Tag: Andy Murray

IBM says Andy Murray was doomed

ibm-officeBig Blue has been running its divination software trying to work out who is going to win Wimbledon.

According to IBM, British tennis hope Andy Murray was doomed from the outset and was always going to lose to Grigor Dimitrov.

IBM credited Dimitrov with 50 aggressive forehands to 44 for Murray during Wednesday’s men’s quarter-final match, in which Bulgarian Dimitrov knocked out last year’s men’s champion in straight sets.

In short the IBM system claims the Briton was a less aggressive player than opponent Grigor Dimitrov and was due for a good kicking.

These figures tallied with our own predictions that were based on a simple algorithm. If player is British, then player = loser.   Our algorithm was highly successful in the World Cup where we accurately predicted England being sent home.

This year’s Wimbledon marks the first time IBM has used the system which was developed from data combined from last year’s Wimbledon championship, the US Open, as well as this year’s Australian Open.

It defines an aggressive shot based on speed, landing location of the ball, distance the opponent had to move to get to the shot; and the opponent’s position for the return.

The statistics cannot be used to predict with certainty who will win a  match, but they can help to analyse why a particular match against a particular player went the way it did, and also to prepare for an opponent, IBM says.

Bill Jinks, an IBM engineer working on the project, said that data was changing the way the game was played.

Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, who is ranked 13th in the world but beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber, ranked 7th, on Wednesday to reach the women’s semi-finals, said her coach looks at the IBM data.

The system predicted 38 aggressive forehands for Bouchard during the match against 29 for Kerber, and 23 aggressive backhands versus just 15 for the seventh seed.

At this rate the sports people will not have to actually play a game, the computer will predict who wins, everyone applauds and goes for strawberry and cream.

Heatwave reheats British retail in July

highstreet South endJuly appears to have been a great month for British retailers and they have mother nature, a tennis player and a baby to thank for it.

According to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG, sales were up 3.9 percent, against a 2.0 percent increase in July 2012, the fastest July growth since 2006. In real terms, total growth was 4.4 percent, the fastest since April 2011.

Since much of the growth was fuelled by hot weather, fashion outlets and the food sector did particularly well. However, online sales grew by just 7.9 percent, much lower than the 15.6 percent in July 2012. Home accessories, furniture and home textiles were the worst performing sectors, as most people chose to buy flip-flops and barbecue sauce instead of new carpets and Allen key loving flat-pack furniture.

“Food has performed very strongly, with summer barbecue ingredients and feel-good foods doing well during a month where the Lions, Murray, Chris Froome in the Tour de France and the start of the Ashes series all contributed to the positive summer feeling;” said Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC. “Clothing has also had a very good month, which was down to good weather spurring summer fashion buys and some very good discounting.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said July was a “golden month” for retail sales and a return to form for British retailers.

“Hopefully this uptick in sales is another indication that the UK economy has turned the corner towards growth. Murray mania, summer sun and the arrival of the royal baby gave consumers that much needed feel good factor, encouraging them to leave caution behind and help retailers put in a champion performance,” he said. ‪”With autumn ranges now hitting the shelves, retailers need some cooler weather to encourage consumers to treat themselves to some new winter woollies. If they get these new ranges right and suitable weather, it could be game, set and match.”‬‬‬