Three levels of elite junior tennis players were tested using a U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) protocol. The USTA National Team (M age 15.4 yrs), Development Camp (DC) participants (M age 13.6 yrs), and 250 juniors attending USTA area training centers (ATC) provided fitness and injury risk data. To determine whether any of these measures may be related to tennis performance, discriminant function analyses were conducted in an attempt to predict group membership. The results yielded an accurate prediction of 95.5, 91.3, and 85.7% for National Team, DC, and ATC players, respectively, based on personal fitness variables, without including either gender or age. This suggests a strong significant relationship between strength, flexibility and conditioning measures, and tennis performance. Therefore, training in speed, strength, agility, and flexibility as measured by the 3 tests may become more important determinants of competitive tennis ability as players reach higher skill levels.
(C) 1996 National Strength and Conditioning Association