This season, pop music has become a constant presence at nearly all tennis tournaments. You can expect to hear a song during every changeover, with fans often belting out their personal favorites in the stands. Even the Australian Open hosted a rave with dance veterans Groove Armada DJing on the final weekend.

However, this year there is a notable absence: While players have, at times, had the opportunity to select the music they enter the stadium with, there isn't a well-established tradition of a walk-on song as seen in other sports like snooker and darts. The choice largely remains a private affair between the player and her headphones.

The pool of tunes tournament DJs draw on can sometimes be quite limited. Satisfying as it was to hear Shakira's "Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" -- her hit single dissing ex Gerard Pique -- played at tournaments throughout the 2023 season, no one needs to hear another rendition of "Sweet Caroline." As we approach the 66th Annual Grammy Awards this weekend, here are some potential fresh considerations from recent nominees for top WTA players.

Iga Swiatek: Taylor Swift, "Red"

With six nominations under her belt, Taylor Swift is expected to sweep the board this weekend. Good news for the tour's resident Swiftie, Iga Swiatek, who has said she learned English by listening to the megastar's songs. The only question is which song to pick from Swift's extensive discography. It's tempting to go for a deep cut such as "Cowboy like me" from the 2020 album “Evermore,” which contains Swift's only lyrical reference to tennis to date. But "Red," the title track from her 2012 album, feels fitting on several levels. This choice evokes the clay courts, which have become Swiatek's domain, and it's also reminiscent of the dress she wore during last year's WTA Finals photoshoot. Furthermore, it hails from the Swift album she regards as her favorite, boasting a sweeping hook that would suit any stadium entrance.

Yulia Putintseva: Lil Nas X, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)"

"I'm like a gangster on court, but an angel off court," Yulia Putintseva told me in 2021. Two years ago, Lil Nas X earned three Grammy nominations for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," a track that's unapologetically bold and larger than life, much like Putintseva, a two-time Slam quarterfinalist. Appropriately, she was pictured with Lil Nas X backstage in 2022. We can't wait for the collab. 

Coco Gauff: Davido & Focalistic, "Champion Sound"

What's the next big thing in music? Over the past decade, some of the most exciting pop has been coming out of Africa, with artists such as Davido, Burna Boy and Ayra Starr becoming global stars. This year sees the Grammys belatedly recognize that with the first Best African Music Performance category, in which all three feature. The freshest African sound of the past few years has undoubtedly been South African amapiano, a club genre defined by propulsive melodies and juddering rhythms. Davido calls his Nigerian twist on it "Champion Sound" -- apt, then, for US Open champion Coco Gauff, who knows a thing or two about being called the next big thing in tennis and delivering on that.

Barbora Krejcikova: Miranda Lambert, "If I Was A Cowboy"

Who could forget Barbora Krejcikova's embrace of country culture -- from cowboy hats to line dancing -- when the WTA Finals touched down in Fort Worth in 2022? Arguably the most influential female country artist of this century is three-time Grammy winner Miranda Lambert. In 2023, the Texas native's latest slew of nominations included a Best Country Song nod for "If I Was A Cowboy," which reconsidered Wild West mythology through a feminist lens.

Dayana Yastremska: Ice Spice, "Princess Diana"

Back in 2019, Dayana Yastremska was nominated for the WTA Newcomer of the Year after winning three titles in her first 12 months on tour. In 2024, Ice Spice has been nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys after notching three Billboard Top 10 hits over the previous year. One of those, "Princess Diana," was the perfect accompaniment to Yastremska's phoenix-like run to the Australian Open semifinals. Ice Spice's flow is defined by speed, but also silky-smooth technique and a cheeky sense of humor. Sound familiar?

Elina Svitolina: Harry Styles, "As It Was"

Elina Svitolina's inspirational journey to the Wimbledon semifinals last year captured the hearts of fans worldwide, solidifying her comeback from maternity leave. However, it came at the cost of missing a highly anticipated Harry Styles concert in Vienna. Svitolina gave away the tickets to a Ukrainian fan and her young daughter. Styles, in turn, offered her replacements for the remaining dates of his tour. But Svitolina's deep run at SW19 prevented her from taking up the three-time Grammy winner's offer.

Taylor Townsend: GloRilla & Cardi B, "Tomorrow 2"

You don't need to engage in a lengthy conversation with Taylor Townsend to realize her belief that tennis should shed its uptight image and embrace pop culture. The American has backed up her words with actions as well. In 2022, while on maternity leave from the tour, she took part in Cardi B's "Cardi Tries ..." video series, coaching -- or attempting to coach -- the rapper in the basics of tennis. Like the two-time Slam doubles finalist Townsend, Cardi also knows the value of a good collab with a younger talent. Two years ago, the nine-time Grammy nominee joined forces with one of the newest faces on the rap block, GloRilla, for the unstoppable screw-the-haters banger "Tomorrow 2."

Zheng Qinwen: Janelle Monáe & Erykah Badu, "Q.U.E.E.N."

Shortly after Zheng Qinwen’s debut on the tour, fans on social media affectionately nicknamed her "Queenwen." This moniker went beyond a simple play on her name; it felt appropriate because of her regal demeanor and commanding ball-striking abilities. Now it has snowballed beyond an internet nickname. It was the headline of her GQ China cover feature last February -- and Zheng has continued to live up to it by reaching her first Grand Slam final, at the Australian Open last month. What better song to represent her than two R&B queens with 29 Grammy nominations between them?

Beatriz Haddad Maia: Anitta, "Funk Rave"

Last year, Beatriz Haddad Maia made history for her country, becoming the first Brazilian to crack the Top 10 in the rankings after reaching the Roland Garros semifinals. In the music world, Anitta has been a similar trailblazer. The Rio de Janeiro native's incorporation of Brazilian genres such as funk carioca into radio-friendly Latin pop enabled her to become the first Brazilian to win an MTV Video Music Award in 2022. A year later, it earned her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Her "Funk Rave" single from last year is an irresistible encapsulation of that spirit.

Liudmila Samsonova: Black Eyed Peas, "Boom Boom Pow"

Sometimes the best connections are the most obvious. "I am boom boom!" Liudmila Samsonova said in 2021 after winning her first title in Berlin when asked to describe her game. More than a decade earlier, the Black Eyed Peas' electro paean to "that boom boom" had helped the group win three Grammys in 2010.