If you’ve been playing tennis for a while, you start to make quite a few friends on the court. Whether you meet them in group lessons, at league matches or through your tennis instructor, these friends have given you some of your best memories on the tennis court. If you’re an avid player, you probably have some variation of these 10 tennis player friends.
The court rat
This is the friend who will text you “Wanna hit?” at 9 a.m. on a Saturday. You and your other friends won’t be surprised if they show up to group dinner in tennis clothes because they’re always coming from a lesson or match. They’re not shy about challenging strangers they meet at the courts to a game or two, but even if they have no one to play with, they’re content hitting basket after basket of serves or practicing against a backboard. This friend eats, sleeps and breathes tennis.
The attitude adjustment
This friend may come across as the sweetest person you’ve ever met, but the second they step on the court they become a totally different person. During a match, throwing rackets, questioning calls or slamming balls against the fence is standard behavior for this friend — leaving you wondering what happened to the likeable person who offered you an energy bar an hour ago. The sport brings out their ultra-competitive side, so you’ve learned to stay away when it’s not their day on the court.
This friend isn’t your tennis instructor, but they definitely think they are. Even if you’re just hitting around, they’ll stop the point to correct you or give you advice. Personally, you think their backhand could use a little work, but you’re not going to say anything because they’ll probably get offended. With this friend, you just have to nod and smile and take their suggestions. They’ve probably watched a million instructional videos and heard the same pointers from their own private coach, so you know it’s just their passion for the game that causes them to get a bit teacherly.
The gear guy
This friend is all about “stuff.” They’ve got the newest racket and carry it in a six-pack tennis bag, which also contains a Frogg Togg cooling towel, an extra large thermos, bananas, and every flavor Gatorade. They’ll want to get their racket restrung even if it isn’t broken and put on fresh sweatbands mid tennis lesson. They like the swag as much as the game, and you know you can always count on them if you need an extra shock absorber.
The nice one
This friend will drive you a little crazy with how overly nice they are. If you’re playing points, they’ll tell you “good effort” or “great try” when you make an error, which frustrates you like nothing else. They’re also incredibly apologetic; they’ll say sorry whether they hit a shot that tips net when playing against you in singles or if they miss a ball when playing as your doubles partner. Especially when you’re in the competitive zone, you have to remind yourself that this friend means well and realize their kindness is the way all players should act on the court.
The style guru
While you’re sweating through your shirt after a lesson, this friend looks like she just walked the runway. Even after playing for an hour, her hair is never out of place and her face is never red from exercise. She always wears the latest looks worn by Sharapova, Ivanovic and Wozniacki, and has a closet full of tennis tops, skirts and dresses. Somehow she’s able to chase down a short ball wearing piles of jewelry — a feat as remarkable as anything you’ll see on the court all day. She’s the friend with whom you can have an intense tennis lesson and afterward go on an intense tennis clothes shopping spree.
The lazy talent
They might be the laziest tennis player you’ve ever known, but somehow this friend is still better than you. They show up late to practice, jog when they’re supposed to sprint and take extra long water breaks. Yet you watch in awe as during competition they defeat opponent after opponent effortlessly, while giving half their best effort during a lesson. As aggravating as it is, you love having a friend this good, whose natural talent you can only try to emulate.
The class clown
This friend’s mission is to distract you during a tennis lesson and they’re pretty good at it. They’re always chatting during a group lesson or telling jokes so loudly the next court over can hear. They’re not going to take a recreational match too seriously and will make fun of themselves every time they make an unforced error. Their goofiness reminds you that tennis is a game and it’s supposed to be fun. It might not be your most challenging practice when you’re with this friend on the court, but you always have a good time.
This is the person in your league or on your team who loves to be loud. They don’t care that you’re supposed to be quiet while the ball is in play, they want to be hanging onto the fence cheering for your team. You can always count on them to give you an extra boost of energy during a tough set, or rally the whole team when a match is tied with one teammate fighting for the last point. They bring everyone together with their charisma and passion for the sport.
The best tennis friend
This is the friend who challenges and motivates you on the court. They’re a hard worker, they love the game and their attitude inspires you to be the same way. You can rely on them to warm-up before a match, watch pro tournaments on TV, or try something new, like cardio tennis! They’ll listen to you talk their ear off about the game, lend you their tennis shoes if you forget yours, and you’ll still remain friends no matter who wins the match between you. Having a best friend who loves tennis as much as you do is one of the reasons you look forward to every tennis lesson or time on the court!