Friday, September 12, 2008

A Replay Flap You Might Have Missed

While the use of instant replay in MLB has raised a lot of controversy this year, the quirks of tennis's "Hawk-Eye" replay system came to the forefront the US Open Final. Hawk-Eye's use in determining whether balls were hit in or out has gotten positive reviews. But a glitch in the system hurt Andy Murray's chances to upset Roger Federer. During a second-set rally in which Murray, down 1-0, had Federer at break point, Federer hit a ball that was incorrectly ruled inside the line.

For Murray to have challenged the call, he would have had to stop playing the point - players can only challenge the last hit of the rally - which would have been a huge gamble for a call that was close enough for the line judge to have missed. Instead Murray played out the point and Federer won, going on to avoid the break and, eventually, narrowly winning the set. The fact that Murray couldn't challenge the call after playing out the point may have made the difference between he and Federer being tied 1-1, instead of Federer escaping with a basically insurmountable 2-0 lead.


1 comment:

  1. what's the upside for not allowing a player to challenge a ball unless it's the last one hit?