In an interview with Deadspin, a former US Open ballboy commented on what makes players unique when they are competing, seen from ballpersons' point of view. Speaking about Rafael Nadal, who has a lot of rituals before and during a match, the ballboy said: "[Nadal] always goes to the ad court [left side] and then the deuce court [right side] for his balls, like during warmup or something.
So he’ll always say two. Even though I’m always showing him the two, just because I know that’s what he wants. Other players, I give all three or all four, depending on how many I have out of the six balls. But he always says two, and then he always goes to the partner in the back for one.
So he’s always got a routine for every point, how he handles the balls, handles the towels during the water breaks, how he puts the water bottles in the same spots—that’s the classic one. But he’s the one guy that’s got a whole routine going with every point before every game before warmups.
It’s very noticeable”. On Federer, the person added: “Roger knows where everything is on the court at all times. It’s something that, if you watch a lot of matches, you pick up on, but if he sees a ball person in the back who’s short one ball, and he’s on the receiving side, he will just hit that ball directly to that ball person.
He’s done it before. He used to be a ball boy in Basel, in Switzerland. But yeah, it’s just little things like that. These guys definitely know everything that’s happening on (the) court."