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Manuel Terraza-Rebollo and Ernest Baiget

The tennis serve plays an important role in determining the final outcome of a match 1 – 3 ; its effectiveness is determined by velocity, spin, reliability, and accuracy, 1 , 2 and particularly, ball velocity has been shown to be a key point in a successful play. 3 Moreover, it should be pointed

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Mark H. Anshel and Craig A. Wrisberg

In the present study an attempt was made to determine the relative effectiveness of various warm-up activities in eliminating postrest warm-up decrement (WUD) in the tennis serve. Seventy highly-skilled players hit 20 serves, rested for either 5 or 15 min, and then attempted 4 final serves. During the last 2 min of the rest period, players continued to rest, ran in place, engaged in mental imagery, performed practice swings, or repeatedly hit the ball against the ground and caught it. In addition to estimates of serving accuracy, measures of somatic and cognitive arousal were obtained at the beginning and end of the rest interval. Multiple regression procedures revealed that reductions in WUD were significantly related to the restoration of prerest arousal levels. Between-group comparisons indicated that practice swings were the most effective warm-up activity for restoring somatic and cognitive arousal to prerest levels and for eliminating WUD. Theoretical discussion centered on possible applications of Nacson and Schmidt's (1971) activity-set hypothesis to the tennis serve.

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M. M. Reid, Amity C. Campbell and B. C. Elliott

Tennis stroke mechanics have attracted considerable biomechanical analysis, yet current filtering practice may lead to erroneous reporting of data near the impact of racket and ball. This research had three aims: (1) to identify the best method of estimating the displacement and velocity of the racket at impact during the tennis serve, (2) to demonstrate the effect of different methods on upper limb kinematics and kinetics and (3) to report the effect of increased noise on the most appropriate treatment method. The tennis serves of one tennis player, fit with upper limb and racket retro-reflective markers, were captured with a Vicon motion analysis system recording at 500 Hz. The raw racket tip marker displacement and velocity were used as criterion data to compare three different endpoint treatments and two different filters. The 2nd-order polynomial proved to be the least erroneous extrapolation technique and the quintic spline filter was the most appropriate filter. The previously performed “smoothing through impact” method, using a quintic spline filter, underestimated the racket velocity (9.1%) at the time of impact. The polynomial extrapolation method remained effective when noise was added to the marker trajectories.

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Julien Le Gal, Mickael Begon, Benoit Gillet and Isabelle Rogowski

glenohumeral range of motion in internal rotation. It was secondarily hypothesized that self-myofascial release improves perception of shoulder instability and maintains tennis serve performance. Materials and Methods Experimental Design At the middle of the season, a test–retest procedure was employed over a

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Bruce Elliott, Tony Marsh and Brian Blanksby

Three dimensional (3-D) high-speed photography was used to record the tennis service actions of eight elite tennis players. The direct linear transformation (DLT) method was used for 3-D space reconstruction from 2-D images recorded from laterally placed cameras operating at 200fps. Seven of the eight subjects initially positioned their center of gravity toward the front foot during the stance phase. When the elbow reached 90° in the backswing, the knees of the eight subjects were at or near their maximum attained flexion, and the upper arm was an extension of a line joining both shoulder joints. A mean maximum vertical shoulder velocity of 1.7ms−1 during the leg drive produced a force at the shoulder that was eccentric to the racket-limb, thus causing a downward rotation of this limb as measured by a mean velocity of the racket of −5.8ms−1 down the back. This leg drive increased the angular displacement of the loop and therefore provided a greater distance over which the racket could be accelerated for impact. All subjects swung the racket up to the ball, and all but one hit the ball with the racket angled slightly backward (M = 93.9°). An effective summation of body segments was apparent because resultant linear velocities showed an increase as the more distal segment endpoint approached impact, although all subjects decelerated the racket immediately prior to impact. Mean resultant ball velocities of 34.4ms−1 for the female subjects and 42.4ms−1 for the male subjects were achieved.

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Claude Goulet, Chantai Bard and Michelle Fleury

Two experiments were conducted to analyze the performance of expert and novice tennis players. For testing purposes, 16-mm films were used. Subjects in both studies had to identify the type of serve presented (flat, top-spin, sliced). In Experiment 1, visual search patterns were investigated. During the ritual phase, experts focus on the shoulder/trunk areas whereas novices concentrate their search around the head of the server. During the execution phase, experts concentrate on the racquet whereas novices use more cues. Using the technique of temporal visual occlusion, the speed and accuracy of decisional processes were investigated in a second study. Results showed that expert players select valuable information during the preparatory phase and during the first part of. the execution phase. Novices must see the ritual phase until ball/racquet impact to be as accurate. Results emphasize the importance of combining sampling of eye movement and behavior parameters to sharpen our understanding of the perceptual processes underlying motor sport performance.

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David Whiteside, Bruce Elliott, Brendan Lay and Machar Reid

The importance of the flat serve in tennis is well documented, with an abundance of research evaluating the service technique of adult male players. Comparatively, the female and junior serves have received far less attention. Therefore, the aims of this study were to quantify the flat serve kinematics in elite prepubescent, pubescent, and postpubescent female tennis players. Full body, racket, and ball kinematics were derived using a 22-camera Vicon motion capture system. Racket velocity was significantly lower in the prepubescent group than in the two older groups. In generating racket velocity, the role of the serving arm appears to become more pronounced after the onset of puberty, whereas leg drive and “shoulder-over-shoulder” rotation mature even later in development. These factors are proposed to relate to strength deficits and junior players’ intentions to reduce the complexity of the skill. Temporally, coupling perception (cues from the ball) and action (body movements) are less refined in the prepubescent serve, presumably reducing the “rhythm” (and dynamism) of the service action. Practically, there appears scope for equipment scaling to preserve kinematic relevance between the junior and senior serve and promote skill acquisition.

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Michael Behringer, Sebastian Neuerburg, Maria Matthews and Joachim Mester

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the transferability of 2 different resistance training protocols on service velocity and its precision consistency in junior tennis players. Thirty-six male athletes (15.03 ± 1.64 years) were randomly assigned to a machine-based resistance-training group (RG, n = 12), a plyometric training group (PG, n = 12), and a control group (CG, n = 12). For a period of 8 weeks, both intervention groups resistance trained 2 days per week in addition to their regular tennis training, whereas the CG had no extra training. Mean service velocity over 20 maximum-velocity serves increased significantly more in PG (3.78%; p < .05) when compared with CG, whereas no such changes could be found in the RG (1.18%; p > .05). Service precision did not change from pre- to posttest in all three groups (p > .05). Only the plyometric training program tested, improved mean service velocity over 20 maximum-velocity serves in junior tennis players but did not affect service precision.

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O. Girard, J.-P. Micallef and G.P. Millet

Purpose:

This study aimed at examining the influence of different playing surfaces on in-shoe loading patterns in each foot (back and front) separately during the first serve in tennis.

Methods:

Ten competitive tennis players completed randomly five frst (ie, fat) serves on two different playing surfaces: clay vs GreenSet. Maximum and mean force, peak and mean pressure, mean area, contact area and relative load were recorded by Pedar insoles divided into 9 areas for analysis.

Results:

Mean pressure was significantly lower (123 ± 30 vs 98 ± 26 kPa; -18.5%; P < .05) on clay than on GreenSet when examining the entire back foot. GreenSet induced higher mean pressures under the medial forefoot, lateral forefoot and hallux of the back foot (+9.9%, +3.5% and +15.9%, respectively; both P < .01) in conjunction with a trend toward higher maximal forces in the back hallux (+15.1%, P = .08). Peak pressures recorded under the central and lateral forefoot (+21.8% and +25.1%; P < .05) of the front foot but also the mean area values measured on the back medial and lateral midfoot were higher (P < .05) on clay. No significant interaction between foot region and playing surface on relative load was found.

Conclusions:

It is suggested that in-shoe loading parameters characterizing the first serve in tennis are adjusted according to the ground type surface. A lesser asymmetry in peak (P < .01) and mean (P < .001) pressures between the two feet was found on clay, suggesting a greater need for stability on this surface.

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Camilo Sáenz-Moncaleano, Itay Basevitch and Gershon Tenenbaum

the course of a serve return. To the authors’ knowledge, no study to date has conducted a thorough analysis of the gaze behaviors throughout the entire tennis serve. Efficient gaze control and visual search patterns are required to strategically maximize the information acquired and to minimize the