Tennis bags come in many shapes and sizes. I would only have a cheap cover for my racket when I was younger.
It was only when I was older that I got a proper bag. The first actual tennis bag I got was a Head backpack.
The backpacks are handy as they have enough space for one or two rackets while easily carrying on your back.
These bags are handy if you cycle to the tennis courts.
Even though having that small backpack was convenient, I always wanted the huge multi-racket bags that the pros would use.
These bags usually have space for up to 12 rackets. Most people don’t own 12 rackets, so what do players store in their bags?
Competitive players will usually carry at least two rackets in their bag. Players may also have a towel, spare sets of balls, string, snacks, exercise equipment, replacement grips, or shoes.
In this article I will cover:
- What professional players keep in their tennis bags
- Most important items to have in every tennis bag
- What beginners should bring with them when they play
I of course don’t have x-ray vision so can’t give a perfect answer but can share what I have seen over the years.
What Do Tennis Pros Carry In Their Bags?
For most things, what the pros carry is pretty much the same as what amateurs have in their bags.
They will have at least one spare racket. Almost every competition-level player will have more than one racket for security.
If they break a string, they don’t want to be left with no racquet.
Top-level pros will normally have more than just two rackets. But then again, they have a better sponsorship deal than most.
Players with multiple rackets in their bags will usually have an identical model.
Players choose to use identical models because they are playing with the same racket if the string breaks.
If they used a different type of racket, they would have to use more time getting used to it after the string break.
While not many players choose to wear sunglasses in matches, many do use them when warming up or practicing.
This is another item you may find in a pro’s bag. However, something you’re far more likely to find in their bags is a baseball cap.
Most players prefer a baseball cap as it doesn’t affect their peripheral vision as much as glasses.
I mentioned in the introduction that exercise equipment is something players carry in their bags.
You won’t find heavy weightlifting sets, but you may come across some smaller pieces of equipment.
The most common are reaction balls, resistance bands, and jump ropes.
The largest piece of exercise equipment I’ve seen a pro carry in their bag is a foam roller. Matteo Berrettini is one of them.
He keeps it with him to massage his muscles, especially his legs, and recover quicker.
Many players have personal things in their bags that are unrelated to tennis.
Pakistani doubles specialist Aisam-ul-Haq Quereshi carries a prayer book with him. In addition to his prayer book, he also has an inspirational novel.
Berrettini keeps a bracelet from his girlfriend in his bag. He likes to wear it when he plays.
He also keeps his personal laptop with him. He says it’s crucial for him to keep it close to keep in touch with family and friends when away.
Tennis Channel created a playlist with over 100 bag check videos. In these videos, they sit down with a pro player and see what they keep in their bag.
If you’re interested in seeing what some of the top players have, you can check this video.
If you take some time to watch through the bag check videos you will find all sorts of things you wouldn’t expect to see in the bags of pro players.
Must Have Items In Every Tennis Bag
You can link out to items on Amazon.com
I, like many players, have experienced tennis both as a beginner and an advanced player.
Many things change as you develop, but I will share some of the things I have always had with me in my tennis bag.
I’m sure it goes without saying, but a tennis racket is definitely a must-have item. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to play.
It may seem obvious, but many people turn up to training just wanting to borrow the club’s rackets.
While this is okay if you’re just testing rackets out, it is definitely a good idea to have your own with you.
That way, you’re independent and can play whenever you want. You are not reliant on the club being open or having to borrow someone else’s.
The first proper racket I ever bought was a Head Speed Pro. It was perhaps too advanced of a racket for a beginner, but I nonetheless wanted it.
If Djokovic used it, it might make me play a bit better.
Having a spare set of tennis balls in your bag is also important. You don’t need to have many but having one ensures that you’ve got a reserve set.
You never know. Your partner may forget theirs. It would be a shame to book a court, turn up and not be able to play.
Shoes are also very important. Court surfaces can be easily marked by certain shoes. Therefore, all good tennis bags will come with a compartment for shoes.
Therefore, it is important to make sure you take some non-marking tennis shoes in your bag with you.
K-Swiss are renowned as one of the best manufacturers for both men’s and women’s shoes.
What Should Beginners Bring To Tennis Practice?
I turned up with just a tennis racket at the first tennis training I ever attended.
I don’t mean that literally, but a cheap tennis racket from a multi-sports shop was the only thing I consciously took with me.
Other than the racket, I had just standard gym clothes and shoes.
The gym clothes weren’t an issue, but wearing indoor gym shoes on an artificial grass court didn’t go down too well.
They had virtually no grip, and it felt as though I was playing in the rain.
As a beginner, the racket you use is not particularly important. The most important thing is you have a racket that is lightweight and easy to swing with.
The Wilson Ultra 100UL is a racket that meets this description.
If you don’t want to repeat my mistake, you would be wise to buy tennis-specific shoes.
When it comes to shoes, they are not divided into abilities like rackets are. So the best bet is to get a simple pair of all-court shoes as a beginner.
By using all-court shoes, you have one decent set that can be used regardless of the surface you play on.
If you get hooked on tennis, you can always purchase clay or grass-specific shoes in the future. The K-swiss shoes I mentioned in the previous section are all-court shoes.
You could have many things, but the two things you absolutely need are a racket and non-marking shoes.
We will never know for sure what every player has in their tennis bag.
Tennis Channel’s bag check series gives an exciting look into the bags of some professional players, though.
What do you keep in your bag if you’re an active tennis player? Is it like the things I have mentioned?
Perhaps you’re not a tennis player but play other sports. What do you keep in that bag?
Whatever you put in your bag, the most important thing is getting out there and starting playing.