One of the most frequent terms we have seen being used is “Icing in tennis.” Tennis is one of the most-watched sports in the world; people of all ages enjoy it. And so, while watching to understand what’s happening on the court, one must know the terms involved.
“Icing” in tennis is a term used for the process of applying ice, an ice pack, or cold water to a player. It is essential as it helps reduce injuries and improves the player’s performance during the match.
The term icing is used to define various other processes in tennis; we will look at each of the definitions in detail and know when to use the term during the match.
Tennis – Sport
Tennis is an Olympic sport played with rackets and tennis balls involving either 2 players playing against each other or 4 players (2 in each team) playing against the other. The sport originated in the 19th century in Birmingham, England, and was originally named Lawn Tennis.
It is one of the most popular sports of all time. It involves a lot of stamina and quick body movement. It can be played both indoors as well as outdoors.
The tennis court is divided into 2 halves, by a net. The game’s main objective is to hit the ball in the opponent’s court so that he cannot serve back or miss the hit. The player who can do so earns a point. In the end, the player with the maximum number of points wins the game.
There are typically 3 types of courts tennis is played on – hardcourts, clay courts, and grass courts.
Icing In Tennis
Icing in tennis is the process of applying an ice pack, ice, or cold water to a player to reduce injuries, lower any inflammation caused due to an injury, and speed up the healing.
People have different beliefs related to icing – some believe that icing helps if it is only applied immediately after an injury, while others believe that icing should be done at regular levels between the match as it helps improve the players’ performance.
The final decision of whether or not to ice a player is in the hands of the coach.
Tennis is a challenging sport that requires a lot of stamina, which can be increased through proper icing. Icing reduces the inflammation in muscles, helping the player experience less fatigue during the game.
As easy as it may sound, icing is not just applying ice to the player; it involves proper timing. While icing, one must keep in mind to apply ice for short periods; it should not be kept for too long.
Icing is also used when a player or a team voluntarily stops the play in between to regain their composure and improve their gameplay. Sometimes during this, the players also get to talk with their coaches or umpires, who guide them further in the game, which acts as an advantage to them to compete with their opponent easily.
In tennis, the icing usually occurs when the players call a break or go for a bathroom break just before the opponent is ready to serve.
Icing The Tennis Ball
Except for applying ice to a player, the term icing is also used when we apply ice or frosting on a tennis ball to prep it before playing. Icing a tennis ball is when a tennis ball is lightly rubbed with ice such that it forms a thin coat over the ball.
After rubbing the ice, press down the ball from all sides with the help of your hands or a cloth, and finish the process by removing any ridges or bumps which are present on the surface of the ball. Make sure that these steps are followed for all sides of the ball.
Icing the tennis ball increases the players’ speed and power by making the ball more responsive and making its surface smoother. It makes the ball easier to control and strike and keeps it from sticking on surfaces.
Icing should not be applied multiple times; twice a day is enough. The amount of icing depends upon the ball and the weather conditions you are playing in.
How To Fix Icing On Racquets
Players often face icing on the racquets due to the climatic conditions they are playing in. It can be challenging to remove the icing from the racquets as it has small groves and edges.
Here are a few tips you can try to fix the icing on your racquets:
- If ice is formed on the outer surfaces of the racquet – rub it with the help of a cloth dipped in hot water.
- If ice is formed on the strings – use a brush dipped in hot water and lightly rub it over the strings.
- You can dip the racquet in hot water to melt the icing from the whole racquet.
- If the icing has not melted even after dipping it in hot water, you can use a dishwashing liquid to dissolve it.
How To Apply Ice On Tennis Elbow?
You should apply ice on your arm and elbow to control the inflammation. To reduce the inflammation, it is suggested to follow the RICE approach where R-Rest, I-Ice, C-Compression, and E-Elevation.
Icing helps reduce tissue swelling and limit pain experienced in your elbow. Ice wraps are the perfect tool to provide therapeutic cooling and support in the initial stage of the treatment. Putting ice on for about 15-20 minutes at once is recommended. Ice can be applied several times daily according to your pain and swelling.
Icing In Tennis Venus Williams
Venus Williams is a former world No 1 tennis player from America. She had a lot of potential in her for the sport from a very young age. She played her professional debut match at the age of 14 and won the match against Shaun Stafford.
One of her most controversial and discussed matches is the one she played against Sanchez Vicario. Venus played exceptionally well in the first set, scoring 6-2.
In the second set, Sanchez took a 10–min bathroom break, which broke Williams’ rhythm and momentum of the game. When Vicario returned, she won the second set with a score of 6-3, ultimately winning the match.
Even today, when this incident is discussed, people often suggest that the main reason for Venus losing the match was that she was “iced” when Vicario took a bathroom break.
Rules Against Icing In Tennis
Over the years, due to many controversies, the ATP and the WTA have laid some rules against icing in tennis or commonly known as the toilet break rules:
- Per the ATP rule book, a layer can only ask for 1 toilet break in a best–of–three-set match. A player can go for only 2 toilet breaks in a best–of–five set match.
- Per the WTA rules, a player can only go for only 1 toilet break per match.
- The toilet breaks are not supposed to be used for other purposes other than using the toilet and shouldn’t be taken during a set break.
- If the toilet break is taken in the middle of a set, it should be before the player’s service, not their opponent’s.
Why is tennis considered to be the best sport?
Tennis is one of the most physically challenging sports, requiring a lot of stamina.
It is considered one of the best sports as it improves hand-eye coordination, balance, and speed. It also improves your health, agility, and strength.
Moreover, tennis has no age restrictions; people of any age can play and enjoy it.
Is icing in tennis illegal?
Icing is not considered illegal in tennis, but trying to taunt or distract a player from his focus on the game is unethical and unsportsmanlike.
How to fix icing on a tennis ball?
If the tennis ball gets over-iced, you may follow these steps to fix it:
1. Gently rub the ball with your hand or a cloth to remove the excess ice.
2. Keep the ball in a warm place. The temperature should not be too high; just a bit above the freezing point works fine.
3. Wait till the ice melts, and the ball no longer feels over-iced. After this, you can play with the ball.
Is icing in tennis cheating?
Over the years, there have been many controversies on icing, and specific rules have been laid out to avoid those. Though icing is not considered cheating, it is quite unethical and unfair for a player to do so. Using such practices to win the game is wrong and looked down upon