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2016 The University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism, Large Newsroom finalist

The Tennis Racket

About the Project

The Tennis Racket was an incredibly long-reported story looking at pattens of match-fixing in professional tennis – an issue which many have suspected, but no one has quite been able to prove. After all, it only takes one person’s involvement to throw a tennis match. Over the course of 15 months, investigative journalist Heidi Blake and data journalist John Templon analyzed more than 15,000 tennis matches using an algorithm developed by BuzzFeed, to find patterns that would indicate a strong chance of match-fixing in the sport. The expose, which was published on the opening day of the Australian Open, was the key topic of conversation throughout the tournament. Some of the best players in the league, including Roger Federer and Andy Murray, commented on the allegations, and a full-scale investigation was launched to look into the matter.