Rogers Cup rubdowns: Sweaty brows or strategic wipes?

Roger Federer says not to sweat how often tennis pros go for the towel during matches. (Reuters)

Roger Federer says not to sweat how often tennis pros go for the towel during matches. (Reuters)

Ian Shantz, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:54 PM ET

TORONTO - Tennis players love to throw in the towel.

It's a common sight at any tournament: in between points during a match, a player will turn to the ball boy or girl on the sidelines, request a towel and proceed to give their face a solid rubdown.

Some suggest it has less to do with players needing to wipe the sweat away and more to do with gaining a psychological edge on an opponent, a form of gamesmanship, perhaps, or providing a needed breather without the fear of being penalized for a time violation. Others simply think of the move as an affectation.

Some players request a towel seemingly after every point, while others take fewer turns with the wipe.

Former British-Canadian pro Greg Rusedski is often credited with starting the trend, which can be very ritualistic for some players.

Don't sweat it, said world No. 3 Roger Federer, who was quick to wipe away any controversy surrounding the matter.


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