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Physicality Index Explained: Next Gen ATP Finals Presented By NEMO | ATP Tour

The ATP and Tennis Data Innovations (TDI) will deliver unprecedented insights at the 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM. Using state-of-the-art tracking metrics, the insights will assess the physical capacity required to compete at the highest professional level of our sport. The Physicality Index (PI) will allow fans and media to objectively evaluate and quantify the physical outputs of two players competing against each other at the 21-and-under event.

It is important to understand that the Physicality Index (PI) is NOT a direct measurement of the athletes overall tactical performance. It is only reflective of the physical work being produced by each athlete during the match.

At the 2021 Next Gen ATP Finals, Carlos Alcaraz won all five of his matches, spending less than 6.5 hours on court, and only dropping one set in the entire event. From a PI perspective, he worked harder than his opponents in four of the five matches, and his highest match physicality never reached above a 3.4 in the tournament. This did not mean he was not performing at a very high level, but rather indicated that he was able to execute tactically while being very efficient with how much energy he was spending on court.

A similar pattern is visible in the NBA. All-Stars tend to have a lower physicality index ranking because of how efficient they are within different parts of the game. They know when to push and how to save energy while still being on the court, contributing to the overall success of the team.

Tennis champions are some of the most physically fit athletes in the world and are asked to move around the court, executing shots from compromising positions, while staying balanced over multiple hours. The highest levels of tennis set themselves apart from other sports due to the combination of skill and athleticism rarely seen in other sports.

So what are the actual physical demands required to win the Next Gen ATP Finals? With the emergence of this performance tracking data, the answer is clear. We must first crack the code of the Physicality Index, breaking it down into four key metrics, to better understand how each metric affects the overall physicality of each match.

The first two metrics, distance and workload, help establish an overall volume of work. The volume metrics define how much overall work the athlete has to do in the time frame being evaluated. By using two different volume metrics—total distance and workload—we’ll ensure that different biological systems affected by overall workload are accounted for. High Speed Distance and Explosive Movements make up our Intensity metric, which measure how much of the work being done is performed at high levels of exertion, that place the body under extreme stress levels.

Distance: Overall volume of work [total ground covered] an athlete must undertake in order to excel at the highest levels of the sport.
Work Load: Total amount of weighted accelerations and decelerations the athlete has performed at different intensities.
High Speed Distance: Total distance covered at the Top 3 per cent of speeds observed in professional tennis.
Explosive Movements: High intensity changes of direction (highly-demanding acceleration or deceleration).
Intensity: High Speed Movements and Explosive Movements are used to calculate: Intensity.

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