There are plenty of brands battling it out for places at the top of the tennis industry. With all that competition, it can be difficult to make a decision when it comes to selecting a new racquet, picking a new pair of shoes or finding a bag to pack in all of your accessories.
We’re not going to tell you what you should be buying today: there are pros and cons to every brand that we’ll go through some other time. Instead, we’ve got a breakdown of the top brands in tennis, focusing upon history, professional players and what they’ve gone for.
Remember the ball in Cast Away? He was a Wilson.
Founded in 1913, American giants Wilson are undoubtedly one of the biggest brands in the game. Wilson produces some of the most tech-savvy products around. Current tour favourites such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams, along with past greats, including Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf, choose Wilson for their racquets.
The brand is best known for the Pro Staff line, which has helped Federer to a record 18 grand slam titles. Elsewhere, technologies including hyper carbon, spin effect and parallel drilling help to ensure that they are always at the forefront when it comes to new products. Other Wilson products include racket dampeners, strings and luggage.
Wilson’s major rivals come in the form of Head. Founded in 1950, Head has gone on to achieve industry recognition with the likes of Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova helping to add to the brand’s popularity. Head’s “Radical” range has achieved huge success in the modern era. Head racquets are known for being lightweight, thanks to the use of graphene. Head also produce some of the best tennis balls on the market.
Funnily enough, Babolat actually dates back to before Wilson and Head, having been established in 1875. The company is known as being the inventors of the tennis string. In recent years players such as Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick have helped to enhance the brand’s profile within the game.
Babolat are not just for the professional players; there is a range of racquets for all ages and abilities. Puro Aero is one of their most popular for those who are really serious about tennis. For all you coaches out there, Babolat also produces a wide range of equipment and accessories - perfect for developing the skills of others.
Prince is historically one of the most recognisable brands in tennis. Although it’s not the big hitter it once was, the likes of Pat Rafter, Jennifer Capriati and the Bryan brothers have all helped it gain acclaim in the game.
The company has plenty of major achievements to date, with Michael Chang’s Longbody racquet having been the #1 racquet in the game during the 90’s. Nowadays, the “Warrior” and “Tour” models are the most popular Prince products. The brand now focuses mainly on American players, such as big John Isner.
Prince are also known for developing the first tennis ball machine - they used a vacuum cleaner to begin with!
Despite being a relative newcomer to the game, Yonex quickly made their mark on the professional tour. The likes of Monica Seles, Martina Hingis and Lleyton Hewitt all utilised Yonex racquets during their careers. Stan Wawrinka, Nick Kyrgios and Angelique Herber are among the big name players currently sponsored. The Japanese company continues to make steady progress.