Objectives: To provide examples of thermoregulatory responses during competitive singles tennis and comparisons with continuous, steady-state running.
Methods: Typical examples of body core (rectal) temperature, skin temperature and heart rate were selected to show the differing characteristics of tennis and running, and the corresponding thermal environments. Rectal and skin temperatures were logged each minute and heart rate logged every 15 seconds throughout the competitive “best of three sets” singles tennis matches and 60-minute continuous, steady-state running trials. Tennis matches were completed outdoors in widely varying thermal environments, and the running trials were completed in the laboratory under stable conditions.
Results: Rectal temperature in tennis was raised only slightly above resting levels, reaching a plateau relative to the exercise intensity. Rectal temperature during tennis was found to take longer to reach a plateau than continuous, steady-state exercise. Skin temperature during tennis varied widely depending on environmental air temperature, and was lower than that of runners at the same air temperature. Heart rate was very similar between opponents for both average and response characteristics during tennis. A wider range and higher peak values were found for tennis players compared with runners.
Conclusions: This report provides a descriptive account of thermoregulatory response characteristics during singles tennis. Differences between outdoor tennis and continuous, steady-state running in the laboratory for each of these responses were found.
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Competing interests: None declared.