on December 18, 2003
This is an excellent book that dismisses many myths regarding tennis equipment. The three coauthors include two physicists and one tennis pro. They are all avid tennis players. They also have incredibly investigative minds. The book consists of about 40 different articles covering many different technical subjects regarding stroke mechanics, ball bounce, racquets, and strings. All these articles represent serious investigation and research from a physicist standpoint. These articles stand on their own independently. As a result, you do not need to read them in sequential order. You also don't need to read them all to extract the information you care about. For my part, I skipped some of the articles on the physics of ball bounce, but was very interested on all the articles regarding strings and racquets properties. Depending on your own personal interest, you may read or focus on different sets of articles. Given the rather dry subject, the writing style of the authors make the information easy to digest.
Contrary to what players believe, racquets have very similar power. Strings, regardless of tension and type have also very similar power. But, different strings can feel very different based on their respective stiffness. Gut and high quality nylon strings feel soft because they are relatively flexible. Kevlar does not feel so good, because they are the stiffest strings.
According to the authors, the pros don't use any of the high-tech latest models, including oversize, and widebody frames. They use older models customized with lead tape to add swingweight. Oversize racquets are not maneuverable enough at their playing speed.
The authors state throughout the book that racquets that are stiff strung at low tension feel better. A stiff racquet vibrates less. Its vibrations have a faster frequency. The ball sits longer on low tension strings than the fast vibration of a stiff racquet. As a result, both string and frame vibrations are dampened by the longer impact time of the ball. Thus, the least amount of vibration occurs in stiff racquets strung at low tension.
The book has a whole lot more of interesting information about tennis than I share in the above paragraphs. If you love the game, and are somewhat of a quantitative type, you will love this book.
on December 17, 2002
Don't buy your next racket until you read this book. This book, by 2 physicists and a tennis specialist, sets forth what they have found scientifically about tennis rackets and technology. The book takes considerable concentration to mine the lessons learned for your game. But here are a few of the nuggets I found:
1) All rackets have essentially the same power!
2) Stiff rackets vibrate less and feel better.
3) Soft strings and lower tension feel better.
4) String tension has little effect on power.
5) No one knows how to measure "control".
6) Perimeter weighting drastically reduces shock.
7) Backspin groundstrokes are easier to hit than topspin, but have much less tolerance for error.
8) Stand inside the baseline when receiving a slow serve and bash it at the netman. He'll have no time to react.
On the downside, the authors should have done a much better job of summarizing the findings. The chapters are written in sort of a mystery fashion, where you have to wait until the end to get the lessons. The first book by Dr. Brody did a much better job of summarizing the findings for the general tennis player.
Finally, a book that helps you sort through tennis rackets! Unfortunately, the authors conclude that your skill and arm make the difference in how good you are. No racket will take you directly to Flushing Meadows.
on January 19, 2004
Simply put... this beautiful book is the best book on the technology of tennis and should be read by every MANUFACTURER of tennis gear, as well as those serious about increasing every aspect of their game! This is well written, beautifully designed and packed with information that any tennis player will enjoy and benefit from!
on March 14, 2013
The authors tell that this book was conceived to be a source of enlightenment. And they really managed it.
Using the principles of the physics, of the mechanics, more specifically, they explain with considerable depth, all the movements of the racquets, strings and balls and the technologies involved.
The book is wonderful, and perfect for who has already a basic knowledge of physics.
For who does not have, the book "Technical Tennis", of the same authors, is a posterior version, much more simplified for this purpose, more adequated for these readers
on February 20, 2006
It was very interesting to read technical explanations for tennis realities... Since the book is filled with obtuse scientific concepts such as Vertical Angular Acceptance, Coefficient of Restitution, etc., most readers may find the material difficult. I've summarized some of the finer points from the book at my blog site: