A High Gravity Game Plan

Tennis Racquets Strike a Perfect Balance with High Gravity Compound Inserts

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For over 25 years the world’s top tennis players such as Ivan Lendl, Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Pete Sampras, and Lleyton Hewitt have called upon world-recognized tennis "guru" Warren Bosworth to customize their tennis racquets for optimum performance.

Warren Bosworth and his company, Bosworth Tennis, build customized racquets for hundreds of players every year from club players all the way up to the best players in the world. The company also manufactures and sells its own brand of fully custom-built tennis racquets.

One of the most important considerations for maximizing performance of a customized tennis racquet is determining and applying the ideal amount and distribution of mass in the frame. Earlier this year, Warren investigated how to improve the traditional customization process of hand layering lead strips. The solution came from Dave Sterling, Product Development Engineer at RTP Company, who customized formulations for inserts using RTP Company’s advanced High Gravity Compound (HGC) technology.

"Dave Sterling was extremely perceptive of our need to easily arrive at the exact weight for each insert. He understood our requirements to vary the swing weight and the overall balance point as measured from the tennis racquet butt cap," praised Bosworth. "He presented the options for formulating various custom compounds and looked at solving our problems with the best solution. The evolution of our inserts came from RTP Company!"

The primary challenge with this application was that one mold needed to produce a variety of different part weights. According to Sterling, "RTP Company’s extensive experience with HGCs allowed us to develop a series of compounds with multiple densities that provide the specific gravity control necessary for this application."

The products developed were RTP 1200 Series polyurethane thermoplastic elastomer high gravity compounds with specialized formulations to meet the environmental demands that confront this application. "These weights are used all over the world in varying latitudes and it was essential that the material remain pliable. This necessitates the proper resin selection and stabilization package," said Sterling.

The latest Bosworth innovation is an incredible success, embraced by tennis champion Martina Navratilova. "What can I say about the racquet ? it feels so right in my hand," praised Navratilova. "It really feels more like an extension of my hand, rather than an apparatus. It feels like the ball stays on the racquet longer, so you have a much better feel of the ball and for the ball."

Although the racquets were initially developed for tennis professionals, they are quickly moving into the consumer market. Bosworth plans to sell the products through exclusive country clubs and resorts where tennis is a major factor. "It will be a customized system for anybody. Any person off the street can get this racquet done exactly how they want it, the flex, the balance, the weight and everything," commented Navratilova in an interview.

For Bosworth International, this success has sparked other innovations. "We have only begun," states Bosworth. "We feel comfortable incorporating RTP Company’s HGCs into other materials to improve their performance. In fact, because of RTP Company we have exciting ideas for solutions to other projects!"

Bosworth Tennis is a 30 year old company which has recently introduced new programs that will bring their experience and expertise directly to the private country clubs, resort and corporate outing groups. Chairman Warren Bosworth is internationally recognized as the leading tennis racquet authority and has been dubbed "The Wizard of Boz" by Sports Illustrated. For more information, call 561-241-9966.

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