Tennis wife tales: Secrets from inside the players' box

Story highlights

  • Wife of world No.12 player reveals what it's really like off-court
  • Kelsey Anderson writes in her popular tour blog

(CNN)Just a few days after Kelsey Anderson scored a promotion at her impressive accountancy job, she quit to travel the world -- as a full-time tennis wife.

Kelsey is the partner of world No. 12 Kevin Anderson, and in the past three years has barely missed a match, acting as the South African player's all-in-one personal accountant, assistant, and confidante.
In between booking flights and hotels -- the couple spend around nine months of the year on the road -- the 29-year-old American writes about her experience in her blog "Tour Wife Tales with Kelsey Anderson."
    Here, the finance graduate, who met her 29-year-old husband while studying at the University of Illinois, recounts a typical morning at the U.S. Open:
    "6:30 a.m. -- I wake up with a start from the sound of the blinds being reeled open in the hotel room next to ours. I check the time discreetly on my phone and see that it is still VERY early.
    I have to lie quietly in bed so I do not disturb Kevin. His sleep is of the utmost importance so his body can repair and recover from the difficult matches he has had so far this week.
    Also, with a match later this evening, I know Kevin is hoping to sleep in at least until 8 a.m. if he can; I close my eyes and try to drift off for a few more hours..."

    Team Kevin

    When we speak on the phone, Kelsey is again keen not to wake Kevin, who is taking an afternoon nap before his match against world No. 5 Rafael Nadal, at the Paris Masters.
    Today Kelsey has been busy making sure Kevin "doesn't have to worry about anything" before the big meeting with the Spaniard.

    The glamorous side of Tour life!! 😉 #coinlaundry what is everyone else up to this evening?

    A photo posted by Kelsey O'Neal Anderson (@kelseyoanderson) on

    "I made sure he had a good lunch here in the hotel, and got a good nap in. We watched some TV programs -- nothing too glamorous -- just resting and relaxing," she says.
    "It has become a job and I'm happy to do it. I really feel as though I'm part of the whole team, the business, and 'Kevin Anderson Tennis' is my employer."
    And the good news for Kelsey is that her "employer" is very happy with her performance. In a YouTube interview they posted in April, Kevin revealed there were two things he couldn't travel without -- his wife and guitar.

    One shot

    With her accountancy background, Kelsey is also in charge of "Team Kevin's" finances. Though giving up a second income wasn't an easy decision when you're spending up to $50,000 a year on flights alone.
    Does she ever feel as though she's put her own career on hold for her husband's?
    "I didn't feel as though my job was going to disappear anytime soon -- I think there will always be senior accountant positions," says Kelsey.
    "But the chance to travel the world and support Kevin at this point in his life -- that's a little bit more fleeting."

    Embracing the WAG

    And while the tabloid press tend to use the term WAG (Wives and Girlfriends of players) in a derogatory light, Kelsey almost sees it as a badge of honor.
    "I think a lot of people have this perception that all we do is hang out, and go shopping, and drink coffee, and just have a good time all day long," she said.
    "But a lot of girls are doing a lot of the things I'm doing behind the scenes -- helping their players so they don't have to worry about all the little details, helping play a big part in the mental side of things."

    Be committed!

    In the players' box, Kelsey is banned from directly communicating with Kevin on court -- but the couple have a special phrase to help him stay focused.
    "We say: 'Be committed Kevin!'" explained Kelsey. "And hopefully that triggers mindfulness.
    "It's funny, he's told us that if it's a tense moment in the match, the cheer that a lot of players give of 'come on!' sometimes makes him feel antsy or overexcited in the moment. So he's asked us: 'Please don't say that.'"

    Looking the part

    Knowing the cameras could be on her during a match, Kelsey carefully considers what she wears, though is quick to add: "I'm not going to lose any sleep if I have a bad hair day."
    In the players' box, she always packs baby wipes -- "because you never know how dirty the seats will be.
    "Also, Kevin's brother had a bird poop on him one time, so they came in very handy!"
    While Kevin did lose to Nadal at the Paris Masters, it also meant the Andersons could finally return to their home in Miami after more than a month on the road.
    A prospect Kelsey appeared pretty delighted with...
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