serena williams Tennis fashion is always in style, but fans have noticed a recent addition to her on-court appearance: a strip or two of duct tape across her face, specifically her right cheek. We’re used to seeing athletes wear kinesiology tape along the muscles and joints of their arms, backs, or legs, but it’s a bit more rare to see someone sporting it on their cheek. Some pro skiers apply kinesiology tape to their nose and cheeks to help protect them from the cold, but that’s not usually a problem for Williams when he hits the course in the spring and summer. So what is the story behind Williams’ face tape, which he wore at Wimbledon 2022 and during training for the US Open?
The 23-time Grand Slam winner is suffering from sinus problems, a problem she has had for years, and The times has reported that this is the likely reason he has been wearing kinesiology tape on his face, according to well-informed person. “I’m a person who suffers from sinusitis,” Williams said in 2007, according to a Reuters article. “Playing tennis or pretty much doing anything every day is not easy when you have sinuses. You feel a lot of pressure, congestion and pain and training for Grand Slams…it’s not easy.”
In the 2007 article, Williams noted that he takes hot showers, avoids having ice in his drinks, and uses a natural saline spray to treat his sinus problems. The face tape is a more recent addition. Typically worn over muscles and joints, this method of bandaging claims to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and facilitate lymphatic drainage “by microscopically lifting the skin,” according to the Kinesio Taping website. weather some studies have found benefits to the taping technique, others point out that kinesiology tape may produce nothing more than the placebo effect (which, for athletes seeking any possible advantage, may still be a significant benefit).
There don’t seem to be any studies looking specifically at the use of kinesiology tape for sinuses, but some tape marks list it as a potential use. Greg Venner, the CEO of KT Tape, said USA Today in February that the brand “does not endorse the use of kinesiology tape on the face as it is not clinically proven. However, we certainly applaud the creativity.” Williams’ tape, along his right cheek, is likely directed at the maxillary sinus, which is located just to either side of his nose.
Williams didn’t wear a face tape during her first match at the US Open, so perhaps her sinuses are giving her a break during what could be her last professional tournament. Either way, it looks like the GOAT of tennis has found a sinus strategy that works for him.