Federer calls debut of Hawk-Eye technology 'madness'

Roger Federer does not get many things wrong and the first evidence here yesterday of the use of video technology to decide contentious line calls appeared to support the world No 1's unequivocal verdict. "What is happening is madness," Federer had said of the decision to use the Hawk-Eye computer system on the show court for the Nasdaq-100 Open. "A pure waste of money."

For all the attention given to the technology, which cost more than $100,000 (£57,000) to install here at Crandon Park, it did not make a halfpenny's worth of difference to the outcome of the first match in which it was deployed, a women's singles in which Jamea Jackson beat her fellow American, Ashley Harkleroad, 7-5, 6-7, 7-5.

The match featured four challenges to calls (or lack of them) by line judges. Hawk-Eye's eight cameras and linked computer decided that the officials were correct on three of them. Harkleroad's challenge on the fourth, after her forehand had been called out, was upheld, but the 20-year-old American lost the point when it was subsequently replayed.

Critics of the technology have suggested that its use will interrupt the flow of matches and cause delays, but that argument was not borne out here. The match lasted three hours and nine minutes, but that was the result of two well-matched players slugging out a baseline contest, which was also held up by breaks because of the heat and Jackson's problems with cramp. All four Hawk-Eye verdicts, communicated to players, officials and spectators via large on-court video screens, were reached within the promised 10 seconds.

The system has been installed at the request of players and Jackson and Harkleroad approved. Both players are allowed two challenges per set plus one for a tie-break (they lose a challenge which is not upheld but can keep making them if they are correct).

Ian Wight, the director of the Stella Artois Championships, was here yesterday and said that he would be talking to the Association of Tennis Professionals about the possibility of using the technology at Queen's Club this summer.

He also revealed the strongest-ever line-up for this summer's tournament. Five of the current top 10 ­ Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Ivan Ljubicic, Nikolay Davydenko and James Blake ­ will be joined by, among others, Lleyton Hewitt and the British trio of Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski. All 48,000 tickets for the centre court have already been sold in record time.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea