3 reasons you should wear sunglasses for tennis.
Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan is one of the few tennis pros that wears sunglasses on court. Why? The general belief is that the naked eye is best for ball tracking. Try again, performance eyewear has come a loooong way.
The #1 reason you should wear sunglasses on a tennis court, protecting that one set of peepers against glare and the long-term damage caused by harmful UV rays.
The Vision Council recently reported the very real consequences of UV radiation and the pictures were not pretty. (previous link has been removed)
Your on-court sunglasses should protect against UVA and UVB rays, and be polarized to fight glare. The lens coating your choose makes a difference too. Look for lightweight styles with rubber coated nose pads or temples to prevent slipping. Those that sweat heavily should look for ventilated styles that let moisture out and don’t fog up.
#2 Performance. With proper lenses you will see the ball more clearly in bright sun and be able to react to it more quickly. Sunglasses also preserve energy. Squinting is tiring and headache inducing.
#3 Style matters. Look like the player you want to be by wearing prescription eyewear designed for tennis. Istomin wears both regular and sun performance glasses. Anything designed for leisure/fashion will fog up, slip and generally deter from your game – street style just doesn’t cut it.
One last thing, although it is hard to get teach an old dog new tricks (I doubt Federer will ever wear sunglasses in competition), starting young players early with on-court eyewear is smart. They do this in Australia which is why you see quite a few Aussie pros (Sam Stosur for ex.) wearing eye protection.
My pick? Oakley’s Jupiter Squared frame (because it is a good style for off court as well). Tennis Rx made me a pair with Polarized Rose-Copper lenses. I LOVE THEM.