Welcome to the rackets of the future
A player like Rafael Nadal can access information that even courtside cameras can’t provide
In the future, Babolat believe, all rackets will be connected. The next step in the evolution of rackets, the launch of the Babolat Play Pure Drive, is set to arrive in the UK in 2014
The Play is arguably the most hotly-anticipated release of a string of interactive equipment now approved by the the introduction of Rule 31, allowing the use of Player Analysis Technology.
A sensor in the handle tracks all aspects of your game, logging details on all shots and serves you hit. The data can be uploaded to a smartphone, tablet or computer via Bluetooth or USB cable, where a detailed snapshot of your game awaits. The results can be stored and compared over time to rank training sessions and monitor progress, or shared with friends or even worldwide with other Play users.
“In tennis, as everywhere, inventing new challenges, sharing and comparing experience is becoming a strong trend through digital tools,” said Babolat spokesperson Stephanie de Vincentis. “For the first time, players can get objective information about their game.”
The Pure Drive was selected as the pioneering model for Play technology on account of its popularity among players of all abilities. Hit the button on the butt-cap and the internal sensors start tracking your every swing – collecting information on the power and position of the ball at impact on the stringbed, the number and type of strokes played, and the spin generated. Total and effective playtime, endurance, technique, consistency, even energy level and the length of rallies are also monitored.
“A club player can collect information about hitting the sweetspot and track their improvement,” de Vincentis added. “And it’s a great tool for coaches: they can see their players’ progression by analysing the data once a training session is over or by comparing several sessions.”
The data is stored and compliled into infographics at www.babolatplay.com. “Players can see which stroke they use most often, and which one they don’t implement enough in their game. By diversifying their game, they improve it. A player like Rafa can access information that even courtside cameras can’t provide,” de Vincentis explains.