Rob Keating’s Image of Nick Kyrgios Swinging his Tennis Racquet.
Rob Keating’s Image of Nick Kyrgios Swinging his Tennis Racquet.

Revolutionizing Tennis, with Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios. Image Credit: Rob Keating from Canberra, Australia, Australia / CC BY-SA (
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About This Episode

Sometimes a sport needs to be shaken up by someone or something. When traditions get too full of themselves or if there’s a new way to play the game, it’s time for a new direction. On this episode of StarTalk Sports Edition, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice are checking out the people and the technology that are revolutionizing tennis. 

We start by exploring the rising field of performance analytics with David Ramos, Coaching Education and Performance Manager for the United States Tennis Association (USTA). You’ll hear how David and his team are creating match analysis and performance analytics that can immediately help players and coaches after matches. David tells us about the importance of a player finding their “core” game.

We investigate how artificial intelligence can help us understand performance analytics. Find out how IBM’s Watson has been used to analyze data at the U.S. Open. David explains how high-speed video cameras help players detect small problems or deficiencies in their technique. 

Then, we flip the script. Nick Kyrgios, the 40th ranked men’s tennis player in the world, joins the conversation to share his insights into the game today. You’ll learn how Nick got started in tennis even though his first love is basketball. He tells us about his experience beating Rafael Nadal for the first time. We explore playing on instinct, and you’ll hear why analytics and data are not a big part of Nick’s game. 

Nick shares his thoughts on AI being implemented into the sport. He also tells us about his relationship with John McEnroe. And, you’ll find out why his game is impossible for his opponents to read. All that, plus, we ponder whether artificial intelligence will ever be able to mess with an opponent’s head. 

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

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