Fashion or Function? Sweatbands in Tennis

Tennis is undoubtedly one of the most beloved sports on the planet. Diehard fans stay up to watch Tournaments happening in another time zone and line up for hours in the freezing cold just to get tickets to a single match.

Nadal 1

Aside from the exhilarating plays, fans line up to watch the tennis players themselves. Celebrities in their own right, tennis players are admired for their athleticism, passion for the game and their personal style on and off the court. It’s no secret that most are easy on the eyes like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Anna Kournikova and Serena Williams. Even when they aren’t battling it out on the courts, they still bring in millions of dollars with numerous brand endorsements – Nike, Adidas, Puma – just to name a few. Nobody can blame these bigwigs for wanting players like Nadal or Williams to be seen winning a grand slam wearing their gear. Talk about great advertising!


Aside from shoes and apparel, Tennis players are also often seen wearing wrist or head bands. Why do players wear sweatbands? Is it for fashion or function?

Did you know that Tennis is actually one of the few sports that don’t have a time limit? The big clocks you see on the courts are only there to measure the duration of the match which can last anywhere from 2 hours (average time) to 6 hours solely depending on the players’ skill and endurance.

Fred perry

If you have ever witnessed a game, then you’d know that tennis players sweat – a lot. Legend has it that Tennis legend Fred Perry was the first player to wear a wristband during a game to reduce the sweat trickling down from his arm to his tennis hand. Sweaty palms are a big no-no for tennis players! They need a good grip on their rackets to be able to deliver the ball back to their opponent and avoid injuring themselves in the process.

Aside from protecting their grip, tennis players also use head bands to keep the sweat off their faces during a game. Who would want to keep wiping sweat with towel while in the middle of an intense game anyway? Headbands keep hair and sweat in check so they can concentrate on the game.

Sweatbands may not be the most fashion forward accessory for you, but it can mean the difference between winning and losing a title for tennis players. Some players even keep 4-5 pairs with them on the court just to make sure!

They aren’t limited to Tennis though – basketball players, runners and football players are also seen sporting wrist or head bands to control sweat. If you sweat a lot, choose the terry cloth version as it proves to be the most absorbent.

Photo: Daily Mail

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