Science in tennis: The Road to Recovery - UBITENNIS
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Science in tennis: The Road to Recovery





SCIENCE IN TENNIS – Our own strength and conditioning coach Jonathan Fraser (MSc, CSCS, MTPS), Science in Tennis, iTPA Tutor) explains the Players physical conditioning program will drop in volume to reduce fatigue and over training, whilst working at a moderate to high intensity to maintain the strength, speed and quickness they developed in their previous training blocks.

The Road to Recovery. With the French Open being recent in the memory and Wimbledon less than two weeks away, this time of year is one of the most physically challenging for the professional players. With back to back tournaments and the transition from clay to grass, players will be looking to maintain and reach peak performance. Players physical conditioning program will drop in volume to reduce fatigue and over training, whilst working at a moderate to high intensity to maintain the strength, speed and quickness they developed in their previous training blocks. Much importance will be placed on allowing adequate rest and recovery. With the potential of gruelling schedules rest and recovery is essential not only to maximise performance and reduce fatigue but also decrease the likelihood of injury. With modern day sport sciences, much research has looked into methods to aid athletes recover and regenerate. But what are some of the options for our players and what is the reasoning for them?

Different water immersions continue to be of much discussion with cold water immersion (≤ 20°C) and contrast water immersion (a combination of hot water ≥ 36°C and cold water immersion) offering ways in which to reduce fatigue and aid recovery of players. Generally it is believed that the increase in pressure from the water elevates the amount of blood being pumped form the heart and because of this waste products are removed quicker from muscles and oxygen and nutrients are supplied at a quicker rate. With a recommended 5-15 minutes for cold water immersion at temperatures between 10-15°C and alternative minute bouts for up to 15 minutes with contrast water immersion, the tennis athlete should look to do this as soon as possible post match or training to reduce soreness and revitalise the body (Versey, Halson and Dawson, 2013).

Other common methods of recovery players may include are sports massage and stretching. Suggested benefits of a sports massage include and increased blood flow to the particular muscle helping remove waste products and bringing nutrients to the effected area whilst helping to remove tension and muscle adhesions where repetitive movements have created tightness within the muscle. There are also recognised psychological benefits to a sports massage. Stretching post tennis match play usually involves the use of static stretching where the players will be advised to stretch tight areas. It would always be recommended to pay particular attention to areas of common tightness from the demands of tennis such as the shoulders and hips. Stretches are usually held for up to 60 seconds completing a number of repetitions. Other methods may include proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) where the muscle is stretched and then contracts in a set position and then developed further with the use of a partner (Kovacs, Chandler and Chandler, 2007). Stretching allows the muscles to return to their normal length post tennis match, or if required develop a greater range of motion around the joint to help reduce the likelihood of injury and enhance performance by allowing greater force generation.

Finally one of the most important methods of recovery players will utilise is to refuel and rehydrate appropriately. Players will consume a combination of carbohydrate and protein. This will maximise the replenishment of glycogen (the fuel) in the body whilst helping muscles and tissues repair, reducing the likelihood of a suppressed immune system. Furthermore players will look to rehydrate with a combination of an electrolyte drink and water to achieve their pre match body weight and replenish electrolytes lost in sweat. Players minds are always on recovery and it is highly likely you will see them drinking an electrolyte drink and energy gel during matches to aid performance but begin the recovery process. Post match windows of opportunities exist where players must refuel and rehydrate directly after competing to maximise their recovery.

Jonathan Fraser (MSc, CSCS, MTPS), Science in Tennis, iTPA Tutor)

References and recommended reading

KOVACS, M., CHANDLER, W.B. and CHANDLER, T.J. (2007). Tennis training, enhancing on court performance. Racquet tech publisihing.

UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION (2010). Tennis recovery. [online]. Last accesssed on 14 June 2014 at:

VERSEY, N.G., HALSON, S.L and DAWSON, B.T. (2013). Water immersion recovery for athletes: effect on exercise performance and practical recommendations. Sports medicine, 43 (11), 1101-1130.

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Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019

The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.




Andy Murray (image via

Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.


The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.

Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.

“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”

The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.

In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.

“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”

Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his career.

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.




The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.


On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.




Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.


The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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