The path to the world tennis elite is so long and tough that not all players are able to cross it. Only some lucky ones reach the goal, although luck is also sought. There are many factors involved in this process and the smallest detail counts to make the leap. In case of Daniil Medvedev It has a lot to do with this, a player with many pieces in her possession but poorly ordered. Their coach, Gilles Cercara, began to put them in the wind, but he needed outside help. This is where the figure of Caroline Martin, member of a sports biomechanics laboratory where tools are developed to optimize the performance of professionals.

“The laboratory had never looked at tennis, it was more focused on swimming, handball or soccer, but I was lucky that the bosses gave me carte blanche to develop my own tennis department, specifically, to study the biomechanics of the service ”, explains the French in an interview published by Tennis Actu. The most complicated thing was already done, to get confidence within a business that bet on tennis players. Now the second part was missing, attracting them.

“Normally it is the coaches who contact me. We start with a telephone interview, we define objectives, I watch videos to get to know the player a little and then a phase that lasts about two hours already comes into play. There are times when everything stays on that phone call, nothing more, but the ideal is for the player to physically come to collaborate with us. Once here, we place sensors on the athlete’s body and on the racket using a specific protocol and training immediately begins, ”says the woman who has received visits from Harold Mayot, Diane Parry, Fiona Ferro or Ugo Humbert in recent months. .

“We perform hit / miss measurements and write a first report, although the most important thing comes later. The data is processed by software, the player’s skeleton is reconstructed and the measurements are compared with the databases according to the level. This is how we determine areas for improvement, such as the height of a hit or power. Improvement can also be related to technique or physical preparation, “says Caroline, who met an unexpected guest about two years ago.

Daniil Medvedev, current No. 5 in the world, put himself in his hands in 2018 to solve the problems he was experiencing with the service, a wound that over time has been brilliantly closed. “It is not easy to analyze, players like Nadal or Djokovic have also made technical changes throughout their careers. Ours is optimization, seeing how to gain a few km / h or how to increase the percentage of first serves, these details are what differentiate tennis players at the highest level. We never completely question the technique, but it is also important that the player adheres to the system, otherwise it is not worth it ”, values ​​the French, at the head of a revolutionary program that hopes to continue taking steps over time. The same steps that Medvedev has taken.

“I always like to look at the results of the players who came to work with us, we often get feedback from the coaches. Many times it is a matter of confidence level, but also of physical improvement. In the case of Daniil, it was Gilles Cervara who contacted us, he did it when he was # 60 in the world and now he is among the top five. I don’t want to say that this promotion is only thanks to us, it is evident that the player has progressed in many more areas ”.

As with every laboratory bench, some experiments work well and others less so. In Caroline’s case, early successes push her to think out loud with a couple of names she’d love to help. “This is a question that I am asked very often. In boys, it would be a dream to analyze Roger Federer, both scientifically and at the level of admiration. At first glance, his technique seems perfect, but it would be interesting to see what our tools say. As for women, I would love to have Serena Williams, she is without a doubt the best ambassador that women’s tennis has ever had. ”

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