Dream job for tennis fan.
A former Birmingham schoolgirl studying at Buckinghamshire New University is serving up the right numbers by working as a statistician for IBM at Wimbledon.
Alice Hopkins, 20, who attended Highclare School, in Sutton Road, Birmingham, is recording the strokes hit during points at the world-famous All England Club during the prestigious tournament.
Alice, who studies BA (Hons) Advertising Management and Digital Marketing Communications at Bucks New University, also plays tennis for Edgbaston Priory Tennis Club, in Sir Harrys Road, Birmingham. She is among a team of people working for IBM, which runs a range of initiatives providing figures and statistics during the tournament and also operates the Wimbledon website.
Alice said: “I am recording the strokes hit in the points. For example, where a first serve lands and whether it was in or out, or whether a return shot is hit on the forehand or backhand. If I’m placed on Centre or Court One I’m in a team of three, with one on radar recording how many strokes took place in a rally, with the details appearing on a TV under the score box on the top left-hand corner of the coverage on the website. Or I could be on vocals, talking through the points into a microphone, or I may be on the computer punching in the serve and third shot.
“The opportunity came about through friends. I used to play tennis full-time and found out about it through the grapevine. I am extremely excited, not just that I am working at Wimbledon for the full two weeks but for my degree and career in marketing. It is like a dream, working as an IBM employee while studying for a degree relating to the work I’m doing.”
Alice would love to be out on court at Wimbledon playing herself and says her favourite player is French Open champion Maria Sharapova. She added: “I adored Sharapova when I was younger. Her game and attitude was like mine and she was who I wanted to be like on court. I’m definitely cheering her on at Wimbledon!”