Published September 07, 2012
Will your favorite player win at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships? New IBM technology built for this year’s Grand Slam may be able to predict the future.
The IBM Game Changer Interactive Wall at the Arthur Ashe stadium in Queens, New York, and a new iPad app use the company's analytics prowess to break down the on-court action, show the popularity of players based on who's Tweeting what, find the fastest transportation to the venue, and more.
And it puts fans front and center for all of the action.
“We’ve taken information about the matches that are happening on the court and the matches that have happened on court and tried to visualize it in a really interesting way,” Elizabeth O’Brien, IBM Sports Sponsorship Strategy & Planning Leader, told FoxNews.com.
Before a match even starts, it analyzes historical data on player type, past results and style to better understand each player’s game. “Based on the data we come up with three 'keys to the match,' meaning the three things that each player needs to do to do well in a match,” O’Brien explained.
A visual guide to this information shows three canisters next to each player’s name that fill up with tennis balls based on how they are meeting these goals during play.
For example, a look back at the Andy Murray vs. Marin Cilic match shows where Murray was falling flat at the start. “One of the keys for the match is to win more than 58 percent of his points on the second serve.” Early on in the match, Murray was only at 32 percent. He clearly needed to step it up in order to beat Cilic.
“You can see why Cilic might be winning -- and what Murray really needs to do better -- to turn the match around, which he eventually did.”
Murray beat Cilic in a four-set win to make it into the semifinals on Wednesday.
Other stats include the number of aces, returns, faults, double faults, and top serve speed per player.
The interactive fan experience also incorporates social media, so losers on the court may be winners in the Twitterverse. Fans can get involved by Tweeting and by “checking-into” the venue.
A social sentiment section on the wall shows the most talked about players. For example, “Serena Williams currently has 81 percent positive Tweets vs negative Tweets,” O’Brien said.
Check-in via FourSquare on your smartphone and your picture could appear on the great wall of tennis as well.
The IBM wall can also be accessed through the US Open website, and some of the stats can also be found on the US Open’s new iPad app.
Social Media is again a focus as you open to the main page of the app where you can join the on-going conversation about current matches by Tweeting. The iPad app also gives you full access to the players with live scores and schedules, draws, extra video content, and news surrounding the Championships.
“This your total guide to the U.S. Open, in your pocket or in your hand, on your desktop, anywhere,” O’Brien told FoxNews.com.