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Controversial call renews bid for TV replays

A controversial call against Molik on Wednesday has prompted renewed calls for more technology to help umpires.
PTI | By Simon Cambers (Reuters), Melbourne
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2005 12:59 AM IST

A controversial call against local hope Alicia Molik at the Australian Open on Wednesday has prompted renewed calls for more technology to help umpires and line judges.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said it was looking at using electronic aids at the US Open next September.

Television companies use computer-generated replays such as "Hawkeye" and "Auto-Ref" which might have helped Molik after an ace she served was wrongly called out depriving her of an 8-7 final-set lead over top seed Lindsay Davenport in their quarter-final.

The American then broke Molik and served out for victory.

Molik said she would like to see technology used if it did not delay play.

"I think to a certain degree it may help," she said.

"But on the flip side, it may hold up play... Tennis is a very flowing game, so I think to a certain extent it would disrupt players' routines and affect the timing of the way matches run."

Several players at Melbourne Park this year, including Serena Williams, have expressed their support for technology to be used, though Davenport said her mind was not made up.

"I've always been against electronic line calling," she said. "It would be hard to do it for all the courts and I think it's fair that every player has the same circumstances.

"But obviously technology is evolving. If we can figure out a way where it worked for everybody...," she said.

In her quarter-final with Jennifer Capriati at the US Open last September, Serena Williams was the victim of a series of line calls that replays showed were incorrect.

Capriati went on to win the match and chair umpire Mariana Alves was stopped from officiating for the rest of the event.

After the USTA said on Wednesday that it might use technology at the US Open, Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard said the Australian Open could follow suit.

"I think if the technology is there, a few tournaments will be keen to test it," Pollard said. "There is a chance we will see it here very soon."

"From what we've seen, we are pretty confident they will meet the standards of accuracy we would require. The problem is deciding how to use it."

"You might have a situation where a player is allowed to challenge one call per set or something like that."

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