Wimbledon 2016: The Battle of the Umpire Rants

Wimbledon: a time for strawberries and champagne, I hear you say. Or even expensive brand sponsorships all eager to lead a new era of ‘data-driven sport’ by showing off the latest discombobulator.

Think about it: it’s two or four people hitting a ball over a net, and the odd time a ball boy fetches a loose ball. All I am saying is that the charm of Wimbledon has always been tradition and that needs to be balanced with brands who want to drive a hi-tech delivery in a simple sport.

So what’s been happening this week at Wimbledon?

Our analysis shows that online news coverage has focused solely on the players and the not technology. Of the 16,000 or so news articles written so far Andy Murray is leading Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer – in coverage anyway.

Our analytics flagged court 17, which caught the eye of the analysts at Adoreboard campus, for the wonderful amateur dramatics from Viktor Troicki. For those who missed it, Serbia’s Viktor Troicki lost his cool with the umpire after the official overruled a line call in his second-round loss to Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Cue scenes of an unconvincing rant to the umpire. At first it appeared that Troicki could have been stung by a wandering wasp, or perhaps his racket had turned into a hot molten rod. The screams of protest were so loud they could have awoken a sleeping bear in court 1.


The internet reacted in the only way it could. Cue thousands of retweets about the rant of the tournament. Our analysis shows that this story is popping up all over the globe, including Australia, Venezuela, Italy, Ireland and Singapore, with mentions of Troicki accounting for 12.5% of all online coverage of Wimbledon. It seems that although many found it humorous, not all agreed. Maybe it was his weird intonation, his choice of words or the robotic way he carried the ball to the umpire. Whatever it was, it didn’t do any favours for brand Troicki, whose Adorescore plummeted to -73, with key activation emotions grief and loathing representing 30% of the emotions felt, while 11% of the emotions expressed were associated with rage.
The trend that has emerged in online discussions was the question of whether the Troicki rant was more epic than McEnroe’s highly publicised rant back in 1981. Associate Press seems to think so with the syndicated headline: Tennis player’s rant at umpire puts McEnroe to shame a story carried by New York post among others.

Amazingly our analysis places Troicki and McEnroe on deuce with an Adorescore of -73 for both players. Whilst McEnroe’s rant has racked up several million more views on YouTube, Troicki’s is sure to follow suit.
So there you have it – in the battle of rants McEnroe vs Troicki – it’s a draw. Our personal favourite has to be McEnroe’s – his clarity of message ‘You can’t be serious’ provides a more epic repeatable scream than “Worst umpire ever in the world! What are you doing? Did you see the ball?!”


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