Tennis champion Rafael Nadal has recently celebrated winning the US Open, his 16th Grand Slam title and first hard-court title since 2014.
With his familiar grit and determination, he has proven to the tennis world that he is still a formidable force and now holds the coveted number 1 ranking again.
Ace Sports Clinic’s Luke Fuller is now back in the clinic after working at a number of events throughout the US Open series.
In this week’s BLOG, we share with you what a day on the ATP World Tour working with the top male players consists of.
Life on the ATP World Tour
63 Tournaments in 31 Countries across the world
Grand Slams – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open
Daily Schedule – 1.5 Hours before play until the end of all matches are when the ATP Medical team is onsite for player treatment
Preparation of players
Most tennis players have their own typical pre-match routine that helps them ‘get in the zone’ and ready to compete. This may include listening to music, meditation and visualization and a dynamic warm up to prepare the body to perform.
Many players require some taping, usually of the ankles, back, knee or shoulders either for prevention or to protect an existing injury.
Blister protection is important, especially around the feet where they move, twist and turn in multiple directions generating high frictional forces; and hands where they sweat and move their racquets around many times during a match.
Tennis is a sport that involves multi-directional movements across the joints of the body. Injuries can vary depending on court surface, travel fatigue and environmental changes like temperature. A change in equipment (shoes, or racquet string tension etc) may also contribute to a particular injury.
Generally the players receive treatment either after their match or practice sessions. Treatments can involve massage and muscle energy techniques, stretching and manipulation of specific joints.
Acute injury assessment and management (on-court)
When a player requests to see an ATP Physiotherapist on-court, usually they have an acute new injury, an exacerbation of an existing injury or feel unwell.
Following an assessment a decision on whether a player can receive a medical time out is made by the ATP Physiotherapist. Treatment follows and the medical time out lasts for 3 minutes from the moment the treatment begins.
All players have a recovery routine that helps limit the effect of muscle soreness and get them ready for their next match. This can involve stretching and massage therapy, foot care to shave down dry skin and dress blisters, ice baths and compression garments, re-hydration and nutrition. Sleep is still one of the most powerful ways to assist in recovery so players are disciplined with their sleep habits and try to stick to a routine.
Tips for High Performance
- Preparation is paramount
- Consistency in all conditions
- Professionalism – seeking assessment and treatment, recovery and good habits
- Being in the zone – mentally switched on when it counts
- Focus and attention to detail