© Julian Finney/Getty Images

Casper Ruud utilised the first-ever Video Review during the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals.

Video Review To Be Used At ATP Cup

Hawk-Eye technology will be implemented for all matches 

After being successfully implemented at the Next Gen ATP Finals, Video Review will be used by officials at the inaugural ATP Cup, held throughout Australia from 3-12 January.

“The job for officials is to get things right in a match, so here’s another tool for that,” said Gayle David Bradshaw, Executive Vice President, ATP Rules & Competition. “There could be a lot riding on a judgement call. If they make a bad judgement and there’s a clear way to correct it, we’re all for it.”

The Video Review is delivered using Advanced Hawk-Eye technology. Players will be able to challenge judgement calls from the chair umpire such as Not-Ups, Foul Shots, Touches, Invasion, Through and Hindrance.* Each player is limited to three incorrect challenges during a set, but will receive an additional challenge if a set reaches 6-all.

When a reviewable call is challenged, the VR operator uses all available camera angles to find the best view of the incident. They will then send the video to a screen attached to the chair umpire’s chair. If the line review system is unable to make a determination, the chair umpire may review the call for clear evidence that confirms or overturns the call on the court. If there is no clear evidence, then the original decision stands.

Although Bradshaw expects the video review to be used sparingly in matches, he believes it’s a crucial component to ensure that incorrect calls don’t disrupt the flow of a match.

“Last year at Wimbledon, there was a point that a player won twice and ended up losing that point,” Bradshaw explained. “There was a double bounce that wasn’t called and then his opponent actually missed the shot he hit. They’re showing it on the television replays and you can clearly see that it was two bounces. In that case, having Video Review would have solved the whole issue.”

Video Review was in place, but not used by players, at the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals. This past November in Milan, Casper Ruud called for the first-ever Video Review adjudication during his round-robin match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The historic moment took place at 30-all in the opening game, when chair umpire Fergus Murphy stopped the point and declared that Ruud’s lob touched the bottom of the jumbo screen. The Norwegian challenged the call, but the review showed that the call was correct.

Ruud's challenge was played out in real time to spectators at the Allianz Cloud on a large video board, in addition to fans watching the match on broadcast. Bradshaw believes that using technology to bring fans closer to the action will only help the sport in the future.

“[Umpires are] used to being under pressure, but now the spectators are seeing in real time the same video that the official sees to make the decision. This has huge potential for entertainment value for the fans,” said Bradshaw. “You don’t have that in American football or in soccer stadiums. We’ve taken it to another level in fan engagement.”

In addition to the ATP Cup, Video Review will be used in 2020 at the Next Gen ATP Finals and Nitto ATP Finals.

Examples of incidents that would be subject to video review at the ATP Cup are:

• Not-Ups - double bounces

• Foul Shots - deliberate double hits or carry; or hitting the ball before it has passed the net; the ball, prior to bouncing, hits a permanent fixture; or the racquet is not in the player's hand when touched by the ball.

• Touches - ball skimming racquet, clothing or body; or if a player, or anything he is wearing or carrying, touches the net, net posts/singles sticks while the ball is still in play.

• Invasion - when the player, or anything he is wearing or carrying, touches the opponent's side of the court while the ball is in play.

• Hindrance - decisions on whether a point should be awarded or the point should be replayed. The most common use of this would be a call corrected from out to good and whether the player had a play on the ball.

More stories like this in: