IBM Knows What Makes Serena Williams So Good

IBM Knows What Makes Serena Williams So Good

U.S. Open defending champion Serena Williams, of the United States, returns a ball during her first round match against Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia at the U.S. Open Tennis  tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
U.S. Open defending champion Serena Williams, of the United States, returns a ball during her first round match against Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia at the U.S. Open Tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

(Wired) – It’s always hard to take your eyes off Serena Williams. But it’ll be especially tough at this year’s U.S. Open, where the tennis champ is currently working toward a single season Grand Slam. She’s just so darn good. But what is it, exactly that makes her so good?

Sure, we can all speculate—it’s her power, her serve, her stamina, the way she controls a point. But we can’t calculate precisely what makes her game so special. IBM believes it can.

Since 1990, IBM has been working with the United States Tennis Association to support the technological infrastructure of the U.S. Open. Back in the day, that meant generating scores and keeping the website up and running. Today, it means doing those things while also analyzing millions of data points about every player, every stat, every point, in every tournament, extending back for decades to derive insight about how a given match—or career—will play out.

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