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When technology meets love for Tennis

Peter Willoughby is a fan of the sport, and we spent the day of the French Open finals with him to find out more, and understand how technology is playing a role in improving his experience.

Highlights

  • “I've already checked the weather for the match. I've already checked how the players are doing, and I even checked the odds.”
  • “Technology definitely has a place on court to make sure that the players are getting the right calls, and the right person wins.”
  • “…seeing that dichotomy of Djokovic being stronger overall, but Nadal having the advantage on clay, I think that is what's going to make this final so exciting.”

“What is a good match of Tennis for you?” We asked.

For Peter Willoughby, it is one where players, who are at the top of their game, are giving it their everything.

And what better time to experience that than the day of the finals when the best of the best meet on the court one last time and play for the title. An exciting day for tennis fans across the globe, as it is for Peter, who has been prepping for the game since morning.

“I've already checked the weather for the match. I've already checked how the players are doing, and I even checked the odds,” says the London resident, who works as a freelance musician.

“To, actually, have the two best players, as far as seeding goes, head-to-head on the final Sunday. That's as good as it gets.”

The excitement is palpable, because it’s been 15 years since the time Rafael Nadal played, and won, his first ever French Open tournament at Roland-Garros.

This time it’s Nadal once again, coming face to face with Novak Djokovic, since their first French Open interaction in 2012.

“He's in the final again. And, it's the Nadal-Djokovic, again,” says Peter, and for someone who loves the sport so dearly, this match cannot be missed.

“To, actually, have the two best players, as far as seeding goes, head-to-head on the final Sunday. That's as good as it gets,” he says.

Love for tennis, with 30-Love

Peter is an example of someone who grew with the sport.

His childhood memories are evidence of his early encounter with the sport when moving into a new neighborhood turned into an exciting life event as soon as he saw there were Tennis courts across the way.

He would insist that his father teach him, a demand to which his father eventually gave in.

“I remember that you had to buy stickers from the local post office to block out the schedule, to actually book the courts and my dad would take me across,” he says, while fondly remembering how his father used to give him a handicap of 30-love at the beginning of every game.

“But more broadly around the world, technology allows more people to see the sport I think exposing tennis to a greater number of people, which can only be a good thing.”

“But it didn't take too long before I, eventually, got better than him. To the point where I had to give him a handicap and then, eventually, he wasn't so keen to play,” says Peter with a smirk.

From there on, not only did Peter get better at the game, but his appreciation for the game grew as well.

Lessons in Tennis, and technology

While supporting players from the home country was a familial activity, Peter’s exposure to the world scape gave him a much wider perspective over the years. He also believes that the influence of technology has helped the sport.

How, you might ask, and Peter has an answer for that.

“Technology definitely has a place on court to make sure that the players are getting the right calls, and the right person wins,” he says, adding, “But more broadly around the world, technology allows more people to see the sport, exposing tennis to a greater number of people, which can only be a good thing.”

And, this time around, his experience of technology was taken further with the mobile app that Infosys helped create for Rolland Garros to bring the world of tennis to the handheld devices.

“I've been using the app to kind of check up on the players and especially their form in the run up to today,” says Peter, for whom the fact that Djokovic is ahead in the head-to-head was quite surprising.

“I've been using the app to kind of check up on the players and especially their form in the run up to today.”

“But then you look at the clay form, and actually, on song, Nadal is the force. And, seeing that dichotomy of Djokovic being stronger overall, but Nadal having the advantage on clay, I think that is what's going to make this final so exciting.”

And exciting it was, with him not only watching the match on the television, but with a host of information and insights right at his fingertips. Features such as match beats, and even the ability to gauge the speed of the serve are elements that only add to the experience.

It is evident that technology in the hands of sport lovers such as Peter has not only given them the ability to keep a track of the matches and players, but also a broader world view of the tournament, believes Peter.

At the close of the match that was dominated by the clay champion, Peter was clearly a satisfied, happy tennis fan, because not only did he experience the game, but was deeply entrenched in sport with technology as an aid.

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