Making a difference: the impact of sports science and medicine in women’s professional tennis

Terry, Peter C. (2003) Making a difference: the impact of sports science and medicine in women’s professional tennis. In: 2003 Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport and 3rd National Sports Injury Prevention Conference: Tackling the Barriers to Performance and Participation, 25-28 Oct 2003, Canberra, Australia.


In 1994, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) established an Age Eligibility Commission (AEC), comprising seven experts in medical, psychological and scientific aspects of tennis, to develop strategies to enhance the well-being and career longevity of female tennis professionals. This presentation reports on the process and outcomes of the AEC over the past decade. Meeting at the Wimbledon Championships, the AEC received evidence from 91 witnesses and subsequently produced a report including 14 major recommendations. Witnesses included current and former tour players, coaches, parents, tournament directors, agents, trainers, sponsors, media representatives, manufacturers, administrators, and medical experts. The major stressors identified by tour players were, in descending order, the media, parents and family, travel, competition, loneliness, agents, injuries, and night matches. The AEC recommendations included strict control over the number and level of professional tournaments for players aged 14-17 years; coach and agent registration requirements; a mentoring program for young players; player orientation, career development, media training, and athlete assistance programs; compulsory annual medical screening; proof of education requirements; expanded scientific and medical support; and a parent orientation program. All recommendations were accepted by the WTA and 10 have since been implemented. The Age Eligibility Rule was challenged in an Australian court by a Croatian player under restraint of trade legislation and was upheld by the court. A commission to examine the junior circuit of the International Tennis Federation is planned.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2003 Sports Medicine Australia
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 23 May 2010 10:42
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: tennis; female tennis professional; sports psychology
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110604 Sports Medicine
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being)

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