Top Ten Tennis Superstitions
You would think that the recipe for success for the best tennis players in the world depends only on a concoction of strict dieting, long hours in the gym, track and physiotherapy sessions. While this is true, it may not be enough for our stars. They believe success is a recipe of all the above and a little bit of divine intervention.
Some call it routine or superstition, call it whatever you like but there is a host of tennis players who believe in more than a high carb diet and 100 push ups in the gym.
Here are some of the oddest superstition from some the world’s most celebrated stars, past and present.
1. Bjorn Borg
Bjorn Borg’s superstitions is related to one specific tournament, Wimbledon, the one he won five times in a row between 1976 through 1980. Borg would always grow a beard for the tournament and wear the same Fila shirt.
2. Serena Williams
While Serena is generally aggressive on court and has one of the most effective power games on the women’s circuit, you would think that would be enough for her but it isn’t. Serena’s superstitions include bringing her shower sandals to the court, tying her shoelaces a specific way and bouncing the ball five times before her first serve and twice before her second. The three time Wimbledon champ will even wear the same pair of socks during a tournament run. She is also believed to use the same shower during a winning streak.
3. Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal borders on obsessive compulsive behaviour, I’m not even sure this qualifies as a superstition. Rafa is fixated with arranging the water bottles with the labels facing the same direction, meticulously arranged on the floor in front of him. This one is there for all to see!
4. Roger Federer
Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer is known to be obsessed with the number eight: Eight aces before he can begin a match, eight towel-rubs after a
set, eight bottles of water (Evian only) and eight rackets in his bag. For his wife’s sake I hope he isn’t set on having eight children.
5. Ana Ivanovic
Ana is incredibly superstitious. The Serbian beauty’s superstitions are completely baffling I don’t know how she concentrates during the match on court. She has a habit of not stepping on the lines of the court or at least trying not to because she believes that doing it will bring her bad luck. See if you can spot her superstition during this year’s Australian Open. Another one of her habits is to bounce the ball exactly four times before she serves. She also likes to eat at the same restaurant before the match, use the same shower and the same bathroom.
6. Goran Ivanesevic
This former Wimbledon Champion had quite an odd superstition. He would not get out of bed until he watched an episode of the Teletubbies. Goran also patronized the same restaurant, sat at the same chair and had exactly the same meal. He started with a fish soup, moved onto a shank of lamb, and then topped off the feast with some ice cream. He would not get off the chair until his opponent had done so first and would serve with the same ball after an ace. That Teletubbies thing takes the cake for me though.
7. Novak Djokovic
While his fellow stars stick to the same ablution facilities, Novak refuses to use the same shower twice in a row. He also refuses to leave “Pierre” at home during Wimbledon and insists he travels with him. You may ask who the hell Pierre is?! Well… Pierre happens to be his poodle!
8. Lindsay Davenport
Lindsay would never hold a trophy above her head until she had won a Grand Slam, Prior to her US Open win in 1998 she would only ever hold the trophy next to her ear or chest. You would think after winning a tournament she would be doing cartwheels.
9. Marat Safin
Russia’s Marat Safin is said to always travel with an ‘evil eye’ to ward off evil spirits and bad karma. I hope no one ever gets to see his “evil eye” whatever it is.
10. Kim Clijsters
Kim Clijsters once dined at the same Italian restaurant every night during a winning run at the French Open.
One thing is clear, no matter how talented these guys are, they do find comfort in beliefs completely far removed from their abilities and talents, which makes them human.