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Feb 17, 2018

Roger Federer rises to the top of the rankings for the first time in more than five years

Source: REUTERS: Michael Kooren

Roger Federer added another feather in his cap after his age-defying career resurgence by returning to the top of the world rankings this week after more than five years and becoming the oldest world's no. 1 at the age of 36.

Beating leading Dutch player Robin Haase on his home ground 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals at the ABN AMRO World Tournament means Federer becomes the oldest player, male nor female, to top the world's tennis rankings. This also means that he surpasses Andre Agassi, who held the men's record at age 33.

Federer will overtake 31-year-old Rafael Nadal to no.1 when the ATP rankings are updated on Monday. He will also extend his record of 302 weeks at no. 1 since the rankings began in 1973. Pete Sampras is a distant second with 286 weeks at the top. Novak Djokovic is the closest active player, with 223 weeks at no. 1.

Source:  AAP

Federer now faces Italian Andreas Seppi in the semifinals in Rotterdam after Seppi beat Russian Daniil Medvedev, while the other semifinal match will feature Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Belgian David Goffin.

Federer won the Australian Open in January for his 20th Grand Slam title. He had not originally planned to play in Rotterdam but accepted a wildcard when it became clear he might be able to take back the top spot. Nadal hasn't played since retired due to an injury in the Australian Open quarterfinals.

Roger Federer's 20 Grand Slams achievement

Feb 14, 2018

Love Match: Our top 5 famous couples in tennis

Happy Valentine's Day!

In conjunction with the special day, let's us share our favorite couples, who are also some of the hottest people, in the tennis arena.

Source: Star2

Rafael Nadal and Xisca Parello
This pair has been reportedly started dating in 2005 despite known each other for a number of years before.

Born Maria Francisca Perello, she is a business graduate and serves as project director for the RafaNadal Foundation, the charity which Nadal launched more than a decade ago.

Having in a long term relationship, they have yet to publicly announce an engagement or plan for marriage.

Source: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe

Roger Federer and Miroslava "Mirka" Federer
Many people may not realise that Mirka used to be a decent tennis player herself. The Slovak-born Swiss tennis player has reached a career-high of no. 76 in the world.

Both Federer and Mirka met during the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the rest, as they say, is history. They married in 2009 and have four kids (2 sets of twins!) Myla and Charlene and Leo and Lenny.


Flavia Pennetta & Fabio Fognini
There is a lot of chemistry in this Italian couple who was married back in June 2016. A few months later, just before Christmas, the beautiful pair announced that that they were expecting their first child, Federico.

Pennetta called it quits after winning her maiden Grand Slam singles title at the 2015 US Open. During her playing days, she reached a career-high ranking of no.1 in doubles and no.6 in singles, respectively.

Meanwhile, clay-court specialist Fognini remains as active on the tour.

Source: lapresse.it

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian
Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian tied the knot at the end of 2017 after announcing their engagement in December 2016. The ceremony comes just 11 weeks after the couple welcomed their baby girl, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on Sept 1. That's almost two years after they began dating in 2015.

Source: Via Yahoo.com

Grigor Dimitrov and Nicole Scherzinger
Previously linked to Maria Sharapova, Dimitrov has dated X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger for over two years now! Scherzinger has dated Dimitrov since her split from racing driver Lewis Hamilton in 2015.

Dimitrov is 12 years Nicole's junior and the brunette went public with the Bulgarian as she was first pictured kissing him at a tournament in Australia.

Source: Dailystar

So, who are your favorite tennis couples?

Feb 9, 2018

Roger Federer’s early career

Roger Federer won his 20th Grand Slam at the Australian Open recently

Roger Federer is undoubtedly the greatest tennis player of all time and is still currently ranked as the number 2 singles player in the world at the age of 36. The Swiss professional has now been playing for 20 years since making his debut in the 1998 ATP Tour and has managed to win 82% of the 1389 singles games that has played over the years.

He first entered the top 100 rankings in 1999 but it wasn’t until 2001 that he won his first major tournament being the Hopman Cup while representing Switzerland in the mixed doubles with Martina Hingis. His first singles win came the same year at the 2001 Milan Indoor tournament but his first real international breakthrough came at the Wimbledon Championships the same year when at just 19-years-old Federer played and defeated the seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras and progressed to the Quarter-finals where he was subsequently knocked out by Tim Henman.

In 2003 Federer won his first ever grand slam singles title at Wimbledon following victory’s over Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis. Later that year he had his first ever chance to become the world number 1 singles player however, a few losses late that year meant that he didn’t quite manage to overtake Andy Roddick that year. Moving forward to 2004 the real dominance of Federer started to shine through as he won three grand slam singles titles over the course of the year finishing with a record of 74-6 and reaching world number 1 for the first time.

The following year was another successful one and saw him facing Rafeal Nadal, his main rival, for the first time. Although he missed out on the Australian Open and the French open, he still managed to win Wimbledon and pick up 11 singles titles finishing the year with a very impressive win percentage of 95.2%. Finishing the year on such a high put Federer in a great position going into 2006 where he had statistically the best season of his career. He reached the final of all 4 Grand Slams winning 3 but unfortunately losing to Nadal in the French open, this was the first time they had met in a Grand Slam final but certainly not the last. He managed to reach 16 out of the 17 tournaments he entered during the year coming away with $8,343,855 in prize money. One of his personal highlights for this year was returning to his home town in Basel and winning the Swiss Indoors tournament having not won it previously.

Now Federer had established his dominance in the game he has continued to win tournaments over the years most recently winning the Hopman Cup with Belinda Bencic and also winning the Australian Open after beating Marin Cilic in the final in turn securing his 6th Australian Open of his career. In addition to this he recently became the first man to win 20 Grand Slam titles and will be hoping that he can knock Nadal off the top spot and become world number one again this year. If you’re interested in betting on the Tennis, then be sure to check out TeamFA for daily betting tips as well as weekly insights into the world of tennis. Federer currently has a 100%-win record in 2018 and the next major tournament he will play will be the Rotterdam Open for the 9th time in his career, he only needs to make the semi-finals here to become the oldest ATP world number one of all time.

Jan 18, 2018

Serving big data at Grand Slam tennis



The Australian Open is currently underway and that means fans are expecting a supercharged atmosphere as their favourite tennis players battle on courts for two weeks, while commentators and critics busy dissecting statistics.

For decades tennis fans have been served with statistics such as first and second serves percentages, forced and unforced errors, winning points and not to forgetting ranking points.

Watching an exciting tennis match, whether you're on court or off court, provides plenty of entertainment and adrenaline-inducing thrill. The overall experience is further enhanced with the inclusion of big data.

Businesses have adopted big data, using it to increase retail sales, boost e-commerce performance and improve supply chain operations. In the sports arena, big data analytics seem like a good fit. For the past several years, it is proving an effective catalyst for transforming the fan experience at major tournaments particularly in the Grand Slams.

With data captured from sensors placed all over the court, fans have the advantage of accessing to real-time statistics during a match. Many avid tennis fans love to study tennis matches by comparing the statistics of their favourite players. Big data play a significant role in helping these fans analyze the game they are following. IBM has been the official technology provider for the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments for many years. The partnership has allowed for unprecedented access to tennis scoring and statistical data that we have been feeding into Watson Analytics to find out what interesting insights we can gain about the matches and players.

Accessing stats through digital devices

The amount of big data being looked at is extremely massive, with more than 50 millions data points being analyzed since 1990. The statistics measure basic information such as the speed of serves and the number of double faults to complicated and advanced data such as winners on the forehand side of the court. The in-depth analysis helps provide insights to the strengths and weaknesses in a player’s game, while also providing a predictive analysis at what may happen during and at the end of a match. Separately, tournament organizers also examine player popularity and volume of social media conversations to predict the data demands from fans viewing a tournament website and engagement on social media platforms.

Must-have tennis apps on my phone

With the incredible analysis offered by this big data platform, it creates a remarkable effect on the overall fan experience. The insights derived from big data can be channelled to fans through data visualization. As a tennis fan, if I'm not able to stream a match or be at a live event, I can always turn to the app on my smartphone to find out the predictive analysis of the matches happening at that moment. Coupled with my engagement with other tennis enthusiasts at real time on Twitter, the experience is out of this world!

Hawkeye data
With the growing demands for processing power to handle large numbers of records with many attributes, the capability in managing digital traffic is essential to create undisrupted access to the user behaviors and their access to the statistical data. In the Australian Open 2015 alone, there were:

  • 14.3 million unique visitors to the ausopen.com
  • 24.3 million views across all official AO video platforms
  • 1.2 million unique visitors on the Australian Open mobile app
  • 23 Terabytes of Internet traffic was handled by the network infrastructure, a 136 percent increase on 2014
  • 10,784 games, 68,345 points and 1,128 sets captured, analysed and distributed via the AO scoring system.

All of that traffic captured requires robust cloud computing technology to ensure the entire infrastructure run smoothly during the course of the tournament. It also requires advances in network security to make sure users are protected from cyber attacks keeping their personal data safe from potentially malicious malware.

While there maybe fans who were unaware of how big data has changed the way we experience tennis, they are very likely taking part in contributing to the data. The next time you use the Australian Open app or browsing through their website, try look at the key statistics in a different perspective. Let the data be the guide to help you understand the game better and perhaps to even predict the outcome of the match before it ends. Although, bookies such as WilliamHill have the odds on current and ongoing matches, they can help you out if you're going to use data analytics for your predictions during this hard court season.

To find out more relevant materials on big data in tennis, visit the following links:

  • https://www.bernardmarr.com/default.asp?contentID=724
  • http://www.afr.com/business/sport/tennis-australia-mines-big-data-for-new-performance-metrics-20170118-gttwxr
  • http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-01-16/australian-open-tennis-statistics-clutch-time-pressure-work-win/9329322
  • https://www-03.ibm.com/press/uk/en/pressrelease/52728.wss
  • https://www-07.ibm.com/innovation/au/ausopen/analytics.html
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