US Open to unveil technology that will end one big talking point in tennis

Kevin Palmer
US Open at Flushing Meadows
US Open at Flushing Meadows

Technology is playing a bigger role in tennis than ever before and now the US Open is set to unveil the next level of video assistance. 

While Wimbledon continues to use lines people to make the crucial calls on court, that traditional format for calling a match appears to be coming to an end.

After a succession of mistakes at this year’s Wimbledon championships, several players suggested they would prefer the electronic line-call system to be introduced at all tournaments.

That is in place at the US Open, with the incident that saw Novak Djokovic thrown out of the event for accidentally hitting a lines person in the throat with a ball a scenario that will not be repeated.

Now the final Grand Slam of the year has confirmed it will also become the first to use video assistance for the match referee, who will be allowed to check for double bounces.

It can be hard to pick up if a player has made a connection with the ball before it has bounced twice, so that problem will be solved in New York this year.

The video system will be set up for us on five of US Open’s 17 competition courts: the main Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand, Court 5 and Court 17.

New U.S. Open tournament referee Jake Garner has introduced the changes, after experiencing the challenge of calling a double bounce during his days as a chair umpire.

“There were certain situations, of course, where you would see a video post-match and wish you had made a different decision or wish you had assistance in making that decision,” Garner told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, former US Open champion Andy Roddick has joined the chorus calling for technology to replace humans on line calls after some poor decisions affected the outcome of matches at Wimbledon this year.

Andy Murray was denied a crucial break point by a bad call in his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, while the epic Carlos Alcaraz vs Novak Djokovic final also saw some bad calls.

“I never used to feel strongly about introducing new technology into tennis, but there were too many obvious mistakes made at Wimbledon,” said Roddick in his first column as Betway’s global tennis ambassador.

“It shouldn’t be on the player to have to do the umpire’s job while also trying to navigate a match. It’s not something you should have to worry about.

“In Andy Murray’s match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, had he challenged one on a break point, it could have completely changed the dynamic of the contest. That’s not something he should be thinking about when getting ready to return serve.

“I know a lot of people are like, “It’s tradition. That’s the way it’s always been.” Well, we used to rent video tapes from Blockbuster. Things move on, we have better technology now.

“I just don’t feel like anything’s missed when we get the calls correct every time.”

READ MORE: Former world No 1 reveals how Novak Djokovic turned a big weakness into his ultimate strength