The Biggest Technological Advances in Tennis

Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially in Europe, and in India, Asia and Saudi, the sport enjoys a higher level of popularity than the global average. Players such as Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal in the men’s game have helped the sport to continue thriving on the men’s side, whereas in the women’s game Naomi Osaka has done the sport proud in keeping it popular. Titans such as Serena Williams and Roger Federer may have retired from playing professionally, but they’re still favourite players of many fans out there and, despite their departure, these fans are still loving tennis.

It’s not just the array of tennis stars that have done a great deal for the game, however. Technological advances in the sport have helped it to thrive, increasing the quality of games and of its stars and enabling fans to engage more with the game. Below is a look at tech innovations in the sport and the impact they’ve had on tennis.


Before the arrival of Hawkeye, tennis games were implementing Cyclops, a system of red beams that determined whether the serves were in or out. Then along came Hawkeye in 2006 and replaced the system.

The Hawkeye system uses algorithmic prediction to map out the flight path of the ball and then provides a digital image of where it lands. The tech allows players to contest decisions —John McEnroe’s infamous “You cannot be serious!” outburst spring to mind — and, at the same time, umpires to defend their decisions.

Video review technology

The video assistant referee (VAR) supports umpires and they can refer to it to determine the right call on issues such as double bounces and foul shots when players dispute their decisions. This type of tech can determine close calls, but that’s not to say it’s completely infallible. Sometimes the tech can’t keep up with the pace of the ball and has led to some dubious calls, triggering understandable challenges by players to calls. If you’re considering some live betting and see that calls given against them are disrupting the player’s temperament, you may consider betting against them.

3D Motion

Tennis players themselves may not especially like 3D motion technology, as it may reveal secrets they’d rather not disclose about their playing styles. This technology uses sensors attached to the players during the game to study elements such as posture, force, spinal motion and other movements. Players and their coaches can determine from the data collected how likely the player is to suffer an injury and can also look at ways for the player to improve their game.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is lending tennis a real boost to the experience for spectators at events such as Wimbledon, by providing automated highlights. The tech combines cloud technology and AI and can recognize decisive moments in the game from the emotions on the players’ faces and noise levels in the crowd. Before, this was a manual process and would have taken hours to complete. Now, AI has replaced it and achieves the same results in minutes.

AI isn’t just providing highlights, but also commentary, in some cases. On its digital platforms, the US Open has experimented with AI to generate real time commentary and captions for the highlights. IBM’s Draw Analysis AI tool analyses player’s strengths, weaknesses, potential paths to victory, past performance and more, including their real-time performance, making for a rich audio feed for fans.

Tennis court surfaces

Grass and clay courts are classics in tennis and will always be popular, but over the years, tennis tech has helped events to host tournaments on more bespoke surfaces. Decoturf, for instance, comprises layers of silica, acrylic, rubber and other materials, and is laid over an asphalt or concrete base.

In the noughties, the game saw a new surface introduced. This surface blends latex, rubber and plastic particles, plus a topping of Plexicushion, and has been in use at the Australian for more than a decade now. Depending on the materials used for the court, it’s possible to tailor the surface for play at a specific speed or bounce.

Social media

The integration of social media has boosted fan engagement with the sport. Platforms such as Twitter and Instagram are allowing athletes to connect more with their fans, and some events, such as Wimbledon, provide live feeds of all the action so fans can follow it as it happens. Social media is helping the tennis world to generate even more buzz around events and the sport. QR codes have also begun to make an appearance in tennis, facilitating contactless ticketing and providing spectators with easy access to player statistics and match schedules right from their smartphones.

Tennis is a fantastic game that has seen some true legends on the court. Not only the adventures of its stars are making the game more appealing, however, but advances in technology are enhancing the quality of games and making tennis even more exciting. Fans can hardly wait to see what tennis tech will produce next for the sport they love.  

You can also read:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *