A Week on Tour

A Week on Tour

A few weeks have passed after an exciting grass court season, and we are now in the midst of the hard court swing, with the best in the world preparing for the US Open.

Earlier in August, one of our founders had the chance to spend a week on the ATP and WTA tour, as a hitting partner at the Mubadala Citi DC Open.

A hitting partner is someone who, throughout the week of the tournament, is called to play with those competing. The pros can request hitting partners that play heavy, flat, with spin, or are left-handed players. On a typical day a hitting partner can spend between 2-3 hours on court with ATP/WTA professionals on the singles and doubles tour.

What can a professional practice look like during a tournament? Practices are either split up into 30 min or 60 mins blocks. The 30 minute hits are usually done 2 hours prior to a match, in order to loosen up and get a feel for the ball/court that day. The 60 minute sessions are on either off-days, or in the mornings if a player has a late match.

In both sessions the majority of players go through a 'traditional' warmup, starting with mini tennis, progressing to the back, cross-courts, volleys/overheads, and serves. The difference between the 30 and 60 minute practices is that in the latter you have time to work on the specifics; this could be working on a specific stroke, or a pattern of play they plan to use in their next match to expose their opponents weakness. What stood out the most is that regardless of their time spent on court, most players have their own routine, and go through it religiously every time.

It was an incredible experience to see Zero share the court with those who have not only left an impact in the tennis world, but also in the community around them. Some of the most notable hits were with Liudmila Samsonova, Mate Pavic, Leylah Fernandez, and Frances Tiafoe.

Our players racket was strung up on a full bed of Zero - in the early stages of the tournament, as the temperature got up to 38°C/100°F, Zero was strung at 54lbs. With high temperatures and humidity, co-polyester strings tend to loose tension quicker and tennis balls move faster through the air, stringing at a slightly higher tension will help you control your shots better. As the tournament continued and the week cooled down, he brought down his tension to his regular 52lbs.

Juan mentioned "I am very thankful for such a unique experience, it is really motivating to see what the pros work on both on and off the court. The first few hits were very tough having to play during the hottest hours of the day, but as the week went on, the weather got cooler and my tennis improved. I am really happy with how Zero adapted well to the changes in temperature and humidity - I was able to take bit swings at the ball and hit loosely without loosing control."

We are really thankful for the opportunity and look forward to continue seeing Zero perform at the top of the game.

Zero (far) serving to Tiafoe (near)
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Thanks for sharing detail insights of being hitting patner on tour.

Abhiraj Kumar

OBA!!! Nota diez!!! Will post my pics of my racquet strung, loving it!

Luz Celeste Pacheco

Eres el mejor 🔥🔥

Fabio López

Very nice report


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