In a windowless bunker located meters away from the Rod Laver Tennis court, a team of IBM engineers are working feverishly to turn mundane match statistics into a money-spinner.
They’re processing the data emerging from several matches across the grand slam, computing every fault, forced error and break point. It’s all registered and recorded by the match umpire on a mixture device known as a CHUMP that sits neatly on the official’s chair.
From here, it’s cross-checked by two courtside statisticians, processed and placed on the web in near real-time to sate the appetite of a ravenous audience of tech-savvy tennis fans, who now demand more than just an updated scorecard.
This is just one example of a new era in sport where it seems the data produced by the game is treated with as much reverence as the match itself. In this instance, the grand slam may serve up a crowd, but the data it produces helps both IBM and Tennis Australia maximise their returns from the event.