The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of four cooling interventions used for reducing physiological and perceptual strain and improving exercise performance during outdoor match-play tennis in the heat. Eight competitive tennis players played four counter-balanced simulated outdoor matches in the heat (WBGT: 28.4–32.5°C) at 24- or 48-h intervals. Each match comprised 3 sets for which the “no-ad” rule was applied to limit duration variability. Players underwent the following cooling interventions: ad libitum fluid ingestion (CON), ad libitum fluid ingestion and ice vest (VEST), total ingestion of approximately 1000 g ice slurry and ice vest (Combined: BINE), or total ingestion of approximately 400 g ice slurry and ice vest (Low-combined: L-BINE). Gastrointestinal temperature was lower in the BINE and the L-BINE trials than in the CON trial at the set-break of set 1, and these differences in gastrointestinal temperature persisted throughout the remainder of the match (p < 0.05). The ratio of moderate-high intensity activity (≥10 km/h) in set 3 was significantly higher in the L-BINE trial than that in the BINE trial (p < 0.05). In the CON and BINE trials, high intensity activity was significantly lower in set 3 compared with set 1 and 2, respectively. Cooling by optimal ice slurry ingestion and ice vest may be a more effective strategy in mitigating the development of heat strain during outdoor match-play tennis in the heat. Highlights Cooling by optimal ice slurry ingestion and ice vest may be a more effective strategy in mitigating the development of heat strain during outdoor match-play tennis in the heat. Ingesting of large amounts ice slurry may be caused the bloating and stomach discomfort, in turn declined in the ratio of moderate-high intensity activity in the second half of match-play tennis in hot outdoor environments. Future studies should not only utilize match characteristics, but also measure on-court tennis specific performance.
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