NADAL OR DJOKOVIC? COULD YOU PREDICT THE WINNER?

Sam Maughan our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 1/21/2015 2:05 PM

Most pundits will have an opinion on who will triumph in this year's US Open men's final - Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic - but the best insights into who will be crowned champion will come from the same technology that has helped cities to lower crime rates and plan for extreme weather.

Deep in the bowels of Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York, beats the data heart of the 2013 US Open.

In a bland room accessed through an unmarked door, more than 60 laptops are piled high, arranged like a command control center for a mission to the moon.

This room is known as "scoring central", according to US Open officials.

It's where data is pushed to scoreboards on Louis Armstrong Court - the second largest US Open tennis court - or to TV screens across the globe.

But more than a power processing center, this is where the results of matches are broken down and analyzed, where it's determined not only who won, but why they won, according to the numbers.

"Say you wanted to see every backhand unforced error in a match. You would touch a button and all of those would come up," says IBM's vice-president of sports marketing, Rick Singer.

But seeing what has happened in past matches is rapidly giving way to better predicting what will happen in future pairings, explains Mr Singer.

To put it simply: the past might have centered around intuitively understanding that a player who gets a majority of their first serves in will win the match.

The future is pinpointing the exact percentile threshold the player must cross to win.

'Unusual statistics'

This year, IBM has gathered more than 41 million data points from eight years of Grand Slam tennis matches to better understand the small details that end up deciding a match.

Djokovic will win if he:

Wins more than 57% of 4-9 shot rallies

Wins more than 39% of first serve return points

Hits between 63% and 73% of winners from the forehand

Nadal will win if he:

Wins more than 48% of 4-9 shot rallies

Wins more than 63% of points on first serve

Averages fewer than 6.5 points per game on his own serve

Source: IBM


The idea is that by crunching more and more data, patterns will emerge that can help better hone predictions.

So what should Novak Djokovic do if he wants to beat a resurgent Rafael Nadal, who has emerged this summer as the dominant force on hard courts?

Looking at data from the head-to-head matches between the two in Grand Slams, IBM says that if Djokovic wins more than 57% of medium-length rallies (of between four and nine shots) then he will emerge triumphant.

He also has to win more than 39% of return points on Nadal's first serve.

Nadal, on the other hand, has to dominate on his serve. If he wins more than 63% of points on his first serve then IBM predicts he will win.

However, the longer Nadal's service games go on, the less likely he is to win. He needs to keep his service games relatively short, averaging fewer than 6.5 points per game, according to IBM.

"It's the same sort of statistical analysis and predictive analytics that we do for our clients all around the world, just applied to tennis," explains Mr Singer.

"What we're trying to do is find statistics that are unusual."

A backhanded solution

Djokovic, for instance, must focus on getting his backhand into play.

According to IBM's data, when Djokovic can hit his backhand deep to Nadal's forehand, his odds of winning the point dramatically increase.

However, during this tournament that stroke has been particularly difficult for Djokovic - he's had 32 backhand winners, but 70 backhand unforced errors.

For Nadal, he will go into the final knowing that his most powerful weapon - his forehand - is working well. He has hit 113 forehand winners, compared with Djokovic's 73.

He will also know that as long as he can continue to keep up his variety of serve, and go to the net occasionally - where he's won 81% of the points he has played there - he might have the upper hand over Djokovic.

Serbia's world number one will also have to improve his consistency in the final. Although both players have hit the same number of winners in the tournament so far (206), Djokovic has made 167 unforced errors, far more than Nadal's 130.

And with the Spaniard having dropped serve just once all tournament, Djokovic will have to be more ruthless when taking any break point opportunities that come his way, having converted only 44% up until now.

Elephant brain

It's only with the advent of big data technologies and faster, better, processing power that companies like IBM say they've been able to quickly and cheaply gather these new insights.

Most of these big data crunching technologies, from predicting airline prices to sports champions, use something known as Apache Hadoop.

Designed by engineers who had been working at Yahoo and elsewhere ("Hadoop" was the name of one of the creators' son's toy elephant), it is now just one of the components of IBM's predictive analytics toolkit.

The hope is that in the future, statistics like these might not just be of benefit to sports as a whole, but that athletes themselves will be better able to calibrate their performances.

"Each tournament we evolve a little bit further," says Mr Singer.

The goal, he says, is "to take the statistics beyond what people are expecting".

But for fans watching the US Open final who have no head for statistics, Rafael Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, has this simple advice for what it takes to succeed: "You should play good, nothing else. You should play very well."


Click here for the article on the web.

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

Where Tech Meets Tradition

Where Tech Meets Tradition

If you’re lamenting the decline of handmade traditional products, cast your cares aside. There’s a new Sheriff in town and its name is, Tech. Just a generation ago, children would leave the farm or the family business, go to school, and then move on to make their place in the world doing their own thing. Away from family.  Today, the landscape has changed and those who have left are coming home. But this time, they’re bringing technology with them to help make things more efficient and more productive. Is Tech-Assisted Still Handmade? In a word, yes. Artists still make things “from scratch”, except now technologies allow them to not only see their vision in real-time, but their customers, too. Have you ever wondered what the image in your head might look like on paper or in metal? What about the design of prosthetic arms and healthcare devices by 3D printers? You’re still designing, creating.  But just like any new technology, there’s still a learning curve. Even for cutting-edge craftspeople who find that sometimes, the line between craftsmanship and high-tech creativity may be a bit of a blur. Not to mention the expense for either the equipment required or being able to offer art using traditional tools at technology-assisted prices. Somewhere between the two, there is a trade-off. It’s up to the individual to determine where and what that trade-off is. Life in the Creative Economy One of Banksy’s paintings shredded itself upon purchase at an auction recently. AI is making music and writing books. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Blockchain all have their place in the creative economy from immersive entertainment to efficient manufacturing processes. Each of these touches the way we live now. In a joint study between McKinsey and the World Economic Forum, 'Creative Disruption: The impact of emerging technologies on the creative economy', the organisations broke down the various technologies used in the creative economy and how they’re driving change. For example: AI is being used to distill user preferences when it comes to curating movies and music. The Associated Press has used AI to free up reporters’ time and the Washington Post has created a tool to help it generate up to 70 articles a month, many stories of which they wouldn’t have otherwise dedicated staff.Machine Learning has begun to create original content. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have come together as a new medium to help move people to get up, get active, and go play whether it’s a stroll through a virtual art gallery or watching your children play at the playground.  Where else might immersive media play out? Content today could help tell humanitarian stories or offer work-place diversity training. But back to the artisan handicrafts.  Artistry with technology Whilst publishing firms may be looking to use AI to redefine the creative economy, they are not alone. Other artists utilising these technologies include:  SculptorsDigital artistsPaintersJewellery makersBourbon distillers America’s oldest distiller has gotten on the technology bandwagon and while there is no rushing good Bourbon, but you can manage the process more efficiently. They’ve even taken things a step further and have created an app for aficionados to follow along in the process. Talk about crafted and curated for individual tastes and transparency. It may seem almost self-explanatory to note how other artisans are using technology. But what about distilleries? What are they doing? They’re creating efficiency by: Adding IoT sensors for Data Analytics collection Adding RFID tags to their barrels Creating experimental ageing warehouses (AR, anyone?) to refine their craft. Don’t worry, though. These changes won’t affect the spirit itself. After all, according to Mr. Wheatley, Master Distiller, “There’s no way to cheat mother nature or father time.” Ultimately, the idea is to not only understand the history behind the process, but to make it more efficient and repeatable. A way to preserve the processes of the past while using the advances of the present with an eye to the future. If you’re interested in using Data & Analytics to drive creativity, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expect consultants to find out more. 

How Will New Financial Risk Regulations Affect European Banks?

How Will New Financial Risk Regulations Affect European Banks?

The financial crisis of 2007-2008 changed banking. The world moved from taking mortgage loans in our dogs’ names to introducing strict regulations for banks prohibiting them from giving out loans to “anyone” without assessing Risk properly. In 2010 the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) introduced BASEL III, a regulatory framework that builds on BASEL I, and BASEL II. This framework changed how banks and financial institutions asses risk. It introduced an Advanced Internal Rate Based Approach (Commonly known as the AIRB approach).  Now, the committee has introduced new changes and, by 2022, all banks and institutions will have to implement the revised IRB Framework, as well as new revised regulations for the standardised approach, CVA Framework and new frameworks for Operational Risk and Market Risk. So, what does this mean for those working Risk? Change Is Coming Change is inevitable, no matter what you do. If you work in Risk Management and Compliance, change is something you can expect to happen, often. As mentioned above, by 2022 there will be lots of changes. The Basel Committee calls this initiative the “finalised reforms”, or BASEL IV which builds on the current regulatory framework BASEL III. Quickly summarised, the changes limit the reduction in capital that effect banks IRB models.  This change is predicted to impact banks in Sweden and Denmark the most, with estimations that capital ratio will fall by 2.5-3%, far higher than the 0.9% expected for the average European bank.  So what does all this mean for Swedish and Danish banks?  What’s Happening Now? One of the main things that Swedish and Danish banks need to revise for these new regulations, are their internal models. The new regulations introduced a new definition of Probability of Default, measured through a model commonly known as a PD model. Effectively this means that every bank must “re-develop” their internal PD Models in the IRB approach. Consequently, we are already seeing a clear response from the banks in their strategies moving forward. It has already become quite apparent that many banks are looking to make IRB model development their focus for 2019-2020 and 2021. This has resulted in a boom in the hiring space for developers with experience in IRB Modelling and Credit Risk Modelling in general, which in turn has led to high demand in the face of the low supply of these types of candidates. Understandably aware of this, modellers are now looking to negotiate higher salaries.  What You Can Do  For candidates that hold the right experience, there are good opportunities at hand. If so inclined, they can utilise this chance to finally see if the grass actually is greener on the other side, or not. However, there are a couple of things worth considering before making a move.   Firstly, are you actually keen on switching jobs? Your skills are probably equally in demand at your current employer and, if you are having doubts about moving from the get-go, you may well be able to negotiate a rise without pursuing a new opportunity. However, if you are serious about finding something new, this is a great time to do so. The majority of banks have found that these new regulations are creating an unsustainable workload,  and are now looking for talent externally to expand their teams. This means that the experienced modeller can pretty much have their pick of the litter.  Furthermore, if you are a junior modeller, there are now plenty of opportunities for you to enter a niche area known for being exciting and innovative. So, wherever you are in your career, these regulatory changes  are likely to have a large impact and open up new avenues for you to explore.   We all know that regulations in banking and finance are now essential, we all agree, even if they can be a little frustrating. However, what people often fail to think of are the opportunities new regulatory requirements create. In the case of BASEL IV, we’re already seeing an increase in demand for strong talent, and a demand for people who are passionate about Risk Management and model development.  For businesses, new regulations also provide the chance to not only improve their teams, but to  create new models that can be utilised to optimise and automate. A lot of financial institutions are already aware of this and are using these models to gain competitive advantage over their competitors, as well as to stay one hundred percent compliant.  If you’re looking to build out you Risk Management team or take on a new Risk opportunity for yourself, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

RELATED Jobs

Salary

£50000 - £65000 per annum

Location

London

Description

This role involves working with the most established media agency in the UK

Salary

£600 - £650 per day

Location

Greater London

Description

Hi all, I'm currently recruiting for a Solutions Architect who designing and implementing solutions on Microsoft Azure

Salary

£30000 - £45000 per annum + competitive bonus + benefits

Location

London

Description

A great opportunity to join an exciting and ambitious credit card company as the Lead Analyst on Application Fraud.

Salary

£80000 - £95000 per annum + competitive benefits package

Location

London

Description

A leading consultancy are seeking an experienced Forensic Analytics Director to oversee a team responsible for high volume transaction monitoring.

recently viewed jobs