MELBOURNE: They are more associated with contact sports like rugby and boxing but for Canadian young gun Milos Raonic, a mouthguard is also an essential piece of equipment for tennis.
The Australian Open 13th seed, who upset Roger Federer to win the warm-up Brisbane International, revealed that he wears one almost constantly, both on and off court.
“Just to not grind my teeth while I play. It just causes stress and headaches sometimes,” he revealed, after sweeping past Frenchman Lucas Pouille in his first round match.
Asked if it took time to adjust to wearing one on court, he replied: “No, I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly.
“Maybe I fiddle it with it too much while I play, but other than that it’s pretty much there all the time. I guess maybe it’s a way to calm myself down.”
The big-serving Canadian, who reached the quarterfinals of last year’s Australian Open, will next sport his mouthguard against either Tunisian Malek Jaziri or Spaniard Tommy Robredo.