The Physics and Technology of Tennis

By Howard Brody, Rod Cross & Crawford Lindsey

What People Are Saying

"The Physics and Technology of Tennis is the most important tennis book in fifteen years and is constantly on and off the front shelf of my library. The authors solve a host of scientific issues related to tennis and expose a multitude of myths, helping coaches and players streamline their learning systems, improve their performance and further their understanding and enjoyment of the game. Anyone who wants to take a leadership role in tennis on and off the court will find this book a must, and any teaching pro who does not own this book is really missing the boat. Having a great deal of respect for the authors, I’ve waited a long time for this book to be published, and now it’s here. If you want to get smarter, faster, I would suggest you buy this book immediately."

Vic Braden (teacher, author, broadcaster, researcher)

"Finally, the ultimate tennis reference book has been written, packed with years of research and science. This book instantly becomes the technical reference standard of how tennis works. Coaches, players, stringers and scientists can find valuable information specifically geared to their world. Students need look no further for those hard to answer questions. More importantly, myths are separated from facts. Foundations of design philosophy can now be established. This book will undoubtedly influence future equipment design. Despite having designed over 500 racquets in my 20-year career, I plan to keep this book at arm's reach at all times. It will surely be required reading for all technical personnel at Prince."

Steve Davis, Vice President Racquet Products, Prince

"This delightful book brings modern science to bear on the game of tennis. It comes along at a time of rapid technological advancement in the equipment used to play the game. One of the stated goals of the book is to distinguish the science of these advancements from the folklore and myth. Their goal has been achieved with resounding success. As a practicing physicist with a keen interest in the physics of sports, I marvel at the ease with which the authors make the physics of tennis understandable to a wide range of potential readers -- from those whose primary interest is tennis to those whose primary interest is physics, as well as the broad spectrum of people in between. They do an excellent job addressing many of the important issues about the game, such as the role of the string tension, the meaning of "power," the importance of swingweight, and the relevance of the various sweet spots. Many of the concepts discussed are directly applicable to other sports, such as baseball, in which a club impacts a ball. For this reason the book is destined to be an important resource for anyone wishing to learn -- or even teach -- the physics of sports.

"But the authors do more than just teach us about how to apply the principles of physics to their game. They also provide great insight into the way a physicist dissects, analyzes, interprets, and tries to explain the phenomena of the everyday world. This partly involves application of tried-and-true fundamental principles, such as the conservation of momentum and angular momentum during the collision between the ball and racquet. But partly it involves issues that go well beyond the things we learn in textbooks -- things that are too complex to be addressed from first principles but instead require some combination of intelligent approximation and careful experimentation, both important hallmarks of modern science. The authors give the nonscientific reader a real flavor for how science works and they do so without sacrificing intellectual honesty -- we are told what things we know very well, what things we can only estimate, and what things we don't know at all. This book will surely occupy a very special place on my desk."

Alan M. Nathan, Professor of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Internationally renowned expert on the physics of baseball, especially on the baseball-bat collision).

"The Physics and Technology of Tennis became an instant classic the day it was published and a template and standard for sport science books. We've all been eagerly awaiting this work. I refer to the book frequently and recommend it to other researchers, students and our over 30,000 tennis webzine subscribers. I love the subject matter covered and the fact that this is a 'one-stop' resource for answers on racquets, strings, balls, court surfaces and tennis related-physics and mathematics. It is an encyclopedia and self-paced tennis science study guide rolled into one. The physics and math examples are terrific and you cannot find a better knowledge base in this industry than Brody, Cross and Lindsey!"

Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. (sports engineer, researcher; series editor Bioengineering: Principles and Applications in Sports; and tennis science writer for The Tennis Server --

"The Physics and Technology of Tennis is one of those books that we've all been waiting for. Anyone who is working in tennis or racquet sports should own it. I am sure that it will be one of the first sources referenced in papers and books on the subject for years to come. I just have one problem now -- how to rewrite my university sports engineering course so that I can use it as a text book. As a first year text -- and possibly even later -- it will be invaluable."

Dr. Steve Haake, University of Sheffield, ITF (International Tennis Federation) Chief Technical Consultant

"Every trade, every hobby seems to have its own bible. Want to know the shortstop with the best on-base percentage in the '70s? Go to the Baseball Encyclopedia. Looking for the price of a '87 Dodge Dakota? Check out the handy Kelley Blue Book. If swing-to-weight ratios or shock vibration scales are your thing, or you're just wondering which string to use on a moist day on the terre battu at Roland Garros, then go to tennis' own bible of stringing. The Physics and Technology of Tennis is a masterpiece on everything you ever wanted to know about tennis equipment and how it affects performance."

Inside Tennis

"This is a fascinating book that works at many different levels. This book is for you …

  • if you are a player or teaching professional keen on selecting the best racquet and string for any style of play;
  • if you are a stringer anxious to propel the art and science of your craft to a new level;
  • if you are intrigued by the new technologies and ideas at the developmental frontiers of the sport;
  • if you are searching for fascinating real-world materials to enliven your high school or university science teaching;
  • if you are an engineer or scientist scouring the landscape for a new departure for products or research;
  • if you are simply a student of the game ravenous for information you likely won't find anywhere else.

"Who knows, after reading this book, you may find yourself speaking at the next ITF International Congress on Tennis Technology at Wimbledon."

Professor Robert M May (Lord May of Oxford), President, The Royal Society (The world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence (1660) whose Fellows have included Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin, Francis Crick, James Watson, and Stephan Hawking, and presently includes 65 Noble Laureates.)

"Three of the world's leading experts in the physics of tennis have teamed up to produce the definitive guide to tennis equipment.

"The Physics and Technology of Tennis provides a wealth of information on tennis racquets, balls and courts, and how these affect performance.

"It should prove to be an invaluable reference for players, coaches, stringers, retailers and physicians with an interest in tennis medicine. Designed to help players make critical choices from the wealth of advanced equipment now available in the markets, the book answers key questions about racquet weight, size and vibration, string materials, properties and tension, and the physics of how tennis balls bounce, bite and spin."

Sports Medicine & Science in Tennis
Book Specifications
Chapters 42
Sections 4
Pages 450
Illustrations 310
Glossary Yes
Index Yes
References Yes
Appendices 6
Cover Paperback
Size 8.5 × 11
ISBN 0-9722759-0-8