Find out what it is like on a typical day in the life of a WTA Pro at a tournament.
Coach: Ashley Weinhold, current professional American tennis player.
Bio: Current professional American tennis player. Winner of Girls 18 National title in 2007. Highest singles WTA ranking was World Number 181 on October 10, 2011, and highest doubles rank was World Number 109 in June 2017. Achieved 17 doubles titles and 3 singles titles on the pro circuit and received six entries into the U.S. Open.
Length: 3 min 28 sec
To start, I can tell you it's not as glamorous as it may appear on TV.
There are certainly some weeks on the road, or you'll be in some amazing places surrounded by beauty and excitement. But there are also some weeks where you're playing in small towns that you've never heard of before. Most tennis players like structure and stick to the same routine day in and day out. I'll describe to you what a typical tournament Match Day looks like for me.
My wakeup time will depend on what my match time is. I generally like to be awake at least three hours before my match in the morning unless it's an 8am match. But that's highly unlikely. Professional schedules and times are a little different than most junior or adult tournaments. I'd say the average first match starts at 10am. For us, if you don't play at 10am, then your scheduled is followed by meaning you stay on the court you've been assigned and wait for those matches to be completed. You could be the second match after 10am or fifth match after 10am. If your fifth match after 10am. You can imagine how long those days may be with a lot of waiting and uncertainty of when you'll be on the court serving that first ball.
Once I'm awake, I always try to have a well-balanced breakfast to start the day right. When I get to the courts, I usually start with a solid routine of body work including foam rolling, prehab, exercises, stretching, and whatever else that needs to be done to get my body feeling good and ready to go for the day ahead. Once my body is loosened up and ready to go, I'll go through my normal encore warmup for 30 to 45 minutes. After warm-up is complete, I'll change it to my match clothes, prepare hydration drinks as needed, eat a meal or snack depending on how much time I have. If I need to see the trainer for any reason, I have to make sure I have enough time to squeeze that in before my match as well.
When it gets really close to my match, I will go through another warmup routine to get my heart rate up and a little bit of a sweat as well. Following the match, the cooldown and recovery process starts more foam rolling, and stretching is involved. It's also important for me to put calories and electrolytes back into my body as soon as possible following the match.
After everything is done and taking care of at the courts, I'll usually head back to wherever I'm staying to relax a bit and conserve energy. I love going to dinner early so I can enjoy the rest of the evening and prepare properly for the next day. I usually go to bed pretty early also as long as it's under my control.
After a good night's rest, I get up and do it all over again. It probably doesn't sound very exciting. It's all about keeping your body fueled up and tuned properly to be able to perform at your best level. There are a lot of little details and boxes to check to feel prepared and confident. At some tournaments you may have certain obligations during the week at some point, whether it's a program, player party school visit, or other charity work.
If I ever have an extra day or two off, I do like to go exploring the city and surrounding areas and experience the different cultures around the world. There are definitely a number of places I like to go back to and enjoy as a tourist one day. I'm very grateful and fortunate to be doing what I'm doing.