WTA Championship Update
The WTA Tour Championship in Istanbul, Turkey has drawn to a close after a vigorous few days of professional tennis. All players produced highly entertaining tennis in a bid for the $6 million prize fund including world champions, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
The competitors were divided into two groups representing the colours of the flag of Turkey. The Red group consisted of Serena Williams, Agnieszka RadwaDska, Petra Kvitová, and Angelique Kerber. The White Group was composed of Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Sara Errani, and Jelena Jankovic.
Williams had a great start and this streak of action-packed tennis continued throughout the tournament. She was the only competitor not to lose any games in the Championship. However Serena wasn’t the only player demonstrating great tennis. Former number one champion Victoria Azarenka showed to be solid completion for Serena Williams in a fight to gain a number one title once more.
The WTA Tour Championship drew to a close on October 27th with Serena Williams flying ahead in 1st place for the singles completion. Victoria Azarenka finished second with 4364 points behind Williams, demonstrating the power of Serena Williams as an individual player.
Serena William’s workout training routine is what propels her to the top of the women’s tennis world. Playing tennis frequently like these world champions can cause injury. Two-thirds of tennis injuries are due to overuse and the other one-third is due to traumatic sports injuries or acute events. Overuse injuries most often affect the shoulders, wrists, and elbows.
Types of Tennis Injuries
Sports injuries can be categorised as either joint complaints or muscle complaints, both of which can impede a tennis player. Each type of injury can range in its severity; in turn this can influence the type of treatment offered and the length of recovery time required before being able to get back onto the court.
Some of the most common tennis injuries include tennis elbow and sprained ankles, for example Justine Henin these last 6 months. A sprained ankle can rule a player out for a few days until the inflammation subsides, whereas tennis elbow can take up to two years to recover from.
A sports injury most common in tennis is known as ‘tennis elbow’ and causes pain and inflammation beneath the outside of the elbow joint and can be painful and affect movement of the arm. This can be triggered by an overuse of the muscles in the wrist. Due to the wrist being the most used muscle in the sport it becomes strained when the ball impacts the racquet.
Usually this muscle will strengthen as the sport is continued; along with a regular warm up routine. This will decrease the likely hood of experiencing tennis elbow. Paying attention to technical components such as grip size and proper technique can also help prevent this condition.
Whilst tennis elbow can last up to two years, it is largely self-limiting and should get better in time with rest. This can be very frustrating for a tennis player, which is why many will opt to wear a tennis elbow support to help manage the condition. The alternative to a sports brace may be rest for two years, which is not entirely practical.
The stability of the ankle joint is controlled by ligaments, which are tough bands of tissue. Their purpose is to the support the joint when applying weight and during movement and any damage to these can impair mobility. Whether a sprain or strain this sport injury can affect a tennis player’s game, especially as the variation of running speeds change throughout a game.
The extent to which a ligament is damaged will dictate the period of recovery required. Most sprained ankle complaints can be treated with rest. Moderate to severe cases, however, may require some form of immobilization such as a brace or a cast. Certain injuries that don't heal within the expected time frame may require surgery.
In order to prevent sports injuries concerning the ankle it is essential to wear supportive athletic shoes, specific to your foot type. People whose feet pronate or who have low arches should choose shoes that provide support in both the front of the shoe and under the arch. The heel and heel counter (back of the shoe) should be very stable.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Regis discusses the use of orthotics for the management of sporting injuries, reviewing injury rehabilitation through exercise and the use of bracing and supports. He frequently blogs and writes articles focussing on tennis elbow and methods of rehabilitation.