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Tennis is one of the major global sports, with over 75 million participants worldwide. Many more follow the Grand Slams, Davis Cup and Fed Cup events, overseen by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the professional tours, governed and managed by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Sony Ericsson WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Tour.
The ITF is the world governing body of tennis and is the guardian of the Rules of Tennis. However, both the ATP and WTA have flexibility in the way in which they run their respective tours (eg, they have different rules for playing in the heat and for the medical cover at events).
All three organisations are involved in the development of the game and all have committees and departments that have responsibility for sports science and sports medicine. Even though these departments are run independently, representatives of all groups sit on the ITF Sport Science & Medicine Committee. In the area of anti-doping, a unified, WADA-compliant policy has been agreed that is managed by the ITF. In this article the work of the ITF, ATP and WTA sport science and medicine departments is presented in more detail.
ITF SPORT SCIENCE AND MEDICINE
Founded in 1913, the ITF is responsible for the Olympic Games (tennis re-joined in 1988), the Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open), the Davis Cup (men only) and Fed Cup (women only) team events, and a wide range of junior, veteran, wheelchair and lower level professional events.
Among the aims of the ITF …
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