How data matter for winning a tennis match?

Valtteri Bottas won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix round of the Formula One season, followed closely by four-time world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton started second and was eager to win. But there were only three ways of doing that:

  • One, be faster than Bottas by 1.5 seconds per lap, which he could not do since they have access to the same material.
  • Two, force the race leader into making an error, which is doable but rare.
  • Three, outsmart him on strategy, which is again hard, because they have access to the same data.

After an hour and thirty-four minutes, Bottas won because he didn’t cave under pressure. And because the team managed to use the millions of datapoints gathered during weekend practice sessions to deliver perfect performance on race day.

In fact they have so much precise data that they can tell a driver how many fractions of a second sooner or later he should brake or accelerate around corners, where to adjust the front : rear brake ratio while driving and how hard to push in order to keep the tyres at peak performance.


30 years ago, they just had stopwatches and notepads

and did a lot of guesswork.

Kind of like we do in tennis today.


At Armbeep we’re working hard to change that. Get our industry up to speed and deliver data driven coaching tools in the hands of the best coaches out there. Here’s an example of how we do it.


How to manage a player’s workload to kill underperformance

Tennis belongs among sports in which tournament and practice planning is considered to be an extremely challenging activity. Let us point out three most obvious limits: it is almost impossible to predict the number of matches at a specific tournament, coaches except the number of practice hours don’t have enough data about practice volume, and lastly, monitoring practice intensity and content is rather difficult. Tennis coaches have little information on how to plan trainings, and even these few pieces of information are most often subjective and unorganized.

By using Armbeep System you can easily gather data on player’s workload in practice or in a match.


In this way coaches can on a daily, weekly or monthly basis monitor data on total and active practice time. The first represents total time spent by player on court and the second means active time, from which all breaks lasting longer than 7 seconds are excluded. This is the time, in which players are executing their shots. Data on average number of shots in a specific active phase (the number in individual column) is calculated on the basis of total number of executed shots and the number of active phases. The average number of shots in an active phase can tell coaches the following:

–        level and area of intensity

–        practice content and repeatability of individual game situations

–        player’s focus

In the hint window coaches can besides the already mentioned workload indicators also monitor the total number of shots and the number of active phases during practice and matches. Distribution of active phases according to number of shots is shown in percentages. It represents the percentage of active phases, in which up to 7 shots were performed (short), 8-15 shots (medium) and more than 16 shots (long). All workload indicators can be monitored by coaches on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, providing excellent material for practice planning, based on objective and measurable data, which is saved in player’s practice diary.


See more about Armbeep in action and how Armbeep could help you.