ITF Tennis - The ITF Technical Centre
HEADLINE visited the International Tennis Federation's Technical Lab to look around its equipment and find out what it's used for with Sports Engineer James Spurr. Many thanks to James Spurr.
"We have two general areas of research and bull testing pork testing and then the second arm is more general research to improve our understanding of how equipment generates performance.
So for example how strings generate spin or why one racket is more powerful than other.
So we have a piece of equipment here that will measure battery power which measures the speed of the ball off the racket.
We have equipment that will measure the spin generating prostituted strings.
If the racket is 20% more powerful then there may be cause for concern that that could have a detrimental effect on that on the nature of the game on the nature of tennis.
First spaghetti racket from the late 70s.
Facilitated the generation of huge amounts of spin in the game.
It was a step change in this performance of the equipment which from a governing body body point of view is not teaching that we're comfortable with.
That particular design has several mechanisms at play but they're all very much extreme mechanisms at play.
We will go out into the real world we'll go to shops and tournaments and select brands off the shelf or from the tournament.
Bring them back to the lab and test them as well.
One of the benefits of working at the ITF is really good relationship with the manufacturers.
For example if they're producing a new racquet and they want to ensure that it conforms to the rules of tennis.
A unique opportunity for us to gain access to equipment that would be impossible to to get otherwise.
The ITF developed an evaluation process to ensure that this technology coming in like Hawkeye were fit the purpose.
People don't realize that tennis was one of the first sports to adopt the kind of technology to review the call of a line judge and so on.
We conducted a suite of evaluation tests.
Usable parents of fireballs at the court lines.
A high-speed camera is capable of making very very precise measurements so we can measure how far in or out the board has landed and then we prepared it to to measure than that that's pork I would have made.
That system in particular is essentially measuring everything that goes on on the course.
The movement of the players the trajectory of every shot that's played.
The measure of all speeds spin bounce locations and so on.
Not all but some are starting to understand the use of that kind of data to improve their game to only look at where their strengths are but find out where their weaknesses are as well and structure their training regimen to improve upon those differences.
Over time that would become a very powerful tool in understanding how the game is evolving.
In only the last 10 years we see players are now stronger fitter healthier.
There are more over 30 players in the top 10 in professional tennis but the longevity of players is increasing which is very encouraging because it means that players are healthier for longer have a longer career and their their personalities and their character are around longer you."