Musculoskeletal capacity and serve mechanics in professional women’s tennis players

Translated title of the contribution: Musculoskeletal capacity and serve mechanics in professional women’s tennis players

Natalie L. Myers, W. Ben Kibler, Alexis H. Axtell, Belinda J. Herde, Philip M. Westgate, Tim L. Uhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


It has been theorized that incorporating strength, speed, and flexibility training regimes may improve the quality of the tennis serve. Efficient stroke quality during the serve improves velocity and diminishes injury risk in tennis players. However, no study in tennis has identified whether adequate musculoskeletal capacity is a factor that helps drive optimal serve mechanics. The aim of this study was to determine whether musculoskeletal capacity could predict efficient serve mechanics. A total of 46 professional women’s tennis players (age: 26 ± 3 years, body mass: 65 ± 5 kg, height: 1.74 ± 0.06 m) were studied. Musculoskeletal capacity parameters were evaluated by the tennis specific screen (TSS) with strength and flexibility measures. Serve mechanics were evaluated using the observational tennis serve analysis (OTSA) tool. The OTSA is scored using a 0–9 system. Multiple regression analysis revealed scapular dyskinesis on the non-dominant side during flexion to be predictive of OTSA score (r2 = 0.14, p-value = 0.008). However, the correlation is weak (r = 0.38), rendering a non-clinically significant relationship between scapular dyskinesis and serve mechanics. None of the other musculoskeletal parameters generated significant relationships to serve mechanics. This study demonstrated that in professional women’s tennis players there is no meaningful relationship between the TSS measurements and OTSA scores. In conclusion, musculoskeletal capacity and serve mechanics are independent of each another, and should be addressed separately.

Translated title of the contributionMusculoskeletal capacity and serve mechanics in professional women’s tennis players
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalGerman Journal of Exercise and Sport Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland, ein Teil von Springer Nature.


  • Elite tennis athletes
  • Observational assessment
  • Physical function
  • Tennis Serve
  • Tennis specific screen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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