If you have ever watched women’s tennis, then you will have noticed that as a general rule of thumb they wear skirts. However, the men wear shorts.

Naturally, this does lead many people to wonder why this is the case, and whether this is comfortable for the women.

In today’s society, women should be able to feel comfortable and confident with what they wear, especially when playing sports professionally. So, why do tennis players wear skirts, and are they okay with this?

In this article, we are going to delve into this question in more detail. We will be talking you through the reason behind the skirts, why they are so short, and whether they have to wear them. We will also be discussing whether there are any alternatives that women tennis players can wear instead, too. 

Why Do Tennis Players Wear Skirts? 

When it comes to the reason why female tennis players wear skirts, there is not a straightforward answer. The answer can be different depending on the individual tennis player.

One of the main reasons why female tennis players wear skirts is due to comfort. While it may not seem like it, tennis skirts are particularly comfortable and allow the tennis player to have better movement when moving across the tennis court. They are not restrictive in any way, which is useful when they need to move quickly.

The second reason why female tennis players wear skirts is due to sponsorships. If they are being sponsored by a specific company or brand, often they will have the brand printed onto the skirt, or they will wear a specific skirt made by a brand.

In these instances, the tennis player is often obliged to wear the skirt, and it is in their contract to support the brand. As a result of this, they will have to wear the skirt as part of their contract.

Some female tennis players will choose to wear skirts because this is their preference instead of shorts, or because of tradition. While it is tradition to wear a tennis skirt, it is important to note that female tennis players can object to wearing the skirt if they want to. 

While some events may have a dress code, this is not always the case. The comfort of the tennis player is the most important thing, and if they are not comfortable wearing a tennis skirt, then this is okay. 

Do Professional Tennis Players Have To Wear Skirts?

No, professional tennis players are not in any way obliged to have to wear a tennis skirt. In fact, they have three different clothing options to typically choose from. These options are a tennis skirt, a tennis dress, and shorts. 

Unless they are in a contract with a specific sponsor, a female tennis player can choose which option they would prefer, and ultimately it is entirely their choice. The majority of brands will also cater to specific preferences too. 

This is very important because a tennis player should always be able to feel comfortable in what they are wearing, and not feel like they have to wear a certain type of clothing they are uncomfortable with. 

To those who are not tennis players, they may feel as though the female players wearing a skirt is unnecessary or outdated. However, it is important to note that the majority of female tennis players actually prefer to wear a tennis skirt. 

tennis players wear skirts

Why Are Tennis Skirts So Short?

The main reason why tennis skirts are so short is for comfort reasons. When thinking about tennis as a sport, a player needs to be agile and move quickly.

They will need to stretch, bend, and move quickly. As a result, the last thing they will want to happen is for their clothes to get in the way of this. 

This is why tennis skirts are a preference for many, as they are long enough to be suitable to wear, but short enough that they do not restrict movement.

In addition to this, if a shirt or dress is too long, this can mean that the item of clothing will get in the way of the racket swings too, which is less than ideal.

The skirts being shorter allow the tennis player to feel a lot cooler as the fabric is breathable, and not excessive. A lot of female tennis players like to wear a skirt as it feels more fashionable and feminine.

While this may not be something that everyone is happy with, this is why female tennis players are given a choice about the different items of clothing they would prefer to wear.

Can Female Tennis Players Wear Leggings?

Yes, female tennis players are now able to wear leggings in the vast majority of scenarios. Though, this is a fairly new concept, and something that has only been introduced recently. Prior to this, the only other option aside from skirts and dresses were shorts.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) now has approved leggings, but there are some rules to wearing these. The leggings need to be mid-thigh length “compression shorts”. These have to be worn on their own, rather than with a dress or a skirt, to be able to meet the correct standards.

While the rules are still fairly strict, this is definitely a step in the right direction for women and people who are non-binary, and are perhaps uncomfortable wearing shorts, a skirt, or a dress. 


We hope that you have found this article insightful. As you can see, there are many reasons why a female tennis player will wear a skirt. While it is mainly to do with comfort and preference, something it can be due to sponsorships too. 

The most important thing to remember is that it is down to personal preference, and those who do not want to wear skirts when playing tennis do not have to. Instead, they can choose to wear a dress, shorts, or leggings, instead.