BRISBANE, Australia - Last August, the WTA and SAP announced a new partnership to develop innovative technology to further engage fans, offer players the tools to analyze performance and optimize strategy, and better serve the media. This has been coming to life in Brisbane this week.
Coaches at the Premier-level event have been receiving SAP post-match, point-by-point analysis, helping them focus on the subtle differences and technique variations players use throughout a match; also, media have been receiving SAP analytics and insights for a more informed commentary.
One of the biggest supporters of the partnership is coach Patrick Mouratoglou, whose pupil - Serena Williams - is already the No.1 player in the world. So how does the world's top coach benefit more?
"I've always incorporated statistics in my work whether with my player on tour or at my academy," he said. "I believe that we need an objective tool to serve our expertise and make it more accurate. I've been looking for a tool of that level for many years and I finally found it with SAP. The ability to access tailored SAP data means I can now provide my player with a more scientific level of information on her game and that of her opponents. I see this new technology as a big step forward for the sport."
Another prominent member of the tennis world - former World No.4 and current Fed Cup captain and ESPN analyst Mary Joe Fernandez - is also going to benefit from the WTA-SAP partnership.
"I think it's very important to have SAP as a partner for the WTA because the technology they're going to provide is revolutionary," Fernandez said. "As a former player I wish I had it when I played, but now as a coach for Fed Cup and as a broadcaster, it's going to enhance what I do that much more as well.
"To be able to dig deeper and tell the story better, it's going to be that much more beneficial to me."
Fernandez knows she won't be the only one benefiting, either. "For players and coaches and fans it's also going to be very unique," she added. "I'm so encouraged by the fact that the coaches of top players are coming to see what the insights are for them to digest. For them to look at patterns and show their player what they're doing and what their opponents have been doing, it's really special.
"As a player I remember my coach always telling me what I did and what I didn't do, and I remember looking at him and saying, 'I don't think you were watching the same match!' But now we have proof."
The WTA is thrilled to be partnered with SAP, a company as dedicated as the WTA to transforming the sport of women's tennis by improving the analytics of the game for enhanced player performance, better media understanding and fan engagement. There's much more come, so watch this space...