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SBD Global/August 29, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Int'l Tennis Federation Determining How, Not If, Technology Will Be Used Starting In '14

The Int'l Tennis Federation earlier this summer "approved of the use of 'smart equipment' in official competitions," starting in '14, according to Juan José Mateo of EL PAIS. As a result, "coaches and players are meeting with suppliers and sponsors." They are asking for "chips embedded in racket handles and discussing GPS's and camera systems that generate figures to understand patterns of play based on court position." Spanish tennis player Carla Suárez's coach, Xavi Budó, said, "The chips embedded in the rackets give very good information about how you hit the ball. I have met with Carla's sponsor, Wilson, to see what they could possibly make. It allows you to know the acceleration of each hit, the point of impact and the generation and transmission of force." Budó added that he likes to use GPS technology during practices. Budó: "GPS's give many things, average speed, distance covered, capacity to reproduce top-speed sprints... I want to ask if they will also let us use this in matches." The ITF explained this summer that "analysis technology includes any equipment that records, analyzes or communicates information about the performance of a player." Although it remains undecided "case by case, which technologies will be permitted for use during matches, two things are clear. The live use of data measured during a match will be prohibited. It is also clear that there is no going back; tennis, despite what it will cost, does not intend to miss the technology train" (EL PAIS, 8/27).
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