Why Don’t Tennis Players Wear Sunglasses? [Updated in 2024]

On a particularly sunny day, have you ever tried playing tennis or another outdoor sport? As well as being distracting, you will probably be squinting the entire time. While tennis players don’t wear sunglasses on the court, they seem to be fine without them. This leads to the question of why most tennis pros do not wear sunglasses.

Why Don’t Tennis players wear sunglasses?

Some Tennis players don’t wear sunglasses because they feel they slow them down or get in the way more than anything else. Athletes can feel a bit restricted when wearing sunglasses, which do an excellent job of protecting their eyes from the sun.

The Challenges of Playing Tennis with Sunglasses

why don't tennis players wear sunglasses

Tennis players need to be able to see the ball clearly, even in bright sunlight, to be able to react quickly and hit the ball accurately. However, sunglasses can make it difficult for players to see the ball because of the following reasons:

  • Glare and reflection: Sunglasses with polarized lenses can reduce glare, but they can also reflect light and make it difficult for players to see the ball against a bright sky or court.
  • Distortion: The lenses in some sunglasses can cause distortion, making it difficult for players to judge the ball’s trajectory and speed accurately.
  • Comfort: Some players find sunglasses to be uncomfortable, especially when they are sweating and the glasses are sliding down their noses.

Here is a detailed explanation of why don’t tennis players wear sunglasses. Below are some disadvantages you should be aware of

The Disadvantages of Playing With Sunglasses

why don't tennis players wear sunglasses

Any outdoor activity, including tennis, should be done with sunglasses, according to an optometrist. The benefits of wearing glasses are obvious, but some players feel that they are put at a slight disadvantage if they do not usually wear them.

As a tennis player, vision is extremely important for reading a fastball with different spins moving around the court. Sunglasses are not without their shortcomings, regardless of how technologically advanced they are. The difference between winning and losing tennis is often just a few fractions of an inch.

Serving issues

Overheads and service are the most common times when the sun is involved. Depending on the time of day, it can be difficult to get a toss away from direct sunlight. It would seem that sunglasses could be helpful, but some people find that they actually hinder their vision.

It’s particularly noticeable with sunglasses because of the edges and the slightly blocked field of view. As soon as a serve is placed, players move their heads a lot in preparation for their next shot. A person can be vulnerable when wearing sunglasses because they can move a little bit on the face.

A serve requires raising the head up and down, which increases the chance of sweat dripping onto sunglasses and blocking vision. The ability to see clearly can be totally ruined by no more than a few things. An individual’s chances of winning a point are pretty much ruined by this.

Blindspot and edges

There will always be edges and small blind spots on sunglasses, as we discussed above a little bit. These troubling features are indispensable for sunglasses to stay on the face securely.

Tennis players are constantly moving around, which makes edges very difficult for them. If you wear sunglasses, you know how annoying it is to temporarily see that glare when the angle is just off. There is a great deal of difficulty in overcoming that situation if it occurs during the middle of a point.

Depth perception

Although today’s sunglasses offer better clarity, some users still have difficulty with depth perception when something is on their face. A single sacrifice can ruin someone’s game in this area, which is obviously very important in tennis. In order to succeed, players must be precise.

It would only be players wearing glasses consistently who would have no issues with depth perception. It can be challenging for players to adapt to the sudden change of wearing sunglasses when they are used to playing without them unless they have to.

Messing with what works

There is a great deal of resistance to any change among professional athletes in any sport. Whether you call it superstition or habits, it’s a matter of habit. Whoever decides to wear sunglasses is not going to start a losing streak. The players are definitely thinking that even if it doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference.

As tennis players, we are very adept at reading spins, bouncing balls and simply playing the game without sunglasses. Many players aren’t willing to take the risk of changing the tint just a little bit, even though it might appear like a very subtle difference.

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The Role of Sunscreen and Visors in Protecting Tennis Players from the Sun

why don't tennis players wear sunglasses

Tennis players don’t wear sunglasses, but they do use other forms of protection from the sun, including sunscreen and visors. Sunscreen is essential for protecting players’ skin from harmful UV rays, while visors provide shade for their eyes and face.


Sunscreen is a crucial part of any tennis player’s kit, as it helps to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Players can choose from a range of sunscreens with different levels of protection, and many players prefer to use a sweat-resistant formula that stays on their skin even during intense play.


Visors are a popular alternative to sunglasses for tennis players, as they provide shade for the eyes and face without obscuring the view of the court or ball. Visors come in a range of styles, from classic white to bright colors, and many players prefer to wear them for style as well as practicality.

Playing with sunglasses is illegal?

Tennis leagues around the world do not ban sunglasses during matches despite their lack of popularity. These glasses provide great protection from harmful rays during matches, and some people find them useful.

People can actually see better indoors or during overcast days when they wear sunglasses. At this time, only a select few players use sunglasses to improve their vision.

Sunglasses-wearing players

Although tennis players do wear sunglasses on a regular basis, it is pretty rare to find them. They wear clear lenses during night matches or overcast days because they have some vision issues anyway.

In addition to regular prescription glasses, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, and Janko Tipsarevic also wore prescription sunglasses when the weather was sunny. On an exceptionally sunny day, it can be pretty challenging to see through standard glasses because of the glare.

With modern eyewear designed specifically for tennis, Tipsarevic, like other modern players, has an advantage. Blind spots can be reduced, edges can be reduced in glare, and more. There are still plenty of things that can be improved, but they are much better than they were decades ago.

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Should You Play Tennis With Sunglasses?

Recreational players of all ages wear sunglasses more often than professional players. It helps reduce the risk of eye trouble down the road when parents require their children to wear sunglasses when they play. The sun is a great source of a lot of heat for young players, and I am able to take advantage of that.

Sunglasses are also much more common among older tennis players who have some eye problems. Despite the fact that it’s not ideal, it’s something they need to protect themselves from more injury.

Many people wear sunglasses with sports-style frames, but other models completely surround their eyes from all angles. Often they are the only option for players with eye issues since they reduce peripheral vision quite a bit. In other words, if their schedule does not permit playing at night, they may have to give up the sport altogether.

Here are my current recommendations for tennis sunglasses.

Buying Guide for Tennis Sunglasses

It is generally recommended that pros avoid sunglasses in order to avoid distractions. If you are playing recreational tennis, however, you may find it comfortable to wear sunglasses. For example, Oakley designs glasses that are specially formulated to help you perform better.


In purchasing tennis sunglasses, durability is one of the most important factors to consider. Since plastic options are highly prone to breaking, you won’t be able to use them for a long time. Several brands of sunglasses are available with polycarbonate lenses that bend slightly and can, therefore, withstand collisions and falls. In addition to strong sunglasses, you should also wear eye protection on the court.


A good pair of tennis sunglasses fits snugly rather than tightly. As they press against the temples, tightness causes headaches. On the other hand, if you wear a pair that is loose, they will move around your face or even come off completely while you are playing. Its nose, temple, and ear grips ensure the glasses stay on even when wet, so they are ideal for sweaty days.


As well as offering the largest field of vision, wrap-around frames are popular features with tennis sunglasses. A vented pair of sunglasses will allow air to move around to keep your face cool and prevent fogging. The silicone grip on the temples and nose will prevent the glasses from falling off during a game.


In terms of lenses, some sunglasses are designed to improve a player’s view of the ball. In addition to reducing sunlight glare, brown lenses add contrast to the environment to make it appear sharper. A tennis ball will appear brighter with amber-tinted lenses, making it easier to see. Clear vision can also be achieved with grey lenses. Polarized lenses reduce glare and improve definition on the court by controlling light.

Some tennis sunglasses also provide protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays for players’ eyes. In order to provide clarity, the lenses should preferably be lightweight and mirror-finished.

Sunglasses are allowed on the Pro Tour

Some people assume sunglasses may not be permitted in some professional tournaments since most tennis pros don’t wear them during games. There are, however, no rules prohibiting the use of sunglasses in the ATP or WTA. To adapt to playing in different environments, most coaches prefer for their players to get used to the sunny conditions first.

Prescription Glasses on the Pro Tour

Many players, especially professionals, shy away from wearing sunglasses because of the potential for distractions. In spite of this, some players require prescription glasses to correct specific vision problems.

Among the players affected by astigmatism is Hyeon Chung, who suffers from blurry and distorted vision as a result of astigmatism. He entered the sport as a result of this condition in an interesting twist of fate. Chung was advised to focus on anything green to assist him with his eyesight when he was diagnosed with the condition. At the time, he was playing taekwondo, but the tennis court offered a better alternative.

Should I Bother with Sunglasses to Play Tennis?

The benefits of wearing sunglasses while playing tennis are numerous. Getting rid of glare could make it easier for players to see their opponents and the ball more clearly.

Designed to protect from UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, the glasses offer much-needed protection. Symptoms like cataracts and skin cancer can be caused by UV radiation that is harmful to the human eye and overall health. The extreme sun can cause an uncomfortable condition called photokeratitis, a sunburn to the cornea. The best option for blocking radiation is sunglasses since hats are only able to block 50%. Tennis glasses that are specially made will provide the best performance.

Water-repellent lenses, for instance, are stain- and smudge-resistant. Some companies sell interchangeable lenses that can be used in different weather conditions. Tennis players have numerous options on the market, including Oakley, Under Armour, Maui Jim, Nike, and Tifosi Tyrant.

For future purposes, however, you may choose to play without glasses if you are considering going pro. Light conditions vary from city to city and even from country to country depending on where matches are played. Your vision will become more adaptable if you train without sunglasses.


Why don’t tennis players wear sunglasses on the court?

There are several reasons why tennis players don’t typically wear sunglasses on the court.

Does the glare from the sun affect their vision?

The glare from the sun can be a problem for tennis players, as it can make it difficult to see the ball clearly. However, most professional players prefer to wear visors or hats to shield their eyes from the sun, rather than sunglasses.

Are sunglasses a distraction?

Some players may find that sunglasses are a distraction and prefer to play without them. Additionally, players may feel that their vision is better without sunglasses and that they are able to see the ball more clearly.

Do sunglasses interfere with their peripheral vision?

Sunglasses can interfere with a player’s peripheral vision, making it more difficult for them to track the ball. This can be a disadvantage for players who rely on their peripheral vision to make quick reactions on the court.

Are there any specific rules against wearing sunglasses?

There are no specific rules against wearing sunglasses in tennis. However, they are not seen as a common part of traditional tennis attire and some players may feel uncomfortable wearing them.

Can players wear polarized sunglasses?

Some players may prefer polarized sunglasses because they reduce glare and make it easier to see the ball in bright sunlight. But still, it is not a common sight on the court.

What’s Next?

Tennis is a sport that requires a lot of focus and quick reflexes, and players need to be able to see the ball clearly to be able to play their best. While sunglasses might seem like a logical choice for protection from the sun, they can actually obstruct the players’ view of the court and ball.

That’s why some tennis players don’t wear sunglasses, and instead rely on sunscreen and visors to protect themselves from the sun. Whether it’s a matter of tradition, practicality, or personal preference, tennis players continue to play without sunglasses, making it one of the defining characteristics of the sport.

In addition, you can read about playing tennis with acrylic nails here. For tennis players to qualify for upcoming tournaments, such as the US Open Tennis and the Australian Open Tennis, install a tennis net, adjust the height, and begin practicing.

David Harris

David is the founder and chief writer at Tennis Pursuits. A tennis fanatic, David has extensive experience of the game and has reviewed 100s of products to date. He is passionate about helping others on their tennis journey.

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