How to pack your racket bag

How to pack your racket bag

Ana recently gave an interview to thetennisspace.com, advising amateur players about how to pack their racket bags. The following is a reproduction of the feature:

Consider packing rackets strung at two different tensions – that gives you options. “I usually carry about five rackets, strung at two different tensions: four at my regular tension and one tighter. I may change to a more tightly-strung racket depending on the conditions or if I feel my timing is a little off on that particular day. If the conditions are hot and the ball is flying quickly through the air, a tighter racket would be needed. But it’s rare that I would change it mid-match, because I practise about an hour-and-half before the match, so I know what conditions to expect. Obviously conditions can change, and then it’s good to have more options.”
 
Pack a sports drink filled with electrolytes, and a banana, and some power bars. Avoid chocolate and fizzy drinks. “I carry a sports drink filled with electrolytes to keep me well hydrated. I always carry a banana, which quickly releases energy. And power bars are also good to give you a boost of energy during a changeover, so I carry them too. For sure club players should avoid foods with high fat and sugar contents, like chocolate. And fizzy drinks aren’t good either, because they can cause you to become bloated: water would be far better. You don’t always have to buy a sports drink – I know they can be expensive. Instead, you could buy some electrolyte tablets or powder that you dissolve in water.”
 
Some players like to take lucky charms or mascots on court. “I used to, but not so much these days. In the past I have carried lucky pennies.”
 
Don’t forget a spare outfit and a towel. “I always have a spare outfit in my bag. In the locker room they have towels, and we can get extra on court from the ball boys. I recommend to club players to carry a towel.”
 
Leave room in your bag for a book, string, stencils, ink, accessories, sunscreen, and lip balm. “I don’t like to unpack my racket bag too much, so I will often carry onto court some things that I won’t actually use during a match, for example the book I am reading, and maybe a packet of string, as well as my racket stencil and ink. I will also carry my accessories: wrist bands, visors and hair bands and hair ties. Something I sometimes forget to carry is sun screen – that’s very important, of course. And lip balm, too. I actually don’t leave anything in my locker: it’s all in my bag.”
 
Pack the night before. “I keep some of the stuff in there permanently until it runs out, for example the string, visors and shoes. But items like food and drinks, I pack the night before, along with my clean tennis dress.”