‘Why We Rely on This Antiquated Practice’- Andy Roddick Criticizes the Lack of Technology at the Italian Open

Published 05/14/2022, 8:11 AM EDT

Andy Roddick, a former world no. 1, has been vocal about the incidents in the tennis world. He retired in 2012 at the young age of 30. However, he has been active in making observations of the players as well as following the tour diligently. Recently, he expressed his view on the line-calling system of the Italian Open and took a dig at the umpires.

Andy Roddick takes a dig at umpires at the Italian Open

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Andy Roddick took to his Twitter to reveal the dire state of umpiring at Rome.

“Umpires missing all sorts of mark reads today in Rome.” He further took a dig at the ancient method of relying on the umpire.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 21: In town for the US Open, Andy Roddick walks the red carpet at the IHG “Legends, Unmatched” soiree at the Kimpton Hotel Eventi on August 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for IHG Hotels & Resorts)

“I still don’t understand why we rely on this antiquated practice when we have the tech to get it right. I know it saves the tourney money not to implement replay tech, but..,” the former world no. 1 wants tournaments to implement the technology at use so that it makes the far call and does not miss anything.

Technologies used in tennis

The umpire does the calling on the clay court and the players have contested this a lot of times. There have been contentions around the credibility of the umpire’s call.

In tennis, there are various technologies that are used during matches on courts. Hawkeye is one of the most prevalent ones. It is used to track the trajectory of the ball visually and display a profile of its most likely path as a moving image statistically. Then there is Foxtenn technology, which uses slow-motion cameras to capture the bounce and activity of the ball.

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Alternative at clay courts

However, in a clay court, there are a few restrictions that create a hurdle for the implementation of these technologies. There are umpires and line judges to compensate for that. Nonetheless, an amalgamation of technology with traditional methods can bring out more just decisions.

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Poland’s Iga Swiatek in action during her final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

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At the on-going Italian Open, Iga Swiatek has reached the semi-finals while Rafael Nadal is out with an injury and Novak Djokovic is in the semi-finals. The anticipation and excitement around the tour are high and we are all rooting for more strong bouts on the court.

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Shivali Sharma

133 articles

Shivali Sharma is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. She has pursued her Master's in history from Himachal University, but her love for the game has driven her to write about tennis. Shivali is a huge fan of Naomi Osaka and admires Osaka not only for her on-court performances, but also for her off-court actions.

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