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.
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?
A sneak peek at the outfit 5-time US Open champion Roger Federer will be wearing in New York:
Last year’s finalist Sabine Lisicki. She split with coach Martina Hingis on the eve of the tournament.
Rafael Nadal, back in the second week at Wimbledon for the first time since 2011.
Roger Federer, looking for an historic eighth Wimbledon title:
Photo credit: petercooper131
Wimbledon 2014 has certainly seen the event live up to its billing as the ‘most social Wimbledon ever’, with the event organisers bringing people closer to the action with a string of cutting edge activations promoted via the @Wimbledon Twitter profile. Adding to this is the fact that 85% of the competing seeded players now have a presence on Twitter, and with this in mind I wanted to have a look at some of the themes emerging from the outbound activity published to Twitter by those competing in week one at this years event.
If you have an interest in our great sport then Wimbledon is the place to be, and that is consistently the case for a series of superstar actors, musicians and sports people who turn out annually to watch the action live, to the delight of the players
— Sabine Lisicki (@sabinelisicki) June 24, 2014
— Sabine Lisicki (@sabinelisicki) June 28, 2014
— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) June 26, 2014
— Eugenie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) June 26, 2014
There happens to be World Cup Taking Place
Novak Djokovic has shown support for the countries neighboring his native Serbia, and appears to have taken a particular liking to Greece
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) June 24, 2014
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) June 24, 2014
As has Nick Kyrgios, who despite representing Australia has family roots in Greece
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 29, 2014
Given Spain’s early exit, Rafa Nadal has refrained from tweeting about the tournament, which is in contrast to Roger Federer, who has been ever so insightful in his live tweets during Switzerland’s matches
Goal yes 1-0 switzerland
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) June 25, 2014
Maria Sharapova has been following Russia’s progress – luckily for Maria, should things not fair so well with Grigor, she will have no problems finding a new partner in her native homeland
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) June 26, 2014
Whilst Tomas Berdych weighed in on the discussion around the Luis Suarez ‘bite’ – Tomas, are you implying that Suarez is a vampire?
Players interacting with one another
Andrea Petkovic is always good value on Twitter and after the BBC referred to her as “an up and coming 20 year old rising star”, she took to the micro blog to highlight her secret to sustaining her youthful complexion, prompting replies from fellow players Ana Ivanovic and Angelique Kerber
@andreapetkovic I always told you Botox was a good thing!!!
— Ana Ivanovic (@AnaIvanovic) June 26, 2014
— Angelique Kerber (@AngeliqueKerber) June 26, 2014
Tomas Berdych lost out to Marin Cilic in a match that ended at 21:38 in almost total darkness – the latest end time for an outdoor match in Wimbledon’s history. Despite the ‘Bird man’s’ protests to the umpire to suspend the match at the latter end of the third set and with Hawk Eye failing to operate given the lack of light, Berdych took to Twitter to congratulate Cilic on his victory
— Tomáš Berdych (@tomasberdych) June 27, 2014
His tweet prompted humorous response from the @PseudoFed profile (in my opinion at least) one of the best parody accounts on Twitter
— Not Roger Federer (@PseudoFed) June 28, 2014
On the subject of Mr Federer, the Swiss maestro also appears to have a slight sky obsession this Wimbledon, and sparked conversation amongst his community with this ”what do you see?” tweet
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) June 27, 2014
Roger seemed to enjoy some of the responses too….
You guys are awesome. Scrolling, scrolling… Still scrolling.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) June 27, 2014
It is great to see players take to Twitter to give an insight into their thoughts, feelings and personalities at an event that ranks as the pinnacle of the sport, and the highlight in the annual ATP and WTA calendar. As we transition from the middle Sunday to the ‘business end’ of Wimbledon 2014, I look forward to seeing yet more fun, reactive and heart felt Twitter activity from the players.
Article written by Andreas Plastiras
Andy Murray poster at Wimbledon Station: Wimbledon awaits
Maria Sharapova’s Sugarpova pop-up store in Wimbledon Village:
2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic:
Henman Hill (or Murray Mound?)
Petra Kvitova leaving practice courts:
Last year’s runner-up Sabine Lisicki practising:
The queue arriving at Wimbledon:
Centre Court before play starts:
Ball Boys and Girls:
Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary of Denmark in the Royal Box:
Denise Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, James and Pippa Middleton in the Royal Box:
Chelsea Pensioners enjoying the match:
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.
6-2 5-7 6-1 win for world number seven Angelique Kerber.
Rain stops play at Wimbledon. Rain on Henman Hill:
View from Henman Hill, you can see the Shard in the background:
Empty practice courts:
The roof makes its first appearance at Wimbledon 2014:
Good day at the office for Federer who wins in straight sets 6-3 7-5 6-3.