We praised the first issue of Racquet for the way it expresed a love for tennis via illustration and some healthy nostalgia, and the recent second edition continues both approaches.
Again the cover sets the visual tone, calmly using a tennis ball for a globe with gold foil annotation (designed by Rodrigo Corral). Almost impossible to do justice by photograph, that shiny gold is set off beautifully by the salmon pink background and vivid green ball. It’s a rich treat of a cover.
There’s more lovely illustration inside; Mads Berg echoes the cover of issue one with this image of Aussie younster Dominic Thiem (above), and Bee Johnson drae this portrait of naomi Osaka (below).
Other visual highlights include a pairing of thirties tennis ace Fred Perry and a skinhead girl wearing one of the polo shirts that now bears his name (above) – a visual opposition we’re all aware of but I don’t think I’ve seen presented so simply before.
The magazine is refreshingly free of standard sports photography; the digital perfection of contemporary indoor tennis photography is very dull, though it does slip in occasionally here. More interesting are Josh Skinner’s collection of shots of damaged tennis courts (above), illustrating a piece about how the US eighties tennis boom (built on the success of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors) faded.
The typographic playfulness of this story about squash — I guess it’s more than just a tennis title after all — is perfectly pitched too. The text is broken but readable.
Two issues in, Racquet is already a very assured addition to the indie sports magazine shelf.
Editor: David Shaftel
Art director: Larry Buchanan