The blend of power and accuracy in Novak’s serve is something to be marveled at, and many players – both pro and amateur – seek to emulate his game. But aside from training hard and practising daily, are there any tennis training aids that might give your tennis the competitive edge?
Can these gismos and gadgets train you to serve like Novak?
Like all sports today, tech for tennis training is becomingly increasingly sophisticated and evermore advantageous. Take our whistle stop tour of the best out there to see if there’s an app or device that could up your play.
Fitivity Tennis Training app
This neat sports specific training app gives you guidance on the exercise and drills to get you fit and ready for the game. It includes on-court workouts, strength training routines and cardiovascular programs, all geared towards getting you ready to play.
There are sequences that focus on serving, footwork and strength, so you can tailor your use of the app to focus on your weaker areas.
Zepp Tennis Swing analyser
This clever piece of kit analyses your strokes and serves and helps you add power and control by refining your play. It neatly attaches to any racket providing instant feedback to your smartphone or tablet.
The Zepp Tennis Swing Analyser captures and replays every hit in full 3D allowing greater analysis and understanding of power, speed and spin than a single point of view can bring. The kit has preset tracking and serve modes which are designed to help you improve your style and over time reach a more consistent and competitive level of play.
Smash wearable tennis tracker
This neat lightweight wristband, which links to smartphone and tablets records a heap of statistics relating to the speed, direction and quality of movement as you play.
It can keep track of and categorise every shot, it can record the speed and momentum of the racket head as it moves, it can also take note of spin, wrist rotation, trajectory, how consistently you connect the sweet spot with the ball, and the overall consistency of your game.
It then processes the statistics to make personalised recommendations on what you need to do to improve your game.
Sony Smart Tennis Sensor
Another tennis training device that analyses your game for improved play is the Smart Tennis Sensor from Sony. The small gadget is light, waterproof and dust tight. It perches on the butt of the racket handle and sends the data it records to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. Its internal memory has the capacity to hold 12,000 shots.
Using clever motion and vibration sensors this neat device can recognize swings and record impact positions. It stores and combines the data to present it in video format both in real time and slow motion. Using these clips the player can get a detailed insight into his or her game and assess ball speed, swing speed and impact position to get an objective and highly detailed report.
There are plenty of smartwatches out there and as time goes by they’re getting increasingly sophisticated. As yet none are able to gather the same detail as the sensors above, but it’s just a question of time before they do. There are a few geared towards the tennis market though.
The Pulse Play Smartwatch counts up your game score and connects you with other players. Financed by crowdfunders and devised by Gland Slam champ Andy Ram this is a smartwatch with a sense of humour as the voice of Homer Simpson announces the scores.
The iSet Smartwatch incorporates the tech of a standard casio smartwatch with a two-buttoned tennis scoring system so you can keep tabs of your score while you play, and breakdown your game once it’s over. It can also link to an app on which you can share match stats with friends and others in the tennis fraternity.