Taking the right equipment on a tennis holiday could mean the difference between winning and losing a game – but you don’t have to break the budget in this sport
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THERE IS nothing more exhilarating than a game of tennis and there are plenty of places in the world where you could have a tennis holiday. You might be knocking out your aces at The Abama in Tenerife, to doing drop shots at Saddlebrook, Florida. Tennis doesn’t have to be a couple’s holiday, many holidaymakers take their families with them. Coaching is provided for adults and kids. And at these training academies, you might be finding your next stop being Wimbledon in London or the French Open in Paris. It could be as a player, or as a well-educated in the sport spectator. Here’s a list of things that you may need to take.
Anyone for a game of …
A good tennis racket is essential to be able to take on your opponent. I bought my Wilson Pro Staff GX Excell 112 M for less than £40, which is no match for Roger Federer’s Wilson Pro Staff RF97 v13. However, if you have the budget and you want to use the same racket as your favourite tennis player, here is a short list of more players: Andy Murray – Head Pro Tour 630 (PT57A); Novak Djokovic – Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro; Alexander Zverev – Head Graphene 360 Speed MP; Marin Cilic – Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid; Juan Martin Del Potro – Wilson Burn FST 95; Angelique Kerber – Yonex Vcore SV 100; Serena Williams – Wilson Blade SW104 Racquet; Elina Svitolina – Wilson Burn 100; Karolina Pliskova – Babolat Pure Drive; Petra Kvitova – Wilson Pro Staff 97 Countervail. Many of the tennis rackets mentioned above have cheaper equivalents. I bought my Wilson racket for just over £30, and I don’t think my tennis would be any better if I had the more expensive model.
Tennis can be a fast game with short sprints, so when considering footwear, both weight, comfort, support, flexibility and durability needs to be taken into account. I’m not a great tennis player myself, but if I wanted to play like a pro, I would use trainers that are reinforced, which will keep me stable on my feet, particularly when I would be flying from one end of the court to another. My trainers are a perfect fit which stay with me – the roomy ones usually come off, and you don’t want that to happen when you are one point away from victory.
Shorts and cool skirts
The days of long, baggy shorts are long gone. Nowadays, knee-length shorts are the order of the day for both men and women, giving those legs lots of breathing space. Cotton shorts are good with the waistband being flexible and pockets big enough to hold a spare ball to serve. Women tennis players usually wear a pleated skirt which adds a touch of glamour and gives them extra leg freedom. The skirts need to be comfortable with ventilation panels to keep them cool and new material technology helps to absorb moisture. Just like men, pockets are also essential for a spare ball.
Tennis balls that keep coming at you
Don’t forget to bring an ample supply of tennis balls unless you have a ball boy or girl that will be running up and down collecting them. They don’t have to be white. If yours are another colour they are easy to pick up. The last thing you want to do is pick up someone else’s ball and be accused of a crime you genuinely did not want to commit. Tennis balls can be quite expensive, but I usually play with Dunlop tennis balls, which are relatively inexpensive. The last ones I bought had plenty of bounce. They lasted for ages and survived being chewed by a dog when the ball left the court.
Sweat gets in your eyes
Not everybody needs a sweat band as part of their tennis kit. You only need them in the summer when the weather is hot and you are sweating. In between shots you can always towel off, but the purpose of the sweat band is to soak up the sweat before it reaches your eyes. If you think it adds to your game, get one, otherwise it’s not a good investment. Wrist bands are used by tennis players to wipe the sweat from their foreheads and improve their vision. It also stops sweat from reaching the palms of the hand.
Pair of non-slipping socks that are legs ahead
Once you’ve got your trainers you’ll need a nice pair of tennis socks, with a mix of fabrics to give them grip and stop your feet from chafing. They will need a good elastic to stop them from slipping. If they have mesh panels, your feet will be more comfortable as they will be drier and cooler. You don’t need to buy top of the range socks and trainers if you don’t have the budget, no one will notice, but if you have, game on.
Nearly all in one bag
If your budget can’t stretch, you can try and get a couple of rackets, some tennis balls and a nice bag to go with it at a snip of the price. Remember that your tennis holiday is not just a break from the usual work routine where you can relax, but also offers you the health benefits of engaging in some sport. So, good luck with your game and if you have any comments on our page, we’d like to hear from you. Game, set and match!
Learn about the game before you go on holiday
If you want to learn more about tennis before you go on a tennis holiday, there are several organisations you can contact, including the Lawn Tennis Association by visiting www.lta.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/
Remember to get some travel insurance once you’ve booked your holiday, in case you face some unexpected surprises like sports injuries, illness, cancellation of flights or lost baggage.
Place in UK that you can go
The top five places in the UK for a tennis holiday are:
- Foxhills Resort, Surrey.
- Chewton Glen Country House & Spa, Hampshire.
- University of Oxford, Oxford.
- The National Tennis Centre, Roehampton (London)
- Stoke Park Country Club, Buckinghamshire.