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Twitter analysis: Nadal causes a storm but Brits most-loved

Most used words on Twitter during the first week of Wimbledon
Sunday 30 June 2013

IBM’s social sentiment index reveals the highs and lows of The Championships through in-depth Twitter analysis. Here are the headlines from the first week...

With this year’s Championships in full swing, followers from across the world have been taking to Twitter to show their excitement, support and frustration around the games. A week into The Championships, almost 1.4 million tweets have been posted and subsequently analysed by IBM, with some surprising results.

1. VOLUME OF REFERENCES

Despite his early exit Rafael Nadal is the most talked about player from this year’s Championships so far, with 108,585 mentions on Twitter since the tournament began. More than 67,000 of these posts occurred on Monday when the No.5 seed was knocked out by Steve Darcis, ranked No.135 in the world. However Nadal’s talkability continued to remain significantly above average for the days following his defeat, resulting in his title spot.

Though second to Nadal by some 24,000 tweets, Roger Federer still clocked up 84,385 social mentions through Twitter, securing him the title of second most-talked-about player. More than half of Federer’s tweets occurred on Wednesday, when he suffered his earliest Wimbledon exit since 2002 to world No.116, SergiyStakhovsky.

Meanwhile, playing on home turf, British hopeful Andy Murray became the third most-tweeted-about player of The Championships, amassing 73,569 mentions on the site.

1.     Rafael Nadal

108,585

2.     Roger Federer

84,385

3.     Andy Murray

73,569

4.     Novak Djokovic

48,588

5.     Steve Darcis

38,887

Top 5 male players in terms of volume of tweets (shown)

Turning attention to the female players, Maria Sharapova tops the list with 59,240 tweets. Fuelled by her on court upset and defeat by Michelle Larcher de Brito, more than 40,000 of these mentions occurred on the Wednesday and Thursday, following Sharapova’s Wednesday evening demise.

Laura Robson takes second position in the list with 41,896 tweets (NB this is as of Friday). The 19-year-old player, who also becomes the first British woman to reach 4th round at Wimbledon since 1998, was most frequently mentioned on Friday – tying in with her comfortable win over Columbian Mariana Duque-Marino.

Third place is taken by No.1 seed Serena Williams, following a total of 40,110 mentions. The five-time Wimbledon singles champion witnessed more than 14,000 tweets on Thursday, when she not only defeated Caroline Garcia, but also accepted the challenge to take on Andy Murray in a modern-day battle of the sexes.

1.     Maria Sharapova

    59,240

2.     Laura Robson

    41,896

3.     Serena Williams

    40,110

4.     Victoria Azarenka

    15,213

5.     Ana Ivanovic

     9,224

Top 5 female players in terms of volume of tweets (shown)

2. POSITIVE SENTIMENT

Through IBM’s social sentiment analysis, we’re not only able to track the volume of tweets but also the sentiment attached to them giving insight into fan feeling and player popularity. So far this year, Britain’s Laura Robson has proved to be the most popular player, based on the percentage of positive mentions from her total number of tweets. An astonishing 44% of all tweets about Robson expressed public support, while 50% remained neutral and just 7% were negative.

Proving it is indeed a good year for the Brits, Andy Murray takes second highest percentage of positive mentions, with more than a third (37%) of all his tweets carrying positive sentiment. Similar to Robson, half (52%) remained neutral and just a tenth (11%) negative.

It’s not just the big names making favourites however, as fans’ love for the underdog also becomes clear. Dustin Brown and Lleyton Hewitt, ranked No. 189 and No.70 respectively, also make the top 5 ahead of big players such as Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.

 

Positive sentiment

Neutral

Negative sentiment

1.     Laura Robson

44%

50%

7%

2.     Andy Murray

37%

52%

11%

3.     Maria Kirilenko

36%

53%

11%

4.     Dustin Brown

35%

57%

8%

5.     Lleyton Hewitt

33%

59%

8%

6.     Novak Djokovic

32%

58%

9%

7.     Steve Darcis

29%

54%

17%

8.     Serena Williams

27%

58%

15%

9.     Michelle Larcher de Brito

27%

63%

11%

10.  Ana Ivanovic

24%

66%

10%

Top 10 players ranked by percentage of positive mentions

3. TWITTER TRENDS

In addition to the attention on the players themselves, a number of Wimbledon’s other unique qualities have been prominent across tweets worldwide.  These include the now iconic strawberries and cream, with ‘strawberry’ the second most popular theme amongst Wimbledon related tweets (see graphic above).

Similarly, the infamous British weather has been paid homage with ‘rain’ ranking fourth in list, while the legendary Wimbledon queue line comes in ninth. Outside of the top ten, local Wimbledon celebrity Rufus the Hawk enters the list at number 26. This year sporting green and purple headwear finished with leather and gold plume, Rufus continues to keep SW19 pigeon free in style and it seems his efforts are appreciated by fans on Twitter.

 

No. mentions

1.     Ball

7618

2.     Strawberry

7342

3.     Scream

6313

4.     Rain

5899

5.     British

3652

6.     Upset

3518

7.     Roof

2989

8.     World

2828

9.     Queue

2615

10.  Grass

2349

Top 10 key words associated with Wimbledon tweets

Lastly, looking at a day-by-day breakdown, Wednesday proved to be the day fans were most vocal. Fuelled by shocking turns of events – including Federer’s defeat by world No. 116 Stakhovsky–more than 440,000 Wimbledon related tweets were amassed throughout the 24 hour period.

Monday 24th

418,000

Tuesday 25th

197,065

Wednesday 26th

442,109

Thursday 27th

193,226

Friday 28th

136,296

TOTAL

1,386,296

Breakdown of tweet volumes per day

Follow the latest news and scores from Wimbledon 2013 on Wimbledon.com or download the official iPad,  iPhone and Android apps


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20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.

20:19It was the wackiest of Wimbledons with the most unlikely of headline-makers: Sergiy Stakhovsky, Steve Darcis, Michelle Larcher de Brito, Kimiko-Date Krumm, Jerzy Janowicz, Sabine Lisicki, Marion Bartoli...

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