Why Don’t Tennis Players Wear Gloves?

Tennis is a popular sport around the world. It’s been played on courts all over the globe for over three centuries. Anyone who is able to handle a tennis racket and move around the tennis court comfortably can play. It’s a great form of exercise and a way to enjoy a little friendly competition on a nice warm spring or summer day.

The only equipment you really need to play tennis is a sturdy tennis racquet, a couple of tennis balls, and maybe a towel and water bottle to help you cool down after an invigorating match. Some players even elect to wear tennis gloves. Why is that? That’s what we will go through in this article.

Why don’t tennis players wear gloves? Tennis players choose to not wear gloves because it affects their game negatively. It reduces the feel of the racquet and it makes them sweat more. Gloves are also illegal in some tennis leagues.

Reasons Why Tennis Players Don’t Wear Gloves

Gloves give you less feel for the racket: One of the main reasons why tennis players decide not to wear gloves is because they feel that gloves can lessen their grip on the racket. Even though repeated playing can cause blisters and calluses to form on their hands, they accept them, because such marks help them hold their tennis racket more firmly.  

Fear of slippage: Another reason why some tennis players avoid wearing gloves when they play is the fact that gloves can sometimes cause their grip to slip. They’re often used to a particular grip during serves or volleys, and any shift during gameplay can cause that grip to loosen or weaken at times. They may lose hold of their racket altogether, which can be costly during pivotal game points.  

Gloves make their hands too warm: Tennis gloves are supposed to provide comfort and support. However, some players, they can make their hands feel warmer than normal. This is just fine for some, but for others, this can be distracting, especially when playing during the warmer weather months or indoors.  

They’re not allowed: In some leagues, tennis gloves are illegal to use. They can sometimes be seen as giving players an unfair advantage. They are also frowned on at times by traditionalists who prefer to grip their rackets by hand. They don’t mind the discomfort and calluses that come from playing the sport for extended periods of time.  

Pros And Cons Of Wearing Gloves For Playing Tennis


They are useful when dealing with an injury: Tennis gloves are sometimes worn by players who have suffered a recent hand or arm injury. Gloves can protect the affected area and help to avoid any further damage. They can also help players to avoid developing bruises and calluses that can affect their performance.  

Added Comfort: Gloves can provide added comfort in cold or warm weather. Wearing tennis gloves can also be helpful if playing outdoor or indoor matches in both cold and warm weather. The added layer of insulation can protect your hands from the elements, and allow you to focus on your game. Constantly having to warm or cool your hands takes away from your gameplay. Gloves can also help with sweat when playing in hot, humid conditions.  


Gloves can affect your grip: For players who are accustomed to certain grips for different types of volleys and serves, wearing tennis gloves can be uncomfortable. The grip that you get while wearing gloves can make it more difficult to switch hands or when going from backhand to forehand and vice versa. It may take a few matches to get used to them.  

Wearing gloves can make your hands sweatier: While some players wear tennis gloves to absorb sweat, this can sometimes do more harm than good. Certain types of gloves can make your hands sweatier than normal. The moisture has nowhere to go, so it’s stuck in your gloves while you play.

Your hands will be more slippery, and you may have a tough time holding on to your racket during a long match. This is why many tennis players wear a wristband instead. Wristbands help catch sweat as it runs down your palm and prevents it from affecting your grip.  

Gloves can change your feelings for your racket: People who wear tennis gloves for the first time usually notice that their feelings for their racket are quite different. The gloves’ material can interfere with your grip, and you may need to make extra efforts to hold your racket firmly as you play.

Some players feel a definite disconnect between their hands and the racket after playing with gloves the first few times. Some players choose to wear a tennis glove on their hitting hand. Such gloves should be made of the lightest and thinnest material available to make the players feel for their racket and movement as easy as possible.  

What To Look For In Tennis Gloves

If you decide to wear gloves for playing tennis, there are a few things that you should look for. Pick a pair of gloves that are lightweight and comfortable to wear. Your gloves should not be loose or bulky. Thinner lighter gloves will help give you a better feel for your racket. They should be comfortable enough to wear every time that you play.  

If you don’t like any of the tennis gloves on the market today, you can always opt for handball gloves, golf gloves or squash gloves. Most of these models are made from durable, thin materials and are relatively inexpensive. They may be a good option for players who only play a few times a year.  

I listed my up-to-date tennis glove recommendations in this post.

Alternatives To Wearing Tennis Gloves

More and more players choose to concentrate on their racket grips. There are plenty of overgrips that you can slip right onto your current racket.

For some, these grips may make wearing gloves unnecessary. Overgrips have been used frequently on tennis rackets whose regular grips are made from plastic or leather and tend to either wear out gradually with the use or absorb sweat during gameplay. 

Tennis racket manufacturers have also designed rackets with grips that are easier to hold on to. The leather and synthetic grips that are used today make it easier for players to hold onto their rackets during serves and volleys.  

Some players prefer to wear wristbands while playing. The wristbands absorb sweat easily and can also be used to wipe off any excess moisture from the handle of the tennis racket.

Others prefer to tape their fingers. This serves as added protection for the skin and can help to avoid recurrences of blisters or calluses that typically form during hours of regular play. Using antiperspirant lotion on your hands is another alternative if you’re playing outdoors on a hot summer day.  

Should You Consider Wearing Gloves To Play Tennis ?

Deciding whether or not to wear tennis gloves is a personal choice. They are good protection for your hands in cold and warm environments, and they reduce your chances of getting calluses or blisters.

On the other hand, many professionals choose not to wear gloves because they feel that can hamper their feel for the racket and may sometimes cause them to lose their grip. It may be a little thing, but that can be just enough of a difference for some. 

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of different opinions on this topic. Many purists insist on never wearing gloves. They feel that wearing gloves can sometimes make them lose the feel for their tennis racket or they worry that their grip might slip during hot or cold days. Others have no problem with them at all.  

There are a few professionals who wear gloves, and their use is becoming more and more common in recent years. Some wear them on only one hand and others use gloves with finger holes cut out to allow for better grip on the tennis racket.

Others opt for wearing wristbands or applying lotion, talcum, or antiperspirant to their hands before a match. Racket grips have evolved to the point where wearing tennis gloves isn’t that much of an advantage or disadvantage for certain professional players.  

If wearing tennis gloves gives you a physical or mental advantage over your opponent, then by all means wear them. Just because others don’t wear them shouldn’t stop you from using them. Whatever steps you can take to improve your chances of winning on the court should be taken.

Make sure to read about the different types of gloves and read customer reviews before making a purchase. You’ll want a good pair of tennis gloves that are lightweight and sweat/moisture resistant. They can make all the difference between a bad day and a great day on the court.  

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