3DTVGuide.org - 3D Tennis
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Tennis is another sport that will benefit greatly from being beamed into our homes in 3D. Like any sport, there will be the heightened sense of “thereness” that the third dimension will bring - the mental focus that goes into the expertly calibrated shot, the palpable anguish of the player when the ball falls just outside the line, the joy of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Experiencing a powerful serve in 3D is something that will almost, for the most enthusiastic tennis fan, be worth the price of their 3D Bravia. In a flat serve, the ball can reach speeds of up to 135 mph. Watching it fly at you at that velocity will have you either jumping behind the couch for cover or, if you’re the more steely type, revelling in the thrill of it. The kick serve (also known as the topspin, or the twist serve) is a little slower, reaching around 120 mph even when curvature is exaggerated, but it comes with the added thrill of calling on greater player skill to get the ball across the court at the correct angle.
And anyone who has watched the world’s top players duel at Wimbledon or the Grand Slam knows the suspense involved in watching the server’s opponent wait for the shot; the innumerable split-second decisions going through his or her mind in the few seconds beforehand. Then there’s the moment of the hit - the reverberating thwack that communicates the kinetics of the racquet connecting with the ball. Now imagine all of these moments, but in 3D.
The 2011 Wimbledon Championships were broadcast in 3D by the BBC - also making history by being the first 3D sporting event to be broadcast live in 3D on its HD channel (see <http://bit.ly/jjJAgG>). Paul Davies, the BBC’s executive producer of sport, was quoted as saying that 3D will “bring to life all the tension, drama and excitement on one of the most iconic sporting arenas in the world”. That’s a given - watching Rafael Nadal and current world number one Novak Djokovic face off in 3D will stand as one of the most exhilarating sporting events of the year.
Thrill of the game aside, it should be added that 3D tennis will also help out those players who just want to improve their skills. Having a better sense of the players’ movements across the court, as well as the dynamics of their swings, will give players better insight into these aspects of their own game. 3D tennis is poised to become a great training tool too.