Tennis And Data: What Is Actually Available For The Public? From Raw Numbers To Hawk-Eye Metrics - Page 2 of 3 - UBITENNIS
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Tennis And Data: What Is Actually Available For The Public? From Raw Numbers To Hawk-Eye Metrics

Here is the second episode of our ongoing series on the advent of advanced analytics in the game. Let’s draw a few lines – what are the types of data, and who are they available to? Only those who are willing to spend a lot of money (like Federer) will get the entire benefit.

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A "data dump” of the bounces and racket strikes between Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games - image via nationalgeographic.com
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SECOND CATEGORY: SYNTHETICAL DATA

The second category of data is that relating to summary data about shots played. With regards to the serve, we have the binary information whether a first or second service has been played. With regards to other shots, on the other hand, an entire world is to be discovered. Fortunately, Grand Slam and ATP Tour Masters 1000 tournaments are collecting synthetic data relating to the shots played in a structured pattern, but it’s difficult to have access to this information. During these tournaments, several types of information are available, such as rally length, winners, forced errors, speed and rotation of the ball, height with which the ball passes over the net, shots played at the net, as well as, obviously, forehands and backhands played. In these cases, the black box, namely the characteristics of the individual points, becomes a little more understandable. However, the data are aggregated, so the tactics and patterns of a match can only be inferred deductively – nonetheless, it is quite a bounty of insights if we compare this dataset with the figures generally available.

 

As an example, the table below reports some figures based on synthetic Hawkeye data on Shapovalov, collected between 2017 and 2019:

This small table highlights the delta between matches won and lost by Shapovalov. While many fans are dazzled by the Canadian’s excellent backhand, it’s time to remember that a great way to understand if a match will be won or lost by Denis is his performance on the forehand. In the matches won, the forehand winners are 2.7 times greater than those of his opponent are, while when he lost a match only 1.8. Similarly, in the matches won, unforced errors of the forehand are 1.6 times greater than those of his opponent are, while they explode to 2.8 in those he lost. If we have an adequately wide sample of data, we will try to see how Denis fared in 2020, in order to ascertain the improvements of the Canadian… but that’s a subject for a future article.

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Nadal won’t play Acapulco due to lingering back issues

Rafael Nadal’s continued back problems rule him out of Acapulco.

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Rafael Nadal (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

The Spaniard went on social media to announce he is not going to travel to Mexico.

 

Rafa Nadal went on Twitter today to announce he has decided not to play in Acapulco this year due to a lingering back issue but apparently that’s not the full story.

Nadal also pulled out of Rotterdam which starts on Monday stating the back injury he suffered in Australia was holding him back but another piece was made public today that the main reason Nadal won’t play is the tournament finances.

Usually a player of Nadal caliber will be attracted to smaller events by what is called an apperance fee which is basically a fee paid to the player to show up and play. Due to the pandemic and the fact most tournaments have lost revenue due to no fans or limited capacity budgets have decreased to a fraction.

The Spaniard also stated the reason he played in Australia with the injury was because it was a grand slam and if it was any other tournament he would have pulled out.

We saw another instance where John Isner called the ATP system broken after the Miami Masters cut its prize money and said it’s not fair and that tournaments should be properly audited.

In Nadal case the apperance fee would be roughly estimated from $500,000 to one million dollars and that will most likely include travel and accomodation.

Acapulco is scheduled for Monday March 15th to the 20th which means fans can probably expect to see Nadal back in action in time for Miami.

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Gilles Simon To Take Break From Tennis After Montpellier Exit

Gilles Simon looking to take a break from tennis as his ‘heart is no longer’ in the game.

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Gilles Simon (@Welovetennis - Twitter)

After exiting his home tournament in Montpellier earlier in the week, Gilles Simon has decided to to take a break from tennis.

 

The veteran Frenchman crashed out in the opening round to Dennis Novak on Tuesday in Montpellier after a frustrating Australia swing.

Simon went out in the opening round of the Australian Open as well, losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas, winning only four games.

So it will come as no surprise that Gilles Simon has decided to take a break from tennis in an attempt to regain some motivation.

Speaking on Twitter Simon said he needed to preserve himself mentally, “My heart is no longer there to travel and play in these conditions,” the Frenchman stated.

“Unfortunately I have to take a break in order to preserve myself mentally. Hoping that morale returns as soon as possible. Thank you to all the faithful for your support. See you soon.”

This news could be the start for more players to do the same with prize money decreasing and a potential freezing of the rankings on the horizon, the motivation to compete may decrease at a rapid rate.

Also, the injury list continues to rise with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Sofia Kenin, Karolina Muchova, Kirsten Flipkens and Donna Vekic just to name a few suffering bad injuries over the Australian swing.

What happens next, remains a mystery but nobody can blame Simon’s decision as the 36 year-old contemplates his tennis future.

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Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Rotterdam Due To Back Injury

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Rotterdam due to ongoing back problems.

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Rafael Nadal (@WeAreTennisITA - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal has announced his withdrawal from next week’s ATP 500 event in Rotterdam due to a back injury.

 

The Spaniard’s back problems have started since before the Australian Open which he managed to play the tournament in Melbourne with the problem.

Eventually Nadal lost in his Australian Open quarter-final to Stefanos Tsitsipas from 2 sets to love up.

Despite playing in Melbourne, Nadal’s back problems continue to derail his schedule as he has now withdrawn from Rotterdam.

In a statement on Twitter, Nadal said that after consulting his doctor it was not the best idea to play Rotterdam.

“It is with great sadness that I have to forfeit from Rotterdam. As most of the fans know, I suffered back problems in Australia that started in Adelaide and continued in Melbourne,” Nadal said.

“We found a temporary solution that allowed me to play without pain in the second week of the tournament. Once I got back to Spain I visited my doctor and together with my team they’ve advised not to play this upcoming week.”

Nadal’s 10 year hiatus from the tournament continues as he looks to recover from the problem as soon as possible.

The 20-time grand slam champion’s main priority will be the clay-court swing where he can win a record-breaking 21st grand slam title.

Nadal’s next scheduled tournament will be the Miami Masters in late-March.

Meanwhile Nadal could now lose his world number two ranking next week as the top seed which is now Daniil Medvedev could replace him there.

The recent Australian Open finalist will need to reach the final if he wants to become the world number two but will face stiff competition in Holland from the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Milos Raonic.

The tournament will start on the 1st of March.

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