IBM Analytics helps the AELTC collect and visualize data from past and present to give their content team the edge in breaking new stories
During the Wimbledon fortnight, 48 courtside experts capture approximately 3.4 million data-points, tracking the type of shots and the outcome of each point. This data is used to generate player and match
statistics, before being published on IBM SlamTracker®, an intuitive visualization tool which is integrated into the AELTC’s digital platforms.
By feeding data on previous matches into IBM SPSS® Modeler, IBM is also able to generate “Keys to the Match” for each player – a set of predictions that if a player achieves certain goals, such as winning
more than 70 percent of points on first serve, or more than 50 percent of medium rallies, they will defeat their opponent. These keys can then be compared to the live statistics during each set, to give
the audience an idea of whether the player is on track to win.
For example, in the 2015 Ladies’ Singles final, Serena Williams achieved all three of her keys in both sets, while Garbine Muguruza hit none of hers during the first set, and only one during the second.
The result of the match was a comfortable straight-sets victory for Williams.
This year, for the first time, IBM also fed live match data into IBM Streams, which enabled a new real-time notification capability. The system matched the incoming data with each player’s previous record
at Wimbledon, and automatically pushed notifications to the AELTC’s content team whenever a new record was set or a milestone was about to be reached.
For example, on day one, Lleyton Hewitt hit his 1,500th winner at Wimbledon; within seconds, the content team was able to publish a tweet that put his achievement in context as one of The Championships’
“Grass Court Greats”.
“The clever part is that the streaming tool didn’t just notify us when he hit the 1,500th winner – it
gave us early warning when he had hit his 1,497th,” says Alexandra Willis. That gave our
content team time to put together a story around the data, and break the news, both faster and with more impact than any of our competitors.”
A similar technique was used to analyze data from the on-court serve speed measurement system. Each time a player served the ball, the system was able to compare it with their previous fastest serves in
real time, and alert the media team about any new personal bests or records.
For example, when Sam Groth hit a 147mph serve on day six – the second-fastest ever at Wimbledon – the media team was able to publish a series of tweets almost instantly, including links to video highlights
that drove more traffic to the wimbledon.com site.
- IBM Streams
- IBM SPSS Modeler
- IBM Emerging Technology Services
- IBM Global Business Services
Additionally, for previous finalists, the solution was able to compare current match statistics with their record from previous tournaments. For example, if Novak Djokovic’s second serve rate was sufficiently
higher or lower during the 2015 tournament than in 2014, when he last reached the final, the content team would be informed, and could use this data to enrich their articles and social media output.