Do Pro Tennis Players Wear Sunscreen: Learn What Product Pro Players Use

Max Schnur

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Do Pro Tennis Players Wear Sunscreen

As tennis enthusiasts flock to courts bathed in sunlight, the radiant game carries a hidden adversary – the sun’s powerful rays. In the pursuit of sport and recreation, players often overlook the potential risks posed by prolonged exposure. 

This blog post aims to unravel the intricacies of the sun-tennis relationship, shedding light on the underestimated dangers that lurk on the court. 

From the insidious effects of UV radiation on the skin to the long-term consequences that may impact players’ health, we embark on a journey to dissect the intricacies of this interplay. 

Join us as we delve into the nuances of sun-related risks in the world of tennis, offering insights and guidance to ensure both the love for the game and the well-being of its players endure.

Do Pro Tennis Players Wear Sunscreen?

Yes, professional tennis players often wear sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

Tennis matches are typically played outdoors, and prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to sunburn and an increased risk of skin damage and skin cancer.

Sunscreen helps to block or absorb UV radiation, providing a barrier to protect the skin.

Many athletes, including tennis players, incorporate sunscreen as part of their pre-match routine. 

It’s essential for them to take measures to safeguard their skin during long hours of training and competition, especially in sunny conditions. 

sing sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) and reapplying it regularly is a common practice to ensure continued protection throughout the duration of a match or training session.

The Sun and Tennis: Understanding the Risks

The Sun and Tennis: Understanding the Risks

Understanding the risks associated with sun exposure during tennis is crucial for players and anyone engaged in outdoor activities. Here are some key points to consider:

UV Radiation

The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can be harmful to the skin. There are three types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC. 

UVA and UVB are the ones that reach the Earth’s surface, with UVB being the primary cause of sunburn.

Skin Damage

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can lead to skin damage, including sunburn, premature aging (wrinkles and fine lines), and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Tennis and Sun Exposure

Tennis is often played outdoors, and players can spend extended periods on the court. This exposes them to direct sunlight, making them susceptible to the harmful effects of UV radiation.


Wearing sunscreen is a crucial preventive measure. Players should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. 

It’s essential to apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin and reapply it every two hours or more frequently if sweating heavily.

Protective Clothing

In addition to sunscreen, players can wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, hats, and sunglasses with UV protection, to further shield their skin from the sun.


Staying hydrated is essential in the sun. Tennis players, like all athletes, should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially in hot weather.

Timing of Matches

Whenever possible, scheduling tennis matches during times when the sun is less intense, such as early morning or late afternoon, can help reduce sun exposure.

Regular Skin Checks

Players should be vigilant about monitoring their skin for any changes, such as new moles or unusual spots. If they notice anything concerning, they should consult a dermatologist.

Seek Shade

Taking breaks in the shade during matches or practices can provide relief from direct sun exposure.

Educating Athletes

Coaches, trainers, and sports organizations should educate tennis players about the risks of sun exposure and the importance of sun protection measures.

By being proactive and taking appropriate precautions, tennis players can enjoy the sport while minimizing the risks associated with sun exposure. 

It’s a matter of incorporating sun safety practices into their overall training and competition routines.

Best Sunscreen for Tennis Players

Best Sunscreen for Tennis Players

Now, let’s learn about the best sunscreen for tennis. Using tennis sunscreen can help you protect your skin. However, many of you don’t even know whether there is any sunscreen for tennis players or not. 

If you manage to learn what sunscreen tennis players use, you can choose the right one for you. 

Choosing the best sunscreen for tennis players involves considering factors such as sun protection factor (SPF), water resistance, and application convenience. 

Here are some tips for selecting a suitable sunscreen:

Broad-Spectrum Protection

Look for a sunscreen labeled as “broad-spectrum,” which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Both types of UV radiation can contribute to skin damage.

High SPF

Choose a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). A minimum of SPF 30 is generally recommended for daily use, but for outdoor activities like tennis, especially in sunny conditions, you might opt for SPF 50 or higher.

Water Resistance

Tennis players can sweat a lot, so a water-resistant sunscreen is beneficial. Look for a product that is labeled as “water-resistant” or “very water-resistant” to ensure it stays effective during periods of sweating.

Non-Greasy and Quick Absorption

Tennis players often prefer sunscreens that are non-greasy and quickly absorbed, allowing them to apply the sunscreen without feeling weighed down or sticky during the game.


Consider a long-lasting or “sport” sunscreen that is designed to stay effective even during physical activities. This can reduce the need for frequent reapplication.

Suitable for Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, choose a sunscreen labeled as hypoallergenic or suitable for sensitive skin. Fragrance-free options are also available for those with fragrance sensitivities.

Application Format

Sunscreen comes in various formats, including lotions, sprays, sticks, and gels. Choose the format that you find most convenient and easy to apply. 

Keep in mind that sprays may need to be reapplied more frequently due to the potential for uneven coverage.

Dermatologist-Recommended Brands

Consider brands that are recommended by dermatologists for their effectiveness and skin-friendly formulations.

Some popular sunscreen brands that are often recommended include:

  • Neutrogena: Known for a variety of sunscreens catering to different needs, including sport and water-resistant formulas.
  • EltaMD: Often recommended by dermatologists, offering broad-spectrum protection with various formulations, including ones suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Coppertone: A well-known brand with a range of sunscreens, including those designed for sports and water activities.

Remember to follow the application instructions on the product and reapply as directed, especially after sweating or swimming. It’s also important to check the expiration date on the sunscreen and replace it if it has passed.

The Science Behind Tennis Player Sunscreen

The Science Behind Tennis Player Sunscreen

The science behind tennis player sunscreen involves understanding how sunscreens work, the types of ultraviolet (UV) radiation they protect against, and the key considerations for sun protection during outdoor activities. 

Here are some key aspects of the science behind tennis player sunscreen:

UV Radiation

The sun emits different types of UV radiation, including UVA and UVB rays.

UVA rays contribute to premature aging and can penetrate deep into the skin. UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn and play a key role in the development of skin cancer.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

SPF is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to protect the skin from UVB rays. The SPF value indicates how much longer a person can stay in the sun without burning compared to not using sunscreen.

For example, SPF 30 theoretically allows a person to stay in the sun 30 times longer without burning than if they were unprotected.

Broad-Spectrum Protection

Sunscreens are designed to provide broad-spectrum protection, meaning they shield the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

This is crucial for comprehensive sun protection, as both types of radiation can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Active Ingredients

Sunscreen formulations contain active ingredients that either absorb, reflect, or scatter UV radiation.

Common active ingredients include organic (chemical) filters like avobenzone and octocrylene, and inorganic (physical) filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Physical filters work by creating a barrier on the skin’s surface, reflecting and scattering UV rays.

Water Resistance

Tennis players may sweat during matches, so water resistance is important. Water-resistant sunscreens maintain their effectiveness for a certain duration in water or during heavy sweating.


Sunscreen effectiveness diminishes over time, especially during prolonged sun exposure or physical activity. Regular reapplication, as recommended on the product label, is crucial for maintaining protection.

Preventing DNA Damage

UV radiation can cause DNA damage in skin cells, leading to mutations that may contribute to skin cancer. Sunscreen helps prevent or reduce this damage by providing a barrier against UV rays.


Sunscreen formulations should be photostable, meaning they remain effective when exposed to sunlight without breaking down.

Skin Health

Sunscreens are designed to be safe for the skin, but individuals with specific sensitivities may opt for formulations tailored for sensitive skin.

Understanding the science behind sunscreen empowers tennis players to make informed choices when selecting and using sun protection products. 

Regular and proper use of sunscreen, combined with other sun safety measures like wearing protective clothing and seeking shade, is essential for minimizing the risks associated with sun exposure during tennis and other outdoor activities.

Sun Protection Tips for Tennis Players

Sun Protection Tips for Tennis Players

Tennis players, like any athletes engaging in outdoor activities, need to take specific sun protection measures to safeguard their skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Here are some sun protection tips for tennis players:

Apply Sunscreen

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF (30 or higher) to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin, including the face, neck, arms, and legs. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if sweating heavily.

Water-Resistant Sunscreen

Choose a water-resistant sunscreen to ensure continued protection, especially during intense physical activity and sweating.

Protective Clothing

Wear light-colored, breathable clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and wide-brimmed hats for additional protection.


Wear sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes and the delicate skin around them from UV radiation.

Choose the Right Sunscreen Format

Select a sunscreen format (lotion, spray, stick) that is convenient and easy for you to apply. Keep in mind that sprays may need more frequent reapplication due to the potential for uneven coverage.

Educate Team Members

Coaches, trainers, and teammates should be educated about the importance of sun protection, and practices should be established to integrate sun safety into training routines.

Build a Sun Protection Routine

Make sun protection a consistent part of your pre-match and pre-practice routine. This includes applying sunscreen, wearing appropriate clothing, and taking breaks in the shade.

By incorporating these sun protection tips into their routine, tennis players can enjoy the game while minimizing the risks associated with prolonged sun exposure. 


Do tennis players wear sunscreen?

Absolutely! Tennis players are exposed to the sun for extended periods during matches or practice sessions. Sunscreen is an essential part of their skincare routine to protect against harmful UV rays.

Do tennis players use sunscreen?

Yes, they apply sunscreen regularly. Given the hours spent on the court, the risk of sunburn and skin damage is high. Many players, both professional and amateur, use high SPF sunscreen to shield their skin.

Do soccer players wear sunscreen?

Soccer players, too, are prone to sun exposure during training and matches. 

While their attire may cover more skin compared to tennis players, sunscreen application on exposed areas, like the face and neck, is common for sun protection.

Do footballers wear sunscreen?

Football players, despite wearing more extensive gear, often wear sunscreen as well. During practices or games, especially in sunny conditions, applying sunscreen on areas not covered by uniforms is crucial for skin health.

Why is sunscreen crucial for athletes?

Sunscreen is vital for athletes due to prolonged sun exposure. Continuous UV exposure can lead to skin damage, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. 

For athletes who spend significant time outdoors, sunscreen is a non-negotiable part of their skincare regimen.

Wrapping Up

In the competitive world of tennis, where every detail can make a difference, the sunscreen habits of pro players emerge as a vital component. 

Beyond the glamour of grand slams, the commitment to sun protection highlights a broader concern for health. 

As these athletes serve, volley, and sprint across the court, their sunscreen practices become a symbol of the holistic approach they adopt toward their well-being. 

From baseline to net, the lesson is clear: in the blistering sun, even the fiercest competitors understand the importance of safeguarding their skin, ensuring a radiant future both on and off the court.

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Max Schnur

I am a professional tennis player on the ATP Tour. I am currently ranked at #29 in the world and have been playing for more than ten years. I started practicing tennis when I was five years old and quickly became obsessed with the sport. I started playing competitively at age 10, and after turning pro in 2004, I was able to compete on the ATP Tour for a decade. As an international athlete, my life has always been about travel and my love of traveling has led me to explore different cultures around the world. When not on tour, I can be found traveling around Europe or living it up in Las Vegas with friends from all over the globe! LinkedIn

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