Hawk-Eye ushers in new era leaving opinions divided among top players

Roger Federer is sceptical. Marat Safin thinks it will "destroy the game". Andy Roddick says it will "add drama and excitement". Andre Agassi describes it as "one of the most exciting things to happen" in his 20 years as a professional.

Opinions on the use of video replays to decide line calls are as hard to guess as a Federer forehand, but most agree that tennis will never be the same again after the technology is used at a senior event for the first time at the Nasdaq-100 Open, which begins here today. After successful trials at the Masters Seniors tournament at the Royal Albert Hall in December and the Hopman Cup in Perth in January, the sport is putting its faith in Hawk-Eye, the invention pioneered by Channel 4 five years ago for its cricket coverage.

The technology will be used only on the main court here, at a cost of around £60,000, but the US and Australian Opens have opted to follow the same route. The system uses eight cameras linked to a computer, which can decide the position of the ball within four millimetres. On-court screens will show the verdict to players and spectators within 10 seconds.

Players can challenge two line calls per set and one in a tie-break. The challenges cannot be carried over into subsequent sets and can be made only against a call on the final shot of a rally. If the protest is upheld the player will retain two challenges; if wrong they will lose one.

Three Britons feature at the Nasdaq-100, but it would be no surprise if Andy Murray quickly becomes the lone flag-bearer as Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski have tricky first-round draws, against Marat Safin and Mikhail Youzhny respectively. At No 56 in the world Henman is now the British No 3 and his nemesis, Lleyton Hewitt, awaits in the second round even if he beats Safin, who has made a promising return after six months off with injury.

Murray faces Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat the British No 1 in straight sets in Switzerland's Davis Cup victory on clay last September. Murray, however, has since climbed to No 41 in the world, 17 places above Wawrinka. The winner will meet Chile's Fernando Gonzalez, with Nicolas Kiefer and Rafael Nadal likely opponents beyond that.

Murray, Wawrinka and Marcos Baghdatis were on the shortlist for the best men's newcomer prize at the sport's annual awards ceremony here last night, but were beaten to the honour by France's Gaël Monfils. Federer and Kim Clijsters won the top men's and women's awards.

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

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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003