by Sven Elofsson
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
Stefan Edberg poses with the PlaySight Smart Court device installed in the Södra Climate Arena
SMART COURT. What do London, New York and Växjö have in common in tennis? The answer is all three have got winners in the Grand Slam tournaments, but now also PlaySight Smart Court, a technological system, currently being installed at the Södra Climate Arena.
«If we want to be at the forefront as development center, we must take on the best devices available», says former pro Magnus Larsson. He and his colleagues in Ready Play Tennis Carl-Axel Hageskog and Stefan Edberg have just had visits by Israeli company Play Sight that installed computers and cameras in the hall.
Roughly speaking, it is possible to do the following: four cameras are placed on the four corners of the tennis court and one main camera in the middle of one side. Players log in the computer systems. Each shot on the court is recorded automatically through the cameras of the computer. Throughout the session you know if your serve is inside or outside the lines, the speed of your serves and other data. After finishing the match, you go to a 3D screen for analyzing the data. You can see yourself playing on the monitor and you'll get more statistics than the ones reported on the TV screen after the pro tour matches.
Automatically, the player and his coach are helped to improve the game. When juniors Johan Finnhult and Christopher Edberg tested it, we noticed their interest to check serve speed. Things that normally belong to the pros.
But quality costs. «Installation takes a six-figure amount and the license itself costs a six-figure sum for each year. It's a big investment», says Carl-Axel Hageskog.
Yuval Bar Yosef, product developer of Play Sight, has seen that there has been a looseness in the technological developments in tennis. He says that there are two of these devices installed in Israel, three in New York, two in London and one in Växjö. More are going to be installed.
Calle Hageskog and Stefan Edberg have checked out PlaySight Smart Court in the world big cities.
«I first heard about this method from a friend at the Queen's Club in London. I tested the system and found it a perfect tool to develop tennis players. I think the younger especially can learn from seeing how they play live», says Stefan Edberg.
«You can check out which shots you played better and which worse while training, together with your coach, you have a tool to follow your strengths and weaknesses».
Smart Court May be shortly installed in the 20 biggest clubs in southern Sweden. The smaller can of course rent a space at those where it has been installed already.
«It is up to us coaches to know what to look for and, having reviewed it, to use the information in the right way», says Calle Hageskog.
Interview with Stefan Edberg and Carl Axel Hageskog by the Swedish radio. The Södra Climate Arena in Växjö becomes one of the first tennis halls in the world to test the Playsight Smart Court, an ultra modern computer system that gathers live data during matches and training sessions. It will be especially used to develop the skills of young players and improve their game. In the interview Edberg, Larsson and Hageskog explain the advantages of applying this technology as a support for coaches. Language: Swedish
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