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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Hawk-eye ....... fumble at Roland Garros


The factor has ruled information meetings and discussions on social media platforms after Denis Shapovalov discovered himself at the receiving finish of a apparently flawed name via the umpire on a the most important level right through his second-round loss on Thursday. Serving for victory at 5-Four within the 5th set in opposition to Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena, the Canadian 9th seed was once up 30-15, when a ball, which looked as if it would have landed outdoor the road, was once dominated to be in via the umpire.

It would  have been two match points for Shapovalov had the decision gone  in his favour – but  he ended up dropping : 7-Five 6-7(5) 6-Three 3-6 8-6 after 5 hours. Shapovalov vented his frustration in a Twitter put up, accompanied with a screengrab appearing the ball had landed outdoor the road, asking: “When will we have Hawk-eye on clay?”.

‘have eyes like a hawk’ is a phrase – meaning that ‘the one’s who posses such eyes notice everything’

In Cricket we see it regularly, especially when there is a review and Umpire asks for ball tracking  …….. ‘Hawk-Eye’ is a complex computer system used officially  in  cricket, tennis, soccer-  to visually track the trajectory of the ball and display a record of its statistically most likely path as a moving image.   Hawk-Eye has developed the most sophisticated vision processing technology in sport which enables us to track balls to mm accuracy. 

Roger Federer once called it a panic shot. The French call it “L’amorti”, which literally translated into English means “cushioned” or “absorbed”.  The reference is to ‘drop shot’ and at the rate it’s being used at this year’s Roland-Garros, statistics providers might be wise to give it a category of its own.  

Rafael Nadal charged into the French Open last 16 yesterday  and took another confident stride towards equalling Roger Federer's record of 20 major titles while a crop of rising youngsters offered tantalising glimpses of their potential. The 12-time Roland Garros champion dispatched Italian world number 74 Stefano Travaglia 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 in just 95 minutes, notching his 96th victory at the tournament. Nadal next faces 213th-ranked American qualifier Sebastian Korda, the son of 1998 Australian Open champion and 1992 French Open runner-up Petr Korda, for a quarter-final spot. The 20-year-old Korda beat Pedro Martinez in straight sets to become the first man outside the top 200 to make the last 16 in Paris since France's Arnaud di Pasquale in 2002.

Hugo Gaston, also 20, quickly became the second such lowly-ranked man in the fourth round when the world number 239 shocked 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 in a rain-interrupted tie.Gaston goes on to play US Open winner and Austrian third seed Dominic Thiem, the runner-up to Nadal in Paris the past two years.  At 19, Italian teenager Jannik Sinner is the youngest player to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros since Novak Djokovic in 2006. He will meet the US Open runner-up Alexander Zverev after the German sixth seed ended the run of qualifier and 2018 semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato in three sets. 

Top seed and title favourite Simona Halep, the 2018 champion, avenged last year's Roland Garros loss to Amanda Anisimova by thrashing the American teenager 6-0, 6-1 in only 54 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champion made only seven unforced errors as she stretched her career-best winning run to 17 matches.

It is all happening at French Open !  .. Roland Garros was the last of the four Grand Slams to build a roof on its showpiece court and install floodlights but when it comes to Hawk-Eye technology, it's a resounding 'non!'  Fourteen years after the system made its debut at the majors at the 2006 US Open, Paris still relies on the keen eyesight of line judges and chair umpires to spot marks left by balls in the often well-trampled red clay.

After his five-hour, five-set loss to Roberto Carballes Baena in the second round, ninth seed Denis Shapovalov tweeted: "When are we going to have Hawk-Eye on clay @rolandgarros @atptour?" His plea was accompanied by a screenshot of a TV graphic which showed a ball landing well beyond the baseline being called in. Had it been correctly called, it would have taken the Canadian to match point in the fifth set.

On Friday, US Open champion and world number three Dominic Thiem threw his weight behind calls for the available technology to be used in Paris."I would support 100% Hawk-Eye on clay," said the Austrian after beating Casper Ruud to make the last 16. Ruud had been left as frustrated as Shapovalov over what he believed was a poor call. The Norwegian even snapped the area of contention on his telephone. "It's not the umpire's mistake, because sometimes you just cannot see the mark. It's too difficult, especially after the set break, because they clean the court, they brush the lines, so it's almost impossible to see where the mark starts," said Thiem.

Thiem is one of the few players to have first-hand experience of electronic line-calling on clay after the ATP trialled it at Rio in February. It was to be rolled out again in the European clay court season before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the season. The FoxTenn system allowed players to ask for a review of a call as many times as they wanted while the umpires did not need to leave their chairs to verify the ball mark. World number six Stefanos Tsitsipas also wants to see Roland Garros move with the times. "If technology allows us to do far more things than current knowledge allows us, I do believe they should implement that into tennis," said the Greek.

If Technology is available – why should the surface matter !!  there should be Hawk-Eye in every surface on tennis, regardless of whether it's clay or grass." French Open tournament director Guy Forget last year ruled out introducing electronic reviews, saying he saw "no added value". However, the tournament is in danger of being left behind - the Australian Open and Wimbledon having already introduced Hawk-Eye 13 years ago. Aside from the Rio clay court tests, the US Open this year took another radical step by introducing Hawk-Eye Live on all courts except its two show courts. The system replaced line judges and had already been used at the ATP NextGen Finals for three years as well as the US-based World Team Tennis. Part of the reason for the New York move was to slash the number of people on site to reduce the risk of infection from the virus.

Had the system been in use on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, then there would have been no line judge for Novak Djokovic to accidentally hit with a ball. As it turned out, there was and the world number one was disqualified, representing his only defeat in 2020.

Strange are the ways of people !


With regards – S. Sampathkumar



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