Why don’t more players wear sunglasses when serving against a sun?

#1
Something I’ve never understood. I have troubles serving against a direct sunlight, especially when the sun really beats down. When I toss up the ball and look up, my eyes immediately start hurting and get watery after just one second. The direct eye contact is unbearable. I have to get sunglasses to at least partially reduce the damage otherwise I’m serving blind. Some of my hitting partners complained about the same thing.

Why aren’t more player’s eyes sensitive to a direct sunlight?
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
#2
Good question. Lots of other sports players use sunglasses for glaring sun; beach volleyball, MLB, NFL.
Probably because they practice serves so much and it's a routine movement.
Wouldn't drying the sweat from their glasses a lot cause time delays?
 
#5
Good question. Lots of other sports players use sunglasses for glaring sun; beach volleyball, MLB, NFL.
Probably because they practice serves so much and it's a routine movement.
Wouldn't drying the sweat from their glasses a lot cause time delays?
I don’t think they could get use to it. Not to mention exposing eyes to a sunlight can damage them in several ways.

Chung sweats a lot and he wears sunglasses, he doesn’t seem to be taking much time.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#6
I think they are so dialed in to their serve they can use the muscle memory and serve mechanics. I actually had the same situation last weekend, I wear a hat + sunglasses and still couldn’t see. I just basically started serving where I thought the ball should go. It actually worked, once I got over the idea that I was serving somewhat blind.
 
#7
I think they are so dialed in to their serve they can use the muscle memory and serve mechanics. I actually had the same situation last weekend, I wear a hat + sunglasses and still couldn’t see. I just basically started serving where I thought the ball should go. It actually worked, once I got over the idea that I was serving somewhat blind.
I’d like to see the statistics on serving against a bright sunlight compared with other conditions.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#9
Something I’ve never understood. I have troubles serving against a direct sunlight, especially when the sun really beats down. When I toss up the ball and look up, my eyes immediately start hurting and get watery after just one second. The direct eye contact is unbearable. I have to get sunglasses to at least partially reduce the damage otherwise I’m serving blind. Some of my hitting partners complained about the same thing.

Why aren’t more player’s eyes sensitive to a direct sunlight?
They close their eyes when looking at the sun. Why look, should know where your toss is.
 
#21
That's what I do as well. I imagine it's the same for most sound & accomplished players.
Same. I sometimes alter the angle I toss the ball and get sort of an eclipse blocking the sun for a split second.(B.A.M.F.)When I can't do that, muscle memory and timing usually take over. Can't wear a hat playing tennis. It messes me up. I'm a sunglasses or nothing kinda guy.
 
#22
This is a big problem between about 10.30am and 12.30pm for right handers. I got blinsided by this issue at a couple of tournaments because I hadnt practiced at that time of the day. You have to toss either behind or in front of the sun (for a period of time it'll be in front on the deuce court and behind on the ad court. The height of the toss is important, so you can contact the ball below or above the sun. You really have to go out and practice your serve at that time of the day and jot down your serving strategy, literally in relation to 10 minute timeslots. The main issue is that if you look into the sun directly on your serve, you have discolouration in front of your eyes for a few seconds. Andre stated that the darkness of the sunglasses increases reaction time, which at that level you cant afford.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#23
Same. I sometimes alter the angle I toss the ball and get sort of an eclipse blocking the sun for a split second.(B.A.M.F.)When I can't do that, muscle memory and timing usually take over. Can't wear a hat playing tennis. It messes me up. I'm a sunglasses or nothing kinda guy.
 
#24
Also how far in front you toss the ball will affect if youre looking into the sun. I try to manipulate the variables of height, width, distance into court, stance orientation and position along the baseline, to take the sun out of play. Another strategy Ive jeard of is blocking the sun with your tossing arm, but Ive never been able to master that one sufficiently for it to be of any use.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#25
This is a big problem between about 10.30am and 12.30pm for right handers. I got blinsided by this issue at a couple of tournaments because I hadnt practiced at that time of the day. You have to toss either behind or in front of the sun (for a period of time it'll be in front on the deuce court and behind on the ad court. The height of the toss is important, so you can contact the ball below or above the sun. You really have to go out and practice your serve at that time of the day and jot down your serving strategy, literally in relation to 10 minute timeslots. The main issue is that if you look into the sun directly on your serve, you have discolouration in front of your eyes for a few seconds. Andre stated that the darkness of the sunglasses increases reaction time, which at that level you cant afford.
Or never play at that time......................................................................
 
#29
Try this one:
Look at the point where you want to serve to, look down and wait a second that the glinstering of the sun is away out of your eyes. Then throw the ball up and ONLY follow the ball with your eyes!!! Then you dont look full in the sun and have no problems anymore with serving in the sun. I teach this to my students and everyone loves it, they can serve in the sun and are more focussed at the ball toss and get a better serve!
 
#31
Same. I sometimes alter the angle I toss the ball and get sort of an eclipse blocking the sun for a split second.(B.A.M.F.)When I can't do that, muscle memory and timing usually take over. Can't wear a hat playing tennis. It messes me up. I'm a sunglasses or nothing kinda guy.
I can go hat or no hat. Cloudy or overcast days are ideal.
 
#32
I can go hat or no hat. Cloudy or overcast days are ideal.
Something about the bill of the hat that messes me up. I feel like I'm under a porch playing tennis. Or when you see on TV sometimes the sun is covering part of the court and the other is in the shade. I guess it messes with my depth perception.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#33
Something about the bill of the hat that messes me up. I feel like I'm under a porch playing tennis. Or when you see on TV sometimes the sun is covering part of the court and the other is in the shade. I guess it messes with my depth perception.
Doubles player wears a bucket hat. Claims the bill keeps the sun out of his eyes but is not large enough to impair vision.
Guy is 83, seen the sun awhile. Btw, he plays every other day
 
#36
Yes, makes sense.

But my question remains - Why not use sunglasses that allows you to look?
Because they know where it is. No need. Those other sports you mentioned the ball is variable and could have spins on it. With a serve you know exactly where you toss it.

2 things. Maybe sunny and windy but you still have a feel for it. Second maybe overheads. There are some dubs players that wore shades back in the day. But singles I think they just deal with it.
 
#37
Isn't this problem mainly down to eye colour? I've always had more problems with my green eyes in sunlight than my brother with brown eyes does.
 
#39
If you talk to high level players about this they will nearly all tell you that you cannot see the spin of the ball as well and depth perception is not as good when wearing sun glasses. I have never been able to wear them even just driving as you simply cannot see as well with them on as without.
 
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