Here’s how the Hawkeye works in tennis and why it’s in danger of extinction | Relief

Alejandro Lingenti

Fans of professional tennis have seen this more than once: a player is unhappy with the linesman’s decision and requires it to be revised. The history of this sport is full of disputes of this kind.. One of the most memorable is the case in 2004 when Serena Williams protested over the decisions in several decisive balls in the quarterfinal match of the US Open, which she ended up losing to Jennifer Capriati precisely because of referee errors. Television reruns have proven him correct in most of his claims.

The following year, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) decided to test the system in New York. Hawk-Eye, a technology that has the same purpose as controversial VAR in football. In the case of tennis, it is mainly used to observe the impact of the ball as clearly as possible and thus to determine whether the initial decision that the player is challenging is correct or not.

The technology began to be used in live television broadcasts, and later was included in professional circuit tournaments tennis to be able to make fairer decisions and avoid disputes.

ITF (International Tennis Federation or International Tennis Federation) regulated its use in official sports regulations. And there are several factors to consider, as we list:

1. Requesting an electronic review of a linesman’s decision or correction by a player (or team) is permitted. only after the final kick or when a player (or team) stops the game while in contention for a point during a rally (refunds are allowed, but then the player must immediately stop the game).

2.- The platform judge must decide to use the electronic review when there is doubt about the correctness of the line judge’s decision or correction. However, the umpire may reject the electronic check if you believe that the player’s request is unreasonable or made too late.

3.- In doubles, the player making the appeal must state his claim in such a way that the game is stopped or the chair judge stops the game. If a complaint is made to the Umpire, he must first determine whether the correct appeal procedure has been followed. If this was done incorrectly or too late, then the chair judge may determine that the opposing team was intentionally disturbed, in which case the player who filed the appeal forfeits a point.

4.- The original decision or correction will always prevail if the electronic check is unable to decide on that call or correction for any reason.

5.- The final decision of the Umpire will be the result of an electronic check and it is not subject to appeal. If the system requires a manual option to view a particular ball stroke, the official review approved by the referee will decide which ball stroke should be viewed.

What is Hawkeye

Near computer system first used in English cricket and snooker which later included tennis. This system generates an image of the ball’s trajectory which can be used by referees to decide on questionable games. It was launched in 2005 by engineers at Roke Manor Research Limited based in Hampshire, UK.

This technology was later developed by a separate company, Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd. And now in 2006 it began to be used in some professional tennis tournaments.Although the controversy never stoppedSuffice it to recall one of the last, at Wimbledon 2023, when Hawkeye noted that the ball bounced off the track by almost two meters, and the reality was different. It was in the match that the Argentinean Federico Coria lost to the Belarusian Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 4-6, 3-6 and 0-6. There was a discussion between Corea and the judge, which acknowledged that the system was not working properly, but did not change the decision. “The computer is flooded with water,” the Argentinean ironically sneered on social networks after the end of the game. Even Ivashka agreed with him, deliberately knocking another ball off the fairway in order to correct the injustice.

In the same tournament, but in a doubles match, Briton Joe Salisbury and American Rajiv Ram met. exploded in rage at Hawkeye’s blatant glitch and momentarily refused to continue their match against Frenchmen Nicolas Mailut and Édouard Roger-Vasselin whom they later beat 6–3, 6–7(1), 6–1, 3–6, 6–4. The problem came at a crucial moment in the second set, with Salisbury and Ram refusing to continue until Hawkeye was deactivated, giving a break point to the French, which was clearly a ball in fact. outsidebut in the end they agreed to continue and won the match.

How does Hawkeye work and where is it used?

The feedback system works through a dozen cameras which can very accurately capture the movement of an object (in this case, a ball) at high speed. There are five cameras on each side of the track. Each of these cameras captures 340 images per second, and the system works to triangulate the information from the pre-calibrated cameras and get a 3D ball composition. The algorithm takes all the data, combines it and thus can predict very accurately where the ball will bounce. Like any technological device, has its drawbacks. In this case, the calculated error is only 3.6 mm.

It is not used on clay courts because the impact of the ball is marked on the surface and, if in doubt, this mark can be checked.

In 2020, Hawk-Eye Live began to be used due to the need to reduce the number of judges on the tracks during the pandemic. At the US Open that year, virtually all linesmen were replaced by computers (a tennis game has a chair umpire and linesmen).

How many times can I order Hawkeye?

Each player can request up to three reviews per set. If this revision proves him right, he reserves the possibility of three more. Simply put: successful applications are not considered as such. On the other hand, if it is concluded that the referee was right, the player is left with only two more. In other words, claims are spent when the result of the analysis does not support what the tennis player requesting the review claims.

The rules state: “Each player (or team) is allowed three unsuccessful claims per game plus one additional claim in the tie-break. a maximum of three failed bids after a draw in six games and every twelve games thereafter. . Players (or teams) will have an unlimited number of successful applications.”

FoxTenn: successor to Hawkeye

In 2017, an alternative to the Hawkeye appeared. called foxtenn, It was invented by a Spaniard (Javier Simon) and has been adopted by the ITF, ATP, WTA and Grand Slam tournaments.. The system uses more 40 super speed cameras per game and it has two new features compared to its predecessor: laser system which scan the surface to more realistically capture every movement that is being recorded and placement of cameras at ground level make them less vulnerable to external circumstances that prevent their normal functioning (wind, rain, movement of spectators, etc.). The cameras used by FoxTenn take 2500 images per second. WITHAccording to the creators of the system, there is no room for error.

Alejandro Lingenti

He was born in Buenos Aires. Studied in the circle of sports journalists and at the University of Buenos Aires. He worked for the public news agency Telam and two newspapers.

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