How tennis pros beat the heat

By Kelly McCarthy

July 16, 2013 Updated Jul 16, 2013 at 10:10 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's a challenge to beat the heat, and even more so for the professional athletes competing in the LG&T Tennis Challenger this week at Recreation Park.

Tennis players said they are dealing with some unexpected conditions with the high temperature and humidity. When the temperatures start reaching the 90s and the humidity is high, players said it's a whole different game on the court.

"You feel like your racket is a little bit heavier," said Stephane Bohli, of Switzerland, "That your legs are a little bit heavier, everything is a little bit heavier."

Weather conditions can make a single match feel like an eternity. The only way to survive is to plan ahead.

"Guys like me have to be careful with the drinks," Bohli said. "Drink a lot of water before the match, during the match, and after the match, so we'll see."

For every warm up, athletes consume at least a few bottles of water or sports drink. Athletes take hydrating so seriously the tournament director had to make calls to make refrigerators stocked.

"It's just been phenomenal the amount that we've gone through," said Tournament Director Laurie Bowen, "But you have to do it. It's necessary for everyone if you want to keep this event going all week and not drop off like flies."

Players can have trouble keeping cool on the court even when they're fully hydrated. The LG&T Challenger athletic trainer said he gives athletes advice for before, during and after the match.

"We tell them the importance of changing T-shirts after their playing," said Athletic Trainer John Anderson, "Because the body sweats, that's the way it cools itself off."

It takes a lot of preparation to beat the heat. Players said it could even cause a more aggressive game of tennis.

"You definitely keep an eye on your opponent a little bit more in the heat," said Adam Feeney, of Australia. "And just be aware if they are struggling, you might look to jump on them a little bit more."