The Physical Demands of Professional Tennis

Andrea Jaeger
3 min readDec 29, 2021

Tennis players must have a remarkable mix of explosive strength, leg power, and agility. Intensive periods of high-intensity exercise, such as serving and returning the ball, characterise the sport. Throughout the game, players must maintain a continuous level of mental attention. The sport’s physical demands are equally taxing on the body. Athletes’ strength and endurance generally deteriorate after two hours of play. During play, their leg force and speed also decrease.

On hard courts, a normal tennis rally lasts six seconds and 10 seconds on clay courts. On hard courts, the average point lasts 6.3 seconds. Tennis has a mostly anaerobic energy system, with a 10% aerobic component. To be effective on the court, tennis players must train for both anaerobic and aerobic training. It is critical for the player to be physically fit enough to withstand the sport’s demands.

Tennis, while not primarily an aerobic activity, does need a high level of anaerobic conditioning. This helps the player recuperate between points and avoids weariness. Professionals must also have optimal neuromuscular efficiency and strength, which may be accomplished through core training and plyometric activity. Members of the iTPA Inner Circle can view an expanded version of this article for additional information on these problems.

Andrea Jaeger added that the game necessitates a great deal of adaptability. Tennis players must respond fast and be incredibly nimble since the tennis ball is positioned in many different areas of the court. Almost 80% of the ball’s strokes are contained inside a two-meter radius. In only ten percent of their strokes, the typical pro tennis player moves a distance of 2.5 metres. A hammering on clay surfaces may take up to half an hour, and that’s almost five metres in one second.

For Andrea Jaeger players must participate in community service and sustainability activities in addition to tennis training. They must stand for significant lengths of time during the day. They must also engage in a variety of physical activities. Bending, reaching, grabbing, and lifting are all part of these movements. They also have to exercise on weekends and holidays. They must be physically fit as well. They must be able to work out for lengthy periods of time and recover fast from tiredness.

Players should maintain an aerobic base in addition to the physical demands. Stabilizing the aerobic basis requires cardiorespiratory exercise. Resistance exercise without it can be tough and have severe consequences. To play tennis at its greatest levels, players must have a high V o 2 max in addition to cardiovascular endurance. Apart from that, they must have powerful legs in order to perform at their best. It will be impossible for them to perform the physical demands of pro tennis if they are not physically fit.

Tennis requires a great deal of flexibility, balance, and coordination on a physiological level. The physical demands of pro tennis are quite high since the sport need a high level of quickness and response speed. Athletes should train for these requirements and eat properly to avoid injury. Tennis injuries are produced by continuous, repetitive leg and ankle motions. Athletes should also focus on maintaining proper posture.

Pro tennis, like any other sport, is physically demanding. Pro tennis players burn between 384 and 660 calories per hour on average. Pro tennis necessitates a high level of aerobic effort as well as extensive periods of relaxation. Athletes should also construct a hydration routine that includes water and sports drinks. Athletes must adjust to the court’s temperature. It should come as no surprise that weariness is the leading cause of sports injuries.

It’s critical to prepare for these shifts. Sprints of fewer than 20 metres should be practised by athletes. A professional tennis player should have a maximum V or 2 of 50 ml/kg/min. They should, however, prepare for the various movement patterns that will occur during the match. They will have a stable centre as a result of this. As a result, training plans should be customised to each specific playing style. Athletes can use these ideas to prepare for specific motions.



Andrea Jaeger

Andrea still competes in Legends Tennis Events, donating all her prize money and asking fellow pro players, tennis fans and audiences worldwide to help match.