it being far away from the body. For example, if an opponent were to play a drop shot against you in a match, a longer racket would mean you could make contact from distance and without having to track it down with your feet completely. In a lengthy and arduous match, this of course preserves a great deal of energy, particularly for professional players, who can reach and stretch several feet to return a ball. A further reach can help with the serve too. If a player can serve from a higher point, then it is easier to guide the ball into the service box as they have a better vertical angle at which they can serve the ball. This explains why taller tennis players usually have more effective serves, and more room for error.


So far, it seems that the longer the racket, the better, for players of all abilities; this however is not entirely true. While longer rackets do increase reach and power, they are more difficult to control. The first reason for this is that longer rackets and generally heavier and thus more challenging to move, in particular when fast hands are needed for volleying at the net. Secondly, players will need to move their feet quickly with a longer racket when shots are played close to the body in order to hit the ball with perfect technique. With a shorter racket, players can afford to be much closer to the ball instead.

Clearly, tennis racket length matters much more than we all think. Despite lengthier rackets maximizing reach and power, they also call upon more skill from the player with regards to footwork and hand speed. Taking this into consideration, carefully select the length of your racket, and only take the step up to a longer racket when you know you can fully reap the rewards.

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Tennis Scoring System: The Odd 15, 30, 40

If you’re new to tennis, then you must be wondering who invented the tennis scoring system—and why it’s so odd. Even tennis veterans are befuddled by the strange scoring system. In an interview, Andre Agassi was asked about why the points were named that way. His humorous reply was that the system was invented “to cause frustration to those who play tennis.”Indeed, for many players, it’s a mystery they will never understand. The practical approach would be to simply learn the scoring rules and move on instead of stopping to wonder how the rules got that way.

Tennis historians cannot pinpoint exactly how and when the wording was used, though there are several theories. The 15, 30, and 40 scores are said to have originated from medieval French. Theory has it that a clock face was used on court; a quarter move of the hand denoted a score of 15, 30, and 45. The game was over when the hand moved to 60.

In the world of tennis, ‘love’ is the term for zero—a term that is also attributed to medieval French. The word ‘l’oeuf’in French means egg—which looks like a zero. Tennis historians theorize that English mispronunciations eventually corrupted the word and it thus became ‘love.’Oddly enough, ‘love’ is not used at all in French tennis matches. They use zero.

Linguists also theorize that ‘love’ comes the Dutch word ‘lof,’ which means honor. The basis of this theory is a 16th-century political song that describes a battle between the French and Antwerp in terms of a tennis game, differentiating those who play for ‘lof’ and those who wager. Incidentally, the word ‘tennis’ is believed to be a corruption of the word ‘tenez’ which means take heed. The umpire shouted this word at the beginning of the match back in the day.

Best Sportsmanship Moments in Tennis

A quick YouTube search for ‘best sportsmanship moments in tennis’ will return a collection of videos that show some of our generations most celebrated players showing graciousness even in defeat. If you’re a tennis fan, then you will appreciate these videos and will find it hard not to smile while watching them.

One of the more recent moments of sportsmanship happened at the Hopman Cup match. Jack Sock of the United States and Lleyton Hewitt of Australia. Hewitt served and the ball was called out. Hewitt was about to take his second serve and readies his tennis racket,but Sock stopped him, saying the ball was in and asked him to challenge the call. Hewitt appeared shocked to hear Sock say this but agreed and challenged the call.

Sock already conceded the point according to the chair umpire, but they went to the board anyway and there it was—the ball was in. The delighted crowd applauded. The match was won by Hewitt, but it was Sock’s sportsmanship moment that was even more memorable.

And then there’s the much-told story of Tim Smyczek and Rafael Nadal. Smyczek—a relatively unknown American qualifier—is on center court against Nadal, who is beyond doubt one of the greatest tennis players in the world. The game has been going on for four hours and the heat was oppressive. Spectators are on the edge of their seats.

Put yourself in Smyczek’s shoes. The pressure must have been intense. He was, after all, playing against a tennis great.

At 30-0, Nadal prepares a serve to win the match. He tosses the ball up, but someone in the crowd screamed out and he faults.Smyczek could have sniffed an opportunity for a second serve so he can get back into the game, but he instead tells Nadal to replay the point. For everyone watching, it was an incredible moment of sportsmanship during one of the most intense games of the American player’s career. The audience responded warmly; Smyczek received a standing ovation as he left the court after succumbing to Nadal.

Are You Using the Right Tennis Shoes?

A game of short sprints, quick stops and starts, and lots of lateral movement, tennis requires footwear that can keep up. This is why you need the right tennis shoes. When choosing a pair, it helps to think about your style of playing, the court surface where you usually play, and your personal preferences.

The Anatomy of a Tennis Shoe

If you’re completely new to tennis then you can probably get away with using running shoes that are engineered for repetitive forward motion. But once you have decided to make tennis a part of your lifestyle, it makes sense to invest in proper tennis shoes, the same investment as
buying a perfect tennis racket.

Unlike general training or gym shoes that have thicker and softer heels for added cushioning and less impact, tennis shoes are designed to be sturdier. They are built for frequent starts and stops and movement around the court. This is why most tennis shoes are more flat with specially designed patterns on the sole, which vary depending on the court surface.

Think About Where You Play

In general, hard court surfaces(such as concrete) require tennis shoes with extra durability. Go for a pair with resilient out soles and supportive uppers. Hard courts tend to wear soles out more quickly, so always check your shoes and assess if you need replacements.

On the other hand, soft courts or clay courts require tennis shoes with more grip.Tennis shoes for soft courts are usually designed for non-damaging traction.

Think About Your Playing Style

If you’re a baseline player and you love being along the baseline, then you need tennis shoes with lateral support and a highly durable sole. If you’re a serve-and-volley player and you frequently charge the net, then you probably slide your back foot often along the court during your serve. You might benefit from shoes with reinforced toes. Medials inside the arch are also essential.