In this Tennis Radar, we take a look at some new tech entries into the tennis market: weather and tactics phone apps., as well as one insecticidal racquet.
Facts: Tennis WildCards, an application for iPhone, is literally a coach in your back pocket. Just plug in you and your opponent’s playing styles, and the app. will spit out a series of tactics that aim to bring out your strengths and exploit their weaknesses. According to the company, the tactics algorithm is rather sophisticated, encompassing a wide variety of NTRP levels (2.5 to 5.5) and playing styles—namely, aggressive and defensive baseliners, net rushers, all-courters, and junk ballers.
Thoughts: When it comes to strategy in recreational tennis, take heed: There are really only a handful of ways, if that, to go about winning a point. How fortunate we would all be, if all it took were a few dollars and an app. to learn sport’s time-tested dictum: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
Facts: The Zap Racket is a rechargeable, electrified wand designed to zap dead all manner of pesky insects. The stick features a built-in light that aids in tracking (and attracting) bugs, as well as three layers of wire “string,” which provide a surface appropriate for safe zapping. And according to the company, the Zap Racket isn’t just a novelty; it's an environmentally-friendly alternative to harmful and costly insecticides.
Thoughts: While the Zap Racket probably won’t do much to clear away those hellish clouds of summer gnats, it should do a number on that spider just out of reach. And who knows? It might be therapeutic—an outlet for that dark sadist within. (Look for an upcoming review of the Zap Racket shortly.)
Tennis Weather Pro
Website: Apple Store
Facts: Tennis Weather Pro, a new application for iPhone, can not only navigate you to the nearest court; it provides court-specific weather forecasts. In particular, the company claims that T.W.P. is able locate all tennis facilities in the United States, with capabilities spanning hourly forecasts to up-to-date wind direction.
Thoughts: Finally, an app. that marks where the courts are relative to that big, ominous, green (radar) blob. How those blobs can ruin a day of ball. Will this spell the end of the on-court rain dance?