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On all other coverings, referee decisions are checked electronically. On sand is still good judgment.
In contrast to the hard court tournaments of the first months of the year, now in the European clay court season also for the chair referee tennis again a real running sport. Disputed linesman decisions are officially not conveniently checked by challenge using the electronic Hawk-Eye system. Instead, the rule-keeper goes straight to the "crime scene": Down from the chair and back to Ballbadruck, to then personally take a close look at it.
Referee examines the wrong impression on Rublev-Fognini
Curiously, however, the television viewer will still be presented with appropriate graphics that document the landing of the ball. Which leads to something bizarre situations and hot Internet discussions, if these then the refereeing decision diametrically opposed.
Rublev shows a mark (from Fognini's ball) which is out, umpire overrules as 'in' for a different mark. Hawkeye shows Rublev's mark was correct (out). Hilariously Fognini then tries to claim the point is his, despite it being an obvious replay.— Matthew Willis (@MattRacquet) 15. April 2019
Yesterday, for example, at the Masters tournament in Monte Carlo in the match between Andrey Rublev and Fabio Fognini, such a contradiction occurred. The Russian saw a blow from his Italian opponent in the clear and was also confirmed by the TV graphics - but the referee chose quite obviously just the wrong impression for review and gave the ball well. A similar clear mistake had thrown a leading David Goffin against Rafael Nadal off the track last year's semi-final at the same spot.
The Hawk-Eye errs on sand too often
So, should not the Hawk-Eye be used on sand despite the visible ball print? Well, quite as simple as it seems at first glance, then answering this question is not enough. The British manufacturer of electronic assistance admits that the system has its own difficulties, especially on sand.
The uneven ground makes the measurements more error-prone and unreliable. In order to be able to act reasonably reliably, the Hawk-Eye would have to be recalibrated between the matches on sand. Which lasts 30 minutes, so it is hardly practicable with the tightly timed schedules of the tournaments.
And so you just can not be completely sure that the graphics that are presented to the television viewer from Monte Carlo, refute the referee in any case really right. It could also be that the physical ballprint speaks a different and more truthful language. In any case, if the right one is selected for review and it goes to the very tight decisions.
The question of the meaningfulness of these impressions, which in case of doubt suggest a nonexistent evidential force, is of course raised there. Especially since there is now an alternative to the hawk-eye with the competing product "Foxtenn", which has a very interesting approach especially in this case. The Foxtenn system relies on real images of high-speed cameras placed around the court to document the ball's launch and then present it to the viewer as a real moving image. At least the organizers of the clay court event in Barcelona will be using Foxtenn this year.
Entdeckung des Wochenendes: Bei den @NewYorkOpen wurde das Linienüberwachungssystem #Foxtenn eingesetzt. Anders als beim #Hawkeye wird der Ballaufsprung nicht errechnet, sondern er wird mit 40 High-Speed-Kameras quasi punktgenau abgebildet. Spannende Technik! #newyorkopen pic.twitter.com/hs3pRyec9Q— Tim Boeseler (@TimBoeseler) 18. Februar 2019
(Picture © imago)
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