Dubai: Tennis players can be impetuous and creatures of habit.

Take the case of Frenchman Richard Gasquet, a former top-10 player, who re-grips his racket at changeovers in about the time one would take to peel an orange.

The Frenchman, seeded No. 5 at the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open, has a reputation of re-gripping at every changeover, rolling the tape halfway and giving the handle a dual tone. At Wimbledon three years ago, a speedometer timed the exercise at an amazing 17 seconds.

In his first-round clash defeat to Croatian 21-year-old Borna Coric on Tuesday, social media reported breaking news that the 31-year-old was not re-gripping at every changeover. Totally aware of what was coming his way, Gasquet had a ready-made answer for the media: “I don’t do it every time, but only when it gets wet,” he said, pointing at his palm.

“Over here, I didn’t find it so humid, sometimes it’s like that in Indian Wells and Miami. I don’t have to do it at every changeover,” he added.

The Frenchman further insisted it wasn’t a superstition, but a necessity because he sweats a lot. The late American Vitas Gerulaitis reportedly re-gripped at every changeover to keep his mind off the match.