Infosys and ATP serve up AI tennis technology innovation

24 November 2017 Consultancy.uk

The global governing body of men’s professional tennis, the ATP, has worked with consulting partners Infosys to launch ‘Second Screen.’ The new platform is likely to prove a major boon to coaches and players, providing performance insights within seconds of points being played on-court.

While around 60% of professions could reportedly see 30% of their workload transformed by Artificial Intelligence, sport is rarely an arena which is considered when discussing an AI revolution. However, tennis stars are to receive a new string in their proverbial racquet, as a data analysis platform produced by the ATP and consultancy Infosys is set to analyse their performance, in play. Even top players have struggled to emulate the quality of the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but the new technology will see players receive real-time insight into their strategy and execution, as they seek to reach World Number One status.

Infosys and ATP began their partnership in 2015, setting off with the aim of improving the way in which both players and fans interact with the game of tennis. Having started off by utilising the raw data produced by the players to manage, analyse and translate into valuable information, the technology is going a step further this year by leveraging the capabilities of Infosys’ own AI platform, Nia. Nia will enable players and coaches to push the boundaries of data analytics by not only providing real-time insights into the players’ game, but also enabling the ability to foresee future trends in aspects of play – such as service patterns – with the use of predictive analytics.

Specifically, the Second Screen capability allows for multiple sources of data – chair umpire, player and ball tracking, as well as historical data – to be presented to players, coaches and fans. In doing so, users get foresight into player and match performance, resulting in a much more immersive experience, while enabling players and their coaches to quickly review strategies and improve their performance. Additionally, for the first time, fans will be able to look at the data of their favourite tennis stars during the match, interact with it and detect subtle changes in player strategies, such as variations in ball speed, spin, placement and player positions.

Implemented in time for the 2017 Nitto ATP World Tour Finals, which concluded in London this week with the maiden victory of Bulgarian Gregor Dimitrov, the Second Screen feature has been built by Infosys in under three months using its Artificial Intelligence platform, Infosys Nia. Meanwhile, though Infosys and ATP built the Second Screen feature primarily for tennis, the potential uses of the AI behind it are multifaceted, with the ability to impact the world of sport and completely change how players, coaches and fans consume content on multiple stages.

Commenting on the innovative new AI, Rajesh Krishnamurthy, President and Head of Infosys Europe, said, “This year, Infosys is taking machine-learning in sport to a new level. Our work with the ATP in building the Second Screen using Infosys Nia, showcases the power of AI technology in delivering real-time insights, and more importantly, foresights. We are now able to help players and coaches reach new levels of excellence, while giving fans a more interactive, and immersive experience. We believe this has huge potential not just in tennis and other sports, but in every other business sector.”

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, added“The Second Screen feature will provide greater insights into our sport, as we look to leverage data to enhance engagement in the ATP World Tour on our digital platforms. This is an exciting new development in our partnership with Infosys, and it’s great to work with such a dynamic organization that understands our sport and can deliver advanced analytics.” 

Consulting in sports

Recently, the consulting industry has increasingly been tasked with performance analysis by the sporting world. Earlier in the year, it was confirmed that RSM was to continue its research of the behaviours of top golfers at the European Championship. Meanwhile, helping enhance the behind-the-scenes operations at the 35th Americas Cup, NCEC, a subsidiary of Ricardo Energy & Environment, were tasked with analysing and overseeing the chemical spill prevention strategy of the sailing tournament, hosted in the pristine waters of Bermuda.

Related: Professional male tennis earnings passes $3 billion mark.

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