Exclusive – High-tech system set to give club players statistical analysis of their game

Kevin Palmer

Tennis players of all levels relish the chance to immerse themselves in the statistical analysis of the game and now club players are set to get the chance to do just that with the arrival of a new high-tech system that could be installed in clubs across the UK.

Wingfield is an A.I. (artificial intelligence) powered video analysis system affordable for all amateur clubs.  With currently over 100 court installations in Germany, Wingfield has recently installed units at former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker’s new International Boris Becker Tennis Academy and many other tennis clubs, performance academies, hotel operators and even a leading global racquet and apparel brand who use Wingfield’s data to test and demo their new product lines.

Now the company are looking to introduce the technology to a host of clubs, with the benefits of analysing your game after a club match certain to give huge insight into amateur players over where they can improve.

Tennis365 spoke to Wingfield’s Maik Burlage, CEO & Co-Founder of Wingfield, and he gave us an insight into what club players can expect:  

What can you tell us about the Wingfield system and its aims?

Wingfield operates like a “smart net post” and the systems tracks the same depth of data points as professional systems do for a fraction of the cost and a small hardware setup. Wingfield aims to provide players and coaches with smart insights and video analysis material of training, practise or match sessions. Clubs can drive engagement and players can see and share their own personal improvements and development based on easy understandable metrics. Coaches of all standards can now manage their player’s performance and don’t have to rely on their ‘gut feeling’ alone, as now the real-time stats highlight their player’s performance levels and overall strengths and weaknesses to work on.

There has been a wave of new technological innovation in professional tennis over the past 10 years. Professional coaches, players and fans have access to real-time data to give them the chance to adjust and understand the players ‘game’ strategy, the key training concepts or simply to engage with their tennis idols!  However, while companies such as Strava and Peloton have shown that data can create amazing user experiences for amateurs athletes, technology hasn’t been applicable for amateur tennis clubs, players and coaches up to now. The Wingfield System is designed to close this gap! 

How will you assist in improving your game? 

The first step to improving your game is understanding where you need to improve. The free Wingfield App assists on two levels:

1) Using personal playing data analysis helps players and coaches to find winning and losing patterns.

2) Leveraging the combination of video material and session data it shows you automatically generated video highlights, small ‘snippets’ of specific events or shots in your match or practise session. This is especially important for beginners as visual learning is a key part of improving and developing and creates a clearer understanding of your stokes and behaviour on the court. 

Another key factor for improvement is motivation to keep going with the actual practice sessions, repetitions and drill exercises. This is where data plays a huge role because seeing actual improvement increases the motivation to keep going enormously. In other sports such as running, swimming or lifting weights this is quite easy because every single small step forward is easily trackable. In tennis, this is a bit more complex as it is a highly technical sport and information about winning or losing a match can have very different reasons and has often very little to do with actual improvement. This is why we designed several ‘pre-programmed’ drill scenarios which give players an easy understandable of the main metrics such as the forehand drill score to see every little step of improvement in a very standardised playing environment. 

Why is this system better than others on the market?

We are focussing on two aspects which separate us from others in the market:
1) Affordable pricing structure (from 95 £ per month per court)
To reduce entry barriers for smaller clubs/ facilities the pricing, as well as the technical requirements, are held a minimum. Besides the price point we guarantee self-installation in under 2 hours and a 30-day free-trial installation, so clubs can install and try the system and receive actually feedback form club members and coaches and try the system out in both individual and group coaching sessions, tournaments, inter-club or league matches, holidays camps, club nights and adult and junior matches etc.

2) User Experience built for amateurs
Rather than just displaying lots of different data points from a tennis match, we want to use the data to create ‘real life’ user cases to track actually playing improvement with a few key numbers, find a fitting playing partner and secure fair competition.

Who is this system available to?

The Wingfield Court is an affordable tracking solution for all tennis clubs, performance academies as well as other operators including: universities, schools, local authorities, community and park tennis venues and health and leisure facility operators

As soon as you are able to play rallies at a beginner and grass-roots level, you can use the system to track your progress using standardised drills and exercises. Since we created unified stroke scores beginners as well as semi-pros use the same metrics to compare themselves to other players. Companies like Strava or Peloton have provided similar experiences for other sports for years now. We aim to provide the same simplistic user-experiences for each level in a more complex sport. Players who are already able to play matches and compete in amateur tournaments or inter-club leagues can use the system to find partners to compete with and to get all their personal playing stats as well as automatically generated video highlights from each of their matches.

What are the ambitions for Wingfield over the next five years?

It is our long-term vision to use the power of data to decrease barriers to play and build new digital user experiences and communities around an offline sport. Tennis builds character and challenges you in ways that very few sports do. This is why we don’t want to change the way it is being played, moreover, we want to innovate all user experiences around the sport. As an infrastructure provider for digital experiences, we want to enable global tennis federations, clubs and coaches to extend their offering to be competitive against other offline sports as well as e-sports. To have the most impact, we want to make sure that every facility is able to install at least one Wingfield court by 2025.

What will you provide for a club when they get this system installed?

Our clubs can expect that we take care of monitoring the status of the usage of each court and frequently release new updates considering the users feedback. Since the clubs do not buy the hardware but instead sign up for a subscription we provide several additional services, such as Software Updates, free remote service, a technical service hotline available over different channels (Phone, WhatsApp, E-mail) and a hardware exchange service in case there is a technical issue. As long as the clubs make sure that there is a running internet and power supply, we then take care of the rest. Wingfield Court: Making Tennis Smart, be part of the journey!

Give us some details of what players can expect using the technology.

Wingfield’s AI-based connected court technology provides match and playing stats, analytics, video highlights, interactive heat maps, stroke speed and data, empowering players and coaches of all standards to benefit from real-time performance data, extending tennis into the virtual world. Wingfield makes improvements in your game measurable. The Wingfield Box tracks all playing activities, proving a huge amount of detailed data on every shot. Players and coaches can access their match data and video via the free Winfield app, all available in real-time on their smartphones.

The compact system has been carefully designed to fit seamlessly on any tennis court in the world both indoors and outdoors. It only consists of the Wingfield Box and an added IP camera. The Wingfield Box, which tracks all activities on the court acts as a ‘smart net post’ and replaces one of the old ones on court.

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