Numbers say that Wimbledon is Federer’s playground

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July is not a silly-season when it comes to sports. In fact, it’s the month when some of the greatest sport competitions take place and one of them is the Wimbledon Grand Slam. For some players, it’s where magic happens and dreams come true and those ball boys and girls for sure have plenty of stories to tell. Throughout history underdog players, romances among professional players, fights and drama have inspired grass tennis fans, so it’s not by chance that this world’s oldest tennis tournament has inspired great movies. Is there anyone that could perform better than Kirsten Dunst as an elegant tennis player?

The grass courts allow a fast playing tennis, which is very useful to quickly win matches in the best of five sets format, thus reducing the effort. I’m a tennis fan and Roger Federer is one of my top favourite players. So I was following online some tennis matches and decided to explore the stats provided by IBM SlamTracker, a scoring application with real-time scores, statistics and point-by-point analysis for each match to take a look at his odds. On Lajovic-Federer match I noticed how stats collected in real-time could help predicting the match final result:

I could see that, as soon as Federer starts hitting 77% of the points won in his first service, in 78% of the cases he will win that set. This is clearly a key to the match. Real-time analytics triggered this information, and if you find the odds interesting, you should bet on it!

The day of the match arrived, it was a warm day and this Swiss gentleman proved to be in great shape once again! Roger Federer won the tournament for the eighth time, and this time without dropping a single set! And once again, stats explained his superiority on the final (3-0): Federer winning percentage on the 1st serve for the 3 sets was 82,86,77 against Cilic’s 71,53,68.

Many other factors may explain a victory or a loss (for instance, Cilic had medical assistance during the match), but numbers represent facts, and facts are what matters in the court.

Pedro Marques
Over 16 years of experience in Business Intelligence & Analytics projects and a master degree in Decision Supporting Systems, I’m always committed in adding value to every organization I work with. I care about the world and believe that past data provides insight to enhance our children's future, that's why evangelizing about Analytics is the only thing I allow myself to do every Sunday morning besides playing with my son.
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