Andy Murray baffled by VAR shambles – ‘When it goes like that, it turns into a bit of a farce’
Football fans around the world will no doubt be nodding their heads in acknowledgement after Andy Murray was left confused by an attempt to use video review technology during his US Open match.
The video assistant review (VAR) has been used in football for several years now, but the system remains a flawed one and tennis got its first experience on Tuesday.
Murray secured his 200th Grand Slam win as he notched up an impressive 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Corentin Moutet, but the match ended in controversial fashion as the Frenchman requested a video review when the former world No 1 was serving for the match at 15-30 in the final set.
Chair umpire Azemar Engzell had awarded Murray a point for a double-bounce, but the Mouttet wasn’t happy and so it went “upstairs”.
The Swedish official turned to her tablet, but after several attempts she revealed that it was “not working” and told the players: “This is supposed to be the official feed. I have nothing here. VR has stopped working.”
She then informed the spectators on Grandstand Stadium: “Unfortunately, the VR is not working, what you are watching here is from television so the original call stands.”
VAR didn't quite go to plan at the US Open between Corentin Moutet and Andy Murray 📺 pic.twitter.com/oV4WOWnvIu
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) August 29, 2023
Murray was as baffled as anyone by the system and he is quoted by the BBC as saying: “It took about four minutes to make a decision.
“I’m pro using technology to get to the right calls – but you’ve got to have it working. When it goes like that, it turns into a bit of a farce.”
He added: “I knew there is VR, I don’t know how they use it. Maybe it wasn’t on the umpire’s tablet but it was on the big screens where they are showing multiple different angles and it is pretty clear from the second angle it had bounced twice.
“I don’t know who makes the call because she said it wasn’t available to her so went to the original call.
“I’m pleased the original call stood and I got the point.”
Tournament officials blamed the issue on the malfunctioning on-court tablet.
“Per protocol, a video review and any call based off a review must be made by the chair umpire via the video delivered to their tablet on court,” a statement said.
“If the video is not available on the chair umpire’s tablet, the original call on the court stands.
“Immediately following the match, the malfunctioning tablet on Grandstand was repaired.”
Three-time Grand Slam winner Murray was also asked during his post-match press conference about the use of the technology and he admits everyone involved in the game still have a lot to learn.
“Obviously I don’t know exactly how it’s supposed to work and who’s supposed to make the decision on it because it was quite clear from the second video that the ball had bounced twice,” he said. “We watched it about 10 times. It clearly is not the umpire that’s making that decision. I don’t know how the technology works.
“It obviously didn’t go to plan in a pretty important moment of the match. It would be good if they could get that fixed.”
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