By Steve McCaskill
The world’s top female tennis players will be able to benefit from real-time data analytics during in-match coaching breaks, thanks to a new mobile application from SAP.
The German firm is a partner of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour and has worked with players and coaches for the past year to create the application, which is built on SAP’s core analytics platform.
Unlike the men’s ATP Tour and the four Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA tour has allowed on-court coaching since 2008 in a bid to give fans watching on television a better insight into tactics and strategy.
SAP WTA tennis
SAP has been providing players with point-by-point analysis after matches so players can prepare better for future clashes, but from next season they can see key performance data such as serve direction and shot placement.
The new application will have to run on a WTA-approved mobile device, but the organization’s CEO and Chairman believes technology can give all players a competitive advantage in a sport which can be decided by just a few key points.
“We believe that technology will play a major role in modernizing our sport, delivering more to our fans without altering the integrity of the game,” said Stacey Allaster at the WTA Tour Finals in Singapore. “Tennis is a data-driven sport and information is power … This technology sets a new standard for women’s tennis.”
Tennis is among the sports that have been most receptive to data analytics, with IBM providing similar services to all four Grand Slams—Wimbledon, Rolland Garros, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open—where it collects data on every single point, providing data to players and engaging viewers watching on television.
SAP itself works with organizations in a number of others sports, including F1, baseball, golf and football, including the German national team who were victorious at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil earlier this year.