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US Open to use TV replay

The US Open will be the first Grand Slam tennis event to use instant replay to review disputed calls.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 13:47 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

The US Open will be the first Grand Slam tennis event to use instant replay to review disputed calls.

The WTA and ATP Tours will also begin regularly using instant replay, starting with the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne on March 22.

"In my 20 years in professional tennis, this is one of the most exciting things to happen for players, fans and television viewers," eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi said in a statement on Monday.

Reviewed calls

Players will now have two opportunities in each set to have calls reviewed.

A computerised model of the play will be shown on a review official's screen, as well as the stadium screen and on television.

If a call is overturned, the player will keep their challenge opportunity. Otherwise, they'll lose one.

"If anyone's been listening to my commentary the past year then they know I'm in favour of using replay," John McEnroe said. "I think it will make tennis more interesting".

Additional challenge

Players will also get an additional challenge for a tiebreaker, but no challenges will be carried over to subsequent sets.

"With the speed and power of today's game, the time has come for tennis to benefit from new technology," said Arlen Kantarian, the USTA's chief executive for professional tennis.

Discussions are under way regarding the use of the instant replay at other tournaments, excluding clay, where the ball typically leaves a mark that renders an electronic system unnecessary.

Because of the cost (over $100,000 at Key Biscayne), instant replay will be used only on the stadium court there, and on the two show courts at the US Open. Eight cameras and two video boards will be involved.

The video screens will be visible to players, umpire and fans, and everyone will see the replay result at the same time.

Quick process

The process is expected to take less than 10 seconds, and officials believe the replays may speed up matches because there will be fewer arguments.

Players are permitted to contest a point-ending call, but they may challenge a ruling in the midst of a rally only if they stop play. Umpires may order a replay on their own if the linesperson's view of call is blocked and the chair is unable to make the ruling.

The International Tennis Federation approved the Hawk-Eye technology late last year. It was first tested at the Champions Tour's season-ending event at Royal Albert Hall in London.

In December, the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, became the first elite event to use Hawk-Eye.

First Published: Mar 07, 2006 13:47 IST