SAN FRANCISCO, July 12 ― Internet giant Google has inserted a hidden tennis game into related search results to mark the 2019 Wimbledon tennis championships, whose finals take place over the weekend of July 13 and 14.
Lest it go undiscovered before the UK's Wimbledon Championships conclude this weekend, Google wants to make sure people know about its tribute to the year's penultimate Grand Slam tennis tournament.
Searching for Wimbledon-related results brings up a dedicated results box containing match information.
Scrolling past headers for singles and doubles matches reveals a green tennis ball ― clicking or tapping on it prompts a pixel-art tennis game to load.
The game is a straightforward yet pleasing enough adaptation of lawn tennis (and its classic 1960s and '70s video game adaptations).
A player-controlled character sets up on one side of a tennis court, their opponent on the other.
Players tap on the left or right side of the screen (or use arrow cursor keys on desktop) to serve the ball and then move their athlete from one side to the other.
Athletes hit the ball automatically should they connect, with players exerting no influence over direction.
However, the ball's speed increases with each touch until the player makes a critical error.
Characters appear to be predominantly anthropomorphic, with goats, corgi dogs, bears, bunnies and foxes popping up during our time with the game; astronauts, luchadors, and Google Android's mobile OS mascot also popped up.
Data from the reaction-based game could allow Google to extrapolate other information about players' age, cognitive ability, and so on, especially in combination with previously collected details.
Over a dozen championship titles are to be decided at the 2019 Wimbledon tennis tournament.
The Ladies' Singles Final, Men's Doubles Final, and Ladies' Doubles Final take place on Saturday, July 13.
The Men's Singles Final and Mixed Doubles Final take place on Sunday, July 14.
In addition, Finals for the Boys' and Girls' Singles and Doubles competitions, the Men's and Ladies' Singles and Doubles disciplines, the Men's and Ladies' Wheelchair Singles and Doubles Finals, Quad Wheelchair Singles Final, and the Invitation Doubles all take place over the weekend.
Various matches begin at 11am, 1pm, and 2pm BST, with Order of Play details decided the night before. ― AFP-Relaxnews
Anyone spotted this little game yet? 👀— Google UK (@GoogleUK) July 10, 2019
No? Let's give you a hint! 😉
1⃣ Search for #Wimbledon on Google 🔎
2⃣ Look out for a tennis ball in the results box 🎾
3⃣ Click on it and let the games begin... 🕹️ pic.twitter.com/21bA7PftVp