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Tennis Equipment Explained

Oct 12, 2007
The proper equipment and the right court is essential for a good game of tennis. Below is an outline of the basic necessities.

Racquet Selection

1. A well balanced, expertly made racquet is a sound investment for good tennis. Twelve to eighteen dollars invested in a racquet of nationally known quality will be well spent.

2. The handle of the racquet should be small. A circumference of four and a half inches is recommended for beginners.

3. Most of the modern racquets balance heavier in the handle than in the head for quicker action. In selecting a racquet, the player should swing a number of different racquets and find the one that seems to suit him.

Care Of Racquet

The racquet should be kept in a press and waterproof case at all times that it is not being used. During the winter it should be packed away in a dry place, where no moisture can get at it. Otherwise the strings are likely to rot and the frame to warp.


Wright and Ditson, Spalding, Wilson, Dunlop, or Pennsylvania balls which bear the present year and official seal should be purchased as frequently as are needed. Balls are good only so long as the felt cover remains undamaged, and the bounce is perfect.


1. Cotton nets (costing about six dollars) are all right for occasional use in the gymnasium or improvised lawn courts.

2. Outdoor nets should be made of tarred hemp, with a strong canvas top, and steel or rope cable. If strung on a steel cable, the net may be left out over night without loosening, but with a rope cable, the net must be loosened at night. Nets will last years longer if they are taken in at night and when it rains. A good net costs from fifteen to forty dollars. Steel nets, entirely weatherproof, are growing in favor especially for winter use.

Kinds Of Courts

1. The most efficient courts from the upkeep standpoint are the cement, asphalt or composition courts. These types need no attention except the painting of court lines once a year. The disadvantage, from the player's standpoint, is that the surface may be hard on one's feet, and that the balls wear out or become discolored sooner.

a. These courts are expensive to build (from $900 to $3000) but last many years and require no upkeep expense.

2. The most common courts are of clay or gravel or dirt. This type needs daily care in rolling, raking, and sprinkling, if the surface is to be kept smooth so that the ball bounces accurately.

a. The disadvantage of this type is that it does not dry out for a day or more after rain and requires daily repair.

b. The cost of building this type is small ($200 to $500). However, the upkeep expense is high.

3. Grass courts, if they are good, entail great expense both in building and upkeep.
a. They are easy on the eyes and feet and provide a perfect medium for ball bounces and spins.


1. The dress or shorts outfit should be all white so that no distraction of color is given.

2. The costume is trim, without ornamentation and should allow perfect freedom of movement. It should be in good taste and make the wearer feel appropriately dressed.

3. Regulation, low cut tennis shoes should be worn which are light and close fitting over heavy wool socks which will absorb perspiration and prevent blisters.

4. A visor or cap should be used against bright sunshine to prevent eyestrain.

Tapes And Lining

1. Steel tapes, driven into the ground and painted white, are durable and a good investment. However, some players complain that the ball bounces peculiarly when it hits the lines.

2. Dry lime is easy to apply but unsatisfactory in that it is scattered by the wind and the players.

3. Paint is the most practical lining material, lasting a year without replacement.

With the above equipment in place you are off on the right foot for a great game of tennis. Good luck!
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