The French and former world n ° 6 Gilles Simon spoke about the state of refereeing and the use of Hawk-Eye technology. Loss in the first round last night against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
This year open from Australia is the first Grand Slam tournament to replace all linemen with Hawk-Eye technology. Fans and gamers got a taste of the system at last year’s US Open, where only the two main show courts had linesmen, while all other courts adopted Hawk-technology. Eye.
The development – introduced as a COVID-safe measure to reduce the number of people on the pitch – means players can’t challenge decisions as remote tracking cameras take over with automatic, real-time line calls.
Most players have been fairly low-key so far about full-time use of the technology, but Simon questioned the accuracy of the calls.
The 36-year-old said players couldn’t push their “paranoia” and argued Hawk-Eye Live was not accurate, with a number of marks on the pitch not reflecting the tech version of events.
“The main problem is that it’s not at all correct, that’s the big, big problem,” Simon said, according to a translated version of an answer he gave in French at his press conference. .
“Surprisingly, players prefer a machine error to a chair umpire error, other (sic) we always have the idea that it’s personal – we are paranoid and we always have the idea that the umpire is us. blame it personally, and that’s why he make a mistake.
“But with the machine, you can’t push your paranoia that far. But that’s a problem because there are big differences – especially where you can see the marks really really well. You can see that call that was done isn’t. where the mark is. So that’s a problem. “
Simon also said that by removing player challenges, matches lose excitement, with players previously having three challenges per set to test the tight decisions made by linesmen.
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“In Cologne (ATP events last October), there were big refereeing errors – he (Hawk-Eye Live) is impartial, it’s neutral … but there are (obviously) times when we would like the calls to be correct, ”said Simon.
“And surprisingly, I think we’re missing the challenge. I think people and gamers really like the challenge – it was a good mix of being able to use video three times – something happened. Obviously. (now) you cannot challenge a ball that has been called by the machine. “
But the big issue in Simon’s mind was how much control the chair umpires now have, as they rely more on technology.
The Frenchman argued that since chair umpires now have less to worry about, they are openly looking to distribute more time violations to servers who exceed the required 25-second time limit to start the next point.
“And what I like least about Hawk-Eye Live is – and I know there is a connection, and for a while I thought it was getting worse – the level of refereeing has gone dramatically. lowered. I don’t know if there are any. a connection with Hawk-Eye Live … the officials may be a bit focused during points, and there are a lot of ‘let’ calls – and if it’s the machine, they can’t see it (hear it ?).
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“Now I think they (the referees) are just obsessed with the time (between the points) … I think I already talked about it at Roland Garros. I feel like they didn’t have only one mission – to give you a warning as soon as you hit the 25th second. That’s all there is. It’s what you feel when you pick up your towel. That kind of constant stress. “
“I don’t know if it’s because (the referees are making) less announcements, are they more vigilant with what is happening on the pitch or what is happening off the pitch? they still have to do it and they are doing it diligently and unfortunately that is not a good thing.
“Basically, there is something wrong on the pitch these days.”
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