INSIGHTS: Shot Variety Explained

  • Posted: Oct 06, 2023

INSIGHTS: Shot Variety Explained

Shot Variety shows how much a player varies their shot selection and mixes up their play 

One of the newest INSIGHTS metrics, Shot Variety, provides an objective measure for how much a player mixes up their tactics and shot selection during match play.

Expressed as a percentage of all shots hit, Shot Variety is calculated by comparing the use of “core” shots — topspin groundstrokes hit through the opponent’s baseline — with the use of variation. This variation can include deep or short slices, drop shots, topspin angles and shots at net.

The metric provides a useful tool to help demonstrate how a player’s tactics compare to the rest of the ATP Tour. When viewed for a particular match, Shot Variety can also show how a player’s shot selection compares to his own benchmarks from previous matches.

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Out of players inside the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Daniel Evans and Alexander Bublik are the co-leaders in Shot Variety over the past 52 weeks, with both players hitting roughly 47 per cent of their shots with variation. For Evans, his 46.8 per cent score breaks down as follows: slices (25.1%), short slices (7.1%), drop shots (1.2%), angles (2.1%), net shots (11.3%).

The ATP Tour average for Shot Variety is 21 per cent. That 21 per cent average is made up of slices (6%), short slices (3%), drop shots (2%), angles (2%) and net shots (8%).

Taylor Fritz, Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev have the lowest Shot Variety among the Top 20, with all three players scoring just over 10 per cent. Ben Shelton is near the top at about 30 percent, with Lorenzo Musetti and Grigor Dimitrov owning the highest percentages of the Top 20, both over 30 per cent.

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