Tennis players love the sound of a crowd. That should be particularly clear at a time like this, when the sport is being reopened in rural Germany, southern California and, for the second time this month, West Palm Beach, Fla.—but without fans, who sadly can’t witness it in person.
But tennis players also love the sound of their music. That’s made clear whenever you see a pro walk onto the court with a racquet bag on their shoulders and headphones in their ears, drowning out the noise they can’t control with something they can. Don’t worry, fans—the players still love you, but the ability to set the tone right before a match with the tap of a finger has become part of the pre-match process.
“I really started to change my warmup routine, and that involved music, really nonstop,” Victoria Azarenka, a headphone pioneer, said in 2015. “Music is a universal language, and it definitely has a connection to your body, to your mind, to get yourself into a like adrenaline mode, I believe.”
You’re not likely to see Airpods dangling from the ears of Danielle Collins, Alison Riske or Ajla Tomljanovic when they step onto the court this Friday, Saturday or Sunday at the UTR Pro Match Series, given the crowd-free environment and relatively friendly competition (to a degree—the matches count towards the players’ UTR, and there is prize money at stake). But even so, you can expect these pros to have some of their favorite songs dancing in their heads as they compete in match play for the first time since March.
Here’s what a few of them might have in mind, courtesy of Pandora:
Riske is one of the world’s top ranked female tennis stars. She enjoys writing (she keeps a journal), reading and spending time with her family and friends. If she hadn't been a tennis player, she would have gone into medicine.
To see and listen to Riske's entire playlist, visit her Pandora page here.
Collins is one of the world’s top ranked female tennis stars. She started playing tennis at age 3 and was introduced to the sport by her dad who played recreationally and used to coach her. She enjoys going to the beach, fishing, and running.
To see and listen to Collins' entire playlist, visit her Pandora page here.
Tomljanovic is one of the world’s top ranked female tennis stars. Her favorite movie is The Hangover and her favorite actor is Robert Pattinson. Her favorite type of music is hip hop and favorite artist is Beyoncé. Her best tennis memory was her first time on the court with Chris Evert, and her goal is to be world No. 1.
To see and listen to Tomljanovic's entire playlist, visit her Pandora page here.