Taylor Fritz Reveals His Secret Weapon: Sleep

Taylor Fritz reveals his secret weapon

Current world no. 13 and top-ranked American tennis star Taylor Fritz is one of the most talented and energetic players on the planet. His key to continually thriving on the court? Getting plenty of quality sleep off it.

THE IMMENSE PHYSICALITY of tennis cannot be overstated. To haul your body back-and-forth, up-and-down a tennis court for hours on end, all while relentlessly swinging your arms with enough force to mount a precise shot, is not a task to be envied – especially when the sets increase from three to five at grand slams. Regardless of difficulty, it’s a feat accomplished by premier tennis players for 48 weeks of a calendar year. It takes a special kind of player to overcome this colossal burden and venture close to the top of the ATP rankings. Taylor Fritz is one such player, and as you’d expect, he has more than a casual workout routine and loosely defined diet backing him.

Fritz is leading the new generation of American tennis players. As the highest ranked player from the US, he sits in a role once occupied by legends like Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and John McEnroe. Fritz cracked the ATP’s top five for the first time in 2023, has reached the quarterfinals of every grand slam except the French Open and is confident he hasn’t reached his peak. “I’m more motivated than ever to get back into the top 10 and ultimately back into the top 5,” he tells Men’s Health. “I’ve been playing some great tennis, I just need to put a few good weeks together.” Simply put, Fritz is a talent of the highest class, but he’s not immune to the trials all tennis players must face.

During Fritz’s most recent grand slam run at the 2024 Australian Open, the American met world no. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Fritz had knocked off seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous round and was able to hang with the Serbian for four sets – even taking one from the barely disputed GOAT. After slogging it out for nearly four hours on the court – including the first two-and-a-half hours beneath the blazing Melbourne summer sun – the match became a battle of endurance, and Djokovic came out on top.

After the match, Fritz noted the intensity and physicality of the encounter. “At the start, it was two-and-a-half hours of really, really physical tennis. It’s tough to just sustain that level for the two or three more hours that I needed to.”

Only the best can compete with a maestro like Djokovic and rise as high as Fritz has on the global stage. Such is the nature of professional tennis, a slog made even more challenging by the unrelenting schedule of the ATP tour, where tournaments frequently begin the day after another ends, constant time zone changes are a way of life, and rest breaks are few and far between. In this environment, every player must develop a secret weapon – a foundational coping mechanism that ensures they perform at their best no matter what’s thrown at them. For Fritz, that weapon is uninterrupted, rejuvenating sleep, provided by his Eight Sleep Pod.

 

 

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Sleep is paramount to Fritz’s performance, according to the man himself. “Sleeping well means better performance on the training court and in tournaments. Physically, I’m more alert and ready to perform. Mentally, I feel sharper and more focused,” he says.

To aid in his sleep, Fritz opts for the Eight Sleep Pod, an innovative bed cooling system that actively cools or warms your bed to suit your ideal temperature. The Eight Sleep Pod has been clinically proven to improve sleep quality and to increase deep sleep and heart rate variability.

Fritz says the Pod has improved his sleep – and skills – out of sight. “Not only has it helped my body feel more alert and ready to perform, but it also improved my mental game, keeping me more focused and sharp during long training sessions on the court and at the gym. It’s been an incredible tool for my performance over the past year.”

According to Fritz, sleep fitness rivals physical fitness in importance. It is fitting then that Eight Sleep is the world’s first sleep fitness company. “Being sleep fit means taking action to prioritise sleep – for me that means relying on my Pod’s technology to help me get better sleep and more of it,” Fritz says. “As pro athletes we’re all trying to find ways to get that 1 per cent better and the pod really helps me with that.”

The Australian Open has become known for its late-night finishes, which are often expected to be followed up with a return to court the very next day. This was a sticking point Fritz touched on during his post-match presser following his defeat to Djokovic. “I don’t think people really fully understand how much time we actually have to spend doing stuff after we finish playing as far as like, ice baths, treatment with physios, massages; all this stuff,” he said. “If you finish at 2am, there is no chance I’m going to sleep until 5 [or] 6am.”

Once confronted with the reality of the professional tennis experience, it’s easy to see why sleep is so important to players. To be able to perform at a high level, night in and night out, despite extreme jet lag and physical fatigue, a rigid sleep schedule is a necessity. To combat the challenges that interrupt his sleeping patterns, Fritz typically takes his Pod with him when he travels for tournaments – a habit he picked up about a year ago.

“I had seen how it was becoming a secret tool for so many athletes who I truly admire, and wanted to see for myself how I could amplify my sleep and performance,” Fritz says. “Almost immediately after making the switch to Eight Sleep, it was clear that the Pod offers an extraordinary sleep experience, and I wanted to be part of the mission and movement around helping people become more sleep fit.”

Fritz has recently come on board at Eight Sleep as an ambassador and investor, a hands-on role he believes is well-suited to his preferences. “I’ve always had an interest in doing more than just traditional ambassador deals, so I’m an investor as well. But I am extremely selective as I really have to believe in the company, the product and enjoy working with the team.”

Fear not, the Eight Sleep Pod isn’t only suitable for high performance athletes like Fritz. As the tennis star assures us, we can all benefit from higher quality sleep. “Sleep is just like any other aspect of your health, except this is one that can get overlooked often,” he says. “Getting the best sleep possible is key for daily energy, focus and performance.” You can check out the Eight Sleep Pod here.

 

Taylor Fritz

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Related:

The best mattresses, for every type of sleeper

How to know if you get enough deep sleep

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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