Sports

Tracking the future of tennis

Rising tennis star Coco Gauff is using revolutionary technology to take her game to the next level—and get a competitive edge on the court.

Coco Gauff made history as a 15-year-old player who took tennis by storm after defeating Venus Williams in straight sets at Wimbledon in 2019.

Known for her incredible serve, the teenager’s career has now reached its own break point—a transition from watching her childhood idols to actually beating them on the court. Now, with the help of technology and data analytics, she’s taking her game to the next level as she grows into her role as one of the sport’s fastest rising stars.

Bringing her A-game on and off the court

As a professional tennis player and full-time virtual student starting the 11th grade, Coco balances school with a rigorous training and tournament schedule. She’s seen firsthand how the power of technology can support her career and education—by offering freedom and flexibility. When she’s not on the court, she’s busy learning French and taking classes at Florida Virtual School, which is popular with professional athletes.

Now, as many of her friends and students around the world shift to virtual school, Coco has become passionate about everyone having the resources they need to excel while learning from home. That’s why she joined forces with Microsoft Stores to raise awareness about how educational resources like Teams can support students of all backgrounds and their families. Learn more about her favorite tools and tips for success here.

The hustle never stops

It takes a team effort from Coco’s entire family to help keep her on top of a demanding six-day-a-week schedule.

Coco spends two sessions a day at the tennis courts with her father, who happens to be her coach, too. There, she practices her swing and works on repetitive hitting skills to keep an upper hand on her game.

Her daily routine also includes strength and conditioning at the gym with her trainer. Balance, agility, and weight training are key components to keeping her body strong and preventing injury.

To push her training even further, Coco has partnered with Microsoft to add something new to her daily routine: data analytics. Using Microsoft technology, Coco will have an advantage against the competition and continue to push herself to the edge.

Serving up insights

For even the greatest tennis players, there’s always room for improvement. When you’re competing at the top of your game and repeating the same movements thousands of times a year, the slightest adjustment can be the difference between hitting a winning shot or suffering an injury.

Microsoft partnered with SIMI US Motion to tackle this challenge with a new suite of biometric tools that can track even Coco's subtlest movements. How exactly does this markerless tracking system work?

It uses eight high-speed cameras to determine the silhouette of Coco’s body, carefully measuring her motion—from the way her hips rotate to the exact angle of her racquet during a swing. That produces millions of data points that are processed on Microsoft Azure, enabling Coco’s coaches to discover insights that would be nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye.

Changing her game

Working with the new technology, Coco is already seeing potential ways to improve her performance on the court. Knowing her tendency to have different take backs on her forehand side, Coco can analyze the data to reveal which one works best. She’s also used the system to track her explosiveness on each side of the court, revealing new ways to improve her game.

With the addition of Microsoft technology, Coco has another powerful tool to support her training. For one of tennis’ most promising players, it’s just one more step towards becoming an all-time great.