What Sports Fans Don’t Know About The Tennis Racket

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Scientific papers could be written about the tennis racket. (No, really. Many actually have been.) Today’s rackets are, at once, the same as they’ve ever been — simply a paddle with a netted face — and yet also radically upgraded versions of their heavy, wood-and-string ancestors. Thank generations of sports scientists, engineers and amateur player–tinkerers who harnessed their expertise and a passion for the game (not to mention a desire for a competitive edge) to refine tennis’ most crucial piece of equipment.

Their handiwork — largely invisible to us fans — has ushered in an era of 100-plus-mph serves and accuracy that we can only fully appreciate with HD cameras and instant replay. And the game has become all the more captivating as a result, for fans and aspiring sports scientists alike. 

In celebration of the science, technology and engineering that impacts our favorite pastimes in unseen ways, we have partnered with Ford to explore the next-level thinking that led to modern rackets and other high-tech staples of the sport, showing how advancements in science have elevated tennis to a whole new level.

An education rooted in science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) empowers you to change the world — your favorite sport included. But STEAM fields are facing critical shortages in new talent. Visit the Ford STEAM experience to discover how Ford is advocating for and helping to redefine science education for the next generation.

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