ArticlePDF Available

Performance demands of professional male tennis players

Authors:
  • Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma Lenox Hill Hospital

Abstract and Figures

To quantify the performance demands in professional male tennis. Games from three grand slam tournaments were analysed by an elite tennis player from video recordings. Game related data were collected on 22 players (French Open, 8 (186 games); Wimbledon, 11 (206 games); US Open, 9 (224 games)). Total number of strokes per game was quantified separately for service and return games. Strokes were categorised by type and designated as forehand or backhand. Differences in the types of strokes in a game were analysed using one factor (type of stroke) repeated measures analysis of variance. Differences in total strokes and stroke distributions between playing surfaces were analysed by analysis of variance (surface type) with Tukey's post hoc pairwise comparisons. For service games there were more serves per game than any other type of stroke (p<0.001), with topspin forehand and topspin backhand the only other strokes averaging more than one per service game. For return games there were more forehand and backhand returns and topspin forehands and backhands than other types of stroke (p<0.01). Total number of strokes per game was greater in the French Open than Wimbledon (p<0.01), with more topspin forehands (p<0.01) and more topspin backhands (p<0.01). Total strokes per game in the US Open were not different from the other two tournaments. The serve was the predominant stroke accounting for 45% (French Open) to 60% (Wimbledon) of strokes during service games. The greater number of strokes per game on clay v grass may contribute to earlier fatigue.
Content may be subject to copyright.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Performance demands of professional male tennis players
C D Johnson, M P McHugh
...............................................................................................................................
See end of article for
authors’ affiliations
.......................
Correspondence to:
Christopher Darren
Johnson, Nicholas Institute
of Sports Medicine and
Athletic Trauma, Lennox
Hill Hospital, 100 East
77th Street, New York,
NY10021, USA; critter@
nismat.org
Accepted 11 October 2005
.......................
Br J Sports Med 2006;40:696–699. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2005.021253
Objective: To quantify the performance demands in professional male tennis.
Methods: Games from three grand slam tournaments were analysed by an elite tennis player from video
recordings. Game related data were collected on 22 players (French Open, 8 (186 games); Wimbledon,
11 (206 games); US Open, 9 (224 games)). Total number of strokes per game was quantified separately
for service and return games. Strokes were categorised by type and designated as forehand or backhand.
Differences in the types of strokes in a game were analysed using one factor (type of stroke) repeated
measures analysis of variance. Differences in total strokes and stroke distributions between playing
surfaces were analysed by analysis of variance (surface type) with Tukey’s post hoc pairwise comparisons.
Results: For service games there were more serves per game than any other type of stroke (p,0.001), with
topspin forehand and topspin backhand the only other strokes averaging more than one per service game.
For return games there were more forehand and backhand returns and topspin forehands and backhands
than other types of stroke (p,0.01). Total number of strokes per game was greater in the French Open
than Wimbledon (p,0.01), with more topspin forehands (p,0.01) and more topspin backhands
(p,0.01). Total strokes per game in the US Open were not different from the other two tournaments.
Conclusions: The serve was the predominant stroke accounting for 45% (French Open) to 60%
(Wimbledon) of strokes during service games. The greater number of strokes per game on clay vgrass
may contribute to earlier fatigue.
Professional tennis is a year round sport with a different
tournament or competition every week. Most injuries in
this population of athletes involve the shoulder and are
secondary to overuse.
1–3
It has been reported that over 50% of
world class players experience shoulder symptoms during
their career and 80% of theses cases stem from overuse.
34
The
areas of the shoulder most commonly affected include one or
more of the following: the rotator cuff, biceps tendon,
scapular region, glenohumeral ligaments, and the glenoid
labrum.
5
As the overhand racquet motion subjects the
shoulder girdle complex to similar stresses as those seen in
throwing, injury patterns and glenohumeral internal rotation
deficits among elite tennis players are similar to those of
professional baseball pitchers.
67
In contrast to baseball,
where various pitch statistics are maintained for all pitchers,
no such statistics are maintained for tennis players.
Additionally the effect of different tennis playing surfaces
on the number of strokes and stroke selection is not known.
Our aim in this study was therefore to determine the
performance demands of professional male tennis by
documenting the number and type of strokes during
professional tennis matches on different surfaces. While
several papers have been written about tennis related
injuries,
1–13
this is the first one to our knowledge that has
attempted to quantify the performance demands of the sport
among world class players.
METHODS
Games from three grand slam tournaments during the 2003
season were analysed (French Open, Wimbledon, and US
Open) by an elite tennis player from video recordings. These
tournaments were selected on the basis of the differences in
playing surface (French Open, clay; Wimbledon, grass; US
Open, hard). Game related data were collected on a 22
different male players (eight in the French Open, 11 at
Wimbledon, and nine in the US Open) with three players
analysed in all three tournaments and three players analysed
in two of the three tournaments. Games were analysed
separately for service and return games. The total number of
games analysed for each tournament was 186 for the French
Open, 206 for Wimbledon, and 224 for the US Open. An equal
number of service and return games was analysed for each
tournament. The total number of strokes per game was
quantified separately for service and return games. Strokes
were categorised as serves (first and second), topspin, slice,
half volley, volley, return (return games only), and overhead,
and designated as forehand or backhand as appropriate. As
ball velocity is markedly higher for serves than for other
strokes, service returns were not grouped with other ground
strokes and were categorised as a forehand or backhand
return regardless of the spin placed on the ball (for example,
topspin or slice). Backhand overheads were categorised as
backhand volleys because the ball velocity is significantly less
in backhand overheads than in forehand overheads.
Differences in the type of strokes executed within a game
were analysed using one factor (type of stroke) repeated
measures analysis of variance with Bonferroni corrections for
post hoc pairwise comparisons. Differences in total strokes
and stroke distributions between playing surfaces were
analysed using analysis of variance (surface type) with
Tukey’s post hoc pairwise comparisons. Results are reported
as mean (SD). Total strokes and strokes per game are
reported separately for servers and returners.
RESULTS
For service games (table 1) there were more serves per game
(mean (SD), 8.9 (4.7)) than any other type of stroke
(p,0.01), with topspin forehand (4.4 (4.2)) and topspin
backhand (3.0 (3.6)) being the only other strokes that
averaged more than one per service game.
For return games (table 2) there were more forehand and
backhand returns (2.3 (1.7) and 3.0 (1.9)) and topspin
forehands and backhands (3.0 (3.4) and 2.6 (3.1)) than other
types of stroke (p,0.01).
Combined data from all three tournaments on the number
of strokes and stroke distribution are given in table 3. The
696
www.bjsportmed.com
group.bmj.com on May 20, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
total number of strokes per game was higher in the French
Open than in Wimbledon (service game: 21.0 (10.2) v16.0
(8.9), p,0.01; return game: 14.8 (9.2) v10.4 (6.0), p,0.01).
The difference in total strokes was primarily accounted for by
more topspin forehands (service games: 6.0 (4.2) v2.9 (3.4),
p,0.01; return games: 3.2 (3.8) v2.0 (2.2), p,0.01) and
more topspin backhands (service game: 4.2 (4.0) v1.3 (1.9),
p,0.01; return game: 3.7 (3.7) v1.8 (1.8), p,0.01). Total
strokes per game in the US Open (service game: 17.9 (12.1),
return game 12.2 (10.0)) did not differ significantly from the
other two tournaments.
There were more forehand and backhand volleys (p,0.01)
for service games in Wimbledon (forehand: 0.6 (0.9);
backhand: 0.9 (1.5)) than in French Open (forehand: 0.2
(0.4); backhand: 0.1 (0.4)) or the US Open (forehand: 0.2
(0.4); backhand: 0.3 (0.7)).
Serves (first and second) accounted for 45 (12)% of total
strokes during service games in the French Open, which was
less than for both Wimbledon (60 (17)%, p,0.01) and the US
Open (56 (18)%, p,0.01). Topspin forehands accounted for
28 (11)% of service points in the French Open, which was
more than for the US Open (21 (12)%, p,0.01) or
Wimbledon (16 (14)%). Additionally, topspin backhands
accounted for 18 (12)% of service points in the French Open
which was more than for Wimbledon (7 (8)%, p,0.01).
Similarly, for return games there was a higher proportion of
topspin forehands and topspin backhands in the French
Open (24 (12)% and 21 (15)%, respectively) than at
Wimbledon (16 (13)% and 16 (14)%, respectively; all
p,0.05)
DISCUSSION
Stroke production in tennis involves generating repetitive
forces and motions that are of high intensity and short
duration. These forces consistently subject the shoulder
region to high stress over the course of games, practice
sessions, and match play.
14
This is particularly evident in the
case of the serve, which has been documented to be the most
strenuous stroke on the upper extremity.
15
Over half of the
total force developed during the serve is generated from the
lower extremity and trunk musculature.
14
The shoulder plays
a crucial role in the kinetic chain to transfer these forces to
the hand and racquet. This leads to high levels of muscle
activity not only to enhance the bony and ligamentous
systems of the shoulder region but also to produce motion,
which is accomplished by an explosive contraction of the
internal rotators with the shoulder in an abducted position.
Fleisig et al
16
documented internal rotation velocities of the
humerus among elite players to reach 2420˚
/s during the
acceleration phase of the serve. Similar to professional
baseball pitchers, range of motion demands on the dominant
shoulder are also extremely high. Dillman reported maximal
shoulder external rotation values of 154˚during the serve
(Dillman CJ, unpublished data presented at the United States
Tennis Association National Meeting, Tucson, Arizona, 1991).
Competitive baseball pitchers and tennis players also show
shoulder internal rotation range of motion deficits on the
dominant shoulder. This is most probably the result of
repetitive microtrauma during the deceleration phase of the
pitching and service motion which leads to scar formation
and subsequent posterior capsule contracture.
6
Considering
Table 1 Data on the number of strokes and stroke distribution for service games in the
three tournaments: service games
Stroke type US Open French Open Wimbledon
Total strokes 17.9 (12.1) 21.0 (10.2) 16.0 (8.9)
Serves First 6.4 (3.2) 6.5 (2.3) 6.4 (2.9)
Second 2.5 (2.1) 2.4 (1.7) 2.6 (2.0)
Top spin Fore 4.3 (4.3) 6.0 (4.2) 2.9 (3.4)
Back 3.4 (3.8) 4.2 (4.0) 1.3 (1.9)
Slice Fore 0.1 (0.3) 0.4 (1.3) 0.1 (0.3)
Back 0.5 (1.0) 0.7 (1.1) 0.3 (0.7)
Half volley Fore 0.1 (0.2) 0.1 (0.5) 0.3 (0.6)
Back 0.1 (0.3) 0.03 (0.2) 0.2 (0.5)
Volley Fore 0.2 (0.4) 0.2 (0.4) 0.6 (0.9)
Back 0.3 (0.7) 0.1 (0.4) 0.9 (1.5)
Overhead 0.1 (0.4) 0.2 (0.6) 0.2 (0.6)
See results section for statistical analysis. Values are mean (SD).
Table 2 Data on the number of strokes and stroke distribution for return games in the
three tournaments: return games
Stroke type US Open French Open Wimbledon
Total strokes 12.2 (10.0) 14.8 (9.2) 10.4 (6.0)
Returns Fore 2.0 (1.5) 2.8 (1.9) 2.3 (1.5)
Back 3.2 (2.3) 3.0 (1.7) 2.9 (1.6)
Topspin Fore 3.2 (3.8) 3.2 (3.8) 2.0 (2.2)
Back 2.5 (3.5) 3.7 (3.7) 1.8 (1.8)
Slice Fore 0.2 (0.5) 0.4 (1.1) 0.1 (0.4)
Back 0.9 (1.4) 0.7 (0.9) 0.8 (1.2)
Half volley Fore 0.03 (0.2) 0.06 (0.2) 0.1 (0.3)
Back 0.05 (0.3) 0.02 (0.2) 0.08 (0.3)
Volley Fore 0.04 (0.2) 0.09 (0.3) 0.09 (0.3)
Back 0.09 (0.3) 0.07 (0.3) 0.1 (0.5)
Overhead 0.0 (0.0) 0.03 (0.2) 0.04 (0.2)
See results section for statistical analysis. Values are mean (SD).
Performance demands of professional male tennis players 697
www.bjsportmed.com
group.bmj.com on May 20, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
the high joint velocities, extreme external range of motion
during the serve, and internal rotation deficits coupled with
the fact that serves account for approximately 45% (French
Open) to 60% (Wimbledon) of the total strokes during service
games, it is not surprising that shoulder injuries are so
prevalent in elite tennis players.
The winner of the 2003 US Open averaged 7.8 (3.2) serves
per game for 31 service games analysed. Over the two week
period of the tournament he had seven matches including
approximately 120 service games. Therefore it is estimated
that he hit over 1000 serves in singles match play alone when
factoring in serves in tiebreakers (he played seven tiebreakers
in the tournament). By contrast, an elite professional baseball
pitcher typically pitches every four days with an average of
approximately 100 pitches per game. For example, during the
2004 Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs, a prominent
pitcher threw in four games over a 16 day period. During this
time, he averaged 102.8 (16.5) pitches and 6.3 (1.0) innings
pitched per game. The total number of pitches was 411,
which is markedly less than the total number of serves a
professional tennis player hits in a similar time period. Given
the combination of high demand and limited rest for tennis
players, it is understandable that impingement of the rotator
cuff and biceps tendon, anterior capsule attenuation, or
intrinsic tendon overload of the posterior shoulder muscu-
lature, or combinations of these, occur frequently.
In addition to the serve, ground strokes place additional
stress on the shoulder, though to a lesser degree. Our results
showed that for service games topspin ground strokes were
the second most frequently hit strokes, while for return
games there were more topspin ground strokes and service
returns than all other strokes. While muscle activity during
the preparation phase of ground strokes is minimal, the
acceleration and follow-through phases yield much higher
activity.
17
Electromyography during the forehand yields high
activity in the subscapularis, biceps brachii, pectoralis major,
and serratus anterior. The serratus anterior, subscapularis,
infraspinatus, and biceps are also moderately active during
the follow through. With regard to the backhand, the middle
deltoid, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus show a high degree
of activity during acceleration. These muscles are also active
during the follow through, along with the biceps, though to a
lesser degree. While service returns are also frequently hit
strokes, the forces placed on the shoulder are not known; it is
likely that they would be similar to those of ground strokes
during the acceleration phase. While the other stroke types
documented do occur during match play, they are less
prevalent and most probably do not play a major role in
contributing to injuries sustained by elite tennis players.
The impact of tennis court surface was evident when
comparing the total number of strokes across tournaments.
The fact that total number of strokes per game was greater in
the French Open than at Wimbledon is consistent with clay
being a slower court surface than grass. The difference in
total strokes was primarily accounted for by a larger number
of topspin ground strokes and is consistent with longer
rallies. The greater number of strokes on clay may contribute
to earlier fatigue and possibly to a higher prevalence of injury,
especially if players are forced to compete on consecutive
days.
This study was based on data from grand slam events,
which require players to win three of five sets. It should be
mentioned that this format does not exist for every
tournament. The other format used on the ATP Tour requires
the player to win two of three sets, and tournaments are
typically structured so that players compete on a daily basis
for approximately seven to 10 days. With this schedule,
players essentially compete in a different tournament every
week with minimal or no rest. Thus it seems that it may be as
demanding as competing in a grand slam event.
The present study is the first attempt to our knowledge to
quantify the performance demands of tennis among elite
players. This information is valuable for several reasons. First,
Table 3 Combined data from all three tournaments on the number of strokes and stroke
distribution (see results section for statistical analysis). Service and return games
Service games Return games
Stroke type Stroke type
Serves First 6.4 (2.9) Returns Fore 2.3 (1.7)
Second 2.5 (1.9) Back 3.0 (1.9)
Topspin Fore 4.4 (4.2) Topspin Fore 3.0 (3.4)
Back 3.0 (3.6) Back 2.6 (3.1)
Slice Fore 0.2 (0.8) Slice Fore 0.2 (0.7)
Back 0.5 (1.0) Back 0.8 (1.2)
Half volley Fore 0.2 (0.5) Half volley Fore 0.1 (0.3)
Back 0.1 (0.4) Back 0.1 (0.2)
Volley Fore 0.3 (0.7) Volley Fore 0.1 (0.3)
Back 0.4 (1.0) Back 0.1 (0.4)
Overhead 0.2 (0.5) Overhead 0.02 (0.2)
See results section for statistical analysis. Values are mean (SD).
Whatisknownonthistopic
NProfessional tennis is a year round sport with a
different tournament or competition every week. Most
injuries involve the shoulder and are secondary to
overuse
NSeveral papers have been written about tennis related
injuries, stroke biomechanics, racquet characteristics,
injury prevention, and rehabilitation and conditioning
programmes, but none has attempted to quantify the
performance demands of the sport among elite tennis
players
What this study adds
NThis study provides objective information that may
improving training techniques, coaching tactics, and
clinical decision making
NIt can serve as a template to be applied to other
populations of competitive tennis players, especially at
the junior level, in an effort to safeguard against injury
698 Johnson, McHugh
www.bjsportmed.com
group.bmj.com on May 20, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
it may provide the necessary information to develop data
based rehabilitation programmes that can safely return elite
male tennis players to competition. While tennis rehabilita-
tion programmes do exist
118
they are not based on objective
data but rather on an expert’s knowledge of the sport and are
modified according to a player’s skill level. Second, as serves,
service returns, and topspin ground strokes are the pre-
dominant strokes, coaches should emphasise proper
mechanics and training of these stroke types. Finally, this
study may serve as a template that can be applied to
competitive junior players. By determining the performance
demands of the sport in this population, we will gain valuable
data that may justify the need to modify tournament
structure and training routines to safeguard against injury.
Authors’ affiliations
.....................
C D Johnson, Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma,
Lennox Hill Hospital, 130 East 77th St, Black Hall, New York, NY, USA
M McHugh, National Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma
REFERENCES
1Ellenbecker TS. Shoulder injuries in tennis. In: Andrews JR, Wilk KE, eds. The
athlete’s shoulder. New York: Churchhill Livingstone, 1994:399–409.
2Lehman RC. Shoulder pain in the competitive tennis player. Clin Sports Med
1988;7:309–27.
3Winge S, Jorgensen U, Nielsen AL. Epidemiology of injuries in Danish
championship tennis. Int J Sports Med 1989;10:368–71.
4Priest JD, Nagel DA. Tennis shoulder. Am J Sports Med 1976;4:28–42.
5Andrews JR, Kupferman SP, Dillman CJ. Labral tears in throwing and racquet
sports. Clin Sports Med 1991;10:901–11.
6Ellenbecker TS, Roetert EP, Bailie DS, et al. Glenohumeral joint total rotation
range of motion in elite tennis players and baseball pitchers. Med Sci Sports
Exerc 2002;34:2052–6.
7Kibler WB, Chandler TJ, Livingston BP, et al. Shoulder range of motion in elite
tennis players. Effect of age and years of tournament play. Am J Sports Med
1996;24:279–85.
8Maylack FH. Epidemiology of tennis, squash, and racquetball injuries. Clin
Sports Med 1988;7:233–43.
9Hang YS, Peng SM. An epidemiologic study of upper extremity injury in tennis
players with a particular reference to the elbow. J Formosan Med Assoc
1984;83:307–16.
10 Budoff JE, Nirschl RP, Ilahi OA, et al. Internal impingement in the etiology of
rotator cuff tendinosis revisited. Arthroscopy 2003;19:810–14.
11 Sonnery-Cottet B, Edwards TB, Noel E, et al. Rotator cuff tears in middle-aged
tennis players: results of surgical treatment. Am J Sports Med
2002;30:558–64.
12 Groppel JL. The utilization of proper racket sport mechanics to avoid upper
extremity injury. In: Pettrone FA, eds. Proceedings of the symposium on upper
extremity injuries. St Louis: CV Mosby, 1986.
13 Nirschl RP, Sobel J. Conservative treatment of tennis elbow. Physician Sports
Med 1981;9:43.
14 Kibler WB. Biomechanical analysis of the shoulder during tennis activities. Clin
Sports Med 1995;14:79–85.
15 Yoshizawa M, Itani T, Jonsson B. Muscular load in shoulder and forearm
muscles in tennis players with different levels of skill. In: Jonsson B, eds.
Biomechanics X-B. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1987.
16 Fleisig G, Nicholls R, Elliot B, et al. Kinematics used by world
class tennis players to produce high velocity serves. Sports Biomech
2003;2:51–64.
17 Ryu KN, McCormick J, Jobe FW, et al. An electromyographic
analysis of shoulder function in tennis players. Am J Sports Med
1988;16:481–85.
18 Reinold MM, Wilk KE, Reed J, et al. Interval Sport Programs: guidelines for
baseball, tennis, and golf. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2002;32:293–8.
............. COMMENTARY 1 ............
The authors have made a valid point that current rehabilita-
tion programmes
1
are based mainly on expert knowledge of
the sport rather than on objective data. This study provides
the first in-depth breakdown and analysis of the type of
strokes played in actual matches. The results, however, are
not particularly surprising and confirm what could have been
predicted pre-study: serves are the dominant stroke and
probably contribute most to the high prevalence of shoulder
injuries in tennis.
2
Nevertheless this study should serve to
assist others explore the specific demands of the game and
how they contribute to injury.
T Wood
Glenferrie Private hospital, Australia
REFERENCES
1Reinold MM, Wilk KE, Reed J, et al. Interval sport programs: guidelines for
baseball, tennis, and golf. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2002;32:29398.
2Yoshizawa M, Itani T, Jonsson B. Muscular load in shoulder and forearm
muscles in tennis players with different levels of skill. In: Jonsson B, ed.
Biomechanics X-B. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 1987.
............. COMMENTARY 2 ............
This paper presents further information regarding the sport
specific intrinsic demands that are placed on athletes. This
helps us to understand the nature and distribution of injuries
in a sport, allows some guidance for clinicians in developing
injury prevention strategies, and also helps coaches develop
programmes to improve performance in the different strokes.
Some of the findings are intuitive. It is not surprising that
more strokes are hit when playing on a slower surface, and
that serves comprise a smaller percentage on those slower
surfaces. However, the data do emphasise the importance
and the predominance of the service motion in professional
play, and point to the need for interventions to increase the
players capability of withstanding these demands, which
should maintain performance with minimal injury risk.
B Kibler
Lexington Clinic, USA
Performance demands of professional male tennis players 699
www.bjsportmed.com
group.bmj.com on May 20, 2010 - Published by bjsm.bmj.comDownloaded from
... L'objectif pour ces joueurs se résume souvent à mettre la balle en jeu et à minimiser le nombre de doubles fautes. En revanche, pour les joueurs et les joueuses professionnels, il devient un atout incontournable pour gagner le point et constitue probablement le coup le plus important du jeu à haut niveau (Hizan et al., 2011;Johnson et al., 2006;). ...
... Parmi l'ensemble des coups, le service est à la fois le plus violent du jeu Kibler et Safran, 2005) mais aussi celui qui est le plus utilisé lors d'un match (Johnson et al., 2006). Il est de ce fait régulièrement mis en cause dans le mécanisme des blessures chroniques du joueur de tennis (Bylak et Hutchinson, 1998;Dines et al., 2015;Kibler et Safran, 2005;Perkins et Davis, 2006). ...
... En effet, il est admis en biomécanique et en médecine du sport que la survenue des blessures chroniques est favorisée par la répétition d'un mouvement sportif qui génère des contraintes mécaniques excessives van den Bogert, 1994). Le service est non seulement le coup le plus utilisé lors d'un match (Johnson et al., 2006;Reid et al., 2008), mais aussi celui qui implique les contractions musculaires les plus fortes et donc les contraintes articulaires les plus élevées au niveau du membre supérieur et du tronc (Chow et al., 2009;Escamilia et Andrews, 2009;Kibler et Safran, 2005;Maquirriain et al., 2007). Ainsi, une première approche pour améliorer la prévention des blessures chroniques chez les jeunes joueurs vise à mieux comprendre l'influence du nombre de répétitions du service sur le risque de blessures chroniques. ...
Thesis
Pour les joueurs de tennis professionnels, le service est considéré comme le coup le plus important pour gagner un match. De plus, il est décrit comme un coup traumatisant qui occasionne de nombreuses blessures chroniques du membre supérieur et du tronc. Dans une logique de formation vers le haut niveau, les jeunes joueurs doivent alors acquérir le plus tôt possible une technique de service efficiente pour produire une vitesse de balle élevée tout en limitant le risque de blessures. La réalisation de ces deux objectifs représente une réelle problématique au regard de la complexité gestuelle du service et des erreurs techniques qui en découlent. Dans ce cadre, cette thèse ambitionne de répondre aux questions suivantes : comment évolue la technique de service des joueurs élites entre 12 ans et l’âge adulte ? Quels sont les critères de performance et les facteurs de risques de blessures au service chez les jeunes joueurs ? À partir de captures de mouvement en 3D, la première étude explore l’influence de l’âge et du sexe sur les variables cinématiques et dynamiques du membre supérieur dominant au cours du service. Les études 2 et 3 s’intéressent respectivement au type d’appuis et à la trajectoire de la raquette en « plateau » pour comprendre leur effet sur la performance et le risque de blessures au service. L’ensemble de ce travail fournit aux entraîneurs des recommandations concrètes sur le service pour faciliter la détection des meilleurs espoirs, individualiser les contenus d’entraînement en fonction de l’âge et du sexe, et améliorer la formation technique des jeunes joueurs pour augmenter la vitesse de balle et diminuer le risque de blessures chroniques.
... Second to the serve, groundstrokes contribute to the majority of completed shots throughout a professional tennis match (Johnson & McHugh, 2006;Reid et al., 2016), as the ability to execute effective groundstrokes is crucial for tennis performance. High racket head and ball speed are key characteristics in professional tennis as they limit the preparation time for opponents to return the ball (Choppin et al., 2011). ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to compare the upper limb kinematic chain of tennis players using either an eastern or continental non-dominant grip position during the forward swing of the double-handed backhand stroke. Sixteen right-handed tennis players performed backhands using two non-dominant grip positions (eastern and continental), aiming for two cross-court zones (deep and short). Trajectory data were captured using sixty reflective markers attached to the upper limb and racket using a 12-camera Vicon motion capture system (250 Hz). Peak angular velocity was significantly greater for multiple joint rotations at the dominant shoulder and entire non-dominant limb in the eastern grip. Subsequently, greater peak racket head angular velocity and post-impact ball speed were generated by the eastern grip, while shot accuracy was similar between grip types. There was delayed dominant shoulder peak adduction angular velocity for the continental grip, possibly due to a lack of skill familiarity causing changes in coordinative patterns. Collectively, the non-dominant grip position appears to influence proximal and distal upper limb movement. Future research should explore upper limb segment coordination comparing preferred and non-preferred double-handed backhand techniques and complete inter-disciplinary investigations to understand what grip positions are most effective for individuals to learn double-handed backhands.
... It was expected that both the total number and percentage of baseline shots would be higher during the practice (ShotsForehand, PForehand, ShotsBackhand, PBackhand, ShotsOther), while the values of serves (ShotsOverhead, POverhead) would be higher during matches. The conclusion is consistent with the findings that coaches pay too little attention to the serve and the routine of the serve [23]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to present the use of a previously validated wearable sensor device, Armbeep, in a real-life application, to enhance a tennis player’s training by monitoring and analysis of the time, physiological, movement, and tennis-specific workload and recovery indicators, based on fused sensor data acquired by the wearable sensor—a miniature wearable sensor device, designed to be worn on a wrist, that can detect and record movement and biometric information, where the basic signal processing is performed directly on the device, while the more complex signal analysis is performed in the cloud. The inertial measurements and pulse-rate detection of the wearable device were validated previously, showing acceptability for monitoring workload and recovery during tennis practice and matches. This study is one of the first attempts to monitor the daily workload and recovery of tennis players under real conditions. Based on these data, we can instruct the coach and the player to adjust the daily workload. This optimizes the level of an athlete’s training load, increases the effectiveness of training, enables an individual approach, and reduces the possibility of overuse or injuries. This study is a practical example of the use of modern technology in the return of injured athletes to normal training and competition. This information will help tennis coaches and players to objectify their workloads during training and competitions, as this is usually only an intuitive assessment.
... Total number of strokes per game was greater in the French Open than Wimbledon. This result is consistent with the clay court having a slower surface than grass (15). Training on clay courts results in trends for increased heart rate and lactate values, suggesting that sessions on clay courts tend towards higher physiological and perceptual loads than hard courts (26). ...
... This model of succession from the proximal to the distal end of the kinematic chain is the main characteristic of this principle and is described for many sports motions, including the ones of tennis (13)(14)(15). The forehand tennis stroke that was studied (16,17) includes rotation along the longitudinal axis, an important factor that describes the complexity of tennis strokes, which was often neglected in previous studies of motions with an open kinematic chain Although the forehand stroke is the second most common element at profession-level matches (18), studies show that its kinematic structure is limited (19,20). ...
Article
PURPOSE: The main purpose of this study is the optimization of the control over performing the forehand technique by 12-year old players using Martin's sigma method. MATERIAL AND METHODS: To achieve the goals of the study, we used video recording and analysis of the results of three tests applied in order to obtain information regarding the level of mastering the technique and the efficiency of the training process with 12-year old tennis players. The descriptive statistics and Martin's sigma method were used for data analysis. RESULTS: The obtained quantitative assessments allow comparing the achievements of players in each of the performed tests. CONCLUSIONS: This assessment model for forehand performance provides reliable quantitative feedback for managing and optimizing the training process in tennis with young players.
... Side specific differences of the tennis serve should also be discussed regarding possible injury-risk implications. Serve production is a violent manoeuvre generating high recurring forces and places the greatest stress on the lower back among all strokes [40][41][42]. Consequently, the reported high prevalence of back pain in competitive junior and professional ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: According to the official rules of the International Tennis Federation, players have to serve alternately from two different positions: the deuce (right, D) and the ad court (left, AD) side. This study aimed to compare body and ball kinematics of flat serves from both service sides. Methods: In a controlled, semi-court laboratory setting, 14 elite male junior players served eight flat first serves to a target field directed to the receiver's body from both service positions in a matched and counterbalanced order. An 8-camera-Vicon-System was used to capture the 3D-landmark trajectories. Results: The mean service velocity was found to be similar on both sides (D: 151.4 ± 19.8 vs. AD: 150.5 ± 19.4 km/h), while multiple characteristics of the serve and ball kinematics differed significantly (p < .05). At starting, the front-foot angle relative to the baseline (D: 39.7±17.6° vs. AD: 31.1±17.4°) and lateral distance between the feet (D: 16.3 ± 12.9 cm vs. AD: 26.2 ± 11.9 cm) were significantly different. During the service, upper torso range of motion from maximum clockwise rotation until impact was significantly greater on the deuce court (D: 130.5 ± 19.8° vs. AD: 126.7 ± 21.1°). This was especially pronounced in foot-back technique players. Further, differences in the lateral ball impact location (D: 30.0 ± 24.1 cm vs. AD: 10.3 ± 23.3 cm) were observed. Conclusions: Changing the service side affects the serve and ball kinematics in elite junior tennis players. Our results underline biomechanical differences regarding the starting position (feet and upper torso) as well as the movement and ball kinematics which could be relevant for skill acquisition, injury prevention and performance enhancement.
(1) Background: Performance indicators in tennis such as service effectiveness, rally length or final shots are key factors in determining the winner of the match, although there is little research in the female category. The purpose of this research is to understand the game model in female tennis based on the type of surface. (2) Methods: A total of 2759 points were analyzed from three Grand Slam tournaments from 2019 on three different surfaces. We used observational methodology. (3) Results: The effectiveness of the first service was 62.4% on clay, 64.2% on grass and 67.5% on hard court. With the second service, effectiveness reduced in 5.5%, 11.2% and 14.5% from the first service, respectively. The service direction determines the efficiency and duration of the rally. The highest efficiency occurs with first serves to the T zone or wide zone (regardless of the service side) in short rallies (from 64.9% on clay to 86.3% on hard court). Serving to the centre reduces the chances of success (between 53.1% and 69.9%) and increases the rally length. Between 64.8% (clay) and 75.9% (hard court) of points played on first serve ended in a short rally, while on second serve it was 56.2% (clay) to 61.7% (grass). (4) Conclusions: The data of the effectiveness of the sequences of specific plays can help in the trainings of professional female tennis players.
Article
Objective Talented junior tennis players are exposed to high training loads and congested competition schedules. Understanding the demands of training and competition is important to prescribe training and recovery programmes that optimise performance. The purpose of this study was to systematically review and appraise the literature available on training and match-play demands in an elite and highly trained junior tennis population to inform practice and future research opportunities. Methods A systematic search of PubMed, SPORTDiscus and Scopus databases was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines in November 2021. The following keywords were used: ‘tennis’, ‘match-play’, ‘match’, ‘training’, ‘drill’, ‘practice’, ‘coaching’, ‘session’, ‘competition’ and ‘tournament’. Filters were applied to retrieve articles conducted on junior tennis players. Results The search returned an initial 879 articles. Following the screening process, 21 articles were accepted for analysis. Articles were organised into four themes: training demands, match-play, court surface and recovery. Results highlighted that training sessions failed to induce the same physiological and perceptual demands imposed by tournament match-play. Rallies were 22% longer on clay courts, and associated with increased playing time, heart rate, blood lactate and ratings of perceived exertion compared with hard court surfaces. Competing in multiple matches per day negatively impacted performance indices including jumping, sprinting and change of direction. Increased ratings of muscle soreness, fatigue and pain were also reported. Conclusion Additional work is warranted to substantiate these findings and determine the efficacy of current training strategies and competition demands imposed on elite and highly trained junior tennis players.
Article
Full-text available
The attraction, engagement, and retention of new players to a sport is an important effort to undertake by governing sport bodies. With the growth of so many sport involvement opportunities, engaging new tennis players, specifically, and retaining them can be a challenge. A unique phenomenon occurred in 2020 wherein an influx of four million new tennis players in the United States occurred through little to no formal efforts on the part of the tennis industry due to the impacts of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Article
Classic tennis elbow is the result of a pathological entity the authors call fibroangiomatous hyperplasia. Their conservative treatment program has resulted in a high success rate, and includes the following steps: relieving inflammation and pain with rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and occasionally cortisone injections; promoting the healing process with high-voltage galvanic stimulation; exercises for strength, endurance, and flexibility in the arm and forearm; and reducing the overload forces that caused the original injury by using a counterforce brace and modifying the player's technique and equipment. Surgery may be required as a last resort in patients with chronic symptoms.
Article
A depression of the exercised shoulder was found in skilled tennis players, and in other athletes employing the overhand motion. The deformity is attributed to stretching of the shoulder elevating muscles and hypertrophy of the extremity. Most symptoms were over the anterior rotator cuff, and occurred on abduction of the arm. Shoulder depression results in a relative abduction and abduction causes impingement of the cuff. Shoulder droop may induce thoracic outlet syndrome and may simulate scoliosis in the athlete.
Article
Throwing and overhead racquet motion is stressful activity that places great physical demands on the athlete's shoulder. This article focuses on glenoid labral tears as a consequence of this dynamic activity. These labral lesions may be present as an isolated entity or may be in association with glenohumeral instability.
Article
During the outdoor tennis season of 1984 a prospective injury registration was done in 104 randomly chosen elite tennis players, of whom 86% could be followed. We found 46 injuries: an incidence of 2.3 injuries/player/1000 tennis hours. Men were more frequently injured than women. The prevalence was 0.3 injury/player. Upper extremity injuries were most frequent - 45.7% (21/46). Shoulder injuries were the single most frequent injury - 17% (8/46). The pathophysiology was overuse in 67% (28/42), strains in 14% (6/42), sprains in 17% (7/42), fractures in 2% (1/42), and blisters in 5% (2/42). Players using conventional rackets had more injuries to the upper extremity compared with players using mid/oversized rackets, though the difference was nonsignificant. The importance of impact forces from the tennis stroke in the mechanism of upper extremity injuries is discussed.
Article
Shoulder injuries in tennis players are common because of the repetitive, high-magnitude forces generated around the shoulder during the various tennis strokes. An understanding of the complex sequences of muscle activity in this area may help reduce injury, enhance performance, and assist the rapid rehabilitation of the injured athlete. The supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, middle deltoid, pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, biceps brachii, and serratus anterior muscles were studied in six uninjured male Division II collegiate tennis players using dynamic electromyography (EMG) and synchronized high-speed photography. Each subject performed the tennis serve and the forehand and backhand groundstrokes, and each stroke was divided into stages. The tennis serve contains four stages. Three stages characterize the forehand and backhand groundstrokes. Our results indicate that the subscapularis, pectoralis major, and serratus anterior display the greatest activity during the serve and forehand. The middle deltoid, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus are most active in the acceleration and follow-through stages of the backhand. The biceps brachii increases its activity during cocking and follow-through in the serve with a similar pattern noted in the acceleration and follow-through stages of the forehand and backhand. The serratus anterior demonstrates intense activity in the serve and forehand, thus providing a stable platform for the humeral head and assisting in gleno-humeral-scapulothoracic synchrony. The tennis serve and forehand and backhand groundstrokes are accomplished by complex sequences of muscle activity that incorporate contributions from the lower extremities and trunk into smooth, coordinated patterns.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Article
Shoulder pain in the elite tennis player is of the overuse variety and is usually attributable to impingement symptoms. Nonoperative approaches favor the quickest return to competitive tennis, and when surgery is necessary, arthroscopic procedures are preferred.
Article
This article enumerates and examines the existing epidemiologic data on racquet sports injuries. A framework is provided for the evaluation and interpretation of future studies and research.
Article
Biomechanical analysis of the shoulder in tennis is still in early stages; however, the available data do allow some conclusions and some recommendations for conditioning, evaluation, and rehabilitation. Normal shoulder biomechanical function requires an intact kinetic chain to create the energy, produce the forces and stabilize the joint in tennis activities. Only through this mechanism can optimum performance with minimal injury risk be maintained. Conditioning of the shoulder for tennis should take this into account. Exercises should involve force generation by the large leg and trunk muscles, scapular stabilization, and closed chain co-contraction activity for the shoulder stabilizers. Similarly, clinical evaluation for shoulder problems must include assessment of areas distant to the shoulder. Kinetic chain failure can cause extra stress on the shoulder, causing or exacerbating clinical symptoms at the shoulder. Clinical evaluation of shoulder joint structures also is enhanced by knowledge of the integration of the constraint systems, and the fact that more than one system may be involved in shoulder pathology. Finally, rehabilitation efforts for shoulder problems need to focus on allowing functional return of the shoulder joint in the context of the entire kinetic chain of tennis specific activity. Rehabilitation of all areas of kinetic chain failure, such as trunk inflexibility or scapulothoracic dyskinesis, should be undertaken in conjunction with rehabilitation techniques for the shoulder. The sports medicine clinician will have a more functional framework for assessing shoulder activity and injury in tennis through the understanding of these biomechanical principles.