On-court endurance and performance testing in competitive male tennis players

J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jan;28(1):256-64. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182955dad.


The aims of this study were (a) to establish a specific endurance test procedure for competitive tennis players, combining performance, physiological and technical parameters and (b) to determine the relationship between these parameters and their competitive levels. Thirty-eight competitive male tennis players (age, 18.2 ± 1.3 years; height, 180 ± 0.08 cm; body mass, 72.7 ± 8.6 kg; mean ± SD) performed a specific endurance field test. Performance (level achieved), physiological (heart rate, maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), and ventilatory thresholds (VT1, VT2), and technical parameters (technical effectiveness [TE]) were assessed. Bivariate and multivariate models for predicting performance level were developed. Technical effectiveness was 63.1 ± 9.1%, with 3 identified phases throughout the test (adaptation, maximum effectiveness, and steady decline). Low to moderate correlations were found between performance (final stage), physiological (VT1, VT2) and TE, and competitive performance (r = 0.35-0.61; p = 0.038-0.000). Technical effectiveness explained 37% of variability in competitive performance (r = 0.61; p = 0.001). Using TE combined with VT2 or predictability increased explaining approximately 55% (p < 0.05) of the variance in competitive performance. The present study showed the usefulness of a field test including physiological and performance elements in high-caliber tennis players, and VT2 values combined with TE were good predictors of tennis performance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Competitive Behavior / physiology
  • Exercise Test*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange
  • Pulmonary Ventilation
  • Tennis / physiology*
  • Young Adult