All professional tennis tournaments using an electronic line-calling system will soon offer players the same amount challenges per match.
Each player will get a maximum of three unsuccessful challenges per set, plus one wrong challenge in a tiebreaker, the International Tennis Federation said Wednesday in a joint statement with the ATP, the WTA Tour and the Grand Slam committee.
Players can still make an unlimited number of correct challenges. Previously, the men's and women's professional tours offered only two unsuccessful challenges per set plus one in the tiebreaker. The ITF's team competitions, including the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, offered unlimited challenges.
For matches that don't use tiebreakers, players will get an addition three challenges for every 12 games played. "At least when the application is used, the players will know where they stand," ITF spokesman Nick Imison said. "There hadn't been an agreement up until this point."
The U.S. Open previously allowed only two unsuccessful challenges per set, while Wimbledon and this year's Australian Open allowed three.
"With an additional challenge per set, we look forward to the Chase Review being used more frequently at this year's U.S. Open," tournament director Jim Curley said in a statement. The French Open, which is played on clay, does not need the line-calling technology because balls leave a mark on the surface. The unified system will start at next week's Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Each individual tournament will still be able to decide whether it wants to use the technology, and most will only have one or two courts wired for the replays, but it will insure that all major matches are using the same rules.
"This is another example of the effort of all governing constituencies in the sport to find a balanced, unified approach to issues of common interest," the ITF said.