Where Do Tennis Players Keep Their Balls? (Male & Female)

As an observant tennis fan, you’ve probably wondered where tennis players keep their second ball. This is a little easier for men than for women. So, where do female tennis players keep the second ball?

Most tennis players keep their extra ball in the pocket of their shorts. Most women tuck the ball under the shorts they wear under their tennis skirts. Some tennis skirts have pockets, which can hold the ball. A ball holder is another option for carrying an extra ball while playing tennis.

Do you want to know exactly where tennis players keep their second ball while playing and how a ball can stay under a woman’s skirt? I’m going to answer all these questions in this article!

Where do Female Tennis Players Keep The Ball?

The short answer:

Most women tuck the ball under the shorts they wear under their tennis skirts. Also, some tennis skirts have pockets, which can hold the ball. There are also special ball holders that you attach to the waist of your skirt. This way, women can also safely carry a second ball.

The extended answer:

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about professional players who need to have a second ball in case of a second serve or an amateur player who doesn’t want to keep walking back and forth to get a ball.

Every tennis player needs to hold a second ball during a rally. Women need to be able to keep a second ball just as much as men do.

While most men wear shorts with pockets for the balls, most women do not.

However, there are several models of tennis shorts, which means a large part of female players occasionally wear shorts.

When wearing shorts, both men and women hold the ball in the designated pockets.

Another piece of clothing that you will see women wearing a lot is the tennis skirt.

These skirts come in many sizes, shapes, and colors, but they usually have one thing in common: a thin kind of short attached to the waistband underneath the skirt.

This prevents players from having their bottom on display while jumping, serving, or making other movements.

This short is also where female tennis players keep the balls.

Sometimes these shorts have downward facing pockets, but more about that later.

Next to skirts, there is another piece of clothing that might not seem ideal for holding balls.

Lots of female tennis players wear tennis dresses. These dresses do not have pockets, so keeping the ball in their dress is impossible.

Tennis dresses have the same risk of showing a player’s bottom as skirts, so tennis players usually wear thin shorts underneath their dress.

This short is a bodycon fit and holds the ball due to its tightness. It is not attached to the dress like it is to skirts, but they are available in stores as separate items.

When it’s a little colder outside, wearing skirts and dresses might not be ideal.

Long sporting pants usually have pockets to hold the balls, but women often opt for sports leggings. These do not have pockets.

Sometimes women put the ball inside their waistband, but the ball holder is also popular.

These ball holders can hold one ball at a time and can be tucked into the waistband of a pair of shorts, pants, or leggings.

During the cold weather, balls also can be stored inside the pockets of jackets. Not every jacket has pockets, though, and there are also many cover-ups that don’t have pockets.

How do Women's Tennis Skirts Hold Balls?

Tennis skirts are very popular among female tennis players.

In amateur and professional tennis, you will often see female players wearing cute sets consisting of a top and a skirt.

They do have to keep their balls somewhere, though, and luckily the designers of the skirts kept this in mind while designing.

Most tennis skirts have spandex-like shorts attached to the skirt’s waistband, underneath the actual skirt.

This provides the player with a little more security as they won’t be walking around in their bare bottoms, but it also helps with the ball.

To make sure the spandex shorts don’t get in the way of the skirt and remain invisible while the player is just standing still, the spandex shorts are very tight.

This means that if you put a ball in one of the legs of the spandex shorts, it will not fall out. You can even put multiple balls in there.

However, this is not the only way tennis skirts can hold balls.

So, do tennis skirts have pockets for balls?

It depends on the model of the skirt, but there are skirts with pockets. When a skirt has pockets, they are located in the spandex-like shorts underneath the skirt and usually consist of mesh fabric.

However, most skirt models do not have any pockets.

The pockets are upside down, so you put the ball in from below, and then an elastic holds it in place before you pull the ball out again.

Where do Male Tennis Players Keep The Ball?

Male tennis players mostly keep the balls in their pockets. The shorts made for men have pockets that are usually big enough to hold two or sometimes even three balls.

Most male players gladly use this, but some players keep the ball in their hand during a rally. These are usually amateur players, though.

If males opt for a pair of leggings instead of regular shorts or pants, they can put the ball in the elastic of their waistband.

They can also use a ball holder to keep the ball. Another option is keeping the balls in the pockets of a jacket.

Why do Tennis Players Keep a Ball in Their Pocket?

As mentioned before, all tennis players have to hold a second ball from time to time.

For professionals, the reasons for this can be a little different than for amateurs. But there are some overlapping reasons as well.

Professional players often get a limited amount of time between serves. This is to prevent players from taking an insanely long amount of time to get ready and to keep the match going.

Professional tennis players often want to perform some sort of ritual before serving, which takes time.

They wouldn’t have time for this if they also had to fetch a ball. Besides that, they might lose their focus after a missed first serve.

For amateur players, it can also be beneficial for their focus if they have a second ball with them.

Professional tennis players get their tennis balls from the ball kids, whereas amateur players have to get them themselves.

Besides that, they have to put more effort into getting a new ball than professional players, which can be pretty draining during a long match in hot weather.

Dangers of Dropping a Ball During Tennis

Now we know that all players, no matter their level or gender, can and do hold balls while playing tennis.

It is also important that players don’t want to drop their second ball during a rally.

It can happen that during a sprint or jump, the ball falls out of a pocket or ball holder. That can be very dangerous.

If the player did not notice the ball falling out of their pocket and lying on the court, there is a chance they will step on it.

This can cause them to fall, which can lead to injuries of all kinds of severities.

So even though players try to prevent balls from falling, what happens if a ball falls out of a tennis player’s pocket?

If a player drops the ball during a point, it is their own problem. They caused the hindrance, so they will have to continue playing their point and try not to fall.

However, the other player can stop the rally, and the point will be replayed.

This has to be done during the point and can’t be done afterward. If it is deemed to be a distraction by an umpire, the point can be replayed.

Usually, the first time this happens no penalties will be given out.

However, if it seems to be done intentionally or if it happens a lot, it can result in warnings and point penalties.


In short, there are many different options for holding onto balls in tennis.

Whereas most men simply keep the balls in their pockets, women tuck them into the shorts under their skirt or dress.

There are also ball holders, and the elastic in the waistband of a legging can hold a ball as well.

Players hold the balls for efficiency and speed, but also to prevent injuries or possible penalties in professional matches.

So next time you see the ball disappear underneath a dress or see a player not give all of the balls back to the ball kid, you won’t have to wonder what is going on.

Brian Henderson

I am what you might call a true tennis fanatic. When I am not on the tennis court teaching or playing myself, I am probably writing an informative article about tennis. My goal is to get as many people as possible excited and informed about tennis.
December 25, 2021
Published: December 25, 2021