The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is set to trial wearable technology for the first time during the upcoming Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
The ATP says the technology will allow players and coaches at the annual 21-and-under men’s tennis tournament to quantify the demands of the competition, better understand athlete loading and make performance decisions based on objective data.
The wearable devices will have a GPS receiver and sensors that measure velocity and direction, acceleration and force, rotation, and body orientation. The technology will also quantify internal load by measuring a player’s heart rate.
The data generated from the device will only be available to each player and those that they choose to give access to. It will be displayed in the form of maps showing player movements and actions, while players and coaches will also get post-match and post-practice reports. They will also be able to synchronise the data with match footage.
The ATP added that one-on-one support from an unnamed vendor will be provided on-site throughout the tournament.
“From the outset, the Next Gen ATP Finals have been at the cutting edge of innovation in our sport, and the use of wearable technology this year during matches will provide some invaluable insights to players, coaches and ATP medical services,” said Chris Kermode, the ATP’s outgoing executive chairman and president. “This is a unique tournament that has always embraced new technologies, and this is the latest step as the event continues to pioneer innovation in the game.”
Wearable technology is the latest innovation to be rolled out at the Next Gen Finals, which also feature shorter sets to four, electronic line calling through Hawk-Eye Live, a 25-second shot clock, in-match player coaching via headsets and video review.
This year’s Next Gen Finals is the third edition of the event, and takes place at Milan’s Allianz Cloud from 5th to 9th November.