Tennis and the slippy clay blues

In the epic 2011 US Open Final, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal mesmerised tennis fans by sliding on hard court surfaces, a technique that had, for the most part, been reserved solely for clay courts. In this year’s tournament Djokovic appeared to have mastered the technique as he slid effortlessly into the final, only to […]

Top 5 olympic sports that have been influenced by technology: NO 2

Number 2: Tennis – Hawkeye assistant official In second place is tennis – although not the technological influence that may first spring to mind. Normally when referring to technological advances in tennis, racket design is the first on the list. Improvements in materials allowed the rackets to become lighter, stiffer and provide a larger hitting […]

Is tennis spinning out of control?

Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that some professional tennis players (allegedly) spray their strings with silicon to help them generate spin (Link to report in The Australian due to Times’ paywall). Spin plays an important role in Tennis, top-spin generates a vertical force which cause the ball to dip, this allows a player to keep […]

Rafa’s racket: a weighty issue

At first glance, the spectacular conclusion of the men’s singles competition at the Australian Open may seem to suggest that Rafael Nadal is still clueless when it comes to playing the tireless Novak Djokovic. However, there is a difference to Nadal’s game this year compared to last. Nadal, former world number one, surrendered 6 defeats […]

The problem of the Wimbledon roof

The comments made about the new roof over Wimbledon’s Centre Court have puzzled me.  The Wall Street Journal and the Times had the headline “Wimbledon Roof Slows Balls Down” while the Daily Mail had “How Centre Court’s new roof puts a dampener on Andy Murray’s serve” (I admit that I’m quoted in this one).  One […]

Physics of the groundstroke in tennis

Understanding the physics of the groundstroke in tennis is important for the International Tennis Federation, tennis brands and players. As a research centre we recently published a paper in the journal of Sports Sciences on this subject. Following publication the paper was featured in a short article in Men’s Health magazine. Cover of Men’s Health […]

Wimbledon in 3D!

Sony and the All England Lawn Tennis Club have signed a deal to allow TV viewers to watch Wimbledon in 3D.  Along with their partners SuperVision Media, Sony will use their special  filming techniques to capture and broadcast  live in 3D. 

Balls behaving badly

It may seem like I have balls on the brain if my last couple of posts are any indication. Balls are such a big part of sport and Sports Engineers are fascinated by the way they behave as they bounce on the ground and fly through the air. I’ve seen two amazing videos recently which exhibit […]

ISEA 2010 – Points of Interest day 3

Unfortunately as I spent so much time preparing for my presentation yesterday (time mostly spent pacing around with nervous tension) I’ve decided to cheat a little and combine the last two days of the conference. I’m going to focus on the great work being done by some big sports companies who have presented at the […]

Revenge of the spaghetti strings?

Many tennis commentators decry the demise of the wooden racket, with a smaller head and less forgiving nature, it demanded a more considered and poised form of play. While it is unlikely that a current professional, raised on cutting-edge carbon fibre rackets would revert to lumber, there is an outlawed stringing method which could have […]