Objectives: The aims of this study were to describe the anthropometric characteristics, body composition and somatotype of elite male and female junior tennis players, to compare the anthropometric data, body composition and somatotype of the first 12 elite junior tennis players on the ranking with the lower ranked players, and to establish an anthropometric profile chart for elite junior tennis players.
Methods: A total of 123 (57 males and 66 females) elite junior tennis players participated in this study. The athletes were divided into two groups, the first 12 and the lower ranked players, according to gender. A total of 17 anthropometric variables were recorded of each subject.
Results: There were no significant differences in height and weight between the first 12 and the lower ranked boys, while the first 12 girls were significantly taller than the lower ranked girls (p = 0.009). Significant differences were found for humeral and femoral breadths between the first 12 and the lower ranked girls (p = 0.000; p = 0.004, respectively). The mean (SD) somatotype of elite male junior tennis players could be defined as ectomesomorphic (2.4 (0.7), 5.2 (0.8), 2.9 (0.7)) and the mean (SD) somatotype of elite female junior tennis players evaluated could be defined as endomesomorphic (3.8 (0.9), 4.6 (1.0), 2.4 (1.0)). No significant differences were found in somatotype components between the first 12 and the lower ranked players of both genders.
Conclusions: When comparing the first 12 and the lower ranked elite junior tennis players of both genders, no significant differences were observed in any measured item for the boys. By contrast, significant differences were observed in height and humeral and femoral breadths between the first 12 and the lower ranked girls, whereby the first 12 were taller and had wider humeral and femoral breadths than the lower ranked players. These differences could influence the playing style of junior female players.