US Open will not be using line umpires this year… and Novak Djokovic will doubtless be happy
Electronic line-calling will be used on all competition courts at this year’s US Open, a year after world No 1 Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the tournament.
The technology was utilised at the Grand Slam tournament in 2020, with the exception of Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium.Top seed Djokovic was playing on Arthur Ashe last year when he was disqualified after accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball struck in annoyance.
He has since suggested he would support the end of line umpires, as he prefers the technology option.
“With all respect for the tradition and the culture we have in this sport, when it comes to people present on the court during a match, including line umpires,” said Djokovic.
“I really don’t see a reason why every single tournament in this world, in this technological advanced era, would not have what we had during Cincinnati/New York tournament.
“The technology is so advanced right now, there is absolutely no reason why you should keep line umpires on the court. Of course I understand technology is expensive, so it’s an economical issue and a question mark.
“But I feel like we are all moving towards that, and sooner or later there is no reason to keep line umpires.
“Maybe you can tell me if there is any significant reason why we should keep other than tradition that we had and have in this sport. Then I would also probably then have less chances to do what I did in New York.”
The United States Tennis Association’s decision to extend the usage of the Hawk-Eye Live system will prevent a repeat of that controversial incident.
The US Open is scheduled to take place from August 30 to September 12.
Seven of the nine ATP and WTA tournaments on the US Open Series will also utilise the technology.
The 2021 Australian Open was the first major to be played entirely without line judges.
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