TRANSFORM: Ilana, I perceive that you simply and Billie noticed a imaginative and prescient for the collaboration with Microsoft and the ITF – a way that new applied sciences may elevate play on the match finals, the place teaching is allowed and group play is embraced. Are you able to inform me about that imaginative and prescient?

KLOSS: I’ve labored with Billie for most likely 30 years. She’s all the time about know-how and data. She’s all the time felt that tennis may actually use each.

Billie all the time needs to know extra. And he or she all the time says how she would have beloved to have been born on this period, due to all the data and analytics accessible to the gamers. She believes they might help not solely the gamers however the sport and the followers.

TRANSFORM: Do the launch of the dashboard and the rebranding of the competitors sign a definite, new period for this match and possibly for the sport itself?

KLOSS: Completely. Billie is all about breaking boundaries, making issues higher and utilizing all of the know-how.  For her to have her identify on the cup at a contest the place the most recent and the perfect know-how is on the market to assist the gamers and the group captains is, for Billie, one of the thrilling issues. She believes we’ve to cross the baton to the following era.

The ITF’s Jamie Capel-Davies.

TRANSFORM: Jamie, the dashboard will analyze real-time knowledge on participant motion and photographs, ball flight and velocity – knowledge generated by the ball-tracking cameras and 3D-radar methods used at professional tennis occasions. How do you see coaches and gamers making use of this new information throughout the match finals in April?

CAPELDAVIES: For those who’re a participant, among the many stuff you all the time need to know are: The place ought to I be serving and what speeds do I must hit to have the ability to serve an ace? The dashboard presents these analytics.

TRANSFORM: Ilana, similar query.

KLOSS: You need to know the factors you might be successful as a result of sure factors in a sport are necessary. I feel additionally understanding which aspect the opposing participant is stronger on, the place gamers serve on sure huge factors, positioning on the courtroom – the place you might be and the place they’re.

TRANSFORM: Jamie, you’re employed on the ITF lab, which checks rackets, balls and courtroom surfaces to protect the essence of the sport whereas encouraging innovation. Is there a stability between welcoming tech advances like this dashboard with defending the sport’s traditions?

CAPELDAVIES: Some time in the past, there was possibly extra of a battle between innovation and custom. Now, there’s positively extra urge for food for innovation. Tennis, like quite a lot of sports activities, is trying over its shoulder at a number of the different sports activities, at pc video games, at eGames.

There’s a willingness to strive stuff out and possibly not be overprotective. There’s additionally a realization that you are able to do each – preserve custom and introduce innovation with out it essentially being disruptive.

TRANSFORM: Ilana, you performed within the 1970s at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, French Open, the Fed Cup and extra. How do you see the addition of latest tech meshing with the game’s adherence to its traditions and lore?

KLOSS: I really feel like generally the boys’s and girls’s excursions are very conservative when it comes to attempting new issues. Gamers hate change. Most individuals hate change.

However generally really not altering is the better threat. Billie and I’ve all the time believed that our sport might be so a lot better if it embraces know-how.

TRANSFORM: Jamie, there are 17 Microsoft Azure companies powering the info repository and knowledge filtering contained in the dashboard. That provides gamers and coaches fairly an in-the-moment plan for easy methods to win their match.

CAPELDAVIES: Sure, it’s the mixture of real-time knowledge with a historic perspective. Now we have knowledge going again a number of years. You might need already performed this specific participant. So what occurred in that earlier match? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What did you do this was efficient and that you simply would possibly need to try to repeat?

Billie Jean King sitting and holding a tablet that shows the handwritten words
King celebrates the cup’s new identify.

TRANSFORM: Ilana, Billie has lengthy fought for the concept that everybody ought to get a possibility and a seat on the desk. Strictly on a tennis stage, does this platform meet that lofty philosophy by providing a brand new solution to share knowledge and analytics – and possibly give extra gamers an opportunity at greatness?

KLOSS: That’s an excellent level. On this group competitors, it’s enormous as a result of everybody can have entry to the data.

Generally, on the tour, should you can’t afford the perfect coach, you’re not gaining access to the identical info that, say, Serena Williams will get from her group.

A beautiful factor about this partnership with Microsoft, the Billie Jean King Cup and the ITF is that over 116 nations take part on this competitors. Their potential to now faucet into the info – and to make use of that info for his or her federations and their native groups – is usually a game-changer. It’s about offering entry. That’s the place we are able to actually make a distinction.

Prime picture: Billie Jean King, left, and two teammates settle for their trophy for successful the 1963 Fed Cup. (Picture courtesy of the Worldwide Tennis Federation.)

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