Technology has radically changed the game of tennis—from the rackets and strings to the data used to analyze opponents. Now, a new "smart racket" may take the tennis tech battle to a whole new level.
Babolat recently introduced a $399 racket called Play that has built-in sensors and software to connect it to an Apple iPhone or other mobile device. It can measure your swing speed, spin, power, shot selection and even where you're hitting the ball on your racket.
"We are developing a whole new market. This is the first connected product in tennis. People have to experience it for the first time to understand how it can actually help," said Susan DiBiase, marketing director for Babolat USA.
To test it out, I took to the court against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 10th-ranked player in the world and one of the most powerful hitters in the game. Needless to say, Tsonga crushed me during our points. But the matchup became far more interesting and instructive when we compared the data from our Play rackets.