• Starr Knight

IBM Real-Time Data Like Never Before

For Tennis fans, the long awaited year opening grand slam is always the most exciting.

The Australian Open saw trainers melting, players fainting and history being made but that isn’t what I want to focus on. IBM’s Real Time Data Algorithm impressed like never before.


IBM partnered with The Australian Open a few years ago but we are only just beginning to see the benefits of this collaboration. For me, and most people in the world who love watching Tennis, it is not always easy with the time difference but I will make sure I am awake to see my favourite players.


As much as I enjoy watching the matches, I also enjoy seeing the statistics, mainly just to remind myself that the likes of Federer and Nadal are still human and make mistakes but also, to see a players strengths and weaknesses.


IBM Real Time Data provides statistical analysis of all aspects of a game from serve percentage, shot variation, rally duration and much more. IBM now has an advanced Slamtracker which delves deeper into a players game. It can track a player's momentum, habits, strategies point by point, all in real time.


IBM Slamtracker uses 8 years of a players data fro grand slams and we can even see the top players tendencies from past tournaments and “keys to the game” for each player based on their opponent and circumstance.


When a match progresses, more fascinating statistics become available. A players performance is measured against their “keys” and updated in real time.


As a company, IBM have analysed over 41 million Tennis points, determining how a player’s career has panned out. You can find out what caused Federer’s disappointing 2013, the game change of Serena Williams and what makes Novak Djokovic the danger that he is on a Tennis court.


Australian Open viewers and Tennis Australia are provided further analysis into crowd sentiment through Twitter and other social media channels. The most amazing feature that was introduced this year was the ReturnServe. This allows you to put you tennis abilities to the test by giving you the chance to return a serve hit by one of the top players virtually. There are return serve locations in Melbourne and Sydney.


The ReturnServe team fit you with with a virtual reality headset and a motion sensing tennis racquet before taking part in the simulation. Using real time data, ReturnServe recreates the speed and trajectory of a serve and presents it on the virtual reality screen. This can be very daunting at first but don’t worry because IBM Real Time Data analyses your performance and gives you an overview on your strengths and weaknesses, showing you where you need to improve.


Other major events with similar data traffic like Wimbledon, The Masters and even The Tony Awards have just started using IBM’s technology. For those of you, like me who is interested both Technology and Sport will agree that what IBM have managed to achieve is both lucrative and impressive.


Keep an eye on IBM as I’m sure this is just the beginning of their innovation in sports technology.

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