How to Recover Quickly from a Tennis Match? (Like Pros Do)

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When you watch the pros playing a 3-hour intense match and play again the next day for a whole week, you wonder what they do to recover and stay in shape.

In fact, they succeed to reduce their physical deficit and fatigue accumulation as much as possible, but it happens anyway and this is what separates the champions from the good players in many tournaments.

Players like Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Federer, and other champions are able to recover after a long exhausting match and be in a good form the next day.

But it’s not rocket science; you can apply some easy tips after your tennis match or session to be able to recover fast and efficiently. Just stick to the end.


Drink plenty of liquids, especially water, to replenish the fluids lost by sweating during the match.

Water and electrolyte-rich drinks also help remove the lactic acid, which we know can cause muscle soreness. They also tend to repair and recover broken muscle fibers.

So not only drink during the match but most importantly after your heavy session.


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Tennis abrupt movements including many muscles make players prone to injuries. Stretching your muscles can help reduce soreness and improve flexibility.

You can stretch a little before the match but it is not recommended.

Before tennis:

  • Start by doing 3 to 5 minutes of jogging.
  • Then do a few lunges and squats.
  • Then practice shadow shots with the racquet only for a minute or two.

You can learn more about how to warm up properly for tennis here

After tennis:

  • Spine twist stretches
  • Leg stretches (calves and tendons)
  • Cross shoulder stretch
  • Chest stretch
  • Hip stretch

Please refer to a physiologist for a complete stretching routine based on your body and your personal abilities.

Eat Nutritious Food

Right after the session:

A small snack containing protein and carbohydrates can help your muscles recover. Some good options include a banana or a protein bar.

Later after the session:

You should consider eating healthy food rich in protein, vitamins, and fibers. A few options include:

  • Chicken or fish
  • Whole grains like rice or quinoa
  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Yogurt for protein and calcium

These are our recommendations based on our personal experience. Please refer to a nutritionist for a detailed routine diet according to your specific needs as a tennis player.

Contrast Shower

A good shower will help you clean up and feel amazing after the tennis session.

For this matter, I highly recommend taking a contrast shower, by following these easy steps:

  • Take a normal warm shower.
  • Before the end switch between 30 seconds of warm water and 15-30 seconds of cold water immediately.
  • Repeat 3 to 5 times.
  • Finish with cold water to close the pores of your skin and remove any soreness.

The benefits of a contrast shower are numerous, and I personally do it after every workout and it helps me recover and sleep well.

Here are the benefits:

  1. Better blood flow: Applying cold water immediately stimulates the body to arouse the muscles with blood.
  2. Removing soreness: The warm-cold cycle reduces any source of soreness or inflammation in your muscles and joints.
  3. Better immunity: The contrast in temperature pushes your body to the limit and helps it produce more white blood cells.
  4. Better skin: The hot water opens up the pores to be exfoliated and the cold water at the end closes them to protect your skin and feel fresh.
  5. Less Stress: It is said that the contrast shower gives you a better mood and relieves tension.

Disclaimer: It is important to listen to your body and start slowly. For example, you can try one or two cycles and see how it works for you.

Rest Well

Try to get some rest and sleep after the match to allow your body to recover. In general, sleeping 7 to 9 hours is the sweet spot to rest well and start your next day fresh.

Try to avoid screens or food right before you go to bed.

Have a Massage (Optional)

Consider using a foam roller or massage ball: These tools can help reduce muscle discomfort and improve recovery.

Massaging your myofascia (the thin layer of tissue that surrounds the muscles) is a great way that the pros use in the locker room or in an MTO to quickly relieve pain and continue to play.

Use an Ice Pack Bag If you Feel Sore (Optional)

Try using an ice pack bag: Applying an ice pack to any sore or inflamed areas can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain.

The cold temperature of the ice pack causes blood vessels to tighten, which reduces blood flow to the area and numbs pain receptors.

If you are experiencing a lot of muscle pain, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate your discomfort. But please consider the advice of a qualified doctor.

Read Also: Should You Go to the Gym If You Play Tennis?

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