Game, set and Mats
Originally published on: 11/09/13 00:00
What happens when two top level coaches, a tennis centre owner and a technology company get together?
They launch an app that, according to one of the men behind it, Mats Merkel, will help young players improve by offering live feedback.
German coach Merkel is the 29-year-old behind the innovative app called GPStennis, which was launched at Roland Garros this year.
The app enables tennis players of all standards to access information about their serve and return. Users enter match stats relating to where the first serve is placed and where their returns land and the app collates the results so the player is able to view their own numbers relating to shot selection at specific stages of each match. For example, the information will show how many times at 15-30 the player served to the ‘T’, and what the outcome was.
“Before technology, I would have had to track a match using pen and paper,” Merkel says. “It was possible, but it was a lot more work and a lot more effort, now you get it on your app.”
Once you have the information at your fingertips you can decide how you need to adapt your play to make it more effective.
Aimed at players of all levels, not just the pros, Merkel explains: “It works on all kinds of levels, whether you’re a tour player, a club player, a junior ITF player, or a college tennis player.”
The app has been three years in development by Merkel, fellow coach Sven Groeneveld and German technology company Warptec Software and could be particularly useful for parents of keen young tennis players.
Merkel is keen for users to offer feedback so he can develop the functionality and promises to read every email personally.
The app is free to download and is available for iPhones. An Android version is planned in the near future.
Mats Merkel has worked with the likes of Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Caroline Wozniacki as part of the adidas Player Development Program. He has joined tennishead as a guest columnist and will be offering an insight into life on tour and sharing his views on current issues in the world of tennis. His first column will be in our October issue – subscribe now to get a copy delivered to your door.