If you ever tried to play a sport like tennis or beach volleyball on a strong sun you would be wondering how this is even possible without sunglasses. Not only sun is very annoying, it is destructive for the effective play. You may not see half of the court, it is especially hard to serve or volley.
Right now during the US Open only one tennis star is wearing glasses – Australian native, Sam Stosur. Samantha Stosur is wearing Oakley sunglasses. But, given that nobody else is wearing sunglasses, it is safe to assume that she is only wearing them for Oakley endorsement. Why tennis players don’t like to wear sunglasses? Here are a few reasons:
1. Sunglasses may obstruct the view during tennis game
Games like tennis are very dynamic. It is essential to see every side of the court at all times. The ball changes direction every second and if not seen at all times, tennis player may miss a score. Each score could be crucial game changer during tennis game, so if sunglasses are at fault they will not be worn. Sam Stosur has proven everybody wrong my winning US Open last year. Clearly sunglasses were not only no problem for her, they seem to be very helpful. But give that Oakley is her official sponsor I am sure they sat together and created a special pair of sunglasses for her. What she is wearing looks very much like Oakley Radar Path or Oakley Radar Range, but it may be very much reworked pair to fit her needs and face structure. Sam’s cheek bones are very high and Radar sunglasses models are known to be not a best fit for that. They are however great because of the wrap around structure and little frame. No other sunglasses are known to fit a game better than Oakley. But today only one player from entire women and men tennis tour are wearing sunglasses.
2. Sunglasses are not safe for some sports
Yes, unfortunately sunglasses deemed to be not safe for tennis, thus are part of safety standards for many tournaments. In fact many child tennis groups forbid sunglasses of any kind. Safety glasses are allowed because they are made from special material, to withstand a crash. Sunglasses, even Oakleys are not made out of that. Adults like Sam take full responsibility for their own actions, but coaches will not do that for children. So professionals grow up not wearing sunglasses and are so used to go without them that don’t bother in their professional career.
3. Sunglasses don’t look good on cameras
Lately tennis stars are criticised for what they are wearing a lot. Stars like Maria Sharapova changed the reputation of professional tennis game for ever. She is known to change a dress every single tournament and is known to personally design some of her dresses. This is a special deal she got with Nike. While she is always admired for her fashion touch, some players, such as Kim Clijters (wearing Fila) is often part of negative coverage. Fila’s style is very sporty and loud colors combination looks a bit kitch. Looking at Sam Stosur few people would argue that she looks better in sunglasses. Sunglasses look more like a mask on her face. They don’t look good.
Despite above said, I must admit that sunglasses are very popular for professional poker. While it is ironic that poker is an outdoor game with no sunlight present in the room whatsoever, sunglasses are worn for some 40% of players. Reason here is to cover the eyes and emotions behind them away from opponent players. Not everyone can pull a poker face 🙂
Why do you think sunglasses are not popular in professional sports?