PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

SPORT SCIENCE COMMITTEE

Kathleen Stroia, Committee Chair

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For over 25 years, Kathleen Stroia has been an industry leader, transforming the standards for tennis medicine. A native of Merrillville, Indiana, Stroia earned a B.A. in Sport Sciences with an emphasis in Athletic Training from Purdue University, a M.S. degree in Athletic Training from West Virginia University and a B.S. degree in Physical Therapy from Chicago Medical School.  Starting with the WTA in 1990, Stroia has been responsible for coordinating all health and medical services for the WTA to present, and the International Tennis Federation Women’s Circuit from 1995 through 2003.  During her tenure Stroia has founded and expanded the Sport Sciences & Medicine department’s individual programs for the WTA, setting standards for tournament physicians, identifying and participating in research projects for tennis, improving injury prevention across the sport, promoting women’s health issues, and guiding industry leaders on the development of new high performance/sports medicine products.  She has also been responsible for the development and implementation of the Age Eligibility Rule and WTA Player Development programs, since its inception in 1994-2013.  These programs have led to an improved career longevity and a health enhanced environment in women’s tennis.

In addition to her commitments with the WTA, Stroia currently serves as the Chairperson of the USTA Sport Science Committee (SSC) since 2015.  Prior to serving as chair, Stroia has been  a member of the USTA SSC for 22 years.  Stroia has also published numerous health articles and gives professional presentations covering sports medicine topics from fitness, conditioning and rehabilitation (to both the professional and lay community), and what’s hot in the market, to the management of sports injuries. Stroia was named in Tennis Industry Magazine as one of the “40 under 40” exceptional talents that will bring tennis into the new century and is a 2007 recipient of the prestigious “Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award” presented by the NATA to those certified athletic trainers who make exceptional and unique contributions to the field, particularly at the National level. In 2008 Stroia was awarded the International Tennis Hall of Fame Tennis Education Merit Award.

Amber Donaldson, Committee Vice Chair

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Dr. Amber Donaldson serves as the Senior Director of Sports Medicine Clinics for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.   She also serves as a clinician to Olympic and Paralympic athletes on a daily basis and serves as the sports medicine liaison to USA Paralympics.  Amber served as the Medical Director for the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang 2018 and Sochi 2014 and will be at the 2019 ParaPan Am Games in Lima, Peru.  She was also a clinician at the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011, Olympic Games London 2012, Pan American Games Toronto 2015 and the Olympic Games Rio 2016. She also currently serves as the Vice Chair for the USTA Sport Sciences Committee.  Dr. Donaldson is also an adjunct lecturer in the School of Allied Health at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia.  She has conducted numerous interviews, podcasts and lectures as well as publishing in peer-reviewed journals.  Amber received her bachelor’s in sports medicine from Pepperdine University, her doctorate of physical therapy from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and her master’s in manipulative physiotherapy from the  University of Melbourne in Australia. She also has completed her sports specialist certification, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, is a certified Pilates instructor, certified vestibular therapist and provides other specialized services such as dry needling, ultrasound biofeedback and visceral manipulation.  Dr. Donaldson is also married to an Australian, Heath and mother of twin 5 year olds Amelia & Hadley and 3 year old Beckett.

Mark Kovacs, PhD

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Dr. Mark Kovacs is a leading sport scientist with a specific emphasis in tennis. He formerly worked at the USTA in the Coaching Education, Strength & Conditionin and Sport Science departments and was also the Director of the Gatorade Sport Science Institute and an executive in Research and Development at Pepsico. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA) which is the leading sport science and tennis fitness organization in the world with members in over 40 countries (www.itpa-tennis.org ). He was the chair of the ITF Health Benefits of Tennis Taskforce and is currently the Chair of the PTR Sport Science Committee. Dr. Kovacs is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and he was an All-American and NCAA doubles champion in tennis at Auburn University and has been a leading consultant to the ATP and WTA Tours. He is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS) and Master Tennis Performance Specialist (MTPS) through the iTPA, and in 2012 he was the youngest ever recipient of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award. Over the past few years he established the Kovacs Institute in Atlanta, Georgia where he offers exclusive and bespoke services for elite individuals and companies looking to optimize sport, business and lifestyle success through the latest performance sciences (www.kovacsinstitute.com ).

Dan Gould, PhD

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Dan Gould is the Director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports and Gwen Norrell Endowed Professor in Youth Sport and Student-Athlete Well-Being in the Department of Kinesiology at the Michigan State University. As Director he focuses his efforts on achieving the Institute’s mission which is to provide leadership, scholarship and outreach that transforms the face of youth sports in ways that maximize the beneficial physical, psychological and social effects of participation for children and youth while minimizing detrimental effects. Actively involved in research, Dan has studied stress and burnout in young athletes, the psychology of coaching, athletic talent development, how coaches teach life skills to young athletes and the development of youth leadership through the sport captaincy experience. Much of his research has been with tennis. Dan has over 200 scholarly publications and has been invited to speak on sport psychology topics in over 35 countries. He has been a leader in the development of coaching education programs for the past three decades. Dan has also made over 1000 coaching clinic presentations. Two research-based children's sports texts have been co-edited by Dan and he served as one of the founding coeditors of The Sport Psychologist.  Finally, he has co-authored, Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology (with Bob Weinberg), the most widely used textbook in sport and exercise psychology, Understanding Psychological Preparation for Sport: Theory and Practice of Elite Performers (with Lew Hardy and Graham Jones) and Sport Psychology for Young Athletes (with Camilla Knight and Chris Harwood).

Page Love, CSSD

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Page Love, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, is a leading nutrition expert and owner of Nutrifit, Sport, Therapy, Inc.

As a sports nutrition expert, she has worked with professionals, collegiate teams, and individual athletes. Recent clients include the Atlanta Ballet, The Atlanta Braves, the U.S. Tennis Association, and U.S. Figure Skating Association.  Additionally providing individual and group counseling for disordered eating, she works with programs such as the National Eating Disorders Association, Eating Disorders Information Network, and The Renfrew Center, Eating Recovery Center, and Veritas Collaborative.

Page is an outstanding public speaker as well as assists reputable nutrition-oriented companies as a media spokesperson.  Nutrifit also provides corporate wellness programs, continuing education for health professionals, and state-of-the-art metabolic assessments.

Her credentials include being a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Page is consulted by media locally and nationally and has been featured as an expert by programs/publications such as CNN’s On the Menu and Headline News, Good Day Atlanta, Women’s Sports Illustrated, Tennis Magazine, People Magazine, USA Today, WSB Radio, Z93 Radio, and Fox News

William Micheo, MD

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Dr. William Micheo is Professor and Chairman and Sports Medicine Fellowship Director in the Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine. Dr. Micheo is a founding partner of “Grupo Fisiátrico”, a PM&R group practice in Puerto Rico, and Co-Director of the Sports Injuries Unit of the Center for Sports Health and Exercise Sciences of the Olympic Training Center. He was president of the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Puerto Rico Sports Medicine Federation and the Physiatric Association for Spine Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation (PASSOR). He was a Board Member of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation from 2006 until 2018, holding the position of Vice Chair form 2015-2018. From 1992-2010 he was the Residency Training Director of the PM&R Program affiliated to the University of Puerto Rico. He was member of the Residency Review Committee for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education from 2010-2015. He also represented PM&R in the Sports Medicine Subspecialty Board Examination Committee from 2007-2015 and again from 2018-2020. His areas of academic and research interest include epidemiology of sports injuries, rehabilitation and prevention of sports injuries in specific populations (young athletes, master athletes) and management, rehabilitation and return to play following anterior cruciate ligament injury. He has presented extensively in local, national and international scientific meeting and published review and original research articles in these topics. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and holds subspecialty certificates in Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine.

Todd Ellenbecker, DPT

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Todd Ellenbecker is a physical therapist who joined Rehab Plus Sports Therapy Scottsdale in August of 2018 after serving as Clinic Director and Director of Clinical Research for Physiotherapy Associates Scottsdale Sports Clinic for 23 years.  He is also  the Vice President of Medical Services for the ATP World Tour.

He received his degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 1985 and a master's degree in Exercise Physiology from Arizona State University in 1989.  He completed his Doctor of Physical Therapy from MGH –Institute of Health Professions in 2006.  In addition, he is certified as a Sports Clinical Specialist, and Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist by the APTA.  He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the NSCA and was awarded their Sports Medicine Professional of the Year in 2003.  He is a certified USPTA tennis teaching master professional, and was Chairman of the USTA National Sport Science Committee for 12 years, serving on the committee for more than 30 years.  In 2007 he received the Ron Peyton award by the Sports Physical Therapy Section and in 2008 was the recipient of Samuel Hardy Educational Merit award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  He received the Turner A. Blackburn Hall of Fame/Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sports Physical Therapy Association in 2011.  Todd continues as a member of the Thera-Band Research Advisory Committee (TRAC) since its inception in 1998.

Ellenbecker served as the Chairman of the APTA's Shoulder Special Interest Group from 1996 to 2002, and is a manuscript reviewer for the American Journal of Sports Medicine, and serves on 3 editorial boards: International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, Sports Health, and Physical Therapy in Sport. He has conducted, published, and presented research primarily on upper extremity athletes, as well as shoulder and elbow rehabilitation.  His main focus of research has been on musculoskeletal adaptations in elite level tennis players and overhead athletes.  He is the author/editor of 15 books, over 75 book chapters and has published over 55 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals. Ellenbecker lives in Scottsdale Arizona with his wife Gail and is a lifelong tennis player.

Paul Robbins

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As owner of Cardio2Tech, a metabolic consulting company, Paul has worked with the NBA for the past nine seasons overseeing the in-game performance data. Seventeen of those NBA teams also use his consulting services. The services include player tracking, analyzing power output and workloads as well as speed and acceleration monitoring. Partnering with Kinexon, a RFID tracking company out of Germany, the service has now expanded into tracking practice data and now includes NFL teams. Working for the NHL the past five years as the Combine Exercise Physiologist, Paul will look to bring this service to them as they introduce in-game player tracking during the 2019-2020 season.

Paul’s role with the USTA is to bring this technology into tennis and he is currently working with the National Training Center to analyze Hawkeye match data.

Paul began working with professional athletes in 1999 as the metabolic specialist for Athletes Performance (now EXOS). For 12 years he worked directly with the athletes from NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, MLB, US and German national soccer teams, pro tennis and golf designing conditioning and testing protocols.

Paul lives in Scottsdale, AZ with his wife Caroline and youngest daughter Emily. His oldest daughter Kiley, who played tennis through college, is now living in NYC.  

John Lovejoy, MD

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John F. Lovejoy, MD, is the chair of orthopedic surgery at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando. A board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lovejoy is also an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Central Florida. He joined Nemours in 2014, and was previously a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. Dr. Lovejoy holds a bachelor of arts from Duke University and earned his doctor of medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He then completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and a fellowship in pediatric orthopedic surgery at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, Texas. He has conducted research in several key areas of pediatric orthopedics, including spinal deformity, sports medicine, and trauma. Dr. Lovejoy is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in orthopaedic surgery.

Rujuta Wilson, MD

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Dr. Rujuta B. Wilson is a behavioral child neurologist specializing in autism spectrum disorders and related neurodevelopmental disorders. She is an Assistant Professor in Pediatric Neurology and Psychiatry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART). Dr. Wilson leads the motor phenotyping core at UCLA CART. Her NIH funded research is focused on developing quantitative methods of motor phenotyping to improve characterization of motor development, better understand how specific motor impairments can impact cognition and language, and develop more targeted interventions for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Wilson’s work also extends to measuring the physical and behavioral benefits of organized physical activity, including tennis, for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Wilson is an invited member of the American Academy of Neurology Education Committee and the Child Neurology Expert Work-group. Dr. Wilson is also the University of California-Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Training Director.

Erin Andrade, MD

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Dr. Erin Andrade, MD, is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor who specializes in neuro-rehabilitation. She manages the medical care of individuals with a variety of conditions, including spinal cord injury, stroke, limb loss, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular conditions. She has served on the USTA National Wheelchair Tennis Committee as well as the National Sports Science Committee. She has experience with adaptive sports and injury prevention, helping develop wheelchair tennis programs as well as coach wheelchair tennis. She has volunteered at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games and with the Outdoors for All adaptive recreation program.

She received the Presidential Rector Scholarship to attend DePauw University and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She served as the tennis team captain, is a two time All-American in tennis, and was named an ESPN Third Team at Large Academic All-American. She received the Eli Lilly Foundation Scholarship to attend Indiana University School of Medicine and completed her residency at the University of Washington in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is the Medical Director of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility at Confluence Health in Wenatchee, WA, and Director of the Amputee Program. She continues to enjoy playing tennis; but also enjoys trail running, mountain biking, and ski mountaineering.

Melissa Hunfalvay, PhD

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Dr. Melissa Hunfalvay is a former professional tennis athlete, internationally recognized coach, scientist, co-founder of RightEye, and visionary. Originally from Australia, Melissa played on the professional tennis circuit in the United States, Australia, and Europe.

As a professional coach she worked with a dozen male and female athletes ranked in the top 20 on the world junior circuit including Wimbledon, US Open junior champions. She has also coached wheelchair tennis US Open champions and Paralympic champions. In 1998, she was the youngest female coach in NCAA1 history. In 2006, she was part of a team ranked number one in the world for coaching staff. She is now a member of the United States Tennis Associations’ Sport Science Committee.

As a scientist, Dr. Hunfalvay completed her Doctorate in Kinesiology (Sport Science and Psychology) from the University of Virginia and master’s in clinical psychology from Campbell University. In her studies, she examined human performance, specifically where professional athletes look. Using innovative eye tracking technology, she was able to “see what the athlete sees” to pick up cues in their environment allowing them to anticipate, predict and make decisions.  

Using the same eye-tracking technology and scientific methodology she consulted for teams and individual athletes in the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, PGA, ATP, WTA as well as Military Special Forces, Special Operations Command, and other professionals including police officers, brain surgeons and astronauts. 

Dr. Hunfalvay is a vision specialist who draws from her experiences as an athlete and coach to assist others in putting theory into practice via easy-to-use technological products. Her expertise solves scientific questions using eye tracking technology to better understand the human condition.

She has published many works from peer reviewed scientific articles to practical coaching and clinical applications to technology articles and book chapters. She has presented at over 100 conferences throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. Dr Hunfalvay is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and is listed on the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. She is a Professor at The Carrick Institute for Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Center for Human Performance. 

As RightEye's Chief Science Officer, Melissa creates, develops, and tests all RightEye products.  She also leads RightEye's research branch. She is driven by her passion to build eye-tracking solutions to positively impact everyday lives. 

Anne Smith, PhD

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Anne Smith, Ph.D., won her place in the history books of all-time winners with ten Grand Slam championships in doubles and mixed doubles from 1980 to 1984. She is one of only 20 women in the history of the Open Era of tennis who have won ten or more Grand Slam titles. She has won three US Open titles, two Wimbledon titles, four French Open titles, and one Australian Open title. She was ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles in 1980 and 1981, and reached a career-high No. 11 in singles in 1982. After her active tennis career, Anne returned to Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and earned her Bachelor’s degree. She then enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin where she completed her doctorate in Educational Psychology with a specialization in School Psychology. In 2006, she was the mental training consultant for Harvard University’s women’s tennis team when they broke into the Top 10 for the first time and achieved their highest national ranking. Nominated by the United States Tennis Association, Anne is the recipient of the 2009 United States Olympic Committee’s “Doc” Counsilman Science Award for her contributions in the areas of sports psychology and mental training. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Educational Merit Award presented by Todd Martin and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She is the author of Grand Slam Coach Your Mind to Win in Sports, Business, and Life and Mach 4® Mental Training System: A Handbook for Athletes, Coaches and Parents. Anne is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Dallas, Texas.

Lorena Martin, PhD

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Dr. Martin is a sports performance consultant helping professional athletes optimize their performance using analytics. She is the first-woman in professional baseball to be Director of High Performance, overseeing the medical team, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, sport scientists, and nutritionist. Prior to working in professional baseball, she was the Director of Sports Performance Analytics for the Los Angeles Lakers where she analyzed data and developed algorithms to help select players in the draft and monitor on court load to help reduce the risk of injury.

Dr. Martin completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the field of analytics; GIS spatial analysis, biostatistics, and epidemiology from the University of California San Diego. She earned her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Miami where she had also obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her master’s degree was attained in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She has been awarded consecutive research funding by the National Institutes of Health including the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities along with having a strong record of publications in peer-reviewed journals. Lorena has also been a contributing author in the following books, Sports Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation 2nd edition, and Improving Exercise Adherence. She then sole-authored the book, Sports Performance Measurement and Analytics.

Lorena is a former collegiate tennis player and nationally ranked bodybuilder. She is certified by USPTA, PTR, and ACE. She has been invited to speak at international conferences in the area of sports performance and analytics at prestigious institutions such as MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and NASA. Lorena’s expertise is integrating physiology, psychology, sports science, and statistical analysis to help professional athletes maximize performance. www.healthandsportsanalytics.com

Brett Kindle, MD

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Dr. Brett Kindle obtained his medical degree from East Tennessee State University – Quillen College of Medicine. He then completed a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at Mayo Clinic followed by a fellowship in Sport Medicine at Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine as well as Registered in Musculoskeletal Sonography.

Dr. Kindle went on to accept a position with Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine as a specialist in Non-Surgical Sports Medicine where his clinical interests include diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound; advanced ultrasound guided procedures (TENEX, USCTR, etc.); regenerative medicine; sports concussions and sports-related injuries.

In addition to Dr. Kindle’s medical practice, he is the Medical Director of EXOS-Florida; Team Physician for Minnesota Twins Class AA Minor League Baseball Team (Pensacola Blue Wahoos) and many local high school sports teams; Consultant Physician for United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Sonex Health; Attending Physician for Andrews Institute Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. He also serves on several sports governing body committees, including the NFLPA Pain Management Committee, NFLPA Mackey-White Health and Safety Committee, and USTA Sports Science Committee. He resides in Pensacola, Florida with his wife and son enjoying all outdoor activities.

Neeru Jayanthi, MD

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Dr. Jayanthi leads Emory's Tennis Medicine program and is considered one of the country’s leading experts on youth sports health, injuries, and sports training patterns, as well as an international leader in tennis medicine. He is currently the President of the International Society for Tennis Medicine and Science (STMS) and a certified USPTA teaching professional. He has also been a volunteer ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) physician for 15 years, serves as a medical advisor for the WTA (Woman’s Tennis Association) Player Development Panel, and is on the commission for the International Tennis Performance Association (ITPA). He has been selected to the board of directors for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) twice, and serves as a Consultant for the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, Aspen Institute Sport and Society Program, and Mom’s Team. Dr. Jayanthi has won multiple AMSSM Foundation Research Grants for his collaborative research on early sports specialized training and overuse injury in young athletes. He previously was the medical director of primary care sports medicine at Loyola University Chicago for 12 years where he was voted a “Top Doctor” in the Chicagoland Suburbs prior to being recruited to Emory.  He has already been a peer-selected “Top Doctor” in Atlanta since 2017.

Dr. Jayanthi has been a course director nearly 30 times and has been an invited speaker over 150 times to local, regional conferences as well as at national academy conferences, international Sports Medicine, Tennis Medicine, USTA, USPTA, and PTR conferences. He has regularly helped with medical care at the NFL Combines, Chicago Marathon, Division 1 NCAA athletics, and numerous high schools. He is currently a team physician for the Atlanta Braves, Georgia Tech University, Johns Creek High School.  He has numerous publications, book chapters, and is a reviewer of several sports medicine journals and is an active teaching faculty at Emory University. Dr. Jayanthi, has been featured and/or appeared on ESPN, NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post WGN news Sports Radio, WGN-TV news “Medical Watch,”, ABC news, CBS national radio, WGN and CLTV “Living Healthy” TV show, XM radio, and numerous other media outlets for his innovative research findings on junior tennis players and elite young athletes.

 

 
 
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