What Is Tennis Underwear?

Misty Amber Brighton

Female athletes often wear a special skirt or dress designed especially for playing tennis. As a result, athletic underwear is necessary in order to keep the player from becoming exposed during the game. Tennis underwear, which is technically a pair of trunks, serves this purpose nicely. They might be briefs, boy-shorts, or regular shorts that fit snugly. Most often made of spandex, this breathable underwear typically has an elastic waistband and legs and may or may not have pockets for placing tennis balls.

Female tennis players often wear specialized underwear.
Female tennis players often wear specialized underwear.

Tennis underwear can come in a variety of styles. They might be briefs, which resemble traditional types of underwear, and have the bottoms cut around the thighs just below the buttocks. Other tennis equipment could include boy-shorts, which have a somewhat lower waistband but cover one to three inches (2.54 to 7.62 cm) of the thigh area. These shorts could also look much like regular shorts, extending to the mid-thigh region and sitting at the natural waistline.

Athletes of all ages will find many styles of tennis underwear to choose from.
Athletes of all ages will find many styles of tennis underwear to choose from.

The stretchy fabric is typically enhanced with an elastic waistband, making the garment easy to pull on and off, as these shorts do not contain zippers or buttons. Brief-style underwear may have elastic around the legs as well. There may be a small pocket located on either hip for keeping tennis balls handy.

This athletic underwear comes in a variety of different colors, so it can be easy to match any tennis outfit. Some of the more popular colors are white, black, blue, and beige, although red and hot pink are also available. Tennis underwear is typically a solid color with no stripes or other print.

Most tennis underwear is made from spandex or a cotton-spandex blend. This material gives the athletic underwear a good amount of stretch, which helps ensure it does not ride up during play. Since the fabric is very lightweight, it also helps keep a player cool and comfortable. This garment can typically be washed in a washing machine multiple times without losing its shape, and the life of the underwear can be extended if it is hung up to dry as well.

People of all ages can wear tennis underwear, as there are sizes to fit both adults and children. Sizes typically run from extra-small through extra-large. It is important to find a pair that fit snugly without cutting into the skin, so it is advisable to try this athletic underwear on before purchasing.

Wearing spandex underwear may increase an individual's likelihood of developing a urinary tract infection.
Wearing spandex underwear may increase an individual's likelihood of developing a urinary tract infection.

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Discussion Comments


To be honest, I am still a bit amazed that professional women tennis players are still wearing tennis skirts, accompanied by the special underwear for obvious reasons.

When I played in college, we wore skirts for matches, but any other time when we were on the courts playing we all wore shorts. They are more comfortable and you do not have to concern yourself with a flapping piece of clothing around your lower body.

However, the new tennis underwear does make the skirts more comfortable. Still, I think we should be more concerned with how women play tennis rather than what they are wearing. It is time for the skirts to go.


As a casual tennis watcher, I can recall when tennis underwear looked more like traditional underwear than it does today. It looked more like the underwear cheerleaders wore and still wear, I guess.

Like the article said, the underpants look more like a pair of tight fitting shorts now. I do like the little ball holders on them. The first time I saw a players pulling a ball from underneath her skirt I had no idea how the ball was staying in place. The pocket is convenient.

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