Tennis Quirks

What weird thing does diminutive Dominka Cibulkova do with the tennis balls before she serves? She SMELLS them!

She explained, “it’s just my habit, what I do on the court when I have new balls. I just smell them. It’s maybe also for the luck, and I do it all my life, so it’s just, you know, something, what I do on the court.”

Here are some other “Tennis Quirks”…

Jelena Dokic, Australia: prefers sitting to the left of the umpire and she asks ball boys and girls to throw the ball underarm.

Serena Williams: If she is on a winning streak, she will wear the same socks throughout – without washing them. Her ball bouncing regime is five times before her first serve and twice before her second.

Novak Djokovic: His ball bouncing obsession is legendary. “My record was in 2007 during the Davis Cup against Australia. I made the ball bounce 38 or 39 times (before serving),” Novak said.

John Isner: He bounces the ball between his legs before each serve.

Richard Gasquet, France: If he wins a point, he demands the same “lucky ball” for the next point.

Roger Federer: The champ is believed to be obsessed with the No. 8. He wants to serve eight aces before beginning a match, wants eight towel rubs at the end of a set, sets up eight bottles of water courtside and carries eight rackets.

Rafael Nadal: The King of quirk. Before each match, he positions his water bottles. During the contest, he drinks from them in a certain order. Most famously, Rafa places his hair behind each ear and fiddles with his shorts before every serve. He also makes sure his opponent crosses the net before he does on a changeover.

Maria Sharapova: Between points, Sharapova hates standing on court lines. It leaves her with an odd, stuttering gait.

Andy Murray: If he misses a first serve, he will often tug on his left sweatband. If you see him tug on his shirt, it often means he feels he is in trouble.

George Wachtel: He erases all marks near the service lines, must have the center 2” strip clean, and bounces the ball three times before he serves.

How about YOU or any of our friends?

P.S. Young friend Marc VanDam visited from Texas for a couple of days and we had a good chance to play some “trash talking doubles” and old vs young singles. Even though he broke his leg playing tennis two years ago, his foot speed is still amazing!

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8 thoughts on “Tennis Quirks

  1. That’s what I always do when I have new balls too, smell them:).
    Couldn’t resist!

    Fred – at least you dont ask anyone else to!!! george

  2. At least she doesn’t kiss them:).

    Fred – one interviewer thought that is what she was doing. george

  3. George, I am speechless. Where did you get that picture? – Marty

    Marty – that is the shortest comment you have ever posted! I just snapped that shot when she stopped over for drinks one night. 🙂 george

  4. i have been riding my bike to the exact court for a match whenever possible , since about 2003 in California, my first year at Mission Hills for the 60 Hard Courts; and also since 2001 my first year in the SST winter series in Florida. That’s almost as long as I’ve been limping around the court , worse and worse as matches progress. Now I’m hoping Hip Replacement will cure all that, but still hope do do lots of bike riding anyway… Thanks.

  5. The last couple of years I’ve been using my toe to mark where ball marks are, during a match. My racket frame gets enough of a beating normally without using It to make marks…

  6. George–You do one heck of a job. The tennis world is better off for it. I’m now a Dominika fan. Joe

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