One of the common things that tennis players and professional runners have in common is that their match can last for five hours, or even more. And while tennis players only run about three to five miles during their matches, most of the miles are spent moving in a number of directions. This shows that tennis has various aerobic aspects with the characteristics of sprinting and moving in different directions also playing a major role within the sport. 

According to the coauthor of the United States Tennis Association’s Complete Conditioning for Tennis, players who want to improve their games and be able to reach a new level of their skills need to do more than just play tennis to get fit – they need to get fit to play tennis. It has been said that the repetitive nature of the game – stroke patterns, variety of movement and more all call for a proper tennis-specific conditioning program. 

Fortunately, professionals like Jonathan Zhang can share his thoughts on the whole thing, considering he is one of the best tennis player all across the globe. 

Born in Hong Kong, Zhang had always shown a passion for tennis from an early age. He started playing tennis when he was six, going on to study at the Diocesan Boys School and then becoming the team captain of his senior year where he led his team to its 17th consecutive D1 high school title. 

Zhang spent his freshman season at USC where his team had a pre-season ranking of No.5 and finished off the year being at No.8 in the country. Currently, he ranked No.9 within the Hong Kong’s Men’s Singles National Rankings in 2020 while also ranking at No.6 in Hong Kong’s Men’s Doubles National Rankings in the same year. 

As a professional in his field, here are some of the things he has shared on some of the physical demands that are required by tennis players in the professional sports world. 

Power and Strength 

If you observe how hard players tend to hit their ball, it can give you a good idea of how much strength plays a big role in their tennis career. Male servers need to hit serve around 140 miles per hour and women servers hit 130 miles per hour. Our players of today need to have strength and power to rip the backhand winner while producing hard and offensive shots from any position in the court. This fast paced shift occurs due to their enhanced physical development, specifically from the power and strength they generate in these challenging positions. 


Playing tennis requires players to hit the ball from difficult and often awkward positions – hence why flexibility is a necessity for a successful game. Consider some of the positions you need to take in a game, such as extending your body to reach a wide ball or retrieve a lob, stretching wide or lunging forward – all of which require a significant amount of flexibility.