In tennis, sport-specific technical skills are critical. When designing a resistance training program for a technical sport you need to know performance factors. Fitness tests can increase the capabilities for performance at different levels. While laboratory tests can be, and are, used to evaluate basic performance characteristics of athletes in most individual sports, in a more specific approach, field-based methods are better suited to the demands of complex intermittent sports like tennis.
There are two other field tests that involve simulated tennis strokes – the Girard test (2006) and the hit-and-run test but I would opt for one of the simple tests (Shuttle run or Yo-Yo IR test). These have the additional advantage that if you measure heart rate, you can monitor progress without having to perform a maximal exercise test.
This study measured peak VO 2 and peak HR of young tennis players during two aerobic field tests, a specific tennis field test, the NAVTEN 1 (27) and a semi-specific test, the 20-m Shuttle Run Test (20-m SRT) (19) in order to see if the NAVTEN can elicits maximal values like the known 20-m SRT . Aerobic fitness is important in tennis.
Field-based tests. As an interesting alternative, laboratory-based incremental treadmill test protocols can be transferred to field conditions,29allowing groups of players (eg, all players of a national or regional squad) to run simultaneously (eg, on a 400 m track divided into sections) and follow an acoustic signal.
In tennis, the use of these semispecific field tests (MSST, Yo-Yo IR and 30–15IFT) seems to be a good recommendation although, to the best of our knowledge, there is almost no scientific information regarding their use in tennis-specific settings, and just some normative values for the MSST are offered from national tennis federations.19, 37 Moreover, it has to be pointed out that, in all presented tests, the respective running distances, movement characteristics and muscle groups involved ...
The present study examined the impact of physical characteristics of adolescent competitive tennis players (13-18 years) on field tests of tennis performance. Results (n = 33) showed that boys were taller (p = 0.001), possessed greater wingspan (p = 0.030), had greater maximum oxygen consumption (p = 0.001), and performed better on isokinetic strength measurements.
Comparison of two aerobic field tests in young tennis players. J Strength Cond Res 26 (11): 3036–3042, 2012—This study compares the maximal responses of a new aerobic tennis field test, the NAVTEN to a known aerobic field test, often used with young tennis players, that is, the continuous multistage 20-m shuttle run test (20-m SRT).
The 505 agility test measures the ability to change direction 180 degrees, such as when the player runs along the baseline in rallies. A 90 degree turn test would also be suitable for tennis. The ability to turn to both the left and right direction may be different and should also be assessed.