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Hard knocks: Concussion injuries in tennis

Photographer: Paul Zimmer


Concussion in sport is a rapidly growing issue world-wide, not only in contact sports where concussion is now a major issue, but also in non-contact sports such as tennis. In contact sports, investigation of concussion has focussed on the long-term consequences of repeated head injuries during a professional athlete’s career (Pearce et al., 2014). Concern has also been raised about players continuing or returning to play following impact to the head where the likelihood of further injury is significantly increased (Nordström et al., 2014).

Concussion and tennis are not normally words that would be used within the same sentence. Concussion rates in tennis are statistically negligible (Pluim et al., 2006). Recently however, several highly ranked players have been public with their struggles recovering from this injury, that we thought it was prudent to discuss concussion in tennis, particularly with regards to understanding what a concussion is, how to recognise the signs of concussion on the tennis court, when is a player ready to return to training and playing, and finally understand the issue of post-concussion syndrome.

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