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Tennis Specific Screen

Staying at the top of your game is the primary focus of any athlete. When players are healthy and free of injury it allows them the greatest opportunity for success. The WTA Sport Sciences & Medicine Department focuses on prevention to allow players to maintain optimal health and performance and stay at the top of their game.


Injury prevention is achieved by:

  • Implementation of preventative and safety strategies (such as rules for healthy environment, like weather conditions rules and proper court construction guidelines).
  • Reducing the frequency of injuries through identifying risk factors. 
  • Research is important to correctly identify causes of injuries to predict those athletes at risk of injury. 
  • Musculoskeletal screens are one component that contributes to injury risk knowledge and may reduce injury incidence. 

Purpose of Screening

The purpose of a musculoskeletal screen is to identify or detect:
  1. Impairments, such as medical conditions like anatomical or structural abnormalities that may predispose to an athlete to future injury. 
  2.  Impairments in motor control, muscle strength, or flexibility which may contribute to poor athletic technique, reduce performance and increase injury risk. 
  3. Provide education and corrective strategies and exercises to the athlete to improve identified deficits, enhance their technique and facilitate better on-court performance.


To develop a targeted prevention program, an understanding of both the risk factors and the mechanisms of injury that may predispose to sports injury is required. Risk factors may be modifiable (changeable) or fixed.


Modifiable risk factors:

  • Are musculoskeletal impairments such as poor strength, mobility or control.
  • Are the main purpose of a screen. 
  • Can be changed through individualized training programs. 


Fixed risk factors:

  • Include gender, previous injury history, genetic conditions, skeletal structure and age.
  • May help to enable identification of subgroups with increased risk factors for targeted intervention programs. 

The Tennis Specific Screen

The WTA developed the Tennis Specific Screen (TSS), following a review of the current tennis and sports medicine research. The TSS is a quick tennis specific assessment tool which identifies any orthopedic and functional deficits that would reduce high level performance and increase injury risk in the tennis athlete. It provides a specific set of movements and tests, which directly relate to movement patterns and skills used in tennis, which a qualified healthcare professional can each reliably measure. This allows each player's abilities to be accurately recorded in her health profile and to be monitored over time.

When to Use

The TSS can be used:
  • As a pre-season screening.
  • To monitor during the season.
  • To reduce the risk of additional injury associated with deconditioning when an athlete returns to play after a longer-term injury or rehabilitation period. 


The WTA collects and evaluates the information from the TSS scores to determine standard scores for each test. This will improve the accuracy of the tests and enhance ability to predict injury patterns from the tests. Patterns of identified deficits can be identified and individually targeted exercise programs can be developed to prevent injury and in turn contribute to optimal performance.




Scapula stabilization Test

-   Stable base required for optimal shoulder function

-   Correlation of shoulder injuries to scapula dyskinesis (movement pattern problems in the shoulder girdle)

-  Active flexion and abduction repeated 5 times

-  Dyskinesis present (or not) with shoulder movements

Shoulder Strength Test

-   Muscle imbalance between internal and external rotators related to injury

-   Tennis requires strength

-  Measure shoulder internal & external rotation strength

Single leg Squat

-   Assesses for hip muscle function & lumbo-pelvic control

-   Deficit related to lower extremity injury

-  Rate single leg squat for loss of balance & control of lumbo-pelvic/ femoral

Multidirectional hop

-   Tennis requires multidirectional movements Measures for strength, power & control in forward and side to side direction

-  Measure hop for distance   in side to side and forwards directions

Dorsiflexion Lunge Test

-   Restricted ankle mobility identified as risk factor for lower extremity injury

-  Dorsi-flexion range of motion to wall

Thoracic Mobility

-   Trunk mobility is a key element of tennis

-  Seated thoracic rotation

Hip Mobility

-   Poor hip mobility may be associated with soft tissue injury & lower extremity injury

-   Hip mobility required in tennis for deep lunging movements and rotary movements

-  Seated hip internal/external rotation

-  Hip extension range of movement

Shoulder Mobility

-   Association of loss of shoulder internal rotation (GIRD) with injury

-   Shoulder mobility required in tennis, particularly on serve with large degrees of movement and high forces at the shoulder joint

-  Passive supine shoulder internal and external rotation

Hamstring Flexibility

-   Hamstring flexibility required for court movement and poor flexibility may be associated with injury

-  Passive straight leg raise

Core Stability

-   Adequate strength is required in lumbo-pelvic- hip complex in order to maintain stability during athletic performance

-  Number of hand touches in plank position in 15 sec. Monitor trunk/ scapula control

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