Background: This study examined the experiences of professional female tennis players returning to competition from injury.
Methods: In a study commissioned by Tennis Australia, 55 Australian professional female tennis players responded anonymously to a questionnaire developed for the purposes of this study. The questionnaire consisted of open and closed questions that assessed a player’s attribution style, the occurrence and effect of minor and major injuries, frequency and type of treatment sought, attitudinal chances following injury and preventative injury factors.
Results: The quantitative and qualitative analyses of participants’ responses revealed players generally displayed an internal attribution style with the majority of minor injuries involving lower limb injuries (attributed to playing on hard surfaces). Players reported these injuries were addressed in a variety of ways including self-treatment. The majority of severe injuries were upper limb/shoulder and these were generally treated at tournament sites with some requiring surgery.
Conclusions: Players adopted a range of measures to assist recovery from severe injury including the services of health professionals. In further findings, a player’s attribution style was not a predictive variable, except in terms of the number of tournaments missed for minor injuries. Implications of the study’s results and future research directions for cross-cultural studies are highlighted.
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Competing interests: None declared.
- Tennis Australia
- Women’s Tennis Association