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Cool Seats: Revolutionising On-Court Comfort

Hewitt© X TempLleyton Hewitt testing the Cool Seat at the Citi Open.

Staying cool under pressure is imperative for tennis players as tensions rise on the court and the heat is cranked up – literally. As players’ comfort and overall health becomes an issue, the need to lower body temperature is even more essential.

Meet Cool Seats, an innovative technology looking to revolutionise how body temperature is regulated. The product, which is currently being implemented on a trial basis at the Citi Open, provides both players and umpires the ability to remain cool for the duration of a match in a safe and convenient manner.

Players sit on the Cool Seats during changeovers, and have the opportunity to continue maintaining a healthy body temperature following the match using a similar product that is worn like a vest.

“The first time I sat on it was first round of qualies here in Washington,” said former World No. 15 Robby Ginepri. “It was a fairly warm day out there. It kept my butt cool and refreshed. They have a vest too with cooling packs in the back and the front. I was biking in the cool-down bike with the vest on. It’s made from the same material, like a Kevlar vest type. They strapped that onto me and it cooled me down within a minute.

“I think this is night and day better, because sometimes the ice towels don’t cool well and they get sopping wet and you’re drenched on court. At 55 degrees, it’s cooler. I’d like to see them use it for the whole summer and then especially in Australia.”

The 13-year veteran understands the importance of on-court comfort and is already a fan. Ginepri hopes it will be employed on a permanent basis in the future.

ATP chair umpire Fergus Murphy added, "So far it has been a positive experience. A simple and effective way to stay cooler during long matches at hot outdoor events. Thumbs up!"

A representative from X Temp, a company that is pioneering the Cool Seats technology, explains that they areCool Seats able to hold temperatures constant, with the players sitting at a temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the umpires at 80 degrees. Fifty-five degrees for the players allows for a quick cool down during the changeover, while umpires are sitting on one at 80 degrees, which lasts for two and a half hours. The product charges in ice water.

"The ATP World Tour Medical Services Department has conducted a trial of the X Temp cool pads for players and officials in Washington, to determine the effect and comfort of a cool gel pad inserted under the seat of the player on changeovers in heat and humidity," said ATP Senior Director of Medical Services Todd Ellenbecker. "We are working with the manufacturer to allow players to utilise these pads during changeovers on the bottom of their chairs to assist, along with umbrella shade and ice sausages or towels around the neck in cooling players during their matches. We continue to evaluate methods to enhance player performance and comfort while playing in warmer temperatures, and will use this trial to determine additional strategies available at ATP events in the future."

For more information on Cool Seats, visit X Temp at www.x-temp.com.

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Citi Open, Washington DC

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