Why Tennis Players Blow On Their Fingers? [Explained]

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When watching a tennis match, you can notice that a player sometimes blows on his fingers right before serving the next point.

This raises the question of why players do that in some moments of the match. Is it a routine or is there a real reason?

After searching online and watching several interviews, there are actually many factors.

Tennis players sometimes blow on their fingers for the following reasons:

  • It’s a habit that helps the player focus
  • Cool the fingers down
  • Dry them from sweat
  • Heat them up when it’s cold
  • Ease blisters and soreness
Roger Federer blowing on his fingers
Roger Federer

It’s Simply A Habit

The pros are meticulous when it comes to preparation and regularity. Every pro tennis player has his own rituals before he serves.

It helps him build consistency and focus better on how to play the point and win it.

Momentum is key in professional matches; every slight disturbance can cause a lack of confidence, hence fewer chances of winning the match.

For example, Nadal has the ritual of removing sweat from his face and adjusting his underpants. On the other hand, Dominic Thiem blows on his hand, does a little trick shot with the ball, and serves.

Cooling In The Heat Of the Match

Holding the racquet for several hours gives you the sensation of burn in your palm and fingers. It is essential to cool them down a bit with a little blow from the mouth.

Personally, I do it when my hand starts heating up because of me gripping the racquet for so long and it helps me get fresh fingers to continue playing.

Removing Sweat

Gripping the racquet builds sweat in the palm and the fingers, and it is bad for the stability and consistency of the shots.

Sweat can make the grip of the racquet slippery, which can make it difficult to control the racquet when hitting the ball.

During a match, it can be awkward to use the towel at every point to dry your hands. So, a quick fix is to use air from the mouth to blow dry sweat, which is essential for a solid racquet grip.

Even though any tennis player can use these super absorbent overgrips like the Tourna, sometimes  

Warm Them In Cold

During cold days, it is difficult to get the proper feel of the racquet grip and sometimes even to fold your fingers.

Wearing gloves in tennis is not a good option since it is not allowed in many tournaments, and also it negatively impacts performance. The reason is that gloves make the hand thicker so the player can’t feel the racquet or it might slip off his hand during the rallies.

This is why players blow heat on their hands, which makes at least the serve well prepared for and delivered.

Ease Soreness

Samantha Stosur blowing on her fingers
Samantha Stosur

Holding the racquet for hours can cause cramps or blisters on the hands during the match.

Blowing fresh air on them can cool down the pain and reduce inflammation for a few minutes.

The cool sensation of the air can distract you from the hurt, causing your brain to focus on the sensation on your skin instead. This might result in the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals and provide some temporary relief from pain.

However, for entire pain alleviation or recovery from a tennis match, you should opt for the proper techniques and treatments.

Read Also: Tennis Wrist Pain – What to Do?

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