So it’s yet another Australian Open and Roger Federer has done it yet again. It’s his yet another Grand Slam and having cruised to victory in the finals in straight sets, the scintillating Swiss shows no signs of slowing down or giving up his World Number One spot.
Now, how familiar do those words sound? Pretty familiar, I must say. The Swiss has been at the top of his game for the best parts of a decade and may begin to wonder what it takes to maintain such a high level of consistency and be at the top end of things for such a prolonged period. And even though it is yet unclear how the ‘Federers’, ‘Nadals’, ‘Serenas’, and ‘Azarenkas’ of today’s professional tennis world manage that feat, one thing we know for certain is that it is no fluke.
The numbers game
We also know that the numbers don’t lie in tennis and we can daresay that the big names pay attention to the numbers. More than most other sports, statistics play a key role in tennis as it is important to both established and upcoming players alike. But why is statistics so important? How can numbers and percentages be so important for tennis players and tennis coaches? Now, that’s an intriguing question!
Generally, statistics in sports implies the analytical study of the performance of an individual practicing a sport. This analytical study makes it possible for tennis players and coaches to evaluate strengths and weaknesses so as to be able to set goals and objectives with a view to making improvements.
For tennis players, statistics does a good job of pointing out all the things that they got mostly right during a match and areas that could use improvement. It is not uncommon for tennis players to seek feedbacks on their performance after a game. In such circumstances, questions bordering on unforced errors, serve percentage, and forehand winners are known to be the most common.
Rupal Chawla is the co-founder and CEO of FidGrit, online sports management software application. He said, “It is typical for tennis coaches to provide a summary of the match in question. And it is in doing this that the stats come into play. Statistical data can go a long way to answering a lot of questions bordering on player performance. Even with just a glance, it gives a clear answer to most of the questions a player could possibly have in mind.”
Statistics = Success
When players are furnished with data of how they fared throughout a game or a season, they become conscious of what must be done to fare better the next time. Statistics frees up the mind of the player and points them directly to what needs to be worked on in order to improve and put them on the right track. This can serve as a huge boost to player confidence and we all know what can happen when morale levels hit the roof.
Getting a good grip on what a tennis player is doing right is not always easy as many many factors can mask the equally-important subtle details, and none more so than the result of a match. The results weigh in heavily in such aspects as points, ranking and even incentives. And when the results are not going in one’s favor, it is easy to lose sight on what was actually produced throughout a competition. This is where stats swoop in to save day! It gives a point of view which sets tennis players on the right trajectory to improved performance and the much-vaunted rankings.