Charting a New Course: The Importance of Big Data in Tennis

Match Charting

One of the most helpful tools for tennis players in competitive play is having their match charted by a coach or a teammate. Charting a match consists of marking down on a scorecard, point by point, what worked and what didn’t over the course of play. For a player, if a match is properly charted they can see how many winners and errors they hit, broken down by stroke. They can also assess how they executed on a shot by shot basis, and how well they played the score throughout the duration of the match. A player can then bring all of this information back to the practice court and continue to emphasize their strengths, while working on expanding their game to improve their weaknesses. This is where I think video analysis and big data can make a huge impact in the sport of tennis.

Double Blue Sports Analytics

While doing research on how video analysis can directly feed into data collection for athletes, I came across a great product used in hockey called Double Blue Sports Analytics 360 Save Review System. I immediately saw the value of how this technology could benefit match charting if used correctly.

The idea here is to be able to either real time or post game tag a goalie’s actions throughout a hockey game. A goalie can then slice and dice their data and go back to the video at any given point and time to highlight something positive or to isolate something negative.  This is essentially the same concept as match charting. Utilizing the same technology, we can create a time based scorecard to identify similar metrics about how a player is executing to their game plan and simply match strategy at all levels of the game.

My Side of The Net

Other sports are already introducing this kind of technology into coaching and analysis. Why is tennis so late to the game? We as innovators need to identify these gaps, in order to make the game more fun and accessible to all who play.

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