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Ana used Hawk-Eye, the new electronic line calling system, for the first time during her Nasdaq-100 Open fourth round match with Amelie Mauresmo. Though she is supportive of the technology, she says it will take some time to get used to.
“It’s kind of a strange feeling,” said Ana, who made her first ever challenge in the ninth game when she queried an overruling of her first serve: Hawk-Eye showed that the umpire had correctly called the ball ‘out’.
“Sometimes you’re not so sure, you don’t want to be wrong. You only have two challenges. If you’re wrong on some not important points you will lose your challenges, so you won’t have them on the important ones.
“For example, in the Hingis and Kuznetsova match, Martina challenged on match point. If she had already used her challenges she would not have been able to use it.”
In total Ana made two challenges and both were unsuccessful. So far during the women’s tournament challenges have had a success rate of 21.4 per cent, which suggests that officials are correct on roughly four out of five calls.
Bad line calls can sometimes change the pattern of a match, or at least cause a player to lose her focus. Indeed that is one of the reasons why Hawk-Eye has been introduced. Ana believes that it will go some way to enabling her to focus more on the match, but it is by no means a perfect solution. “I think it’s going to help a lot,” Ana said.
“But still you doubt if it was in, but it’s too far away, you couldn’t see it, so you have doubts. You think, ‘should I challenge or not?’ It’s still a little disturbing but at least you can have the decision straightaway.”
By Gavin Versi
Click here for a full description of how Hawk-Eye works.