Camera technology to be used at Wimbledon this year

LONDON - The All England Club confirmed yesterday that HawkEye technology will be used at this year's Wimbledon championships.

LONDON - The All England Club confirmed yesterday that HawkEye technology will be used at this year's Wimbledon championships.

It was announced last month that the multi-camera system which tracks the flight of a moving ball would be introduced, as it has been at the hardcourt Australian and US Opens, though exactly how it would be deployed on grass was undecided.

After the accuracy of the system was tested on grasscourts this month, tournament organisers have agreed to allow players three incorrect challenges per set rather than the two at Flushing Meadows and Melbourne.

HawkEye, which has been successfully used in cricket, will only be installed on Wimbledon's two main showcourts, Centre and Court One, with large screens added so that spectators can watch instant replays of disputed line calls.

The traditional Cyclops system with its distinctive bleep will not be used on either court, though it will be retained on the outside courts.

Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the All England Club, said: "The extra potential challenge recognises both the importance of the service on a grass court and the fact that Cyclops will not be deployed on the service line this year on Centre and No 1.

"Statistics show that players have been very sensible in their use of the technology so far and it is right to grant them additional opportunities to use this highly accurate assistance.

"We have consulted closely with the ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals], WTA [Women's Tennis Association] and ITF [International Tennis Federation] before coming to this conclusion and understand our rationale to be appreciated."

If players correctly challenge a line call they do not lose one of their appeals so, in theory, they have unlimited opportunities to ask for HawkEye intervention. A further incorrect appeal will be allowed during a tiebreak.

Because Wimbledon does not use tiebreaks in deciding sets, players will be allowed a further three incorrect challenges from six games all in the third set of women's matches and the fifth set of men's matches.

The Artois grasscourt tournament (June 11-17), the traditional warm-up event for Wimbledon at Queen's Club, also confirmed yesterday that it will use HawkEye this year.

But four-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and French Open champion Rafael Nadal are not fans of the technology.

Next week's French Open will not use HawkEye to determine line calls, though it will be used for the benefit of television viewers.

Wimbledon begins on June 25. - Reuters