Smekal, G., Pokan, R., von Duvillard, S. P., Baron, R., Tschan, H., & Bachl, N. (2000). Comparison of laboratory and "on-court" endurance testing in tennis. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 21, 242-249.

A field test specifically designed for tennis players and a general treadmill test were compared for metabolic and cardiorespiratory responses. Tennis stroke ratings in the field test were also analyzed. Ss were nationally-ranked males (N = 12).

Individual anaerobic thresholds, heart rate, lactate, oxygen uptake, minute ventilation, and ventilatory threshold were significantly different between the two tests. There was a high correlation between stroke ratings and national rankings. Overall, the sport-specific field test yielded more valuable information. The inclusion of the skill factor (stroke rating) was the most significant feature of all.

Implication. Laboratory test results do not reflect what occurs in real-life tennis situations. Sport-specific tests of physiological capacities are warranted. Laboratory tests could be misleading, particularly regarding work characteristics.

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