After reading about the latest Congress on Tennis Science and Technology held by the ITF Science & Technical Department, I thought I’d track down one of the guys who published a paper in conjunction with the event. Matt Downing, a student at the University of Bath, conducted studies that led to “The effect of temperature on the court pace rating of tennis surfaces” and “The effect of climatic changes on the properties of tennis balls”, both included in Tennis Science and Technology 3 (edited by Miller, S. and Capel-Davies, J. ITF: London). In plain English, he basically did a study on how tennis courts and tennis balls are affected by variations in temperature.
Over e-mail, we chatted with Matt about how he fell into working with the ITF, what his research was like, and what his plans are for future tennis-related studies. Read on.