The story of
Lacose, Wilson, and Jimmy Connors
(documented or estimated)
Lacoste steel, Wilson T2000
Lacoste 1960, Wilson T2000 from 1967
In 1953, René Lacoste - one of The Four Musketeers with Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, and Henri Cochet, those French tennis stars who dominated the game in the late 1920s and early 1930s - came up with a novel blueprint for a metal tennis racquet in 1953. I am sure that the roots of Lacoste´s ideas were initially triggered by the first metal rackets that appeared on the market in the 20s. It took him another 8 years to finalize the concept. In 1961, Lacoste unveiled and patented the first tubular steel tennis racket in the history. At that time, wooden rackets were the norm; the new version's strings were attached to the frame by a series of wires, which wrapped around the racket head. The steel-tube racket was stiffer, and imparted a greater force to the ball during a stroke. Later on, as a Wilson licensed product, it became Jimmy Connors' trademark, but also the beginning of the end for the wooden racket era. After it´s release back in 1967, within 4 months, more than 2 dozen different models of competitors´ metal rackets appeared on the market. Wilson, worldwide leader in marketing top grade wooden rackets, had broken the barrier, and within 18 years, wooden rackets would all but disappear from the scene.