When you play singles tennis competition you are matching yourself up against the person across from you — and nothing else matters. Tennis is as mental as it is physical so it doesn’t surprise us to hear they are a superstitious bunch. Listed below are 14 of the strangest superstitions of the top stars of tennis!
We’d need about a billion college loans to have the kind of money that Serena has. With that being said, perhaps Serena’s success comes from her superstitious attitude. Whenever Serena is on a winning streak she’ll keep the same socks on without changing or washing them! That’s actually pretty gross.
Alright, Jack Sock may be a cerebral player but this is going a bit too far. Apparently Sock’s superstitious attitude extends to other people. Sock likes each ball boy on his half of the clay to have exactly three extra tennis balls. If they ever get out of whack then he’ll get bothered and distracted. Maybe he should have some hypnosis done to handle that obsessive nature. On the other hand, being obsessive is probably great for paying your graduate student loan back on time. No late payments!
Dokic has such a specific routine before each serve that it must bother her opponents, at least a little bit. Dokic has to bounce the ball five times before her first serve, two times before her second serve, and she must always blow on her right hand while waiting. We can’t explain why all of this matters, but it must come in handy. Dokic has such a competitive drive that it probably brings down her auto insurance.
Federer is one of the biggest names in tennis and one of the most successful players of all time. He is also a passionate believer in the ‘power of eight’. Everything that Feder does has to be done in an eight count fashion. Eight bottles of water, eight rubs to the face with his towel, eight different rackets in his bag. We’re starting to think these people are crazy!
Alright, so she isn’t one of the biggest stars in the tennis world but her superstition is short, simple, and dutifully bizarre. Dulgheru must always step onto the court with her right foot first. If Dulgheru steps onto the court with her left foot first then all bets are off. She’s a pro so we aren’t saying her superstition isn’t working, but still.
The next time you watch Cibulkova during a match pay attention to what she does when receiving each tennis ball. Some people mistakenly think that Cibulkova is giving each tennis ball a kiss but what she’s actually doing is far more bizarre — she is smelling them. Apparently Cibulkova loves the smell of fresh tennis balls. She also thinks that the act will bring her good luck.
Dokovic may have an intimidating serve but he is a softy off of the clay. In order for Djokovic to feel comfortable about his game he has to have his little poodle, Pierre, on the trip with him. Apparently Pierre is a good luck charm because Djokovic’s success is hard to argue against! Djokovic is also almost a legend for his pre-serve routine. Djokovic has to bounce the ball a ton of times before every single serve. His record, according to Djokovic, is 38 bounces before a serve while competing in the Davis Cup.
Juan Martin del Potro
Del Potro is a US Open Champion so aspiring tennis players should listen to what he has to say. Apparently Juan Martin has a very specific set of superstitions that must always be followed. Del Potro must always stay at the same hotel and the same room when he plays in New York. Del Potro also insists on rolling up the left leg of his shorts whenever he is taking a serve.
Bartoli is retired now but while she played she was always a ton of fun to watch. Bartoli’s particular superstition involved her running in place, jumping up and down, and swinging her arms around — before every single point. Of course this caused a ton of frustration from her opposing players who just wanted to, you know, play tennis. Bartoli insists that she wasn’t trying to annoy anyone but we’re not so sure. Bartoli also had the habit of sprinting to her chair and sitting down right when her games would end — no fuss, no waiting around.
Nadal is probably one of the King’s of the tennis routine. Before every single match Nadal will go through all of his water bottles in order to ensure that they are all facing out toward the tennis court. After meeting his opponent in the middle of the court, before the match, he will burst into a sprint back toward his serving line. Nadal lives and dies by his superstitions and so far it seems like he has been doing pretty alright for himself.
Sharapova is one of the most famous female tennis players to ever grace the court but she is exhausting to watch play. Sharapova never likes to stand on the lines of the court. She also has to turn her back to her opponent and fuss with the strings of her racket before every serve. Sharapova also likes to walk to the baseline, bounce the ball, and play with her hair before actually putting the ball in the air and serving. Whew, we are exhausted just reading through her whole routine.
Ready for too much information? Agassi is without a doubt one of the most intense pros to watch play but you probably won’t look at him the same after this. In 1999 at the French Open Agassi had forgotten to wear his underwear for his first match. He ended up winning that match and decided to go the rest of the tourney without boxers. The superstition quickly took hold and Agassi would never wear boxers for the rest of his career. Yep, now you definitely are seeing the former tennis star in a different light.
Whenever Murray is waiting on defense for a serve he always sways from left to right with his tongue sticking out in concentration. Whenever Murray feels like he is starting to lose control of the match he will start to tug at his shirt, subconciously. Murray is a master of body language and he is a ton of fun to watch if you know all of his individual quirks. You could cover up the scoreboard and know exactly how the man is doing.
This French tennis star is either beloved or hated by the ball boys. Every time that he wins a point he will demand that the ball boy returns him the same ball. If he loses a point then Gasquet will request the ball that most recently won him a point. This means that the ball boys have to be on their toes at all time!