Goerges’s innovation heralds data-based future in Paris

May 29, 2014 - 1:20:48 am

PARIS: Ten minutes after Julia Goerges finishes a match, she can analyse how many forehands she played and why her second serve may have been giving her problems.

At this week’s French Open, the German has been the first player at a major tournament to use a so-called “connected racquet”, which stores data on performance in an app in the racquet’s handle.

“It (the racquet) feels exactly the same, it’s just it has the data inside and you can do all these cool things with it,” said Goerges.

“It’s about putting the pieces of the puzzle together.”

The player presses a button on the handle to turn on the app and every shot is measured during the match. The data can then be downloaded via Bluetooth on to a mobile phone or computer.

The data from Goerges’s first-round win over Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal show which part of the strings were used for each shot - services, forehand and backhand. Each shot is measured via a triangle of endurance, power and position in the search for optimal performance.

Goerges says the data from matches is more useful than that from practice. She is beginning to talk through what the data reveals with her coach.

“You can see how aggressive you were, how many forehands you did,” she remarked.

Goerges’s serve did not function well in the second half of her defeat yesteday to Canada’s 18th seed Eugenie Bouchard and she is hoping the app will tell her why. 

“You can see how the power was and how many kick serves you did,” she said with a small laugh. “You can see the sweet spot, you can see exactly where you hit it on the racquet.

“It’s just the beginning right now, I’ve not got a lot of data yet. If you have the records longer and more data you can compare it better, that’s a good thing to have.”REUTERS