Social distancing and tennis have always been part of the game. This type of sport is not a contact one like football or basketball as tennis players are required to stand on opposite sides of the court as the game is played. For doubles (two per side) they typically stand apart from each other to cover a larger portion of the court. This is the set-up for tennis and it has always been so. Therefore, in the time of COVID-19, it would be a great game to pick up to keep active.

Why You Should Play Tennis

As stated above, tennis is not a contact sport, but it still offers a full-body workout. Tennis players are required to stay on their feet and run around their side of the court to hit the ball back to score points and keep the match going.

Playing tennis can help you get fit as well as help you keep up with part of your social life. It is an easy sport to pick up and you can start with a few lessons if you have never played before or are looking to improve your play. You will be doing a lot of running which is great for cardio and you will be working on your hand-eye coordination since you would be using the racket to hit the ball. Plus, tennis is a lot of fun and you can go at your own pace.

Social Life?

While tennis is not so much a team sport (unless you are playing doubles) you can still socialize while playing the game. Players can chit-chat before and after the match. Your opponent could even be talkative during the game. Social distancing and tennis is a good way to meet a few people while keeping your distance and staying fit.

Tennis Gear

One of the best parts of tennis are the only things you need are good running shoes and a racket. You’ll also need a tube of tennis balls but if you are doing lessons then they are likely provided.

Shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam Lav – $189.99

The Fresh Foam Lav was designed for Milos Raonic to include cutting edge features that will help you level up your performance on the court. These men’s tennis shoes have a bootie design with Kinetic Stitch to offer a close, supportive fit for confident cross-court cuts. The innovative Fresh Foam midsole provides cushioning while the NDurance outsole delivers a solid grip that withstands your toughest matches.

Apparel

New Balance Q Speed Run Crew Short – $59.99

A running staple, the New Balance Q Speed Run Crew Short gets you through track workouts, road runs and everything in between. Designed with a perforated four-way stretch woven fabric, it offers superior breathability to help keep you cool and comfortable when runs heat up. A zip stash pocket and drop-in pockets allow you to keep keys or cards safe when on the run. Great for social distancing and tennis.

New Balance Impact Run Short Sleeve – $49.99

Built to keep up with your active lifestyle, the Impact Run Short Sleeve is a versatile men’s short sleeve shirt suitable for a training run or your daily workout. The NB DRYx and NB ICEx fabric technologies help to wick away sweat, keeping you dry and cool as you hike up the final peak or push through the last mile of your run. 

Tennis Racquet

Wilson Ultra Team – $129.99

Lightweight, maneuverable, and powerful, the Wilson Ultra Team makes a statement with its superior playability from all over the court. Inspired by the performance and design of the Ultra franchise, the Ultra Team accommodates a wide range of playing styles and levels with its geometry and power. Racket comes pre-strung with Wilson Sensation 16L/1.25, an arm-friendly string built for comfort.

HEAD Innegra Challenge Pro Tennis Racquet – $139.99

The heaviest of the Challenge series the Head Challenge Pro is the perfect choice for aggressive hobby players who need a heavier racquet on the court. With its youthful and sportive design the PRO delivers the perfect mix of power and control to get the most out of your serious weekend game.

Tennis Balls

WILSON US Open Extra Duty Tennis Ball – $8.99

The Wilson US Open Extra Duty tennis ball is the official ball of the US Open since 1978. The US Open tennis ball is made with exclusive felt from Tex Tech Industries for superior play-ability consistency and durability.

Covid Safety While Playing

In addition to all the obvious suggestions like hand washing/sanitizing, avoiding touching your face or other surfaces and staying home if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with coronavirus, the Tennis Alberta suggests the following modifications to typical tennis protocol:

  • No post-match hand shakes or high fives
  • Don’t change ends of the court during a match
  • Use a new racquet grip every time you play
  • Wipe down and disinfect racquets and all equipment after use. And though there’s no evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted via a tennis ball, scientists have advised that there are too many variables to really understand it and thus advise an extra layer of precaution by using four or six balls instead of the usual three. That way, you can ensure each server only touches balls from their own can. In the event that your ball ends up on the other side of the net, your opponent should scoop it with their racquet or use their foot to send it back across the court.

Though singles is the preferred style of play for optimum social distancing, Tennis Alberta says “all incidental contact” should be avoided in doubles including no chest bumps or whisper strategy sessions.

Ultimately, it’s up to each individuals’ decision-making whether it’s proper to come back in the communities they live in. But if the local guidelines have approved outdoor recreation, go for it. Tennis is the perfect sport to start playing in this phase. It’s social, it’s physical and it’s intellectual and that’s what we’re starved for.

The hardest part may be finding a court, at least until more clubs, parks and public tennis facilities open up around the country.

In the meantime, though, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for tennis players. Whether it’s going out for a casual hit or playing a match, tennis might be the safest sport around that combines competition and cardiovascular exercise.