by Emili Bosch
I have always been fascinated by the human capacity to seek improvements for existing inventions. Critical thinking can enhance and innovate things that we already believe were functional. I was fortunate enough to witness the evolution of materials and shapes used in tennis rackets during the frenetic 1980s. Wood and metal were gradually replaced by fiberglass, graphite, boron, kevlar, which brought about changes in tennis playing and training.
Those wonderful wooden rackets, with their artisanal charm and the diversity of accompanying presses, captivated me so much that I decided to start collecting them. The first challenge was to set a timeframe, a limit. My collection is primarily driven by emotional motives, which is why I delved into rackets from the 1960s until 1983. With the advent of the internet and its buying and selling platforms, I gained access to rackets, presses, and other accessories from all over the world. It’s worth mentioning that collecting is considered a reminiscence, according to some psychologists, of an ancestral era where humans had to gather and hunt for survival. Just like our ancestors controlled their harvest or caught a valuable prey, collectors observe, gather information, seek data, get acquainted with the environment and tennis history, and
remain patient. My visits to second-hand markets, antique shops, and dealers became a routine that has borne fruit over the years.
Here, you can see a sample of various objects, presses, covers, and some inventions that aimed to improve rackets. Like the theory of natural selection, those that didn’t succeed vanished, while successful ones endured. Certainly, there might be omissions, but a good collector never stops!