A torque-driven, subject-specific 3-D computer simulation model of the impact phase of one-handed tennis backhand strokes was evaluated by comparing performance and simulation results. Backhand strokes of an elite subject were recorded on an artificial tennis court. Over the 50-ms period after impact, good agreement was found with an overall RMS difference of 3.3° between matching simulation and performance in terms of joint and racket angles. Consistent with previous experimental research, the evaluation process showed that grip tightness and ball impact location are important factors that affect postimpact racket and arm kinematics. Associated with these factors, the model can be used for a better understanding of the eccentric contraction of the wrist extensors during one-handed backhand ground strokes, a hypothesized mechanism of tennis elbow.
Behzat B. Kentel is with the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, and with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, U.K. Mark A. King (Corresponding Author) is with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, U.K. Sean R. Mitchell is with the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, U.K.