Whether it's seeing the next victory or feeling the next moment, AO 2021 will see fans watching like never before: with insight in 360 degrees.
Digital consumption is higher than it's ever been, but is the content keeping up with the channel? The last two decades of the digital revolution have largely been characterised by shifting older viewing formats to newer mediums. A match that was broadcast on television was streamed into YouTube highlights, and stats that were publish ed in print were digitised as sortable tables with filters. The revolution in match viewing didn’t seem to be arriving. That is, until the 3D Match Centre.
The 3D Match Centre provides fans the best seats in the house, and they're made with data. Overlaying statistics onto the court with ball trajectories and multiple viewing angles, each point is now analysed in motion. With the 3D Match Centre, fans and players can see relive every match analytically.
A new angle provides a new perspective. In addition to feeling closer to the action, the dimension also adds new context with ball trajectories for each shot. When seen alongside the height above ground, the speed and the spin for every point that’s a winner, a new kind of match understanding emerges. Not to mention the elation of being able to pinpoint where the game was won or lost.
The 3D Match Centre is really a evolution of the Match Centre data and insights that have become a mainstay at the Australian Open. Each feature provides different slices of insight for fans, players, coaches and the media. With each filter and view, a different story emerges, as does a completely different kind of delight: that of having decoded the keys to victory.
Providing a way for fans to track ebbs and flows of the game, MatchBeats is a data binge with a healthy dose of analytics. Fans can filter key match moments to see performance by winners, errors, aces and more. The height of the bars mirror the rally length, enabling a view of all the hard-fought moments and the dominant ones. Another important feature is the ability to spot the crucial points: finding all the aces, or see how the momentum shifted at each break point. Another momentum tracker is the game view, which stacks up the games that made the match.
One of the delights of match viewing is the back and forth of rallies. Whether they close in three shots or 13, the performance at different shot lengths paints a picture about the athletes. The simplest insight that can be gleaned from Rally Analysis is seeing the points won at different shot lengths: short rallies, medium rallies, and long rallies. More points won in the shorter rallies would indicate a game defined by power, while more won in the medium and long rallies are characterised by precision. Digging deeper at each rally length reveals different insight.
Not all strokes are created equal. And more so when it comes to a specific player's arsenal. There are tell-tale signs of performance in the stroke book: whether it's the forehand ground stroke or the backhand drop shot. Stroke Summary provides a view of the winners and errors by each stroke type. It also provides a filter to sort the strokes by their significance on the match outcome, re-ordering the strokes to reveal which ones mattered. A player’s backhand volley might be his biggest strength and weakness at the same time, and only the stats show how.
The 3D CourtVision may have taken centre court by storm at AO 21, but it's 2D predecessor is just as insightful. Alternating between the views of winners and errors for both players can reveal a lot about the quality of play. A court pattern that is more populated with errors could mean the game was lost more than won, and vice versa. Another interesting view is that of where the errors landed: more at the net indicates a disposition towards cheeky play, whereas more beyond the court could be chalked up to more aggression than precision.
It's been a tough year for tennis, and AO 21 marks a new beginning. In some ways, it's the return to tennis as we know it, but also a new kind of tennis. It’s made of moments and experiences beyond game, set and match.
These moments, these experiences, represent our desire to keep going even when times are tough. When the old ways don't work, we find new ways. New normals that become mainstays with the next way to play, watch and engage. From immersion to passion, from experience to brilliance, #NextNeverStops.