Tattoos and tennis players: The last barrier that is thinning?


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Tattoos and tennis players: The last barrier that is thinning?

Unlike many other sports, it is not so common to see tennis players with tattoos. Football players, basketball players, Olympic players and athletes from other disciplines usually have tattoos, but as regards, tennis, tattoos continue to be on the sidelines.

An intriguing study on Karger.com gave this sentence: in July 2018, among the Top-100 players, only 9% presented tattoos. However, this is an increasing trend compared to a few decades ago. A last barrier that is thinning? This is an abstract of the study on Kerger.com titled Tattoos among Professional ATP and WTA Tennis Players.

Here are the most important points of the study: "Background. Currently 10–30% of the general population has tattoos. The trend of tattooing is also observed among athletes. Media coverage about sports star and their tattoos gives the impression that tattoos are frequent.

However, the prevalence of tattoos among athletes has not been assessed in detail. Tattoos appear to be frequent in team sports, such as football or basketball. We found that 34% of the football players had visible tattoos during the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018.

As tennis is the most popular individual sport in Europe (26 million players), we assessed the prevalence and the characteristics of tattoos among professional tennis players. "Methods. We reviewed the presence of visible tattoos among the top 100 tennis players of the men’s ATP and women’s WTA rankings as of July 16, 2018 (200 players).

We noted visible tattoos that could be seen on the field during the game (upper arms, legs, head and neck). Tattoos of the trunk (under the shirt) and permanent makeup were excluded. Size, number, design and meaning of the tattoos were not analyzed. "Results.

Eighteen players (9%) had 1 visible tattoo or more: 11 women (11%) and 7 men (7%). Among men, all were tattooed only on the upper limbs. Two had tattoos on both arms. Three players had tattoos that were hardly visible as they were almost hidden by the shirt sleeves.

All the players were right-handed, and 85% had tattoos on the right arm. The mean ages between the tattooed and the nontattooed men players were similar (27.8 and 27.4 years, respectively). The tattooed players were almost all ranked among the top 50 (from 15 to 52, mean 35 ± 17).

The median number of points was also higher among the tattooed players (1,160 vs. 920 points). Among women, all had tattoos on the upper limbs, but 3 players had additional tattoos on the neck (n = 2, 18%) and the thigh (n = 1, 9%).

All but one were right-handed. Among them, only 40% had tattoos on the right arm. The mean age, ranking and median points were similar between tattooed and nontattooed women. Discussion. The prevalence of tattoos among the top 100 players in July 2018 was 9%.

There was a higher prevalence among women. Media articles confirm that tattoos are more popular among tennis women. The striking low prevalence of tattoos among professional tennis players might be explained by various factors: personal sociocultural background, as tennis is traditionally associated with upper classes; player’s environment and different body image in tennis compared to other sports (football, basketball).

Tennis is characterized by a sociocultural dress code, a high degree of “control” and therefore a strong sense of etiquette." Source: Karger.com - Tattoos among Professional ATP and WTA Tennis Players ALSO READ: What was 2018's most exciting Slam?