As we get ready for the season of Florida tennis tournaments, one player questions the value of wearing sunglasses (which almost NO pro players wear). 

To Wear or Not to wear?

He writes, “As I plot my January tennis campaign in Florida, the thought arose of afternoon doubles matches having serves and overheads in the sun issues.  Are sunglasses the answer and if so which brand, style?”

“And, do you wear them on both sides or just when you are on the sun side?”

“One sunglass professional told me there is no such thing as sunglasses for tennis, it is just marketing.

My Thoughts

It could be just marketing; but I have bought into the Bolle concept. My sunglasses actually have additional prescription inserts and I wear them on both sides of the court on sunny days. I find that it both helps block out the sun and enhances the image of the ball in lower light situations.

Sunglasses also help protect the eyes from damaging ultra violet rays.

I cannot understand why pro players do NOT wear sunglasses (or even wear their hats on facing the front)!

What Do You Think?  And, any solution to stop fogging on a humid day?

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9 thoughts on “Sunglasses?

  1. Sunglasses, with both UVA and UVB blocking ability delays the onset of cataract development in people who spend a lot of time outdoors.
    Like you, George, I simply cannot fathom why the pros do not wear sunglasses.
    In addition, the use of green tinted lenses makes the yellow colored balls more visible.
    Even with the use of sunglasses, I sometimes find it difficult in serving and taking overheads when the sun is in the wrong position.

  2. I have found that as I age, I need extra light to see more clearly. tennis is no exception. I rarely wear sunglasses when I play competitive matches. being able to pick up the ball early provides an extra advantage to playing. I only wear them if the ball toss on my serve is directly in the line of sight and I will remove them when moving to the other side of the court. night play sux.

    Larry, i find the green Bolle actually helps in low light situations. thanks, george

  3. I was lucky to start wearing sunglasses as a college coach in my 30’s. I have worn them to play in as well ever since and they are big help. As a competitor sometimes I also felt it an advantage that my opponent couldn’t see my eyes. The sunglasses give you a little bit of the warrior look. Only problem now is need to have two pairs one a little darker and one lighter (like the Bolle’s). On overcast days sometimes it can get a bit dark and harder to see with sunglasses. I try not to take them off and put on as mentioned above, but sometimes can’t avoid it. For some people who sweat a lot they can be a little difficult, but try them for a week before giving up on them. If it saves you from cataracts, it’s worth it. Be a warrior! (watching to many TV shows).

    Larry, good thought about hiding the eyes; so they don’t know where you are looking to hit the ball. thanks, george

  4. I have played league tennis for 35+ yrs., and have worn yellow (amber) lenses. They give me the brightness I need during the day while taking away the extreme sharpness of the sun. During the gray days they also brighten the sky for more visibility. I wear them on both sides. Wouldn’t play without them.

    Barbara, how does the yellow deal with the yellow balls? george

  5. Hi George – If the sun is blinding on one side, I’ll clip sunglasses onto my prescription glasses on that side only. What I lose in timing feels much less important than what is gained.

    Peter, i sometimes use my clip-ons too. thanks, george

  6. Bought a “magical” pair from a tent at a tournament after testing them by looking up at the sun. Must have been a different sun that day, as they’ve proven to be of no value if the ball is directly in the vicinity of the sun. Sun in the eyes totally changes the game for me.

    Oh, and Larry T. doesn’t need any extra help. He’s plenty scary with just his game.

    KB, i don’t believe any pair of sunglasses will let you see the ball when it is anywhere right near a bright sun; but will once the ball moves away. thanks, george.

  7. George: I think Bolle may have a patent on their “Competivision” technology. The lens technology basically mutes all of the color spectrum except yellow, which is perfect for seeing tennis balls. Their literature warns against using the lenses for driving because of the color muting and supplies another set of lenses probably for additional legal cover. 🙂

    Here is a pretty fair, somewhat marketing oriented, description of the technology that I found online:

    “Bolle Competivision Tennis Lens Technology is the first and only lens technology created specifically for Tennis Players. By muting all light except optic yellow, Bolle Competivision Lens Technology makes the ball literally pop out of the background.”

  8. George, the yellow lense is more of a Amber color. Doesn’t affect the yellow color of the ball at all. For me, it really helps me see the ball clearly.

    Barbara, thanks. george

  9. Although I can’t speak for pro tennis players, I know that the only time pro baseball players wear them is on defense. Most, if not all players, feel that are no sunglasses that do not hinder vision when hitting. Pete Rose was adamant that you can hit a baseball with sunglasses!

    However, from a health standpoint, they definitely should be worn!

    Larry, Pete was adamant you CAN or CAN’T hit a baseball with sunglasses? george

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