Social Sentiment Analysis: Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin Del Potro

You might have thought it would be Federer v Darcis. You might have thought Lisicki v Williams. You might even have thought Lisicki v Radwanska. Yet the match between Novak Djokavic and Juan Martin Del Petro now seems unassailable as the social media event of the Wimbledon Fortnight.

At the match’s peak, close to the opening of the fifth and final set, IBM’s social sentiment analytics tracked over 30,000 tweets mentioning Del Potro as they poured out onto Twitter in a ten minute period. His opponent, Djokovic, was himself the subject of over 20,000 tweets. This eclipsed the 6000 tweets scored in ten minutes by Djokovic towards the end of the fourth set, and even the 15,000 tweets posted towards the climax of the Murray v Verdasco semi-final. Djokovic’s focus and agility and Del Potro’s power and heart made this not just the longest semi-final in Wimbledon history, but the biggest match yet in the 2012 Championships.

IBM’s social sentiment analytics track not just the number of tweets about a certain player or match, but also their content, using sophisticated analysis to decipher whether the tweets is positive or negative. The result is then mapped to a positive sentiment score. By mid-way through the first set, Djokovic had a score of 88% with Del Potro on 82%. This stayed constant as Djokovic took the first set 7-5, then Del Potro came back to win the second 6-4. It even stayed constant as Djokovic took the third set in a nerve-wracking tie-break. As the fourth set reached 6 games all, both players slipped in the Twittering public’s estimation, with Djokovic down to 87% and Del Potro at 79%. However, as Del Potro took the fourth set, his social sentiment score began to regrow, hitting 80% at by the eighth game of the set, where it remained.

Posts reflected both the incredible powers of both players and the brilliance of the match. “This is the best game of tennis I have ever seen. Come on Del Potro!” tweeted @SmeagolAndSon. “Smashing tennis from Del Potro and Djokovic #pardonthepun” posed @Hudo47. “Djokovic is a human sponge I swear!! Returns everything!!” tweeted @LSmithy25. “Wow. What a player Del Potro is. Strength and determination is unbelievable” said @LiamClemo_CPFC. “That Del Potro doesn’t know the meaning of ‘giving up’. Great game of tennis #wimbledon” posted @Jackocalla.

In the end it’s Djokovic who goes on to the final, but both men can be proud of taking part in a match that many are already hailing as a modern Wimbledon classic. For a full report, visit Wimbledon.com