Stephen Tignor wrote a five-page feature called "Data Entry" on Craig as part of Tennis Magazine's 2020 Season Preview.
Here's the link to the story:
Here are five quick takes from the feature...
1: Growing Up In Albury, Australia, on grass courts.
"O’Shannessy, like every self-respecting Aussie of his day, was a serve-and-volleyer. Without lessons, his technique was raw, but he knew how to hide his weaknesses. His backhand volley grip was so bad, he says, he learned how to run around it and hit a forehand volley instead—not an easy thing to pull off when you’re rushing the net. "
2: Tennis analytics in the early 1990's
“The statistics were so primitive,” he says. “Everyone was guessing about what worked. Was serve and volley dead? Should you hit more forehands than backhands? I didn’t want to guess, so I started counting.”
3: 2019 Australian Open Final
The Serbian may have made it look easy, “but a lot of work went into that match,” says O’Shannessy, who joined Djokovic’s team as a tactical analyst in 2017 (the pair parted aways at the end of 2019). Their team pored over data that told them where Nadal liked to hit the ball and where he didn’t, giving Djokovic a clear idea of what he wanted to do.
4: The birth of Rally Length
“In all of the analysis of tennis, we never considered rally length,” he says. “We remember the long rallies, but it had never hit me that, on average, each player will only touch the ball twice in a point. Everyone trains to win long points; what we need to do is win the short points.”
5: Craig's use of analytics wins matches.
O’Shannessy’s system has produced results. He helped mastermind Dustin Brown’s upset win over Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015. He had a “come to Jesus” moment with Kevin Anderson about the South African’s game that eventually led to his rise into the Top 10. Last year at Wimbledon, O’Shannessy helped Alison Riske upset his countrywoman Ash Barty. At the US Open, he helped guide Berrettini to his first Grand Slam semifinal. In the wake of his success, other agencies, like Golden Set Analytics and Tennis Stat, have begun to offer statistical services to players at all levels.
Enjoy the story!