Real-Time Analytics in Tennis

roger & murrayRemember the tenacious match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2008? Tennis fans caused a massive surge in electricity demand after Nadal took the Wimbledon title because they were glued to their seats during the epic match. The match was so intense that there were many deuce court serves, crisp baseline shots, elegant backhand shots, belligerent forehand winners and many claims for hawk-eye projections. So, the moments were dreadful for the line umpires. Weren’t they? Both players played at their best levels, yet Nadal proved too good for Federer. After the match, Federer and his coach wanted to perform the SWOT analysis. Hence, it is important to analyse the data diligently. This scenario is relevant not only for Federer but also for all the Professional Tennis players and their respective coaches.

Now the question is how?

Here comes our friend, Big Data Analytics into the action. So, what is Big Data Analytics? It is defined as the ability to look at the huge volumes of data, organize it, and analyse it for relevant information. The ultimate objective is to find patterns, correlations and critical information that aids any industry to make important decisions. 

Big Data Analytics opens the door to analyse the data of Reaction Time for the service returns, Net Points approach time, Forehand speeds, Backhand Speeds, and the accuracy of Slices. Think about the big man Milos Raonic’s serve. Whether the opponent should return the serve by standing behind the baseline or from the baseline? What is the accurate reaction time required to return the big hitting serves? Hence, it is very important to analyse the right information to gain a strategic advantage over the competitors. In short, Big Data Analytics aids in better decision-making.

According to Damien Saunder in his interview to National Geographic Channel, there are two important components in Tennis, which is very helpful for the player to understand the strengths and weaknesses. First is the number of aces and second is the time. It is a monumental task to spot the geographic component where the number of aces were hit and when the number of aces were served. Say for instance, if the player serves ace at the game point, then the number is more impressive. Thus, there is a need for analytics to get a context about these numbers where and when those events occurred.

Here, the 3D camera captures these critical data and through video analytics we can get the data and analyse them. Using this data, the speed, the velocity and the model to calculate spin are measured. In addition to this, the player’s movement with the ball’s trajectory is also analysed. As understanding ‘Consumer Behaviour’ is a crucial element for any company to be successful, if the player were to analyse the data post-match, then the player is unlocked with the patterns of opponent moving and hitting the shots. This helps the player to gain a competitive edge over the opponent in the forthcoming matches.

On the other hand, Babolat company has come up with the Smart Racket which records the power of shots, and the level of spin. This smart racket has got sensors installed which records the data throughout the game. The collected data is then transmitted to the system for analysis. In this way, the competitive edge is created.

Thus, we could see that the role of Big Data Analytics is achieving the magnitude in every industry across the globe. If you want to travel to Mars, then we can get the data from Elon Musk and analyse the feasibility of living there using Big Data Analytics. Nothing is impossible if we were to embrace our good friend Big Data Analytics.

So, get ready for the Big Data Analytics Grand Slam matches in the future.

Game. Set Match. Analytics.

About the Author: Arjun Ezhil
Arjun Ezhil

Arjun Ezhil is a Global MBA student at SP Jain School of Global Management, specialising in IT Management. With close to 4 years of work experience in Finance and Pharmaceutical Industries, he is passionate about learning how Business and Technology complement each other. Arjun has professional expertise in IT Project Management, Business Strategies, and Service Delivery.

Interested in learning more the topic? Explore SP Jain’s 8-month full-time program in Big Data & Visual Analytics.

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