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PHYSIOLOGICAL AREA   

Medicina dello Sport 2017 December;70(4):430-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.17.03088-5

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Effects of hard courts and clay courts on sprinting performance after a wheelchair tennis match: an acute study

Matteo PONZANO 1, Massimiliano GOLLIN 2

1 Adapted Training and Performance Research Group, SUISM, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2 Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy


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BACKGROUND: Heterogeneous playing surfaces could influence movements in wheelchair tennis, modifying also functional performance parameters which could be reflected in the athletes’ fatigue level. The purpose of this study was to define the modifications in coordinative and conditional abilities after a match by means of the analysis of non-linear speed comparing hard courts and clay courts.
METHODS: Twelve wheelchair tennis players played 12 matches, of which 6 on clay courts and 6 on hard courts. Before and after the matches, the participants performed the Twist and Sprint Wheelchair Test and data collected before and after each event were compared.
RESULTS: The t-test did not highlight significant differences regarding the test on the clay court (C) before (C0=10.03 s) and after (C1=10.04 s) the match. The test performed on the hard court (H) showed significant variations (P<0.05, ES=0.20, -2%) between data collected before (H0=9.61 s) and after (H1=9.43 s) the match.
CONCLUSIONS: A wheelchair tennis match that lasts less than 90 minutes does not lead to decrements of performance brought about by fatigue, regardless of the playing surface. Speed with changes of direction improves significantly after having played on hard courts, because of the continuous stimulation of specific coordination and the negligible friction force caused by this surface.


KEY WORDS: Tennis - Wheelchairs - Exercise test

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