Today we are going to talk about gear. Tennis players pack a lot of it at all times in those massive bags they carry around. While the list of items is long, they all serve an important purpose and help players do their jobs more appropriately. In this article we will talk about the items most tennis carry with them everyday and we will also list some of our favorite gear in each category. So let’s get to it.
While every player carries a different combination of items that is suitable for their personal needs, here is a list of things players are most likely to carry in their bags:
- Rackets: most players carry between 4 to 8 rackets with them (top pros can go up to 12);
- Strings: players typically have 1 or 2 reels of strings;
- Shoes: at least 2 pairs of tennis shoes and usually one pair of running shoes
- Clothes: a few changes of clothes
- Overgrips: top pros tend to change grips for every practice so they always carry a lot of grips with them;
- Resistance Bands: one or two bands for warm ups and workouts;
- Jump Rope: another item to help with warm up
- Electrolyte mix: players use electrolyte mixes to stay hydrated during matches/practice;
- Snacks – bars, chewies, trail mix, etc;
- Foam roller: for recovery;
- Massage Gun: device used for massages, increasing in popularity among players;
- Thermal Water Bottle to keep drinks cold;
- Miscellaneous: notebook, personal memento, comfort item.
If you want to learn more about why players carry these items, we will talk about them in further detail below. We will also list some of our recommendations in each category if you are in the market for new items to carry in your bag.
It goes without saying that tennis players carry multiple rackets with them. The exact number depends on each player’s individual needs, but in general, no professional tennis player carries less than 4 rackets with them. I typically always had 5 rackets with me when I was playing tournaments. In my experience working with players at the highest level, they usually carry 8 – 12 rackets with them. The reason for that is that they like to have rackets strung at different tensions so they have options during the match. In any case, the amount of rackets any given player carries boils down to personal preference. Here are some of our favorite rackets for 2020:
HEAD Graphene 360+ Speed MP Tennis Racquet
HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro Tennis Racquet
HEAD Graphene Touch Prestige Pro 16×19 Black/Red Tennis Racquet Strung with Complimentary String Colors (Marin Cilic’s Racket)
Babolat Pure Strike 100 Adult Tennis Racket
Babolat Pure Aero 2019 Racquets
DIADEM Elevate 98 Tennis Racquet (4 3/8)
Another indispensable item in every tennis player’s bag is strings. Professional players always have their racket strung before matches so they can play with fresh strings and the tension they prefer. Again, the amount of string players carry depends on their needs. However, I find that most players carry one or two reels of strings with them most of the time. Players may also choose to have individual sets of strings instead of reels for better portability. Here are some of the most popular strings among professional tennis players:
Luxilon ALU Power 130 Tennis String Reel, Silver
Wilson LUXILON 4G 125 Reel, Gold, 200m/16L-Gauge
Babolat RPM Blast 200m 1,30mm Tennis String
Babolat VS Touch Thermogut (Natural Gut) 16 Gauge in Natural Color (Best String for Performance)
Solinco Hyper-G (16-1.30mm) Tennis String Reel (660ft/200m)
Solinco Tour Bite Soft Tennis String Reel
During tournaments, players often carry two pairs of tennis shoes in their bags. While most recreational players do not need to do this, professional athletes like to have a backup pair in case something goes wrong with their shoes. In addition, some players enjoy having a pair of running shoes for warm ups and walking around because they tend to be more comfortable than tennis shoes. We listed some of our favorite tennis and running shoes down below:
ASICS Men’s Gel-Challenger 12 Tennis Shoes
adidas Men’s Adizero Club Tennis Shoe
Same as the shoes, players will always have extra clothing in their bags. Shorts, shirts, hoodies/jackets, wristbands, hats, socks, underwear and so on. Players know their individual needs and plan their clothes changes accordingly.
Overgrips is one of those items you will find in every tennis player bag, regardless of their level. Almost all of us prefer the feeling of a fresh overgrip in our hands and pros tend to use a new one for every practice/match. There are three overgrips worth your money:
TOURNA Grip XXL, Original Dry Feel Tennis Grips.
Wilson Pro Overgrip Grips
Yonex Super Grap 30 Pack ( Color:White) by Yonex
Now we are getting to some of the less known items that most professional players carry. These devices are aimed at helping with different on and off the court tasks such as warm ups, recovery and nutrition. Let’s check them out.
Resistance bands are a very important item in a tennis player’s bag. This piece of tennis equipment is incredibly functional and can help with warm ups, strengthening and recovery. Players use them in so many different ways we are working on a complete guide for you. Resistance bands are also super portable so it is a must have for every player out there. Here are some of the best resistance bands for you:
TheraBand Resistance Bands Set, Professional Non-Latex Elastic Band For Upper & Lower Body Exercise, Strength Training without Weights, Physical Therapy, Lower Pilates, Rehab, Beginner & Advanced
Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set (Five Bands Included)
Another important warm up tool is a jump rope. Not all players use jump ropes in their warm up routines but it is fairly popular among players. Jump ropes are easy to pack and have multiple purposes so it is common to find them in players bags. We have a couple good options for you:
Ballistyx Jump Rope – Premium Speed Jump Rope with 360 Degree Spin, Steel Handles, Silicone Grips and 2 x Adjustable Cables – for Crossfit, Gym & Home Fitness Workouts & More
Crossrope Get Lean – Weighted Jump Rope Set
Most tennis players use some form of electrolyte mix for hydration purposes. The most common ones are powder and tablet mixes. Players tend to steer away from the average sports drinks (i.e. gatorade, powerade) because they contain high amounts of sugar. Electrolyte mixes are a better and healthier way to stay hydrated. If you want to learn more about them, we have an article you might enjoy. We listed our favorite mixes below:
Electrolyte Powder, Lemonade Hydration Supplement: 90 Servings, Carb, Calorie & Sugar Free, Delicious Keto Replenishment Drink Mix. 6 Key Electrolytes – Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium & More.
Vitalyte Electrolyte Powder Sports Drink Mix, 80 Servings Per Container, Natural Electrolyte Replacement Supplement for Rapid Hydration & Energy – Cool Citrus
Nuun Electrolyte-Rich Sports Drink Tablets, Juice Box Mixed Flavor Pack, Box of 4 Tubes (40 Servings), Sports Drink for Replenishment of Essential Electrolytes Lost Through Sweat
Nutrition is extremely important for high performance athletes so a lot of players have a few healthy snacks in their bags. Because tennis players have such rigorous training schedules, they need sources of energy to endure long days. Each player has their own preference on what snacks they eat but the most common ones are bars, nuts (trail mix) and chewies. Here are some good energy boosters for your next training session:
CLIF BAR – Energy Bars – Best Sellers Variety Pack – (2.4 Ounce Protein Bars, 16 Count) (Packaging May Vary)
Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews, Fruit Smoothie, Sports Nutrition, 1.8 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels – Variety Pack with Sticker – 12 Count – Energy Source for Any Activity – Vanilla, Chocolate, Mango Orange, Acai Pomegranate, Strawberry Kiwi & Fruit Smoothie
Foam rollers have become an essential piece of recovery equipment in recent years. Most players spend a ton of time rolling out their muscles to make sure they are loose. While they are a bit tricky to carry inside a tennis bag, the majority of players have one at all times. Work on your recovery with these foam rollers:
LifePro 4-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller – High Intensity Vibrating Roller for Muscle Recovery, Mobility & Pliability Training – Deep Tissue Vibrant Massage for Awesome Trigger Point Sports Therapy
TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos, Original (13-Inch)
Another device that has become massively popular among players is the massage gun. While a bit expensive, a massage gun is a fantastic tool to keep your muscles free of knots. On top of that, most players can’t afford traveling with their own physio so it is definitely a good investment. And even the players who do travel with physios use the massage guns for their recovery work. I highly recommend it. Here is a well reviewed unit:
Massage Gun,Handheld Deep Muscle Massager,Cordless Vibration Massage Device Helps Relieve Muscle Soreness and Stiffness (Black)
Thermal Water Bottle
You might not see players using their own bottles during a match given that the tournament provides water. However, during practice sessions, most players like to have a good thermal water bottle to keep their drinks cold. These are the best ones you can find:
Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 2.0 Water Bottle, Straw Lid – Multiple Sizes & Colors
Simple Modern 64 Ounce Summit Water Bottle – Large Stainless Steel Half Gallon Flask +2 Lids – Wide Mouth Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Black Leakproof – Midnight Black
Finally, players may carry random things in their bags. A common practice is to carry a notebook. Some players like to write down strategy before matches and they are allowed to read them during matches. Other players might use the notebook as a journal. Another common item is sunscreen. Most tennis players spend most of their time outside so having sunscreen is a must have.
Cossac Fitness Journal & Workout Planner – Designed by Experts Gym Notebook, Workout Tracker,Exercise Log Book for Men Women
Coppertone SPORT Continuous Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (5.5 Ounce per Bottle, Pack of 2) (Packaging may vary)
Gear is something that we all enjoy. While it won’t help your game it feels good to have the proper equipment. Again, each player carries what they feel is best suitable for their needs. But most players will have some sort of combination of the items we listed in this article. Tell us in the comments what item is indispensable in your everyday carry.