8 Things You’ll Need for a Serious Game of Tennis


As an experienced tennis player, you will have come to understand the difference between a friendly, casual match and a competitive, tournament. The game still stays the same but our approach to it changes drastically depending on the setting.

For a friendly game, we may not pay much attention to the quality of our tennis shoes or the exactness of our stance. In a tournament setting, however, these seemingly small details are of utmost importance.

If you’re preparing for a serious game of tennis, there are four things you should never go without – here they are.

1.      The Right Clothes

Now before you go on thinking that tennis is as much about fashion fads as yoga, this is not the case. Sure, star players like Serena Williams will invest in particularly snazzy outfits, partially to set a trend but mainly to ensure ultimate comfort.

As an intermediate player, however, all you should care about is the factor of comfort. A serious game of tennis will have you in constant motion and there’s nothing more distracting and uncomfortable than moving about in wrongly fitted clothes, itchy textiles that don’t allow your body to breathe and shoes that pinch or inspire blisters.

Make sure you’re wearing loosely fitted clothes made of breathable, cotton fabrics; there’s no need to invest in the top brands, a trip to Decathlon will do the trick just as well. When it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes, take your time – this is not a decision that should be rushed. Your shoes are the most important part of your tennis wear as you will be working your feet a lot so, you’re going to want to buy shoes that will last you for an entire season. 

If you will be playing outdoors, make sure you are wearing weather-appropriate gear. A game of tennis can still be fun in the rain as long as you’re protected and comfortable. A light-weight, wind-breaker rain jacket will do the trick for rainy days and a nicely fitted fleece jacket will keep you warm during autumn days, without making you sweat excessively. Check this what to wear for tennis guide to help choose suitable clothing.

2.      A Quality Racquet

If you’ve been playing with a hired racquet, now is the time to invest in your own, quality racquet. Racquets are made in different sizes and with different weights and each player will quickly find their individual preference.

Beginners will benefit more from Power Racquets which usually weigh in at 8 to 10 ounces and feature oversized heads and allow for a little extra oomph in your swing.

Advanced players usually opt for Control Racquets – as the name already suggest, these allow you to work the ball with optimal control due to tighter strings, a lighter head and more weight at 11 to 15 ounces. Have a look at the reviews on this best tennis racquets in the world article to help you choose something.

3.      Durable Tennis Balls

With your tennis clothes and racquet sorted, the only thing that could possibly hold you back now is a low-quality ball. You will want one that will not loose its bounce, is resilient to wear and keeps its felt in place.

Top tennis players usually opt for ATP or ProPenn balls, available in tubes of 4, 8 or 12 balls. Penn is always a good brand to go for as professionals swear by it and their tennis balls are also available online. If you prefer a hands-on shopping experience and advise from experts, visit your local sports shop and ask for guidance in choosing the right tennis ball for you.

4.      Weatherproof Tennis Bag

Tennis racquets don’t exactly have the simplest shape to fit into a bag, so investing in a sturdy, weatherproof tennis bag will save you a lot of complications. Tennis bags are designed to fit your racquet and any other gear you are lugging around with you – and let’s face it, tennis requires quite a bit of gear – comfortably and perfectly.

The reason a weatherproof tennis bag are highly recommended is because you will want it near at all times, including on the courts. A weatherproof bag will withstand natural elements such as rain, dust and heat, giving it a longer lifespan than those that are not treated against rain, etc.

5.      Water and Healthy Snacks

Preparing for your tennis game means thinking ahead – not just in terms of game tactics, but all the things you’ll need to make the match and the day in general a success. Staying hydrated is of utmost importance, especially during the summer season.

You will be working up a sweat and burning a lot of calories, so you should always come prepared with water (or a sports drink) and a light snack to keep you going. Healthy sports snacks can give you the burst of energy you need if you are starting to tire.

6.      A Headband & Towel

It doesn’t really matter whether you have a long mane of hair or not, headbands serve more purposes than one. First and foremost, a well-fitted headband will keep your hair tidy and out of your face. This, of course, isn’t a choice inspired by vanity, but practicality.

How are you to focus on a serious game of tennis if strands of hair keep tickling your eyeballs or sticking to your sweaty forehead?

Follow Serena Williams’ example and purchase a few trendy headbands and you’ll never have to worry about your hair being a nuisance again. Secondly, headbands are the best way to keep the sweat from dripping from your scalp and forehead and into your eyes, and anyone who has ever experienced that burning sensation, can vouch for that!

A towel will come in equally handy on hot summer days out on the court. Prevent stiff necks and shoulders from sitting out in the cold breeze in your sweaty t-shirt for too long. Towel off after your game and change into a clean shirt before you head out to the club’s bar area to toast to the match.

7.      A Good Warm Up

A good warm up prior to a tennis match is vital. Going out on to the court with cold muscles means it will take you longer to really warm up to the game and you will also run the risk of injuries. There’s no need to squeeze in an hour at the gym before hitting the courts, a few good stretches or a jog will suffice. If you want to be 100% certain you are warmed up for the match, download one of Yoga with Adriene’s many yoga videos designed to give you a good stretch and you’ll head on to the court ready to take on the Rafael Nadal of your tennis club.

8.      The Right Attitude

You may have all the right equipment now, but are you bringing the right attitude to your tennis game? Try to remember your love for the game and don’t get stuck on obsessing about the big win.

Enjoy a few quiet moments of meditation and implement a warm-up routine before you hit the courts and you’ll be feeling energized, focused, positive and ambitious – the perfect state of mind for a serious game of tennis!