Time To Axe Line Judges From Matches, Says Novak Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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Time To Axe Line Judges From Matches, Says Novak Djokovic

The world No.1 has backed the removal of one of the most traditional aspects of tennis.

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Novak Djokovic has said he sees ‘no reason’ why tournaments on the professional Tour shouldn’t permanently remove line officials from the court in the future.

 

The 17-time Grand Slam winner has come out in favour of the introduction of electronic line calling at all events which would replace the tradition of people sitting around the court and making calls. A system that was recently implemented at the Western and Southern Open, as well as the US Open in New York, to limit the amount of people on the court due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With all my 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, 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/NewYork tournament,” Djokovic said following his third round win at the French Open.
“The technology is so advanced right now, there is absolutely no reason why you should keep line umpires on the court.”

It has previously been reported that the cost of implementing Hawk-Eye live is around $50,000 per court. This estimate includes both the software and the technicians who would be required to work it. According to the managing director of Hawk-eye Live, James Japhet, 225,000 calls were made with only 14 errors during the first week of the US Open.

“I understand the 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 umpire,” Djokovic argues. “Ball kids, of course, but line umpires, I don’t see why anymore, to be honest.”

Djokovic’s call comes a month after his high-profile US Open mishap that involved a lineswoman. During his fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta, the Serbian unintentionally hit a ball at an official in her neck. Prompting her to fall to the ground. Djokovic was disqualified from the match under official rules.

“There would be less chances to do what I did in New York,” he joked about implementing electronic line calling.

The comments from the French Open top seed comes amid a debate over whether or not hawk-eye should be implemented at the event. A move officials deemed unnecessary because the ball leaves a marking on the clay for umpires to check. Although there have been incidents where umpires have got the wrong marking.

One example took place during Denis Shapovalov’s second round match against Roberto Carballés Baena on Thursday. The empire ruled a shot from the Canadian as out which Hawk-Eye found to be in during a critical moment. If he had won that call, Shapovalov would have had two match points at 5-4 in the fifth set but he ended losing 6-8.

I think it’s time for Hawk-Eye on clay. I don’t understand why they haven’t proceeded,” Stefanos Tsitsipas commented on the issue earlier this week.
If technology allows us to do far beyond more things that current knowledge allows us I do believe they should implement that into tennis. It doesn’t really matter the surface.’
“We have to keep growing and keep adding new things to the sport that will help make it better and more fair.”

Despite the rise of technology French Open officials have recently reiterated that they have no plans to implement a hawk-eye system or anything similar in the near future. It is also argued that the accuracy of it’s calls on clay is less due to the nature of the surface.

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Gael Monfils Joins Forces With Former Long-Time Coach Of Dominic Thiem

Will the Frenchman return to his best form with the help of his new mentor?

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Tennis star Gael Monfils will start the 2021 season with a new team setup after confirming the appointment of a new coach.

 

The former US Open semi-finalist has paired up with the renowned Gunther Bresnik who is best known for his time spent working alongside Dominic Thiem for over a decade until their split in 2019. Thiem is now coached by Nicolas Massu. Bresnik is the former Davis Cup captain of Austria and has worked with numerous top names such as Ernests Gulbis, Jerzy Janowicz, Boris Becker and Henri Leconte.

Monfils has been training with Bresnik during the off-season but only now has it been confirmed that the two have formed an agreement to work together. However, over the coming weeks Monfils will be guided by another Austrian. Co-coach Richard Ruckelshausen will work with the world No.11 in Australia and has been appointed as the captain of the French ATP Cup team.

“I’ve known Gaël for a long time,” Bresnik told krone.at on January 9th. “With Ernests Gulbis and Stefan Lochbihler’s son, he worked on his shape here in Spain (during the off-season).”

The 34-year-old will be looking to get back on top form following what was a roller-coaster 2020. Monfils started last year by winning 16 matches within a three-month period. However, following the pause in tennis due to the COVID-19 pandemic he struggled to regain that form. Ending the season with three consecutive first round losses.

Monfils had been working with Liam Smith. The upcoming Australian Open will be his 54th appearance in a Grand Slam main draw. He has only reached the quarter-finals at the Melbourne major once which was back in 2016.

So far in his career Monfils has won 10 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as sixth in the world.

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Andy Murray won’t travel to Australia

Andy Murray will miss next month’s Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago.

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Andy Murray (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray has made it official, he won’t be making the trip down under after working with Tennis Australia to find a viable solution to make it work.

 

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work.”

Murray was scheduled to fly to Australia with one of charter flights but due to a positive Covid test wasn’t able to make the flight and put his tournament in jeopardy.

Although he missed the chartered flights there was still a small chance he would play but had to workout an agreement with Tennis Australia to make it work. However it didn’t work and was gutted with the news.

“I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”

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‘If I knew, I Wouldn’t Come’ – Victor Troicki Slams Hard Quarantine In Melbourne

Troicki, who will head the Serbian ATP Cup team next month, says his career has been thrown into ‘chaos.’

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Former top 20 player Victor Troicki says his ‘Grand Slam is failing’ after implying that he felt that he was misled about the quarantine rules ahead of the Australian Open.

 

Troicki, who is currently ranked 202nd in the world, is among 72 players who have been placed in a strict quarantine where they are not allowed to leave their room for a 14-day period. Those affected have all been deemed as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country.

34-year-old Troicki travelled to Australia from Doha after successfully qualifying for the Australian Open with wins over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Ulises Blanch and Jurij Rodionov. This year’s two qualifying tournament’s took place in the Middle East due to the pandemic.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t come,” Troicki told Sportski Zurnal earlier this week.
“Total chaos, horror as far as everything is concerned. I’m locked up for 14 days, I can’t leave the room. No training, nothing. My Grand Slam is failing, I can’t get ready for five sets in the room.”

In recent days there has been some dispute over whether players knew about the conditions regarding going into a strict quarantine. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were initially under the impression that sections of a plan would have to be isolated if there was a positive case and not the entire plane. Ultimately the decision was up to the Australian health authorities.

“Tennis Australia was doing a great job in my opinion. The only thing that was a bit unclear was about the quarantine when somebody gets infected on the plane. They were talking like they were going to make sections inside the plane so if they found somebody in a section (who tests positive) they would isolate those people,’ said Martinez.
“But in the end the government didn’t want to do this and they preferred to isolate all on the plane because it was safer for everyone.”

Amid the debate over whether Troicki and his peers knew the full story or not, Spain’s Paula Badosa has become the first Australian Open player to contract the virus during quarantine. She had previously criticised the procedure before later apologising.

As for Troicki, he says the current situation is creating ‘chaos’ in his career.

“All preparations are failing,” he said. “Two weeks of lying in bed, it is certain that I will have to get back in shape for the next month and a half. All this is creating chaos in my career.”

Troicki is the team captain of the Serbian ATP Cup team. The tournament will start a week prior to the Australian Open on February 1st.

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