WTA President Micky Lawler talks technology, competition and a game for all
September 7, 2017
Tennis has been a real leader in sports in regards to adopting new technology and further progress is important. Data is the new gold. Data makes intangibles tangible.
Nevertheless, data alone is not enough. In making a decision, we cannot ignore our instinct. Technology is an enabler; our partnership with SAP is a testament to that.
Our coaching technology was developed to assist coaches and built around the needs of the player-coach relationship and goals. But it does not replace anyone.
SAP provides greater access to unique match and player insights for media to deliver a more informed commentary through our match notes available at WTA events around the world, while also ensuring fans can better understand the on-court action through real-time insights
We’ve helped players and coaches gain better insights to analyse and improve their performance through SAP Tennis Analytics for Coaches and SAP Tournament Performance Center.
SAP Tennis Analytics for Coaches provides WTA players and coaches access to real-time performance data during live match play for the first time ever in professional tennis.
In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing to work the SAP to grow the sport of tennis around the world and provide transformative technology that brings fans closer to the sport.
Technology is progress; an enabler for the betterment of the sport. However, it should never be about technology for the sake of technology.
Progress in technology, applied properly, enhances understanding of the sport and our understanding of its audience. But any technological development can only be considered if it upholds the integrity of our game.
Women’s tennis is so competitive right now with an increasingly even playing field among the top players.
When you have established rivalries, you attract fans that are more casual. Regularity becomes familiarity and talkability. The real tennis fans appreciate the depth of field and understand how hard it is to win consistently amid such fierce competition.
Look at Jeļena Ostapenko – only 20 years old and with huge energy – but it is going to be hard for her to sustain. She did well at Wimbledon but the next young player will soon be nipping at her heels.
— WTA (@WTA) September 6, 2017
A true legendary champion has to perform at a level better than everyone else for a very long period of time, which is extremely hard to do.
These are talented individuals who face an enormous challenge, often alone. A true champion often has a pattern – they secure a big win early in their career and this victory transports them into another universe and that can be daunting.
The real champions are the ones who take the lessons from that and rise. It is true for women and for men. Life changes for them all once they win Wimbledon.
TENNIS FOR ALL
The WTA was founded in 1973 as a professional women’s tennis tour by the ‘Original 9’ led by Billie Jean King and stands for the value that any woman, no matter where she is from if she has talent she can earn a living as a professional tennis player.
The WTA has never considered women’s tennis an elitist sport. You have to remember where we have come from and the challenges we faced to get here.
— WTA (@WTA) July 25, 2017
Our grassroots WTA Future Stars program in Asia is providing a place to compete for young stars of up to 18 nations. The programme has enjoyed huge success and gives some young burgeoning stars their taste of what the big stage could feel like.
We hope they will continue to play and see them star on the WTA tour in future years.