Tennis coaches to use on-court data insights from SAP


Tennis coaches will be allowed to give their players help with performances during a match using a SAP-based mobile analytics app.

The German software firm has partnered with the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) to provide real-time data that can be analysed by coaches to give pointers to players on how to improve their game.

The mobile app has been developed with players and coaches over the past year and is built on SAP's core analytics platform.

On-court coaching has been a part of the WTA tour since 2008. The 2015 season will be the first time that coaches and players will be allowed to access such data during a match.

Until now, WTA players and coaches received post-match, point-by-point analysis from SAP. The new app will enable players and coaches to access key performance data such as serve direction and shot placement in real-time during match play.

The new app will only be allowed on a WTA-approved mobile device, but Stacey Allaster, chief executive and chairman of the WTA, said the technology will help players gain a competitive edge.

"We believe that technology will play a major role in modernising our sport, delivering more to our fans without altering the integrity of the game," she said.

"Tennis is a data-driven sport and information is power. Many of our matches usually come down to just a few key points and any advantage that players and coaches can gain by analysing trends and data could deliver an edge in the match."

She added the technology would set a new standard for women's tennis.

"These statistics on the coaching app will make my job easier and advice more accurate during a match," said WTA coach Wim Fissette.

SAP has also developed the official WTA Finals mobile app to provide fans around the world with access to exclusive content, news, virtual replays, fan polls, statistics, player profiles and photos, along with ticketing and tournament information.

"We're very fortunate to collaborate with an enthusiastic player and coach community to develop breakthrough technology to improve player performance and to simplify how the WTA engages with fans," said Stefan Wagner, general manager for Media, Sports and Entertainment Industries at SAP.

"The addition of this new coaching app completes what we've been doing from a post-match analysis by making the data available in real-time to provide deeper insights during match play."

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.