Tennis

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ATP vice president explains the the huge change that could be coming to tennis

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Technology in sports has been in the headlines recently, with football's venture into video refereeing representing a major step in its growing importance.

It's safe to say that the introduction in that particular case has been less than smooth, with calls for it to be scrapped appearing quickly and loudly as a result.

Not that it's the only case of tech being used in football - goal-line Hawkeye has been a resounding success in making sure goals count when they should.

Hawkeye has lead the way in other sports, too, with both tennis and cricket finding the system has become a natural part of the way their games are played.

Tennis has long seen the challenge system used to allow players to get the right decision when they feel they've been wronged by letting Hawkeye overrule the umpire.

The system is used and accepted on the biggest stages - as good a sign as you can have that it's viewed as important to the sport.

And now the ATP Executive Vice President, Gayle David Bradshaw, admits that another big change could be on its way.

Hawk-Eye Live has been trialled on the Next Gen ATP Finals and is now set to make its way to the ATP Tour proper.

Explaining the system, Bradshaw said:  "The core technology is very similar to Hawk-Eye. We’ve just added more live elements, like cameras mounted behind the court and looking across the baseline that can detect foot faults.

TENNIS-GBR-WIMBLEDON

"I understand that this may kill officiating, especially because our eventual chair umpires are almost always linespersons first.

"We’re also taking away some of the entertainment value with the challenges because fans like to debate whether they think the call was right or not. But we can replace that by showing close calls on the big screens so the fans can see them as replays at the same time the players and officials are seeing them.

"As far as the players, they no longer have to worry about bad calls; they can just play the game. And if we have a system out there that’s better, don’t we owe it to our athletes to have access to it?"

It's another leap forward for technology in sports, but if Tennis's history is anything to go by, it'll be one for the good of the game.

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Topics:
Tennis
Andy Murray
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer

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