Tennis is a sport which is always trying to expand. Just a few weeks ago down in Australia we saw the introduction of video technology at the ATP Cup. This was used for foot faults and to see if players had connected with the ball over the net with volleys and it worked well.
What changes are coming in?
WTA Charleston to introduce Hawkeye!
The clay event in Charleston is set to make history. It is one of the oldest and favourite stops on the clay court schedule and it is introducing Hawkeye.
This change is in agreement with the WTA and will be introduced to all courts at the Volvo Car Open it is understood!
The new technology is different to that currently used on the ATP and WTA tour. It is from the company FOXTENN which will set up 40 high speed cameras around a court and will produce 100,000 images per second. Instead of producing an animation to show whether the ball was in or out, instead it will be a replay of the point.
Clay trial on the ATP!
The ATP are up to similar tricks but they are trialing Hawkeye on clay court.
It will be used first of all at the Rio Open at the end of February and is using the FOXTENN technology which is being implemented at the WTA event in Charleston.
It will also be trialed at a ATP 250 event and ATP Masters Event (either Madrid, Rome or Monte-Carlo). It hasn’t yet been announced where the other two tournaments will be but I have heard it will be Madrid.
It is up to tournaments to apply for the trial.
WTA to introduce coaching from the stands
WTA have announced they will introduce ‘coaching from the stands’ which will begin in February 2020.
It is understood it is on a trial basis but is also something that will continue throughout the year on the WTA.
On court coaching will continue to be an option for players as well as coaching from the stands.
Patrick Mouratoglou who was of course at the centre of the controversy at the 2018 US Open with Serena Williams called it ‘amazing news’ and hopes the ATP follow suit.
Novak Djokovic talking to ESPN the other day at the Australian Open also likes the idea of on court coaching.
Roland Garros schedule change…
Roland Garros have announced a major schedule change for 2020 which will offer a fairer playing field and all players who reach the quarter finals will play their quarter final on Court Phillipe Chatrier.
Quarter Finals will continue to be played over two days but there will be two sessions on each day.
Both sessions will have a men’s and women’s quarter finals and start times have changed.
The first session on both days will begin at 12 noon. The second session will not begin before 5pm. There is a possibility that play could now continue until gone 10pm at Roland Garros who will continue play under the roof and lights with no suspension in play on the main court.
Are all of these changes for the better or the worse? Is Hawkeye good for clay? Surely players will continue to check and challenge marks if unsure. Coaching from the stands a good idea and what about Roland Garros’ schedule change?