Canadian star Milos Raonic will lend his powerful serve to the newest release from Zepp, a data-tracking company measuring metrics across a variety of sports, including tennis.
Using a sensor attached to the butt of a racket, Zepp can track racket speed impact, ball spin, backswing time, impact time and more that then transfer that in real time to an app for coaching help. The Zepp Tennis 2.0 app launched on Tuesday, with the help of Raonic, who despite a recent foot surgery is expected to be on the court at the French Open.
New in the app, players and coaches can analyze serves in 3D and track their match play on any iOS or Android device. With Raonic on board with the company, players can overlay their strokes on top of his, getting data on how their strokes stack up against the pro.
“Zepp is providing data for some of the most important aspects of the game, like power, consistency and other areas I focus on every day in practice,” Raonic said in a statement. “Having data that connects what you’re feeling to what’s actually happening will help players at all levels improve faster.”
The sensor and app combo aim to measure intensity, consistency and power. An intensity score breaks down total active and inactive time during a match, including how many shots were taken. The consistency score identifies strengths and weaknesses and measures how often player hit the sweet spot with their forehand, backhand and serve. The power score captures racket speed for every stroke and serve, providing feedback on ball spin along the way. With the consistency and power metrics, players can break down their score by forehand, backhand, topspin, flat and slice.
Zepp says the metrics offer data-driven, scientific guidance to evaluate performance. In-app training videos from Raonic and other pros supplement the learning, along with viewing histories, toggling between the 3D serve practice mode or the play tracking mode and comparing your stroke to a pro’s.
Just don’t expect to match up with Raonic.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.