Every year, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) – the governing body of tennis in the UK – notices what is known as the Wimbledon Effect; a sudden rise in both parents asking about membership and an increase in booking at the courts it controls by as much as 30%. In a similar way that the Olympics lead to a general interest in keeping fit, and world cup football leads to more people heading to the pub, the two weeks of summer tennis drives more people to take up the sport. But, unlike having a kickabout with a football in the park, indulging in a few sets of tennis requires a certain level of equipment, so that you not only look the part but also have a fighting chance of getting into a few rallies with your opponent. Like;
Footwear. Gone are the days of wearing white plimsols on court, and there are a bewildering variety of purpose designed tennis shoes that cover both grass and hardcourt playing, and prices aren’t too bad either. You might consider the Babolat Men's Jet Mach II Tennis Shoes, which come in a variety of colours and have the kind of grip that you need when switching position and stance fast. Constructed with a high-quality EVA foam, the Babolat shoes are designed for speed and durability with their premium lightweight construction. You might want to consider the ASICS gel-resolution 7 sneakers as a credible alternative.
Rackets. Probably just as important as your tennis shoes, choosing the right racket will raise your game significantly. But rackets fall into a number of different categories, with a range of head sizes and control levels and finding the right one for you and the circumstances under which you are playing. Ultimate control rackets are characterised by a smaller head and a medium stiffness frame that are better if you are likely to deliver a larger stroke, and are generally used by players with more shoulder power. Power control rackets are intermediate, offering mid-range head sizes and a tauter frame, while lightweight oversize rackets are designed for the those less skilled at the game, and offer a strong, powerful frame and a larger sized head. Along with head size and stiffness, rackets come with a range of strings to help hone your racket to your needs.
Balls. Essential for the game, it would seem that not all balls are equal. Once again, these can come in a range of material combinations that control the speed, elasticity – and subsequently the bounce of the ball – and the weight. The weight affects the inertia and therefore the momentum, so heavier balls will travel faster and further, so match them to your racket and game style. Popular balls include Wilson and Pro Penn Marathons.
On the gadget side, you might want to invest in the Zepp tennis sensor, which analyses your swing and helps you improve, or the Lobster Phenom Two Ball Machine, which cannons balls at you for practice, or just fun, if it happens to be your thing. With a capacity of 250 balls, and a speed variable between 38mph and 80mph, it goes from exciting to terrifying at the spin of a dial!