TENNIS RACKET BIOMECHANICS - AN EMPIRICAL APPROACH

  • E. Hennig
Keywords: tennis elbow, shock, vibration, grip force, ball impact location

Abstract

Stiffness of a racket frame, geometry of the racket head, string arrangement and string tension all contribute to the accuracy of play as well as tennis ball velocity. Mechanical racket characteristics can well be described by the laws of physics. However, empirical studies are necessary in evaluating the effect of tennis racket construction features on stress to the body as well as playing performance. Using accelerometers, grip force transducers, and a measuring matrix on the tennis racket strings allow an in depth analysis of the tennis stroke. Through several experiments it could be shown that shock and vibration transfer to the arm is influenced by ball impact location on the racket head, racket stiffness, and grip force. Playing performance of a racket, as one might predict from its mechanical characteristics, is often not reflected by its functioning in a game situation.