Tennis Superstitions

In the world of sports, the name Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and Jason Terry all have something in common: greatness. But there is more to their similarities than meets the eye.

In sport, superstitions sometimes can rule the court, field or ring. Some players avoid the lines, while others may only step on court with his or her right foot first. Others eat the same meal, or even have different sleeping habits the night before a big competition.

SerenaEither way, almost every tennis player follows some routine before, during or after a match. So take a look at some of the frequent — and infrequent — superstitions and habits of tennis players. But be warned: some are pretty odd.

Rafael Nadal refuses to admit he’s superstitious, but he still has some interesting tendencies on the court. The Spanish star keeps two water bottles near his bag at all times, and during changeovers he faces the labels toward the side of the baseline that he’s playing on.

Serena Williams has long been known as a player with tremendous consistency. It turns out she’s consistent in more than just her play. Williams claims her routines are a major part of winning, well, majors. She wears her shower sandals to the court, ties her shoelaces the same way each time, bounces the ball five times before her first serve and always two times before her second. It has also been said that Williams wears the same pair of socks during an entire tournament run.

Bjorn Borg partook in a superstition specific to Wimbledon. Borg prepared for Wimbledon by growing a beard, and he always wore the same Fila shirt on the court. Whether the beard gets credit or not, Borg did win an impressive five-straight Wimbledon titles from 1976-1980. And if you’re wondering where the ever-so-famous “playoff beard” has evolved from, look no further than Borg.

Do superstitions rule you on the court? Let us know! Send your tennis habits and quirks to, or tweet us: @ustaMS_tennis

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