Social Sentiment Analysis: Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray

Setting foot on Centre Court for a Wimbledon Final is enough pressure for any player, but Andy Murray walked on with the hopes of a nation on his shoulders. Inevitably, this was reflected on Twitter, as the tweets poured in both for him and Djokovic before the first point was even played.

“Murray will win this, he just has to win this…” tweeted @_VSimmons. “I kike Novak Djokovic, but how can you not pull for Andy Murray?” posted @Benjamin Pillow. Others wondered whether the World No.2 could do it. “As much as I want Murray to win, Djokovic is an absolute machine” said @RyanConnorr. “Media really building this tennis match up” tweeted @ollylogo, “Djokovic the better player and athlete I think, but how much extra will the crowd give Murray?”

By midway through the first set, Djokovic was the subject of an average of 1000 tweets per minute, with Murray nearing 1500. However, IBM’s social sentiment analytics don’t just track the number of tweets, but their content, sorting tweets out into those that express a positive sentiment and those that don’t. While Murray had a healthy positive sentiment score of 86%, Djokovic was actually doing better, at 88%. One thing was already clear: this was no ordinary final. @Seedy87 spoke for many: “Murray v Djokovic has been ridiculously good so far. Certainly playing out to be an epic final.”

Things leaped into a higher gear with Murray’s victory in the first set. Over 18,000 tweets flooded in for Murray within 10 minutes, with 12,000 mentioning Djokovic. And as Murray turned a Djokovic lead around to take the second set as well Twitter exploded. Over 30,000 tweets appeared in the ten minutes spanning the end of the second set mentioning Djokovic, with nearly 40,000 featuring Murray. Murray first matched Djokovic’s positive sentiment score, with both players at 86%, and then exceeded it, going up to 86%.

Murray fans did their best to curb their enthusiasm.  “Let’s not get too excited just yet” tweeted Ashsleyyoung_7. “Djokovic is no mug and brought two sets back before.” Djokovic fans refused to abandon hope. “Not going to give up faith ‘til the last point. Djokovic isn’t just going to roll over and lose 3-0. THE COMEBACK STARTS” exclaimed an excitable @JackFultonSmith. “Sweating this tennis match…. Ready to watch Djokovic make the top 10 list for greatest comebacks of all time” added @pamelam35.

Then, after a tough set that tipped first one way, then another, it was all over, with another Twitter peak for Murray as over 3000 tweets per minute swept onto the site. The match ended with Murray’s social sentiment score at 85% and Djokovic’s at 82%. “Really did not want that final to end. Great match. Congrats Andy Murray, great win, and Djokovic you were so brave!!” tweeted @JaiBrooks1. Many responded to Djokovic’s behaviour in defeat. “Novak Djokovic showing himself to be a true gentleman. This is what sport is all about” said @VeryBritishDude.

Before long the famous were racing to congratulate the new Champion. “Nice work Andy Murray! Proud to be British” tweeted @BearGrylls, one of the first. “Congrats @andy_murray #wimbledon champ! Phenomenal tennis – gladiatorial, physical and mental. Don’t know how they do it” said @richardbranson.

Fellow Scots, @The_Proclaimers, added their congratulations “An absolute inspirational performance on his historic and magnificent win. Slainte”. Meanwhile the luminaries of Tennis couldn’t dish out enough praise. “Andy Murray ends Wimbledon curse on Brits with some outstanding tennis. Congratulations – and also to Ivan Lendl for a job well done” posted @JimmyConnors.

And so another Championships comes to an end in what looks set to have been the most watched and tweeted final yet.

Head to wimbledon.com for a full report on the match, and on the celebrations afterwards.

Stuart Andrews