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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 Ottobre;55(10):1157-65

lingua: Inglese

Relationship between anthropometric or functional characteristics and maximal serve velocity in professional tennis players

Bonato M. 1, Maggioni M. A. 1, Rossi C. 1, 2, Rampichini S. 1, La Torre A. 1, Merati G. 1, 3

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy;
2 R.I.T.A, Italian Tennis Research Association, Milan, Italy;
3 Centre of Sports Medicine, Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy


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AIM: This study aims at investigating the possible relationships between anthropometric and functional parameters and maximal serve speed in professional tennis players.
METHODS: Eight professional male tennis players (age 23±4 [mean±SD] years; height 181±4 cm; body mass 80±4 kg; playing experience 14±4 years; weekly training practice 29±6 hours) were recruited. Anthropometric parameters (height, body mass, arm-racquet length, arm muscle area), jump performance (squat jump, counter movement jump; counter movement jump free), handgrip strength and first and second maximal serve speed were assessed.
RESULTS: Pearson’s correlation coefficient showed significant (P<0.05) positive relationships between height and ball speed in both the first (r=0.78; P=0.02) and second (r=0.80; P=0.017) serve, and a significant negative correlation between serve speed and arm muscle area in first serve only (r=-0.78; P=0.03). In addition, a trend towards a positive correlation was observed between string tensions and serves speed for both first and second serves (r=0.54; P=0.16 and r=0.60; P=0.11, respectively). No significant relationship was found between serve speed and the other variables considered, including jumping performance parameters.
CONCLUSION: Height was confirmed to be the main anthropometric determinant of serves speed in professional tennis players.

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matteo.bonato@unimi.it