Objective Injuries can be a debilitating aspect of professional tennis. Injury rates and trends at the US Open Tennis Championships over multiple years are unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine injury trends in professional tennis players competing in a major professional tennis tournament between 1994 and 2009.
Methods From 1994 to 2009, injury data from the US Open Tennis Championships were recorded. Injuries were classified by location and type using terminology derived from a consensus statement developed specifically for tennis. Injury rates were determined based on the exposure of an athlete to a match event, and were calculated as the ratio of injuries per 1000 match exposures (MEs).
Results There was a statistically significant fluctuation in injuries across the timeframe analysed (p<0.05). There were 76.2±19.6 total injuries and 43.8±11.8 acute injuries per year seeking medical assistance. Muscle or tendon injuries were the most common type of acute injury. The rate of lower limb injuries was significantly higher than upper limb and trunk injuries (p<0.01). The ankle, followed by the wrist, knee, foot/toe and shoulder/clavicle were the most common injury sites.
Conclusions Acute injuries occurred more frequently than gradual-onset injuries, and most common injury types were similar to previously examined populations. However, there were differences in injury location trends compared to previous research, suggesting that further research in this elite-level population is warranted.
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