On the use of a Test to Exhaustion Specific to Tennis (TEST) with ball hitting by elite players

Cyril Brechbuhl, Olivier Girard, Grégoire P. Millet, Laurent Schmitt

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Purpose: We aimed to a) introduce a new Test to Exhaustion Specific to Tennis (TEST) and compare performance (test duration) and physiological responses to those obtained during the 20-m multistage shuttle test (MSST), and b) determine to which extent those variables correlate with performance level (tennis competitive ranking) for both test procedures. Methods: Twenty-seven junior players (8 males, 19 females) members of the national teams of the French Tennis Federation completed MSST and TEST, including elements of the game (ball hitting, intermittent activity, lateral displacement), in a randomized order. Cardiorespiratory responses were compared at submaximal (respiratory compensation point) and maximal loads between the two tests. Results: At the respiratory compensation point oxygen uptake (50.1 ± 4.7 vs. 47.5 ± 4.3 mL.min-1.kg-1, p = 0.02), but not minute ventilation and heart rate, was higher for TEST compared to MSST. However, load increment and physiological responses at exhaustion did not differ between the two tests. Players' ranking correlated negatively with oxygen uptake measured at submaximal and maximal loads for both TEST (r = -0.41; p = 0.01 and -0.55; p = 0.004) and MSST (r = -0.38; P = 0.05 and -0.51; p = 0.1). Conclusion: Using TEST provides a tennis-specific assessment of aerobic fitness and may be used to prescribe aerobic exercise in a context more appropriate to the game than MSST. Results also indicate that VO2 values both at submaximal and maximal load reached during TEST and MSST are moderate predictors of players competitive ranking.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0152389
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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