Surviving multiple matches a day or in a matter of days, one after the other, is something you need to be prepared for if you want to have a chance to get to the end of a tournament.
In fact, while it's pretty rare to have to play more than two rounds of the same draw during the same day (unless you're in Finland 😅), it's not unusual if you are signed up for both singles and doubles.
And yes, playing doubles is not quite as energy-consuming as playing singles (in general, at least!), but still... we cannot say it's the same as lying down in bed or just relaxing off court! Can we?!
That's why it's good to know what to do in case you have more than a match scheduled for the same day, so you can preserve your energy better, recover faster in between matches and give yourself the best possible chance to keep winning!
Hi, I'm Elena 👋🏻 and just like you, I'm on a mission to become the best tennis player I can 🥇. Even without a fancy team, or too much talent. Just with a huge desire to make it.
That's why Tennis Rematch exists: to share everything I learn along the way 🤓, so you can get better faster, and together we can prove that we can achieve anything we set our mind to 🔥.
But back to business!
In this blog you can find all the little strategies I put in place every time I have more than one match ahead (which is pretty much always, as I'm never planning to lose obviously 🙈), and a couple of anecdotes showing you I wasn't born knowing everything, but I had to bang my head to learn all these tricks!
Hopefully you don't need to bang yours 🤞. Trust me, hitting the wall is not fun! So if I can save you some bitter disappointments, be it!
Enjoy your read! And if you do, don't forget to leave me a clap or two so I know you did. I'd love to know you've made it to the end 💕!
#1 - Fill your tank: eat the right food at the right time before your match
I know, this may sound obvious to you. But hey, listen... I see plenty of people heading to tournaments with only a fruit 🍎 or little more in their belly. And honestly, I was one of them too!
Sometimes the schedule of the match doesn't really help: maybe you're scheduled super early in the morning and just cannot help yourself but have your usual tea with biscuits (yes, this was me when I was a teenager 🙋🏼♀️). Or maybe you're scheduled for lunch time and don't really feel like eating a plate of pasta in the middle of the morning.
Other times, you just feel too nervous to eat, and think you'd throw up your soul if you tried to swallow even the tiniest amount of food (yes, my teenager-me again 🙋🏼♀️).
The thing is, if filling up your tank before your match is a super important part of your match preparation always, it becomes twice as crucial when you have more than a match ahead for the day.
And the reason is simple: once you finish your last drop of energy 💧, it takes a really long time for you to replenish. Which means, even if you manage to win that last match point of your first match and get straight to eat, you might not make it on time energy-wise for your next match.
💎 Make sure you eat lots of carbs 1.5h - 2h before your match.
👉 If my match is scheduled early in the morning, I like to eat a big (giant!) smoothie full of fruit 🍐, berries 🍓, veggies 🥒 and nuts 🥜. (What an improvement from my old-days tea + biscuits, huh?!) If instead it's scheduled from late morning on, my go-to is sushi 🍣.
#2 - Keep your energy in check: drink a sport drink and eat some healthy snacks during the changeovers
Again, might sound obvious but it's not! Even I did not have anything else to drink but water in my first match post-comeback. And I bet you remember how it ended, don't you?! I almost fainted.
But I learnt. Because you know, losing because you suck is one thing. Losing because you run out of energy is all another! And no, you don't want to risk that 🙅♀️.
Listen, you don't need to have a picnic at every changeover, but you should definitely take a sip of your sports drink and a bite of your snack every time you get to sit. (Because this is how it goes: we don't realize we're running out of energy until the energy is gone, and then we're screwed 'cause it's too late!)
So yep, you better prevent that! Especially when you know it's not your last match of the day, or your first one!
💎 Take a sip of your sports drink and a bite of your snack at every changeover.
👉 Since that exhausting day in which I almost fainted, I never ever go into a match without my sports drink filled with minerals and salt, and a banana 🍌. Oh and a handful of nuts 🥜.
#3 - Be prepared for emergencies: keep salt in your bag
Sometimes sports drinks and snacks are just not enough. Either the effort we're asked to do is bigger than we're prepared for, or it's simply a bit of a weird day for our body.
Either way, you might start feeling low on energy and like all the water or sports drink you've drank is splashing around your stomach. That's an ultimatum your body is sending you.
If you don't act fast, you're gonna feel exhausted in a moment. And you don't want that: not in the first match of many, not in the last!
What you need is a pinch or two of salt in your mouth (yes, it's disgusting 🤢, I can confirm!) and within minutes you'll feel muuuuch better and back into the match!
Once, not long after that exhausting match I mentioned before, I got to the final of a one-day tournament. (A one-day tournament is what it sounds like: a tournament which is played in one day only.) I let you imagine how destroyed I was in that last match of the day (I had three before it!).
Actually no, let me tell you: I was dead tired ☠️, but most of all I was nauseous. Nauseous because of the three bananas I had devoured in my previous matches. And nauseous because of all the sports drinks I had drank until then.
All I wanted was some salty snack, which of course I didn't have (who knew I needed salt at that time?!), and the café was closed. Another banana or some more sports drink were not an option, or I would have thrown up. The result? I ran out of energy completely and lost.
💎 Take a pinch or two of salt as soon as you feel low on energy and/or a bit nauseous.
👉 Since that endless day, I always keep a small bag of rough sea salt in my tennis bag for emergency cases.
#4 - Re-fuel your tank: have a recovery drink and eat a lot after your match
Once your match is over, the best favor you can do to yourself is to start recovering right away.
This is true in any case of course, but again, when there's another match ahead (be it the same day or the following) then it's really key. You have no time to waste, so the sooner the better!
And the easiest and fastest way to jump start your recovery is to have food. A lot of it. And a recovery drink.
You have been spending a lot of energy already, and yet you're going to spend some more soon. Your tank needs to fill up asap!
💎 Have a recovery drink with carbs as soon as you get off the court and a big meal once you're cooled down and showered.
👉 I always have my recovery drink as first thing once I'm out of the court. And depending on whether it's the last match of the day or not, and how much time I have left before the next one, I'll have a pizza 🍕, a plate of pasta 🍝 or sushi again 🍣 (can you even get bored of sushi?!), or just a baguette with some slices of salmon 🥖.
#5 - Treat your body: stretch, foam roll and/or massage your muscles
Another way to speed up your recovery is by taking care of your body. After all, it's been under stress for quite a long time, so it does deserve some little cuddle!
Not only: you better do your best to prevent injuries 🤕! Because hey, you're at risk of getting injured somewhere every single time you get out there on the court, but when you're tired and maybe even a bit stiff that chance multiplies.
And trust me, living through an injury is not fun. (Aaaa, I wish I could go back in time ⏳ and take it a bit easier, and maybe get a sport massage!)
💎 Always, always take care of your muscles with some stretching, foam rolling or massage. Or all of them, if you have time!
👉 To be honest, I haven't been following my own advice quite enough (or I wouldn't have got injured in the first place, I guess!). But now that I've got my Theragun 🔫 (Theresa, that's how I call her), yesss: you can bet I'll take this advice to heart!
BONUS - Refresh yourself: take a cold shower
WOW! Cold showers are absolutely miraculous! For real... if you have to play (or have played) multiple matches in a row and want to give a boost to your recovery and feel instantly reborn, then you need to give cold showers a try 🚿.
And with cold I don't mean colder than your usual showers. No no! I mean you take the shower knob and turn it all until the water cannot come any colder ❄️.
It sounds like a torture, I know. But I promise you, once you get over the initial shock and lack of breath, you'll start feeling like a new person! And you'll get addicted, just like me!
Think that last October 📆 I signed up to this weekend tournament (yes, again like it sounds: a tournament which is played entirely on Saturday and Sunday) both for singles and doubles.
Believe me, that was one of the craziest weekends of my life! Not only I completely lost my forehand in my first double match of the day, but I kept winning and winning anyway in both draws until I got to the end and came home with 2 gold medals 🥇🥇.
Well, I let you imagine how dead I was at the end of the first day, after 2 singles matches and 2 doubles matches. I was literally a zombie 💀. And yet, the next day I managed to win 3 more matches.
My secret?! A very long, frozen shower at 2am in the morning, before heading to bed. That shower saved me, my legs, my night and my tournament!
💎 Take a cold shower after every match you play to reduce inflammation and kick start your recovery.
👉 After that incredible weekend, I take frozen showers every single time I take a shower, no matter if I played one, two, three or zero matches. The feeling is so good that no way I'm gonna wait for another crazy weekend like that!
And voilà, that is how I do to survive multiple matches, be in the same day or a few days!
I have no idea if where you are they're as crazy as in Finland 🇫🇮 to even think of scheduling 4 matches in a day for the same person. (I'd love to hear where you are and what's your record of matches!)
But anyway... even if they're not as crazy (good for you!), I'm sure you know how tough it is to be playing even only 2 matches in the same day 🥵! You can be as fit as you want, train like crazy with the best possible fitness program you want, it doesn't matter: tough it remains!
Next time it happens, you know what to do: follow these simple tricks and you'll be surprised of how much more gas you'll have!
I really hope you enjoyed this blog and got some value from it. If so, click on the clap button below so I know you did 💕.
I'll see you in the comments!
Talk to you soon 🤗,
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