Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles The design of the modern tennis racket goes back to England in 1874 and a man named Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. Wingfield patented the rules for a game known as lawn tennis, standardising elements like balls, nets and rackets. For the next century rackets would be made of wood and remain similar in shape to Wingfield's original design. But in 1961 French tennis legend Rene Lacoste unveiled a radical invention. "The Crocodile" - as he was nicknamed - had made a prototype using metal. Just a few years later Wilson released the T-2000, the first stainless steel racket whose futuristic design caught the eye of players like Billie Jean King and Jimmy Connors. Its small head and open throat reduced air resistance and helped Connors win the US Open 5 times. The 1970s ushered in an era of aluminium which was lighter and easier to mould than steel. This was followed by fashionable oversized racquets that had a larger sweet spot and gave players more power. Eventually the quest for lightness and durability led to graphite rackets as well as other materials like kevlar and graphene. Today Wilson and French brand Babolat dominate both the men's and women's game with the two brands winning 71% of professional tournaments in 2017. Precise and powerful this is the design that's helped to create legends with every stroke.