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Tennis grand slam champions win in the Twitter-verse

Bernard Tomic more popular than Lleyton Hewitt, says IBM.
Djokovic and Azarenka not only win the tennis grand slam at Rod Laver Arena but also IBM’s social media rankings. Credit: Adam Bender.

Djokovic and Azarenka not only win the tennis grand slam at Rod Laver Arena but also IBM’s social media rankings. Credit: Adam Bender.

Australian Open champions Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka have unsurprisingly topped IBM’s social media rankings for the event.

During the grand slam, IBM collected and analysed the “sentiment” of social media comments about players in the Open. By looking at keywords, IBM was able to automatically determine whether a tweet was positive or negative, and then compile the data to rank players in a social index.

Djokovic and Azarenka received more than 97 per cent positive sentiment across Twitter, Facebook, forums, news sites, blogs and videos, IBM said.

Slideshow: The behind-the-scenes tech of the Australian Open

IBM analysed more than 9.4 million mentions of Australian Open 2013 players, it said. There were more than 1 million tweets about the tournament on the final day, IBM said.

Andy Murray, who lost to Djokovic in the final, was the second most popular men’s tennis player on social media, according to the data. Among women, however, Serena William took second place despite losing in her quarter final to Sloane Stevens.

Bernard Tomic was the most popular Australian player of the tournament, IBM said. The US was the most active country across social media during the tournament, the company said, and men’s matches attracted more tweets than women’s matches.

Playing in the Australian Open appears to be a great if somewhat difficult way to build a Twitter following.

After Maria Sharapova joined Twitter on opening day of the tournament, she gained more than 112,000 followers in two weeks, according to IBM. After Stevens’ surprise win over Williams, her Twitter base tripled, the company said.

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Tags: Australian Open, data, Novak Djokovic, popularity, IBM, Victoria Azarenka, twitter, social media, Facebook, tennis
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