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Originally published on: 06/09/13 00:00

I’ve tried sliding across the court like the pros do but it doesn’t feel natural. Is it likely to cause me injury problems in the long run? Eddie, Luton 
ASICS PRO Team physiotherapist, Sarah Connors, recommends that you ensure you have the strength and flexibility to slide like the pros. There are defi nite vulnerable areas that could be injured from replicating this movement such as the knee ligaments, especially the medial ligaments on the inside of the knee and the adductor muscles, e.g. the groin. It is certainly not recommended to force any of these movements. If it doesn’t feel natural it is probably because it isn’t and it could be causing micro trauma and damage. In the first instance it is probably best to work on strengthening and stretching these areas off the court. 

Any tips for getting rid of black toenails? Jane, via email
Clifton Bradeley, Podiatrist on the ASICS PRO Team, says this happens when the nail bed bleeds, usually because of intermittent minor forces from walking or sport etc. The best way to avoid this is to keep the nails cut short or if they’re too thick, see a podiatrist, as the shoes pushing down on the nail can make the nail bed bleed. It is important to have correctly-fi tted footwear to make sure the shoe is not too tight or too big, allowing the foot to slide. Get your footwear fi tted for you to ensure the best fi t. If the nail bed bleeds continuously it is important to seek medical advice or if the nail has gone black and is hanging off, see a podiatrist who will remove the loose nail to stop it catching on things such as bed clothes, socks or carpets.

My daughter plays tennis on her school’s astroturf pitch in her hockey shoes. Can you recommend any tennis shoes for a sand-based artificial pitch? Anne, Bristol
On astroturf we’d recommend a shoe with an optimised omni-court outsole that delivers better grip on this type of surface. The ASICS GEL-Challenger 9 features state-of-the-art technologies, offering an improved fit and better durability. The DuoMax System in the midsole provides excellent sideways stability while the T-Truss, an extended Trusstic, offers additional support in the heel. With both Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning, the shoe absorbs impact shock upon landing and take-off, while the Solyte midsole creates extra cushioning. The shoe’s outsole is slightly thicker on the inside of the foot to accommodate sideways movements. The Hotmelt upper contains less stitching, and less potential for irritation, to create a more comfortable fit. It’s also more durable, especially on the inside of the shoe.

If you have any questions for the ASICS experts, from technique to technology, email us at [email protected]. The best questions will be answered in the next issue of tennishead.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.