Tennis Court Safety

Tennis is a fun game! But, if you do not take the time to properly warm up, you may get an injury.

Get help from a professional in selecting the right equipment and always pay attention to the rules of the game.

Plan for Your Environment
  • Avoid playing on surfaces with no "give" such as cement, asphalt, or synthetic courts. To prevent lower back injuries when playing tennis on hard surface courts, wear heel inserts to absorb the shock.
  • Have a first aid kit handy, and know how to use it. Have compresses available for bruises, and antiseptics and non-adhesive dressings for abrasions.
  • Warm-up for five or ten minutes before playing-warm-ups can be as simple as jogging around the court. Stop when you begin to perspire.
  • To prevent blisters on your hands, dry the racket handle by dabbing it with sawdust or powdered chalk.
Dress Appropriately
  • Wear tennis shoes with good support to prevent ankle injuries. For added support wear two pairs of socks or a support sock.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, before, during, and after play, to avoid cramps and stiffness
Focus on Technique
  • When you serve or try to make an overhead shot, do not arch your back unnecessarily. Instead, bend your knees and raise the heels, so you upper body weight is evenly balanced over your heels.
  • Do gradual stretching exercises for the wrist.
  • Start backhand swings from your shoulder. Avoid placing your thumb behind the racket's grip for more support on the backhand.
  • Bend your arm on forehand shots, then your biceps and shoulder will take the force of the swing rather than the elbow.
  • When serving, bend the arm. Serving with a straight arm and firm wrist will transfer all shock from the wrist to the elbow.
  • Do not put excessive top spin on the ball when hitting ground strokes.
  • Quick stops and starts can result in mild ankle sprains.
  • Avoid landing on the ball of your foot, it could result in an Achilles tendon injury.
  • Plantar fasciitis can occur if your foot is overused. Rest is the best remedy; but wearing a tennis shoe with medial arch support or a heel cup can sometimes alleviate the pain.
for additional info on Playing it Safe on the Tennis Court
Last reviewed: October 2007
Copyright 2007 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons