Once a simple medieval pastime called jeu de paume, involving a ball and the palm of one's hand, tennis has evolved into one of the most physically challenging sports, not to mention an immensely popular event for spectators around the world. Whether you are a parent looking to help your child start playing, a sofa spectator looking to learn more about your favorite professional players, or a college student looking to test your game in some stiffer competition, the Web provides a multitude of sites catering to every breed of tennis enthusiast.
Below we'll introduce a few sites that will get the beginner familiarized with the basics of ... read more »
The world of professional tennis is more than just popular spectator events around the world; it's ... read more »
The WTA and ATP tours participate in dozens of tournaments a year, many of which serve as ... read more »
Whether you're looking for lessons, injury advice, or simply want to take advantage of the ... read more »
There are plenty of tennis-specific online retailers carrying thousands of products, frequent price cuts, special deals on brands and for teams, as well as unique, journalistic features like forums and gear guides. Some of these even ship internationally, and others cater especially to those looking for discounts. Below are stores that together cover most bases. You can use them to comparison shop, browse photos, price check, and make a purchase.
- Use the general information outlined by knowledgeable tennis players and coaches on sites like BBC Sport and TENNIS Magazine to get more familiar with the technicalities of apparel, shoes, and equipment.
- It's always best to try on products you're not familiar with in a store, but use online product reviews and comparisons from experienced equipment testers and tennis players to get an initial picture of the products in which you're interested.
- Specialty tennis retailers like the ones below are preferred over general sports stores like The Sports Authority because they carry a wider stock of tennis-specific brands and items, and generally have a staff more knowledgeable about the sport and players' needs. However, if you're just looking for common items and don't need much help, you'll often do better on price at the big-box chain stores' sites.
- Check with the Web sites of official manufacturers to see where their products can be found, whether online or in brick-and-mortar stores. Most have a "Store Locator" or "Find a Retailer" link clearly visible on their homepages.
- Don't shy away from auction sites or general classifieds like eBay and Craigslist, especially if you're looking for a simple fix for a racket or other piece of equipment and don't want to stress about brand names or high-cost models.
For product reviews ...
The Tennis Company
boasts an "extensive list of product reviews" covering equipment, shoes, apparel, and accessories. The clean, simple design of the site lets you navigate through gender, brand, and type of equipment to get thorough explanations of the products' strengths and weaknesses, comparisons to earlier models, and for whom the product is recommended. The emphasis here is not on critical reviews of products.
The BBC Sport page
mentioned in the "Where can I learn more about the sport of tennis?" section of this guide also features an equipment guide with great advice on shoes, clothing, and accessories and even has an explanation of racket parts (frame, handle, and strings) and what you should look for when buying a racket.
is a premier source of gear testing and reviews from magazine staff and pros. The "Gear" section is filled with articles, photos, and links to purchase the products in which you're interested.
For tennis equipment ...
is one of the foremost online retailers of tennis equipment, running the gamut from memorabilia, posters, and socks to rackets, towels, and shoes. There is also a handy "String/Grip" section, a "Buyers Guide," interesting videos, and even "Tennis Talk Forums," proving that the site is more than just a store.
is a glossier online retailer with front-page emphasis on special brand deals, new items, and the glamour of the professional players. Like Tennis Express, the Warehouse features a large collection of products, a "Learning Center," and has resources for team orders. The store also ships internationally to 100 countries (view the list of those countries here
, while a smaller retailer, proudly lists sales and specials on its front page and lets you cut through some of the extra clutter of Tennis Express to get straight to the top-tier goods like rackets and shoes. The site also sells racquetball, squash, and badminton supplies, and is generally a no-nonsense online alternative to a specialty sports store.
is a premier discount retailer with a great selection of shoes, apparel for men and women, and rackets. Compare Holabird with some of the resources above to check prices on tennis equipment before you buy.
The String Forum
is an entire site devoted to racket strings with a comprehensive examination of the strings available on the market, including reviews, analysis, galleries, and links to manufacturers.
In this section are sites and suggestions that can help you connect with players and fans, whether ... read more »
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