I've really never played tennis consistently in colder climates. Charlotte was as far north as I lived and I was a member of a club with indoor courts.
Part of my career in the U.S. Navy dealt with missile defense and I would have rather taken a hit broad-side from a missile, along with the prospect of instant-death, rather than the reality of having to die a slow death in frigid waters. So I don't like anything cold (except a glass of water, beer and iced tea), but I will do my best to take to court to play a set or match in less than welcoming temperatures.
Hey, it's all relative. I grew up in the south. I played soccer in climates in the teens, in a pair of shorts, but I had no choice. My legs knew no better and still don't.
We don't deal with the extreme cold that often down here in the south, but I have found a few clothing choices and other preparations which may make smacking that little yellow fuzzy a little more tolerable during the colder months.
We would love to hear from our tennis brethren to the north who have much more experience dealing with such.
- Keep the extremities warm - hands, feet and that orb attached to your neck, the head.
- Comfort-fit Long Johns may help you keep the lower-half warm if you live in the extreme cold. Compression shorts may work as well.
- Wear a ball cap, toboggan or a head band ear warmer to keep the heat between your ears. If not, your game may lack the tactical prowess you assume it has.
- I have heard golf gloves recommended, but they won't last long and they don't provide much warmth. A pair of work-out gloves (the least-padded) will work better while still allowing the tactile feel you need while handling your racket and the ball.
- Friction-activated hand warmers are great between games or during cross-overs, but I wouldn't try to get used to using them during match-play. The distraction is enough to throw off your game.
- A few shots of room temperature Bourbon may aid in keeping you warm and perhaps improve your tennis game.
Again, we would love to hear from our tennis friends to the north who have much more experience dealing with playing tennis in the cold.