This is a guest post by Spencer Blohm. If you’d like to contribute to Tennis Buzz as a writer or a photographer, please contact us.

Following Andy Murray’s triumph last year at Wimbledon, much of the world has their eye on him, hoping that he will provide an encore performance this year. So far, so good, as he’s reached the quarterfinals following his victory against Kevin Anderson on Monday. It’s just the latest in the four matches he’s won so far at Wimbledon. Murray, for one, isn’t one to compare his current performance to his victorious run last year, telling The Guardian “I don’t really look back and compare,” which might be the best policy to avoid psyching himself out.
The rest of the world though, is following Murray with anticipation. Following his win last year, Twitter is buzzing whenever he plays. As you can see from this graph from social media tracker Topsy, every day Murray plays, mentions of his name skyrocket on Twitter.

Murray mention on twitter

One of Murray’s sponsors, adidas, is looking to follow up their success on Twitter last year with their hashtag #AndyMurray, which got 30,000 mentions during the final match which Murray won. This year adidas is promoting Murray on their main Twitter account as well as the accounts they have for adidas Tennis and adidas UK.

Of course, it isn’t only Murray and his sponsors who are using social media to their advantage during the tournament. This year is arguably the year of social media at the stories tennis tournament. Wimbledon, for the first time ever, will feature user generated content on the screens on Henman Hill, which they hope will encourage interaction from both fans at the event, and those watching from home. They have been using this social media interaction during the television broadcasts of the tournament to encourage even more interaction with the approximately 378.8 million people in 198 territories that tune into to the tournament.
All of this is being powered at the “Social Command Centre” which is run by IBM SoftLayer. At the Command Centre, they’re tracking trending topics, hashtags, where the tweets are coming from, and which courts are getting to most mentions. That being said, there’s a focused effort to keep tennis first, and to not let the increase of social media and online interaction overshadow the main event and players. Content and communications manager for Wimbledon, Alexandra Willis, told the Telegraph,

“We at Wimbledon wouldn’t want to put screens around Centre Court, displaying tweets and doing that sort of thing, because when someone is on Centre Court it’s sacred ground, and they are there to watch the tennis”

Beyond the social media aspect, live streaming will play an important part of watching this years tournament. While cable and media companies like BBC in England, ESPN, and DirecTV in the States have comprehensive coverage on television, they’ve all started to feature online streaming on their websites for the less high profile matches. Of course, there is always a connectivity issue that comes with live streaming so you can try here to learn more about the Wimbledon mix that DirecTV is offering for tournament coverage, and ESPN is also showing extensive Wimbledon coverage in HD for those who have that channel. Of course, you can always go straight to the source, the Wimbledon official website that is, for more in depth analysis and live streaming if you’re a true tennis buff.

It’s worth noting that, as of right now, Murray isn’t the social media king of the tournament, that honor actually goes to Roger Federer. The Wimbledon Social Command Centre reported to The Standard that so far during this tournament, Federer has the top influencer slot at the tournament which they calculated “using factors such as response times to his activity on Twitter, mentions and following.”
Perhaps that’s because he’s one of the few top competitors able to stay in play on the game-changing grass courts at Wimbledon – after all, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and now Rafael Nadal have all been eliminated! We’ll have to stay tuned to see if his two competitors in social media influence (Murray and Novak Djokovic in second and third respectively) can beat him online, or more importantly, on the court.

You might also like: Twitter and Wimbledon 2014, what have the players been up to?

Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray poster at Wimbledon Station: Wimbledon awaits

Maria Sharapova’s Sugarpova pop-up store in Wimbledon Village:

Sugarpova pop-up store

2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic:

Goran Ivanisevic

Henman Hill (or Murray Mound?)

Henman Hill

Petra Kvitova leaving practice courts:

Petra Kvitova

Last year’s runner-up Sabine Lisicki practising:

Sabine Lisicki

The queue arriving at Wimbledon:

The queue arriving at Wimbledon

Centre Court before play starts:

Wimbledon Centre Court

Ball Boys and Girls:

Ball Boys and Girls

Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol arrive on Centre Court for a rematch of their 2012 second round meeting:

Rafael Nadal

Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary of Denmark in the Royal Box:

Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary of Denmark

Denise Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, James and Pippa Middleton in the Royal Box:

Denise Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, James and Pippa Middleton

Rafael Nadal:

Rafael Nadal

Lukas Rosol:

Lukas Rosol

Chelsea Pensioners enjoying the match:

Chelsea Pensioners enjoying the match

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Lukas Rosol and Rafael Nadal

Led 4-6 2-4, Nadal rallies and wins in 4 sets 4-6 7-6 6-4 6-4. He’ll face Mikhail Kukushkin in the third round.

Next on Centre Court, Angelique Kerber and Heather Watson:

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

Heather Watson

1969 Wimbledon champion Ann Jones watching the match (to know more about this champion who also excelled in table tennis, read her portrait written by journalist Rex Bellamy)

Ann Jones

6-2 5-7 6-1 win for world number seven Angelique Kerber.

Angelique Kerber

Last match of the day on Centre Court: 7-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer faces Gilles Muller.

Roger Federer

Mirka Federer:

Mirka Federer

Stefan Edberg:

Stefan Edberg

Gilles Muller:

Gilles Muller

Rain stops play at Wimbledon. Rain on Henman Hill:

Rain on Henman Hill

View from Henman Hill, you can see the Shard in the background:

View from Henman Hill

Empty practice courts:

Empty practice courts

The roof makes its first appearance at Wimbledon 2014:

Centre Court at Wimbledon

Centre Court at Wimbledon

Good day at the office for Federer who wins in straight sets 6-3 7-5 6-3.

Roger Federer

Gilles Muller and Roger Federer

Thanks a lot to Karen for her pictures and story. Follow our Wimbledon 2014 coverage

I spent a few days in London for a bit of sightseeing and a bit of tennis at Queen’s, and I took the opportunity to visit Wimbledon.
Even though I’m French and discovered tennis through Roland Garros, my favorite tournament has always been (and will always be) Wimbledon. So for me it was a dream come true, I finally get to see this fantastic place. Next goal for me: obtain a ticket for The Championships, perhaps next year?

Some infos about Wimbledon guided tours:

How to book a tour?
Online or by calling +44 (0)20 8946 6131

How much does it cost?
The total cost of £20.00 includes entrance to the Museum and is payable upon arrival.

What does the tour include?
Centre Court, No.1 Court, Henman Hill, The Millennium Building and Press Interview Room
Total time for the tour and museum is usually around two and a half hours, including 90 minutes for the tour and an hour for the Museum.

Is it worth it?
Yes, yes and yes!
The guide was really passionate about the Championships and Wimbledon’s history, told lots of anecdotes and took time to answer all our questions. A must-do for any tennis fan!

The first thing you see when you enter the Stadium is the Fred Perry statue and the Centre Court:

Wimbledon

Wimbledon

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Wimbledon Trivia

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– Dark green and purple are the traditional Wimbledon colours, but from 2006 the officials, ball boys and girls were outfitted in new navy blue and cream uniforms designed by Ralph Lauren.

– “Middle Sunday” is traditionally a rest day. However, rain has forced play on Middle Sunday three times in Wimbledon history: 1991, 1997 and 2004. Each time, Wimbledon staged a “People’s Sunday”, with unreserved and inexpensive tickets. All about the first Middle Sunday in 1991.

Henman Hill is an area on the grounds of the All England Club officially known as Aorangi Terrace. People without showcourts tickets can watch tennis matches on a giant television screen at the side of number one court. During Tim Henman‘s playing days, the area was the focal point of Henmania, where British tennis fans would fanatically support Henman.

– Last British woman to win Wimbledon is Virginia Wade in 1977. All about Virginia Wade’s triumph.

– Last British man to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry in 1936, last runner-up was Bunny Austin in 1938.
A bronze statue of Fred Perry was erected at the All England Club in 1984 to mark the 50th anniversary of his first singles championship.

Fred Perry statue

– During World War II, a bomb ripped through Centre Court and 1200 seats were damaged. Play resumed in 1946 but it wasn’t until 1949 that the area was back into shape.

– The trophies are presented by the President of the All England Club, The Duke of Kent, and by his sister, Princess Alexandra.

– Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament to feature a Royal Box. The first Royal to visit Wimbledon was Crown Princess Stephanie of Austria in 1895. In 1926, Prince Albert, Duke of York (who later became King George VI and father of Queen Elizabeth II) entered the doubles event with his Royal Air Force tennis partner, Wing commander Louis Grieg.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has visited Wimbledon only twice, to see Virginia Wade triumph in 1977, and in 2010. In 2008, after his epic win against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal climbed up to the Royal Box, to greet Crown Prince Felipe and Crown Princess Felizia of Spain.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

– The quotation above the player’s entrance to Centre Court is an extract from the poem if by Rudyard Kipling:

“If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same”

– Wimbledon will host the Olympic tennis events in 2012.