Objective: To describe the physiological responses to tournament tennis in relation to prevailing environmental conditions, match notation, and skills that underpin performance. Design: 14 male professional tennis players (mean (SD) age, 21.4 (2.6) years; height, 183.0 (6.9) cm; body mass, 79.2 (6.4) kg) were studied while contesting international tennis tournaments. Environmental conditions, match notation, physiological (core temperature, hydration status, heart rate, blood variables), and performance indices (serve kinematics, serve velocity, error rates) were recorded. Results: Hard and clay court tournaments elicited similar peak core temperature (38.9 (0.3) v 38.5 (0.6)°C) and average heart rate (152 (15) v 146 (19) beats/min) but different body mass deficit (1.05 (0.49) v 0.32 (0.56)%, p<0.05). Average pre-match urine specific gravity was 1.022 (0.004). Time between points was longer during hard court matches (25.1 (4.3) v 17.2 (3.3) s, p<0.05). Qualitative analysis of first and second serves revealed inverse relations between the position of the tossing arm at ball release and the position of the ball toss and progressive match time (respectively, r= -0.74 and r= -0.73, p<0.05) and incurred body mass deficit (r=0.73 and r=0.73, p<0.05). Conclusions: Participants began matches in a poor state of hydration, and experienced moderate thermoregulatory strain and dehydration during competition. These adverse physiological conditions may compromise performance and influence notational analyses.
Aim. The aim of the study was to determine the effects of volume and intensity of static stretching in a warm-up on explosive force production and range of motion (ROM) of the plantar flexors. Methods. Twenty subjects performed 5 warm-ups on different days. The warm-ups contained a 5 min treadmill run and various protocols of 30 s static stretches (SS) of the plantar flexors. Stretching involved dorsi flexion just before the pain threshold, which was considered 100% intensity. The treatments that immediately followed the run were: (i) no other treatment (control); (ii) 1 min SS; (iii) 2 min SS; (iv) 4 min SS; (v) 2 min SS at 90% intensity. Ankle ROM was assessed before and after each warm-up and a concentric calf raise and drop jump (DJ) test was conducted after each warm-up. Results. There were no significant differences (P>0.05) in peak force or rate of force production in the explosive calf raise between any of the warm-ups. However the run plus 2 min stretch and the run plus 4 min stretch protocols produced significantly lower (P<0.05) DJ performance (jump height/ground contact time) than the run. The run plus 4 min stretch warm-up also produced a significantly lower DJ score than the run plus 1 min stretch warm-up. There were no significant differences between any of the warm-ups in ankle ROM. Conclusions. The addition of 2-4 min of SS at 100% intensity to a run caused an impairment to fast stretch shortening cycle muscle performance. The greater impairment from the 4 min stretching condition supported a volume-effect. Two minutes of stretching at 90% intensity had no significant influence on muscle function. The addition of up to 4 min of SS to a run had no appreciable effect on ankle ROM, possibly because of the prior influence of the run.