adidas started producing tennis racquets in 1974. In the 70s, during the wood era, Ilie Nastase was adidas’ flagship player. But in the 80s, a new star emerged: Ivan Lendl.

Lendl rose quickly in the pro ranks, using a white Kneissl composite during 1980-1981. That frame was called the White Star Pro. In December 1980, Kneissl introduced the White Star Ivan Lendl which was similar to the White Star pro, but additionnally featured the component kevlar.
In 1981, Lendl signed with adidas and started to play with the GTX Pro model, which he would use through 1985. Lendl’s early GTX were paintjob Kneissl, as Kneissl produced the GTX pro frames for adidas in Austria.

Photos by: nctt8

In 1986, Lendl started to play with the adidas GTX pro-T until 1990. In 1990, he signed a reported $20 million racket and clothing contract with Mizuno. After Lendl’s shift to Mizuno, adidas lost significant market share and retired from racquet production in 1992, but came back in 2008.

About adidas return to racquets market:
“When they were leaving the racket business back in the early 1990s, they were telling us it was no longer a good business to be in,” Lendl said. “Maybe the climate has changed. Still, I’m very surprised.”