At this year’s @AustralianOpen, it was refreshing to see the likes of Stanislas Wawrinka (@StanWawrinka), Genie Bouchard (@GenieBouchard) and Nick Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) mix it up with Grand Slam winners Roger Federer (@RogerFederer), Rafael Nadal (@RafaelNadal), Serena Williams (@SerenaWilliams) and Li Na. Not only on court, of course; on Twitter too.
It was ‘only on Twitter’ where fans gained fascinating insights into the world of professional athletes on the international circuit. Quite a few of the tennis stars proved themselves to be worth a follow as they tweeted exclusive pictures, videos and thoughts along the way.
Given the access players gave their fans on Twitter, it was no surprise that we saw all sorts of records broken for #AusOpen. With nearly 5.3 million Tweets related to the @AustralianOpen from the start of the year to the end of the tournament, the record number of Tweets and conversations were driven by the number of accounts involved, from players, fans and official organizations, whether they were at Melbourne Park, watching it on TV or out and about, checking their mobile devices.
The players make the tournament, so of course they drove the majority of tweets. Fans tweeted their support, congratulations, thanks and praised their sporting heroes.
@RafaelNadal was the most-talked-about player, with over 1.3 million mentions and 117,000 new followers. Crowd favourite @RogerFederer was the second most-mentioned with 808,000 mentions and 105,000 new followers.
@GenieBouchard was the most talked about female player, narrowly beating out @MariaSharapova, and gained 57,000 new followers after an outstanding tournament which also sparked the rise of the #GenieArmy.
During the tournament the official #AusOpen hashtag was tweeted over 877,000 times and trended #1 worldwide as well as #1 in Australia and 21 other tennis-loving countries from Argentina to France to India. Meanwhile, the @AustralianOpen account was mentioned over 383,000 times and gained 65,350 new followers.
One additional aspect of the Australian Open ensured fans at Melbourne Park could make the most of Twitter while enjoying all the live action.The #AusOpen Social Shack showcased the best player Tweets, the most popular players on Twitter and helped fans support their favourite player during hashtag battles. The big screens inside the Social Shack also displayed all sorts of Twitter data visualizations and you can get a closer look from our mid-tournament update.
Images used with permission from @reactive.
In addition, the Social Shack saw daily player appearances for the #PeoplesPresser, in which both male and female tennis stars took over @AustralianOpen Twitter account to chat live with fans around the world.
An unexpected surprise for the team running @AustralianOpen was the success of their giant #AusOpen hashtag. It became one of the most photographed landmarks at the tennis with players, fans and celebrities all posing for pictures that were shared across Twitter.
As with any major global event, not only did players and fans share their experiences; an array of celebrities and athletes jumped in to make the most of the tournament.
And now, we look forward to settling in to enjoy what the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open have planned for the remaining Grand Slams this year. Until then, we’ll leave you with the winning moments for this year’s Australian Open singles champions - congratulations to Li Na and @StanWawrinka!