Since originating in England in the late 19th century, tennis has gained an international following and the modern game has never been more popular. In fact, both singles and doubles tennis tournaments are two of the most popular events at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
There are thousands of different tennis rackets on the market, but they can be broadly grouped into three categories. Control rackets are heavier with a small head and are favoured by advanced players. Powerful rackets, typically lightweight with larger heads, work well for the majority of intermediate players. Beginner or junior rackets are ultra-lightweight, with an oversized head, these are ideal for youngsters and newcomers to the sport.
Different tennis balls are suited to different types of playing. Professional players need tennis balls that won't fray or drag through the air, so they must be excellent quality. Intermediate players will use cheaper tennis balls than professionals, but they still want something fairly durable and consistent. Beginners tend to choose cheaper and therefore lower quality tennis balls, as it's only with a little experience that players start to notice any difference.
Most modern tennis clothing including skirts, shorts and tops and all are made from specially engineered performance fabric. As well as being functional by absorbing sweat and often incorporating features such as ball pockets and abrasion-free seams, tennis clothing is also designed to look stylish. Perfect for players who want to be able to wear their gear off court as well as on court.
Tennis shoes and trainers
Tennis shoes are designed specifically for tennis players, so they're different to standard sports shoes and trainers in a number of ways. They're heavier, but slimmer for agility. They have thin soles for flexibility and they have harder heels for stability. This means that tennis shoes and trainers offer maximum support for players as they move around the court.